Private Tour of Germany
Germany : Romantic Tour
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Known as Germany’s “grand old dame of ski towns”, this busy, year-round resort and spa town is the undisputed capital of Alpine Bavaria and the country's most popular mountain resort. As the hyphenated name suggests, Garmisch-Partenkirchen was once two separate towns that reluctantly joined forces to accommodate the 1936 Winter Olympics. While there is no longer any clear distinction between the two towns, they have starkly contrasting characters: Garmisch is modern and vibrant with a cosmopolitan air, while Partenkirchen retains a charming old-world Alpine village quality. Presiding over these unwitting bedfellows is Germany’s highest mountain, the mighty Zugspitze, which provides some unbeatable outdoor sport facilities including more than 99 km of downhill ski runs, 40 ski lifts, and 180 km of cross-country ski trails. Garmisch-Partenkirchen manages to meld the best of both towns to form a culture and adventure filled winter wonderland in the heart of this spectacular Bavarian wilderness.
Frankfurt is a city of bizarre contrasts and contradictions. As the economic powerhouse of Germany, its famously futuristic skyline glistens with massive, ultramodern skyscrapers and its street are abuzz with large herds of suits scurrying around the avant garde superstructures of its central business district. But Frankfurt is by no means all work and no play. At its heart lies an unexpectedly traditional, medieval Alstadt (old city) complete with half-timbered buildings housing apple-wine taverns which serve hearty local dishes, and village-like neighbourhoods brimming with quirky boutiques, trendy galleries and cutting-edge street art. Add to this melting pot a slew of museums, theatres and opera houses, as well as an unbeatable 24 hour party scene, and you’ll find that this sophisticated, cosmopolitan city has much more to offer than initially meets the eye.
The Black Forest is a large forested mountain range in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwestern Germany. The area is famous for its cuckoo clocks, its distinctive traditional native German garb, its quaint half-timbered houses and as the setting of countless Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales. Visitors flock here year round to take advantage of the Black Forest’s excellent skiing and spa facilities and to explore the area’s many quaint small towns and villages including Baden-Baden, a grand old nineteenth-century spa town, the attractive and lively university town of Freiburg, and the enchanting river-valley city of St Blasien. With its lush extensive forests, impressive towering mountain peaks, mysterious cirque lakes and charming valleys, this unspoiled wilderness is nature lovers paradise.
Tucked away at the foot of the Alps at the southernmost point of the Romantic Road, lies the picturesque town of Füssen. While primarily known for its proximity to the enchanting castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenswangau, the town itself has a wealth of cultural interest. Meandering aimlessly through this romantic 700-year-old town is a true delight with its medieval alleyways and small squares packed with quaint boutiques, cute cafes and homely restaurants. Historical and artistic treasures hide around every corner including charming turreted town houses, baroque churches, the Benedictine abbey of St. Mang, as well as a branch of the Bavarian State Art Gallery. Füssen is not only a great base to discover Germany’s most loved fantasy castles, it is also an ideal place to sneak away from the crowds to explore the spectacular surrounding landscape of gentle hiking trails and Alpine vistas offering panoramic views that will undoubtedly be the highlight of any tour of Southern Germany.
Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol state in Austria, lies in the famous Alps. With its relatively mild Alpine climate and outdoor sports facilities impressive enough to thrill even the most adventurous extreme-sports enthusiast, this spectacular historic city is the perfect springboard for making the leap between the urban and the outdoors. See Emperor Maximilian’s glorious fifteenth-century influences in the Gothic Hofkerche Cathedral, the city’s landmark Goldenes Dachl (golden roof), and the remarkable Gothic and Baroque buildings strewn along the winding cobbled streets of its charming historic Altstadt (Old Town). Every year thousands of tourists are drawn to this delightful picture-perfect city presided over by the imposing jagged peaks of the Nordkette mountain range and the majestic Habsburg palace.
Munich conjures up images of busty Bavarian beer maids in “dirndis” serving up steins of beer and sausage to beer houses full of large drunken men in embroidered “lederhosen”. While Munich does indeed offer all of these cliches in abundance, it is also a city of bizarre contrasts and contradictions which are enthusiastically embraced by its residents who seem quite comfortable with the surprising combination of cosmopolitan consumerism and old-world charm. Munich is a modern, technological hub complete with state-of-the-art skyscrapers and 21st Century football stadiums. However, it is simultaneously a city that revels in its traditional customs, its old-fashioned gingerbread architecture and its boisterous beer house culture. With its wide pavements strewn with designer boutiques alongside quaint antique stores and contemporary eateries neighbouring traditional taverns, this Bavarian metropolis manages to combine a forward-looking, cosmopolitan character with a folksy, small-town atmosphere.