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Begin in the Bavarian capital of Munich where you'll tour major sights like St. Peter's Church, Palace of the Dukes of Wittelsbach and the famous Marienplatz (St. Mary's Square) with its famous 100-year-old Glockenspiel. Every day at noon, 32 charming, life-sized figures reenact historical Bavarian events.
Make sure and hoist a stein at the famous Hofbräuhaus before venturing to the countryside where highlights include the town of Oberammergau, famous for its Passion Play of Christ's life, held once every 10 years since 1633; Neuschwanstein Castle, the 1869 fairy tale castle of King Ludwig II said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney's iconic Sleeping Beauty castle; and the vineyard-covered Wachau Valley on a cruise of the Danube River. Also enjoy an extraordinary excursion that includes Obersalzburg, former Nazi base of operations, and the so-called Eagle's Nest, Hitler's former residence and Nazi southern headquarters.
Other city highlights include those of Salzburg, set against the splendor of the Austrian Alps and famous as the home of Mozart and The Sound of Music. Visit Mirabell Palace, the fortress and Mozart's birthplace before continuing to Vienna and a guided tour of the state rooms of Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the Hapsburg family. Spend two days in Innsbruck, set in a valley of snow-capped mountain peaks and once the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Delight in the city's Old Quarter with its cobblestone lanes, 14th century houses and gabled shop fronts. And while here, try not to miss Swarovsky’s crystal fantasy world, Kristallwelten. End your urban explorations with two days in Lucerne on the shores of Lake Lucerne, the storybook image of a Swiss town with its narrow cobblestone streets, slender spires and turrets, covered bridges, frescoed houses and bubbling fountains.
But there are many rural treasures and off-the-beaten-path destinations to discover as well. Outside Vienna, spend a day exploring the rolling farmlands, fortified towns and the beautiful lakes and mountains of Styria and Carinthia. Travel through the rugged peaks of the Dolomites and past Italy's Alpine north with its fashionable ski resorts en route to Innsbruck. Spend a night in the jet-setting resort of St. Moritz then take a spectacular journey on the Glacier Express, the most famous railway in the world; travel through untouched mountain landscapes, deep gorges, picturesque valleys and over impressive bridges. Conclude your adventure with a funicular and cable car ride into the snow-capped mountains outside Lucerne where you'll savor a farewell dinner in a revolving restaurant with spectacular views of Alpine splendor.
• 11 nights in premium hotels: 2 nights in Munich, 1 night in Salzburg, 2 nights in Vienna, 1 night in St. Veit an der Glan, 2 nights in Innsbruck, 1 night in St. Moritz and 2 nights in Lucerne
• 17 meals - Daily breakfast and 6 dinners, plus tips
• On-tour transportation by deluxe motor coach
• Services of a professional Travel Director
• An Eagles Nest & Bavarian Alps Excursion plus comprehensive sightseeing
• All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling and local taxes
• Airport transfers on arrival and departure days (at specified times, conditions apply)
Day 1 - Arrive in Munich
Welcome to Munich, the largest city in the southern Bavarian region of Germany. Your journey begins with an orientation tour showing Feldherrnhalle in the Odeonsplatz, Palace of the Dukes of Wittelsbach, English Garden, Hofbräuhaus, St. Peter’s Church and famous Marienplatz. Later join your tour director for a welcome reception including dinner and wine.
Accommodation: Westin Grand Arabellapark or Hilton Munich Park - 2 nights
Day 2 - The Bavarian Alps
Today is devoted to the beautiful scenery of the German Alps. First to Oberammergau, home of the Passion Play since 1634; see the immense theater and colorful chalets. Continue along the German Alpine Road to Wieskirche, a masterpiece of Bavarian rococo. Next view Hohenschwangau Castle before visiting its romantic neighbor of Neuschwanstein, bristling with turrets and pinnacles. Return to Munich where the rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 3 - Salzburg, the City of Mozart
A short drive over the Austrian border leads to Salzburg, "alive with the sound of music." A local guide shows you the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace, the imposing fortress, the cathedral in the Old Town and Mozart’s Birthplace.
AAA Complimentary Inclusion: This afternoon, drive deep into the National Park past farm houses and picturesque villages to the ruins of Obersalzburg. From here, transfer to special motor coaches adapted to the scenic mountain climb up to Hitler’s notorious "Eagles Nest." There are splendid views through the arches up to the Hohen Goll and across the snow-capped peaks.
Accommodation: Castellani Park Hotel - 1 night
Day 4 - Blue Danube & Vienna
First stop this morning is Mondsee to see the Sound of Music church. Engaging Experience: In the shadow of the great Monastery of Melk, join a scenic cruise along the Danube River through the Wachau Valley, where vineyards cover hillsides overlooked by ruined castles. Alight in Dürnstein, a medieval gem of towers and ramparts.
Later, head to Austria’s great Imperial capital, Vienna. After hotel check-in and time at leisure, enjoy a range of cuisine from a choice of restaurants.
Accommodation: Hilton Vienna am Stadtpark – 2 nights
Day 5 - The Hapsburgs
Engaging Experience: Join a local guide at Schönbrunn Palace, full of frescoed ceilings, crystal chandeliers, mirrors and gilded ornaments. Spend time in the formal gardens. After your tour, drive on to view St. Charles’ Church, the Hofburg Palace, Parliament and State Opera House. The afternoon is yours to explore the city at leisure.
Day 6 - The Carinthian Lakes
Leaving Vienna this morning, ascend the hairpin bends of the Semmering Pass to enter the forested province of Styria. A drive through rolling farmlands brings you to the market town of Kindberg, famous for its superbly decorated Maypole. Continue along the valley of the Mur River for another stop in the fortified town of Friesach. Then on into the "sunshine state" of Carinthia. The mild climate and beautiful scenery of lakes and mountains have made this area a favorite holiday destination since the time of the Hapsburgs.
Accommodation: Blumenhotel, St. Veit an der Glan - 1 night
Day 7 - The Dolomites & Innsbruck
Today, head for the distinctive rugged peaks of the Dolomites. Enter Italy by way of Lago di Misurina and the Tre Croci Pass to pause in the fashionable ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Cross back into Austria and continue to Innsbruck, set in a valley of snow-capped mountain peaks. Relax among the cafés of the Old Quarter, with its narrow arcades and gabled shop fronts.
Accommodation: Hilton Innsbruck - 2 nights
Day 8 - Innsbruck
Tour the architectural jewels of the city this morning. Walk amid 14-century houses of the old town, seeing the Imperial Palace delightful Golden Roof. This afternoon is at leisure.
Day 9 - St. Moritz
Enter Switzerland this morning and drive along the beautiful Engadine Valley to the chic Alpine resort of St. Moritz. Enjoy the marvelous scenery and fresh air or browse in the elegant boutiques. Another option is a ride the Bernina Express, one of Europe’s outstanding train journeys.
Accommodation: Hotel Steffani or Crystal Hotel - 1 night
Day 10 - Glacier Express to Lake Lucerne
Engaging Experience: An unforgettable journey begins the day as ice-capped mountains, stone-built villages and lush meadows slip by the windows of your Glacier Express train. Ascend through the spiral tunnels of the Albula Pass and cross the Landwasser Viaduct before heading down through the Oberalp Valley to rejoin the coach at Andermatt.
Continue to lovely Lucerne, one of Europe’s most popular cities. Join your tour director to see the sorrowful sculpture of the dying lion, hewn out of a limestone cliff to commemorate those Swiss Guards who died at the Battle of the Tuileries.
Accommodation: Renaissance Hotel Lucerne - 2 nights
Day 11 - Lucerne
Today is at leisure in this beautiful city with its 14th century covered wooden bridges, painted gables, old walls and watch towers of the medieval fortifications. Stroll across the Chapel Bridge to the Jesuit Church or use your free time to shop. Later embark on a spectacular funicular and cable car ride up into the mountains for magnificent snow-capped views. On top of Stanserhorn, amid true Alpine majesty, your journey literally peaks with a farewell celebration dinner and wine in the revolving restaurant.
Day 12 - Depart Lucerne for Zurich Airport
Your tour ends today after breakfast as you depart Lucerne for the airport in Zurich.
Limitations & Restrictions
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to availability at time of booking, and may change without notice. Price given based on August 23 and August 30, 2014 departures; rates for other departure dates may be higher. Single supplement may apply. Except for packages including air transportation, unless stated otherwise, airfare, taxes and government fees are not included. Offers valid for new bookings only. Member Benefits are per person and apply to first and second traveler only. Member Benefits are available only with advertised fare and are subject to change without notice. Your travel arrangements may be modified or canceled subject to the travel providers’ policies. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. We make every effort for accuracy at time of printing but reserve the right to correct errors. AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip protection insurance. Except for packages including air transportation, fares may not reflect additional fuel supplement or port charges and vary by provider.
**Restrictions apply to the AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee and 24/7 Member Care. Should you find a valid better rate for the exact same itinerary within 24 hours of booking, AAA will match the lower rate. Ask your AAA Travel Counselor for details.
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