Bavaria Winter Discovery

8 days
from
£1,449
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Traveller ratings
5 / 5 from 2 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
CYF
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Cool Cultures
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–18

Breathtaking Bavarian Alps, Lake Constance and fairytale castles and palaces.

As the snow gently falls, the mountains of Bavaria turn into snow-covered giants, the ice on the lakes glisten in the sunshine and aromas of caramelised apples and mulled wine reach the towns’ streets. Immersed in this fabled setting, we journey from cosmopolitan and arty Munich through peaceful monasteries and abbeys, on to majestic royal palaces and fairytale castles, of which Neuschwanstein boasts the most famous. Add to the mix a fantastic cable car ride to Germany’s highest peak Zugspitze (2962m), day excursions around Lake Constance and its UNESCO sights, mouth-watering traditional cuisine, and you will have experienced Bavaria at its best!

Highlights

  • Visit the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Enjoy Lake Constance and UNESCO Reichenau Island 
  • See the Swiss Rhine Falls, the largest plain waterfall in Europe
  • Taste delicious Bavarian cuisine

Key information

  • 6 nights comfortable hotels, all rooms en suite
  • Group normally 4 to 18, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private minibus and public transport
  • November / December departures best for Christmas markets

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation
  • Transfers for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Munich

    After arriving in Munich, you will have some time to explore the city's top attractions with your leader. Visit one of the many museums, wander through the alleys of the pretty Old Town or sit back and relax in Marienplatz, Munich's main square and most popular gathering spot. In the evening, join your leader for a traditional Bavarian dinner in a traditional restaurant.

    On the November and December departures you will have the opportunity to enjoy the magical atmosphere of Munich's Christmas Market. 
    Ibis München City Arnulfpark or similar

     

  • Day 2

    Transfer to Garmisch-Partenkirchen; Linderhof Palace and Ettal Monastery

    Today we transfer to the pretty winter town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in the heart of the Bavarian mountains.

    We first visit the Linderhof Palace, one of the many great creations of the “Mad King,” King Ludwig II of Bavaria of the 19th century. The tour of the royal residence includes its many beautiful rooms decorated in the ornate French style and you will be able to see how Versailles was a large inspiration in the palace’s creation. 

    After lunch we visit Ettal Abbey, one of the most significant Benedictine abbeys in the Bavarian Alps, dating back to 1330 that houses a community of more than 50 monks. The monastery is well known for its brewery and distillery which produces the famous Ettaler Kloster Liquer, made from a centuries old recipe! 

    Later in the afternoon we enjoy a short sightseeing tour of the lovely Garmisch-Partenkirchen and its enchanting Upper Bavarian-styled homes, beautifully decorated with painted scenes and Christmas lights. 

    Hotel Garmischer Hof or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Olympic stadium and Zugspitze

    Garmisch-Partenkirchen made the perfect candidate for the Winter Olympics in 1936 (opened by Adolf Hilter) where the first alpine skiing competition was held. In the morning we have the opportunity to visit the famous Ski stadium with the Olympic Ski Jump (entrance is optional and not included).

    In the afternoon we take a local mountain train and a spectacular cable car ride to Zugspitze. At precisely 2,962 metres above sea level, Zugspitze is the highest mountain in the country, home to three glaciers and Germany’s highest ski resort. Right at the top, we enjoy an impressive 360° panorama that opens up to reveal extensive views over 400 mountain peaks in four countries.

    After having lunch in these spectacular surroundings, we descend by train back to our town of Garmish-Partenkirchen.

    Hotel Garmischer Hof or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Partnach Gorge and Neuschwanstein Castle

    In the morning we take a walk (optional) along the pretty Partnach Gorge, declared a natural monument in 1912. The gorge is approximately 700 metres long and 80 metres deep and in the winter months it becomes a magical place of ice and snow formations (please note that the walk will not be offered in case of bad weather conditions such as ice or snow which might make the path impassable).

    After lunch we visit the famous fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle, the most visited castle in the world, built by Ludwig II on a rugged hill against a backdrop of picturesque mountain scenery.

    We will then transfer to our next accommodation in Konstanz.

    Hotel Graf Zeppelin or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Konstanz and Reichenau

    After breakfast we will go on a walking tour of Konstanz (with a local guide), the largest town on Lake Constance and an important cultural centre, with an active theatrical and musical scene.

    In the afternoon we visit the UNESCO monastic island of Reichenau, the largest of the many islands of Lake Constance covering an impressive 1,057 acres. The island has long been inhabited, and its oldest man-made structures include three churches belonging to the famous monastery of Reichenau: St. George's Church in Oberzell with its fine wall paintings of the Ottonian period, the Minster of St. Mary and St. Mark with a rich treasury in the sacristy, and the church of Saints Peter and Paul in Niederzell. Founded in 724 AD by Charles Martel, Charlemagne's grandfather, they are among the finest examples of Early Romanesque art in Germany, both for their architecture and for their magnificent frescoes.

    We then return to Konstanz for the evening.

    Hotel Graf Zeppelin or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Swiss Rhine Falls

    Today we cross the border into Switzerland to visit the Rhine Falls, the largest waterfalls in Europe. Over a breadth of 150 metres, several hundred cubic metres of water rush into the depths at the rate of 23 metres per second. In the middle of it all stands a mighty rock that has withstood the elements for a thousand years. The rock can be reached on a circular tour of the Rhine Falls, during which one can observe the natural spectacle from up close. Virtually in the middle of the waterfall, visitors can stand on platforms that jut out and partially hover over the Rhine.

    Before returning to Konstanz we visit the lively and charming mediaeval town of Stein am Rhein, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful Swiss towns.  

    Hotel Graf Zeppelin or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Transfer to Zurich Airport; fly to London

    Those on the group flight will be transferred to Zurich Airport to take a flight back to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

Germany

No visa required for British passport holders.

Switzerland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Germany

There are no specific health risks.

Switzerland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included.

Bavarian cuisine is hearty and rustic, turning very simple ingredients into tasty, satisfying dishes. It is known for its wide variety of wurst (sausages), meat dishes, Knödel (dumplings) and pasta dishes, as well as for its breads (Pretzels), its sweet dishes and world-famous beers.

On this trip your leader will pre-arrange most lunches in traditional taverns and restaurants.

More international cuisine is available for those that wish, though choice across Central Europe for vegetarians can be limited. Please advise if you have any special dietary requirements at time of booking.

Evening meals can be taken at a restaurant of your choice, though the leader may arrange group meals for those that wish.

Weather

Because of its proximity to the Alps, Munich, Garmisch and Konstanz have a cold winter climate. The winter months can bring a fair amount of snow, but this just adds to the charm and fairytale vibe of the various places visited. Daytime high temperatures hover at only around 2-3°C and nights are a very frosty -4 or -5°C, or even colder at times. On the excursion to Zugspitze we will reach an altitude of almost 3000 meters, and temperatures can be much colder ( -10°C).

Konstanz

Is this trip for you?

Activity level 1 - Leisurely

This is a cultural trip exploring one of Europe’s most beautiful regions in winter. This is not a particularly active trip but there are some walks in towns and villages. Temperatures are generally quite cold, averaging 0’C to -5’C in the valleys, though blue skies are common in winter, especially in the mountains. Snowfall can happen any time between December and April.

 

Accommodation

Comfortable Hotels

Please be advised that the below accommodation listed in each location are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

Munich: Ibis München City Arnulfpark
Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Hotel Garmischer Hof
Konstanz: Hotel Graf Zeppelin

Our accommodation has been selected based on comfort, convenience and location to allow us to make the most of our time in each of the places visited. All hotels have en suite facilities and offer free Wi-Fi.

Single supplements are available on request.

Expert Blog Entries

Bobsledding

Celebrate the 2018 Winter Olympics by taking part in a challenge of your own.

  • Reviewed February 2016
    Peggy Dee

    Bavaria Winter Discovery 10-16 January 2016

    This new Exodus winter tour is all about the rustic charms of Bavaria, Germany’s largest state, and the fascinating delights of the tri-border Lake Constance area in off-season splendours!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our journey starts from cosmopolitan Munich and takes us first to the 14th century Ettal Abbey where the Benedictine monks still make their special beers and liqueurs from centuries-old recipes. Then beckon King Ludwig II’s majestic royal palaces and fairy-tale castles, of which Linderhof and Neuschwanstein are the most famous. Onwards to the pretty Bavarian Alpine towns of Garmisch-Partenkirchen where the 1936 Winter Olympics’ ski jump still looms large and functional. Leaving Bavaria, we enter Baden-Württemberg, Germany’s 3rd largest state where a car-ferry at Meersburg takes us to the historical town of Konstanz. Now add to this wonderful cultural itinerary a few generous spoonsful of exciting outdoor adventures –-- including a fantastic ascent by cable car to the 2,962-meter summit of Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak; an exhilarating yet relaxing descent to the valley 2,000 meters below on the truly unique Eibsee cable railway; a 2-hour walking exploration of Partnach gorge in the snow; day excursions by public transports to both the German and Swiss parts of Lake Constance, including the World Heritage Reichenau Island with its 10th-century monasteries and amazingly well-preserved murals; the mighty Rhine Falls; pretty and idyllic medieval towns by the Rhine River –-- and you have a near-perfection of an unforgettable holiday filled with cultural enrichment, exciting adventure and carefree relaxation!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The secret ingredient that brings this holiday to perfection is our tour leader, Miroslav Janotka, who is caring, personable, sincere and very reliable. Miro’s professionalism is also manifested in the way he carefully yet calmly fine-tunes with finesse the itinerary as we go along to ensure that the group does not get over-tired while still get to see all the sights listed over a few days of unpredictable weather conditions. He is very knowledgeable about local transport connections and local restaurants and eateries where we can get very good food at reasonable prices. He looks after us very well indeed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good job, Exodus, Aygo Slovakia and Miroslav Janotka for creating this wonderful new tour, Bavaria Winter Discovery. Keep this tour ongoing. I have no hesitation in recommending it to every one of my friends, young and not so young alike.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The drivers on this tour are all very professional and drive with care, safety and caution particularly in snow conditions.
  • Reviewed January 2016
    Iain Thacker

    Bavaria Winter Discovery

    Five days of winter discovery in Southern Germany and Switzerland. Nothing too strenuous, although plenty of opportunity to stretch one's legs and plenty of places to visit and experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several. Emerging at the top of the Zugspitze (approx. 10,000 feet) in a snowstorm was certainly one, as was first seeing the Zugspitze shimmering white in the distance while exploring the streets of Garmisch at sunset. The walk through the Partnachklamm gorge was also very enjoyable. Schloss Neuschwanstein was so over the top that it just had to be done, while the painted buildings in Stein am Rhein were unlike any mediaeval town I'd ever seen before. Oh, and the Sicilian restaurant in Konstanz!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Miroslav was a truly excellent group leader. His knowledge of everywhere we went seemed to be limitless and nothing was too much trouble. He also picked some great places for dinner each evening.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of layers and waterproofs. In the space of 5 days we had rain, snow, freezing temperatures and even some sunshine.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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