Here we have a great selection from Europe’s most popular historical and cultural destinations. Bavaria of Germany, Austria and Hungary as empires and kingdoms have been intertwinned over their long history with their neighbors of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The ancient history and magnificent landscapes with majestic mountains and natural wonders leave us in awe. The culture and music seep out of the scenery to entrance us, with such names as Weber and Wagner from Germany; Haydn, Mozart and Strauss from Austria; Bertok and Liszt from Hungary; Bella from Slovakia; Dvorak and Smetana from the Czech Republic. So many of the stories are connected. In the little Austrian city of Salzburg was born the music legend Mozart, but it also gave us the singing family and its movie locations for “The Sound of Music”.
You will get to know Celtic settlements, Roman to Renaissance history, cultural UNESCO World Heritage sites, as well as enjoying concerts and operas to make one of the most memorable holiday trips of your life.
Your chauffeur-guide will meet you at the airport and introduce you to Imperial Vienna. The old centre around and within the Ring with buildings and monuments beautifully maintained, even the museums look like palaces. Notable sights would include the Hofburg Imperial Palace and Parliament, Vienna Opera House and Stephens Cathedral, possible visits may include the Schonbrunn Palace and the Natural History Museum. There is a great choice of restaurants and cafes, and the opportunity to end the day enjoying a world class concert or opera at an inspiring venue.
Our route begins along the Blue Danube, a region famous for growing grapes and apricots known as the Wachau valley. It is famous for the vine terraces, the wine and the apricots. We will pass through some very small and very pretty villages, each with their own stories. There is even ancient history along the Wachau valley, in the village of Willendorf a 25000 year old statue was found in 1908 known as the Venus of Willendorf. A riverside lunch break on the banks of the Danube and a visit to famous Melk Abbey then in the afternoon heading to the city of many faces, Salzburg.
For your day in Salzburg there is so much to do. Its wealth came from salt. Salzburg is situated on the edge of the Alps and is on the border with Bavaria of Germany. To the south it is possible to visit the Ice Caves or the Salt mines. Just southwest over the border wedged in the Bavarian Alps is the little Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden which was favoured by the Bavarian kings. It has a Royal Palace and the nearby lake Konigsee (King’s Lake). Above Berchtesgaden is Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest which is also open for visits. There are also the Salzburg attractions with its fortress, the Trick Fountain Gardens and “The Sound of Music” movie locations. There are always music events, concerts and dinner concerts for the evening.
On the way to Prague we can make stops in the Salzkammergut, the Austrian Lake District, at St.Gilgen (Mozart’s mother’s birth place), and Austrian famous village Hallstatt (can a village be “gorgeous”?). Just over the border into the Czech Republic we reach the medieval town Cesky Krumlov, spend some time at leisure sightseeing and late afternoon we reach Prague. Walking in the old town, opera, concerts, dinner concerts, even a riverboat cruise to enjoy a Prague evening. How many times was Mozart in Prague?
Prague, the city of a hundred spires, old city sightseeing tour and visiting the Prague Castle. Evening at your leisure to visit Prague’s nightlife, Wenceslas Square and the Charles bridge, of course a musical evening can be arranged too.
Prague to Bratislava with a stop on the way at Brno for lunch and on arrival a Bratislava orientation city tour. Bratislava, previously known by its German name Pressburg, became a city in 1291. In 1783, the city ceased to be the capital of the Hungarian Kingdom. It was visited by many significant musicians including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Liszt. From 1918 it was a part of Czechoslovakia, from 1945 under Soviet influence until 1989. The Slovak Republic became an independant country in 1993. The city sits on the Danube bordering both Austria and Hungary.
Evening, exploring at leisure, it is renowned for its night life especially stag parties. Concerts, dinner concerts, ballet and opera performances and Danube boat cruises are all options.
Bratislava to Budapest, in the main we drive via expressway, but there is also the possibility of driving through many little villages. For a taste of Hungary we will have lunch stop at the city of Gyor, a spa town on a confluence of rivers. On arrival we can make a Budapest city orientation drive.
A tour of the attractions in Budapest including Buda Castle with the Fisherman’s Bastion, and in Pest Heroes’ Square. Buda and Pest are separated by the Danube. The House of Terror and the Invisible Exhition are also options. Evening, exploring at leisure, it has a reputation for good food and wine, of course beer is also available. Concerts, dinner concerts, ballet and opera performances and Danube boat cruises are options.
A relaxing day’s drive, our first stop at Parndorf Designer Outlet Shopping paradise for lunch as well as shopping. On arrival in Vienna if time allows we can visit some Vienna attractions. In the evening, a great last chance to enjoy an evening concert or opera your choice.
Depending upon departure time, Vienna at leisure and transfer to the airport, with your heart and memories laden with European history and culture, we send you off home.