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AUSTRIA / GERMANY / FRANCE

Castles, Farms & Forests: Walking in Austria, France & Germany

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Road Scholar
Program #20822RJ
14 Days | 13 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Day 3: Baumgarten, 5577 feet. The Black Forest region averages between 3000-4000 feet.

Equipment Requirements
Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended). Please see the "Walking Boots" note for additional information on proper footgear.

Itinerary for Aug 26 — Sep 8, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Tuesday, August 26 - In Transit
In Transit Overnight: International overnight flight from US/Canada.

Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen is ideally located in the center of Lingenau. Family-owned and operated, it offers its guests a true Austrian experience.

Contact info:
Hof 30
Lingenau, A-6951 Austria
phone: +43 55136360
web: www.loewen-lingenau.com

Room amenities: Each room has a satellite television, telephone, radio, air conditioning and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, garden and safe at reception.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBA
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404


Day Two: Wednesday, August 27 - Arrivals / Lingenau
Note: Approximate walking time is 1 hour walk in the Lingenau village.

Morning: Meet your group at 10:30 AM at Zurich airport Terminal 1 Arrival Hall for the group transfer by private coach to Lingenau (approx. 2 hours, 2247 feet). Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Afternoon: Settle into your hotel rooms, and then take a short walk with the Group Leader to become familiar with the village. Welcome drink and orientation briefing prior to dinner.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen is ideally located in the center of Lingenau. Family-owned and operated, it offers its guests a true Austrian experience.

Contact info:
Hof 30
Lingenau, A-6951 Austria
phone: +43 55136360
web: www.loewen-lingenau.com

Room amenities: Each room has a satellite television, telephone, radio, air conditioning and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, garden and safe at reception.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBA
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404


Day Three: Thursday, August 28 - The Bregenzerwald Cheese Trail
Note: Approximate walking time is 2.5 hours.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: The first trans-regional cheese road (3210-5136 feet), which is unique in the world, features Alpine dairy farms, alps and private cheese manufacturers, farmhouses that are open to visitors, “cheese inns” that offer special cheese dishes on their menus and specialty stores selling cheese products as well as traditional craft shops and tourist facilities. Today watch past and present cheese-making techniques at the cheese museum in Hittisau (2624 feet), and today's cheese-making on the Alp Schwarzenberger Platte (approx. 4300 feet) where you will also enjoy a cheese tasting. On this field trip you will discover how cheese is made from milk, how cheese tastes, and all of the different foods which can be made from cheese.

Lunch: Experience the local dish “Kässpatzle” (cheese dumplings) at a local mountain inn.

Afternoon: Return by bus to Bezau (2132 feet), and then board a cable car to the mountain summit Baumgarten (5577 feet). Enjoy gorgeous views of the rolling countryside, from the foothills of the Alps in the north to Lake Constance. After a short walk on the panoramic trail, take the chairlift to Andelsbuch, one of the oldest villages in the Bregenzerwald. If time permits, visit the Käsehaus (cheese house), where over 60 types of cheese can be bought. Return by local bus back to Lingenau.

Dinner: Dinner tonight will represent a typical "Bregenzerwalder" farmer's buffet, so you can see and experience how farmers celebrate special occasions.

Lodging: Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen is ideally located in the center of Lingenau. Family-owned and operated, it offers its guests a true Austrian experience.

Contact info:
Hof 30
Lingenau, A-6951 Austria
phone: +43 55136360
web: www.loewen-lingenau.com

Room amenities: Each room has a satellite television, telephone, radio, air conditioning and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, garden and safe at reception.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBA
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404


Day Four: Friday, August 29 - Mainau Island
Note: Approximate walking time is 2 hours.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: This morning begin today’s field trip by traveling to the Island Mainau (1300 feet) located in Lake Constance on the south shore. The island is known as the exotic flower island (a little tropical paradise) as everyone will realize while walking on the island park. The curator will lecture about the history and botany, about the Teutonic Knights - originally owners of the island - and about the present residents, Count Bernadotte's family, an uncle of the King of Sweden.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own on the island. Choose from 7 different restaurants, including a restaurant that has been on the island since 1937 serving superb local and international cuisine, and another with the style of a beer garden. All restaurants serve all types of beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and local produce along with the local wines. Visit the website to learn more about the different restaurants (www.mainau.de).

Afternoon: Board a boat for a 30-minute ride on Lake Constance. Stop in Meersburg (1476 feet) for a stroll through the picturesque town.

Dinner: Experience and learn about the traditional fondue dinner including cheese, meat, vegetables and fruit.

Lodging: Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: The Hotel Schwarzwaldhof is ideally located in the center of Hinterzarten. One of the most traditional buildings in Hinterzarten, its architectural history can be traced back over 127 years. It was originally built by Anton Riesterer as the train station guesthouse, and today is run by the Gutzweiler family. Come enjoy the meadows, dense forests and clear mountain lakes that surround this bright and welcoming hotel.

Contact info:
Freiburger Str. 2
Hinterzarten, 79856 Germany
phone: +49 7652 1203 0
web: www.schwarzwaldhof.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, safe, wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, farmhouse parlor, sun terrace, gardens, sauna and steam bath, solarium, laundry services and wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Five: Saturday, August 30 - Bregenzerwald (Lingenau) to Hinterzarten via the ...
Note: Approximate walking time is 1 hour.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: On the way to the Black Forest visit the breathtaking structure of the Rhein Falls, fed by the Rhine River, the largest waterfall in Europe. The falls are 492 feet in width, reaches a height of 75 feet, and has a torrential 158,503 gallons of gushing water pouring over the cliff per second, offering visitors a stunning view of the cascading waterfalls. Hear a lecture on the famous Rhein Falls.

Lunch: A stop will be made in Stein am Rhein, Switzerland (1355 feet), for time to explore this quaint village and local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Arrive late afternoon in Hinterzarten (3225 feet) and check in at the hotel. If time permits, take a brief stroll around the village.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Schwarzwaldhof

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: The Hotel Schwarzwaldhof is ideally located in the center of Hinterzarten. One of the most traditional buildings in Hinterzarten, its architectural history can be traced back over 127 years. It was originally built by Anton Riesterer as the train station guesthouse, and today is run by the Gutzweiler family. Come enjoy the meadows, dense forests and clear mountain lakes that surround this bright and welcoming hotel.

Contact info:
Freiburger Str. 2
Hinterzarten, 79856 Germany
phone: +49 7652 1203 0
web: www.schwarzwaldhof.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, safe, wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, farmhouse parlor, sun terrace, gardens, sauna and steam bath, solarium, laundry services and wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Six: Sunday, August 31 - The Heimatpfad Walk / Glass Blowing / Black Fores...
Note: Approximate walking time is 2.5 hours.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Begin today’s field trip along the Heimatpfad (4114 to 3100 feet), a high Black Forest path known as the "local" history path that continues along the Loffel Creek. Continue the walk to Höllsteig for an excursion to St. Oswald Chapel dating back to 1148. Learn about this chapel during a field lecture.

Lunch: Lunch at the Hofgut Sternen, where in 1770 Marie-Antoinette passed by on her way to Paris to marry Louis XVI, the French King.

Afternoon: A demonstration of glass blowing and the assembling of the famous Black Forest cuckoo clocks. Upon returning to the hotel delight in a slice of traditional Black Forest cake at a local establishment know for this famous cake.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Schwarzwaldhof

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: The Hotel Schwarzwaldhof is ideally located in the center of Hinterzarten. One of the most traditional buildings in Hinterzarten, its architectural history can be traced back over 127 years. It was originally built by Anton Riesterer as the train station guesthouse, and today is run by the Gutzweiler family. Come enjoy the meadows, dense forests and clear mountain lakes that surround this bright and welcoming hotel.

Contact info:
Freiburger Str. 2
Hinterzarten, 79856 Germany
phone: +49 7652 1203 0
web: www.schwarzwaldhof.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, safe, wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, farmhouse parlor, sun terrace, gardens, sauna and steam bath, solarium, laundry services and wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Monday, September 01 - Freiburg, Capital of the Black Forest Region
Note: Approximate walking time is 2 hours.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Walk to the train station for the transfer to Freiburg (912 feet). We begin today's walking field trip in Freiburg, the capital of the Black Forest, a university town since 1457, and “city of music”. The town was extensively destroyed in 1944 but no modern buildings have been allowed to challenge the supremacy of its magisterial “Altstadt” (old town). During the walk, see the famous cathedral built in 1120. Today's lecture will be given by a local historian/guide of Freiburg and will educate you on the past and present history of the Black Forest Capital.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Freiburg.

Afternoon: Enjoy free time this afternoon before returning at one's own leisure by train back to Hinterzarten. Prior to dinner there will be a briefing.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Schwarzwaldhof

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: The Hotel Schwarzwaldhof is ideally located in the center of Hinterzarten. One of the most traditional buildings in Hinterzarten, its architectural history can be traced back over 127 years. It was originally built by Anton Riesterer as the train station guesthouse, and today is run by the Gutzweiler family. Come enjoy the meadows, dense forests and clear mountain lakes that surround this bright and welcoming hotel.

Contact info:
Freiburger Str. 2
Hinterzarten, 79856 Germany
phone: +49 7652 1203 0
web: www.schwarzwaldhof.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, safe, wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, farmhouse parlor, sun terrace, gardens, sauna and steam bath, solarium, laundry services and wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Tuesday, September 02 - The Feldberg nature reserve / Boat ride
Note: Approximate walking time is 3 hours.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast served at the hotel.

Morning: The Feldberg (4711 feet) is the highest peak of a broad, low mountain range that is several kilometers long. Take the local postal bus to the Feldberg pass (4000 feet) and walk through the nature reserve. You will pass mountain forests with many different tree species and birds, down to the glacial Lake Feldsee. Walking over a moraine and along the Seebach creek, you will reach a mountain pasture.

Lunch: Have lunch at a 500-year-old farmhouse.

Afternoon: Continue to walk down the Seebach valley. On your return, stop at Titisee and take a boat ride on the largest natural lake in the Black Forest, formed during the last ice age. A glacier once extended from Feldberg all the way to this present-day lake.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Schwarzwaldhof

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: The Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee is run by the hospitable Graff family, and is perfectly located for exploring the Alsace. A beautiful landscape surrounds the hotel, and the bus and train station are very close by.

Contact info:
29, rue Romaine
Turckheim, F-68230 France
phone: +33 389279550
web: www.hotelturckheim.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, balcony and free wireless Internet access.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, outdoor heated swimming pool, bicycles, local wines and free wireless Internet access.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Wednesday, September 03 - Black Forest to the Alsace
Note: Approximate walking time is 2.5 hours.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast served at the hotel before beginning the transfer to Turckheim (760 feet).

Morning: Approximately 16 to 19 million years ago, rising magma solidified underground and became what is now the central part of the Kaiserstuhl mountain range, the warmest place in Germany. On your way to the Alsace, visit the Badberg nature reserve and the surrounding vineyards of this volcanic area (1826 feet), rich with thermophile flora and fauna. Learn about the flora, fauna and historical land use in a field lecture. This spot in the middle of the Rhein River valley offers good views of the Black Forest in the east and the Vosges Mountains in the west.

Lunch: Lunch in Breisach (656 feet).

Afternoon: Visit the almost intact fortress Neuf-Brisach, built at the end of the 17th century. The star-shaped fortifications are so enormous that an entire city could fit inside. Continue by coach to your hotel in Turckheim (approx. 3800 inhabitants), crossing the Rhein River en route. Briefing prior to dinner.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: The Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee is run by the hospitable Graff family, and is perfectly located for exploring the Alsace. A beautiful landscape surrounds the hotel, and the bus and train station are very close by.

Contact info:
29, rue Romaine
Turckheim, F-68230 France
phone: +33 389279550
web: www.hotelturckheim.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, balcony and free wireless Internet access.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, outdoor heated swimming pool, bicycles, local wines and free wireless Internet access.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Ten: Thursday, September 04 - Colmar / Cooking Class
Note: Approximate walking time is 2 hours.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: This morning the walking field trip is through the charming historical center of Colmar and through the "Little Venice” quarter, which happens to have one of the largest pedestrian zones in Europe and countless treasures from the middle ages to the 20th century. Today’s walk also includes an excursion of the exquisite famous Unterlinden Museum, formerly the Dominican convent from the 13th century. Hear a lecture on this museum, and also on Colmar, the most Alsatian town in all of Alsace.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Colmar.

Afternoon: Enjoy free time this afternoon in Colmar. The Group Leader will be happy to assist you with "must-see" suggestions. Return to the hotel at one's own leisure.

Dinner: A local chef teaches you how to bake your own "flammachueche" - Alsacian Pizza. Bon appetite!

Lodging: Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: The Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee is run by the hospitable Graff family, and is perfectly located for exploring the Alsace. A beautiful landscape surrounds the hotel, and the bus and train station are very close by.

Contact info:
29, rue Romaine
Turckheim, F-68230 France
phone: +33 389279550
web: www.hotelturckheim.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, balcony and free wireless Internet access.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, outdoor heated swimming pool, bicycles, local wines and free wireless Internet access.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eleven: Friday, September 05 - The Alsace Vineyards and Castles
Note: Approximate walking time is 3 hours.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Private coach to the Château Haut-Koenigsbourg (2625 feet). Built in the 12th century, Haut-Koenigsbourg castle has witnessed eight centuries of European conflicts and rivalries between lords, kings and emperors. On the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 the castle was handed over to the French government and given the status of "National" palace. Today this Château gives a remarkable picture of life in a 15th century fortress in Alsace. From its square dungeon, admire the area of the Alsace plain!

Lunch: A special lunch will be served in Hunawihr (1350 feet, 600 inhabitants), situated on the Alsace wine route. It is a member of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France Association."

Afternoon: Today's field lecture is on Alsace Wines and Gastronomy. This afternoon experience the wines first-hand when you are invited to a wine tasting. Following the wine tasting transfer back to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: The Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee is run by the hospitable Graff family, and is perfectly located for exploring the Alsace. A beautiful landscape surrounds the hotel, and the bus and train station are very close by.

Contact info:
29, rue Romaine
Turckheim, F-68230 France
phone: +33 389279550
web: www.hotelturckheim.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, balcony and free wireless Internet access.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, outdoor heated swimming pool, bicycles, local wines and free wireless Internet access.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Twelve: Saturday, September 06 - The World War I Battlefield
Note: Approximate walking time is 3 hours.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Take a private coach to Le Linge (3234 feet), a French battlefield where a major conflict of WWI took place. Take in a field lecture here. Visit the museum where you will find French and German objects and relics found on site, models of infantry men, a model of the battlefield, photos, texts and maps.

Lunch: Enjoy local specialties at a mountain inn.

Afternoon: Take a walk in the "Ballons des Voges," a protected area made up of woodland, pasture, wetland, farmland and historical sites. This area was officially designated as a regional natural park in 1989. Return by bus to Turckheim.

Dinner: Farewell Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: The Best Western Hotel Airport is a comfortable hotel conveniently located near the airport. It offers shuttle service to and from the airport, allowing guests to travel with ease.

Contact info:
Oberhauserstrasse 30
Zurich-Glattbrugg, CH-8152 Switzerland
phone: +41 44 809 47 47
web: www.bestwestern.ch/airport

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, mini bar, air conditioning and wireless Internet access (for a fee).

Facility amenities: The hotel offers two restaurants, a bar, grill room and wireless Internet access (for a fee).

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: N/A
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Thirteen: Sunday, September 07 - Transfer to Zurich
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Take a morning walk from Château du Hohlandsbourg and past the three Castles of Eguisheim, offering a magnificent panorama over the Alsace plain and the Vosges Mountains.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Eguisheim, elected as the most beautiful village in France in 2013.

Afternoon: Transfer by private coach to Zurich (2 hours, 1505 feet). Check in at your hotel.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Lodging: Best Western Hotel Airport

Meals Included: Breakfast
Day Fourteen: Monday, September 08 - Departures
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Independent shuttles to the airport for your flight home.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Turckheim-Colmar
Bartholdi MuseumThe Bartholdi Museum is located in the house where Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was born in 1834, the designer of the Statue of Liberty. On display are many models of his monuments, furniture and personal belongings, and a collection of Jewish art.
Hinterzarten
Augustiner MuseumFrom Hinterzarten, the group will drive to Freiburg and enjoy some free time. You may wish to visit the Augustiner Museum, which houses a collection of art from the Middle Ages to the Baroque period, and also paintings from the 19th century.
For additional information, visit: www.freiburg.de/pb/,Len/265394.html

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Aug 26 — Sep 8, 2014 waitlist only  

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
12 nights of accommodations
29 meals: 12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 11 dinners
8 Expert-led lectures
17 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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