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

Program Number: 20822RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/17/2013 - 6/30/2013; 6/16/2014 - 6/29/2014; 8/26/2014 - 9/8/2014;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Austria/Germany/France
Price starting at: $3,295.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 27; 12 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian    

To walk along the pathways of Austria, Germany and France is to step into a world where ancient castles, enchanting forests and charming villages are still very much a part of every day life. With local experts and historians, discover famous roads and lesser-known paths that lead through this beautiful Alpine region. Meet farmers and artisanal cheese makers as you journey along the Bregenzerwald Cheese Trail, journey along the captivating trails of Black Forest Nature Park, learn the royal history of Château Haut-Koenigsbourg, and much, much more.




Highlights

• Ride a chairlift to Andelsbuch, one of the oldest villages in Bregenzerwald.
• During an exploration of the Black Forest, marvel at the sight of Rhein Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe.
• Trace eight centuries of royal rivalries as you explore the beautiful Château Haut-Koenigsbourg.



Activity Particulars

Low-level walking 3-5 miles for 2-3 hours per day over trails and dirt roads. Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended).



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Zurich (Switzerland), coach to Lingenau (Austria), 3 nights; Coach to Hinterzarten (Germany), 4 nights; Coach to Turckheim (France), 4 nights; Coach to Zurich, 1 night; Departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Zurich (Switzerland), coach to Lingenau (Austria)
4 nights

Enjoy a delicious walk along the Bregenzerwald Cheese Trail, a unique trans-regional road that is home to an array of Alpine cheese makers and farmers. Journey to the island of Mainau in Lake Constance for an exploration of this tropical park, and enjoy a short walk from Schwarzenberg to Bersbuch to board the nostalgic Walderbahnle, a 100 year old steam engine train, for a ride to Bezau and back.



Coach to Hinterzarten (Germany) 4 nights

The breathtaking Rhein Falls offer an enchanting introduction to the Black Forest as you take in the views of Europe’s largest waterfall. Learn how cuckoo clocks are made and attend a glass blowing demonstration during a walk to the town of Hollsteig. With a historian, explore Freiburg, the capital city of the Black Forest. Take in the natural wonders of Black Forest Nature Park as you follow its scenic trails, and enjoy a boat ride on the largest natural lake in the Black Forest.



Coach to Turckheim (France) 4 nights
Coach to Zurich
1 night
Departure

Thrill in the scenery of the Black Forest and Vosges Mountains as you explore the Badberg nature reserve. Join a local expert for a morning in the historical center of Colmar, and learn how to make your own "flammachueche," or Alsacian pizza. Delve into more than eight centuries of European history during a field trip to the beautiful Château Haut-Koenigsbourg, and enjoy an afternoon on your own in Zurich.




Accommodations
Lingenau: Family-owned hotel in the center of the village. Hinterzarten: Historic, family-owned hotel. Turckheim: Comfortable hotel with picturesque garden. Zurich: Modern hotel near airport.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen
  Lingenau, Austria 4 nights
   Hotel Schwarzwaldhof
  Hinterzarten, Germany 4 nights
   Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee
  Turckheim-Colmar, France 3 nights
   Best Western Hotel Airport
  Zurich, Switzerland 1 night
 Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Family owned and operated in the third generation and located in the center of the village.
  Contact info: Hof 30
Lingenau,  A-6951 Austria
phone: +4355136360
web: www.loewen-lingenau.com
  Room amenities: TV, radio, telephone, hairdryers.
  Facility amenities: Swimming pool, sauna, fitness center close to the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBA Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Hotel Schwarzwaldhof
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Most traditional and centrally located building in the famous Hinterzarten spa area, and it's history dates back over 127 years. Rich variety of culinary delights. The hotel is owned and operated by the Gutzweiler family. The hotel was originally built by Anton Riesterer as the train station guesthouse.
  Contact info: Freiburger Str. 2
Hinterzarten,  79856 Germany
phone: +49765212030
web: www.schwarzwaldhof.com
  Room amenities: Telephone, TV, radio, safe and hairdryer
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, dozy farmhouse parlour, sun terrace, and gardens. Also known for their own patisserie, variety of coffee and tea specialities. Local cuisine is served in the restaurant, hearty buffet breakfast, and also an area where "spirits" and snacks can be enjoyed. Relax in the sauna and steam bath, solarium or request one of the many massage treatments available at the hotel. The Schwarzwaldhof provides a variety of regional, seasonal and international specialities, all dishes are freshly prepared and that is why the restaurant is known for their high-quality cuisine.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Renowned for it's location of the hospitality of the owners, the Graff family, and a perfect location for exploring the Alsace. The hotel is a continued work in progress thanks to the financial support of the General Council and the Region. With this location there are hourly buses/trains running between Turckheim and Colmar.
  Contact info: 29, rue Romaine
Turckheim,  F-68230 France
phone: +33389279550
web: www.hotelturckheim.com
  Room amenities: Private bath with tub and shower, TV and balcony.
  Facility amenities: Full service restaurant, public areas, local wines are available, outdoor heated pool, free wi-fi and Internet, and bicycles available for no cost during your stay.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Best Western Hotel Airport
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Modern hotel near the Zurich Airport and exhibition center.
  Contact info: Oberhauserstrasse 30
Glattbrugg,  CH-8152 Switzerland
phone: +41448094747
web: www.bestwestern.worldexecutive.com
  Room amenities: TV, radio, telephone, hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Restaurants, cocktail lounge, buffet breakfast, currency exchange, Internet available.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: 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: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Zurich Airport. Meet your group at 11:15 AM for the group transfer to Lingenau (approx. 2 hours). (Hotel check-in is at 2:00 PM.) You will be staying at Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen that night.
  End of Program:
Zurich, Switzerland. After breakfast on the last day. (Hotel check-out is at 10:00 AM.) You will be staying at Best Western Hotel Airport the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Passport valid for 6 months after the return date of the program.
  Parking availability:
Parking available at a per day charge.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Train schedules will be provided in final program information.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lingenau
  Nearest city or town:  Alberschwende
  Nearest airport:  Zurich, Switzerland
  Transportation to site: From the airport in Zurich to the Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen in Lingenau, take two trains and a bus to Dornbirn, Austria. Then take a taxi from Dornbirn to Lingenau.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Zurich
  Transportation from site: The Hotel Best Western has a hotel shuttle service that runs from 6:00 AM to 10:20 AM and 5:00 PM to 11:30 PM. Taxis are also available.
Elevation Note: Highest elevation on the program is 3000 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended).
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: In Transit
(Monday, June 17)
   
 In Transit Overnight: Depart the U.S. for the overnight flight to Europe and the Zurich airport.

Day 2: ZURICH AIRPORT ARRIVAL - BREGENZERWALD VALLEY - LINGENAU, AU
(Tuesday, June 18)

Note: 1 hour walk with the group leader introducing the participants to the Lingenau village.



   
 Morning: After arrival at Zurich airport you are met by the Group Leaders and transferred by private coach to Lingenau (2 hours), offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. On arrival you will first be required to clear customs, and then proceed to claim your luggage and meet the group in the meeting area, Terminal 1 Arrival Hall. Look for the Road Scholar sign that the Group Leader will be holding, one hour prior to transfer time, and who will also want to see your nametag to note your arrival. Your luggage will be collected and transported directly to the hotel and placed outside your room.
 Afternoon: After having settled in your rooms at the hotel, take a short walk with the Group Leader to become familiar with the village. Welcome drink and orientation briefing prior to dinner.
 Dinner: A selected meal of the chef's choice will be served at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: THE BREGENZERWALD CHEESE TRAIL - CHEESE ROAD WHICH IS UNIQUE TO THE WORLD.
(Wednesday, June 19)

Note: Approximate walking time is 2.5 hours. Lecture: "Alpine Dairy Farms and Cheese Making."



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet served at the hotel.
 Morning: The trans-regional cheese road (3210-5136 feet), which is unique in the world, features Alpine dairy farms, high pastures known as "alps," 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. Walk from farm "alps" to private cheese manufacturers - learning the different methods and taste of cheeses.
 Lunch: Experience the local dish “Kässpatzle” (cheese dumplings).
 Afternoon: Watch past and present cheese-making techniques before returning to the hotel. The local farmers will let you assist so you may get a feel of the manual process. On this field trip you will discover how cheese is made from milk, how cheese tastes as well as all the different foods that can be made from cheese. You will also find along this route some of the best establishments and cheese farms in the region. Upon the return, walk via Hittisau and an enjoy an excursion to the old water and saw mill.
 Dinner: Dinner tonight will represent a typical "Bregenzerwalder" farmer's buffet, see and experience how farmers celebrate special occasions.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: MAINAU ISLAND - KNOWN AS THE EXOTC FLOWER ISLAND (little tropical paradise).
(Thursday, June 20)

Note: Approximate walking time is 2 hours. Lecture: "All You Need to Know About the Island."



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast served at the hotel.
 Morning: Begin today’s field trip by traveling to Mainau Island (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 as the curator explains while walking on the island park. The curator will lecture about the history, 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: Independent lunch on the island. Choose from seven different restaurants - from a restaurant that has been on the island since 1937 serving superb local and international cuisine to a restaurant in the style of a beer garden. All restaurants serve all types of beverages (non-alcoholic and alcoholic), and local produce along with the local wines. Go to the web-site www.mainau.de to learn more about the different restaurants.
 Afternoon: Board a boat for a 30 minute ride on Lake Constance with a short stop in Meersburg (6783 feet) for a stroll through the picturesque town.
 Dinner: Experience and learn about the traditional fondue dinner including cheese, meat, vegetables and fruit.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: AUSTRIAN BEER BREWERY TRADITION / BREGENZERWALD
(Friday, June 21)

Note: Approximate walking time is 2.5 hours. Lecture: "Beer Brewing in Austria."



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast served at the hotel.
 Morning: In the morning walk from Lingenau through fields and along the woods to Egg (561 meters), one of the oldest and largest villages in the Bregenzerwald. Visit the smallest beer brewery in this region with the slogan "My home is my Egger." Hear a field lecture on beer brewing in Austria. Austrian brewers have more beer variety than in Germany!
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Schwarzenberg, a delightful village with traditional homes and a lovely church typical of the region. There are several choices of local establishments to choose from, and the Group Leader will be happy to assist you with a decision.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time in Schwarzenberg to explore on your own before returning by local transportation to Lingenau. Group Leader will assist with options on how to spend your time.
 Dinner: At dinner tonight there will be a typical "farmers" buffet, a long-standing tradition in the Alp regions.
 Evening: Folklorist music and entertainment.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Gasthof zum Lowen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: BREGENZERWALD (LINGENAU) TO HINTERZARTEN VIA THE RHEIN FALLS.
(Saturday, June 22)

Note: Approximate walking time is 1 hour. Lecture: "The Famous Rhein Falls."



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast served at the hotel before departure to Hinterzarten.
 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 is 50 meters in width, reaches a height of 23 meters, a torrential 700 meters of gushing water pouring over the cliff, offering visitors a stunning view of the cascading waterfalls.
 Lunch: A stop will be made in Stein am Rhein, CH (1355 feet) for an independent lunch and time to explore this quaint village.
 Afternoon: Arrive late afternoon in Hinterzarten (2904 feet), check-into the hotel, if time a brief stroll around the village.
 Dinner: A selected meal of the chef's choice will be served at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Schwarzwaldhof
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: THE HEIMATPFAD WALK including a demonstration of glass blowing and learning how the cuckoo clocks are made.
(Sunday, June 23)

Note: Approximate walking time is 2.5 hours. Lectures: "St. Oswald Chapel," "The Art of Glass Blowing," and "Making of the Cuckoo Clocks."



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast served at the hotel.
 Morning: Begin today’s field trip along the “Heimatpfad” (4114 feet), a high Black Forest path known as the "local" history path, and continue along the Loffel Creek. Continue the walk to Höllsteig for an excursion to St. Oswald Chapel dating back to 1148.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Hofgut Sternen, where in 1770 Marie-Antoinette passed by on her way to Paris to marry Louis XVI.
 Afternoon: A demonstration of glass blowing and the assembling of the famous Black Forest cuckoo clocks. If you want try blowing glass for yourself, you will see there is a true art to this ancient craft. Before returning to the hotel delight in a slice of traditional Black Forest cake at a local establishment known for this famous cake.
 Dinner: A selected meal of the chef's choice will be served at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Schwarzwaldhof
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: FREIBURG, CAPITAL OF THE BLACK FOREST REGION including the magisterial "Altstadt" (old town).
(Monday, June 24)

Note: Approximate walking time is 2 hours. Lecture: "The Black Forest Capital, Freiburg im Breisgau."



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet served at the hotel.
 Morning: Walk to the train station for the transfer to Freiburg (912 feet), the capital of the Black Forest, 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 one of the sights will be the famous cathedral built in 1120. The 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: Independent lunch in Freiburg.
 Afternoon: Independent afternoon before returning at one's own leisure by train back to Hinterzarten. Prior to dinner there will be a briefing.
 Dinner: A selected meal of the chef's choice will be served at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Schwarzwaldhof
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: WALK ON THE HILLTOPS OF THE BLACK FOREST
(Tuesday, June 25)

Note: Approximate walking time is 3 hours. Lecture: "Flora, Fauna and Geology of the Black Forest."



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast served at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning transfer by bus via Oberried to the Zastlertal, and walk on the "dead man" to the Erlenbacher hut (1100 meters), which offers splendid views of the Black Forest's hilltops.
 Lunch: Taste the difference of a "hand-beaten" traditional organic schnitzel at one of the region's most beautiful mountain huts.
 Afternoon: Walk back to the starting point and return by bus to Hinterzarten. In the afternoon visit the Ski Museum. The Black Forest region is the birthplace of skiing in Germany, and the museum exhibits the over 100-year-old history of skiing, and shows the past harsh life of the farmers during winter.
 Dinner: A selected meal of the chef's choice will be served at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Schwarzwaldhof
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: BLACK FOREST TO THE ALSACE via the panorama road to St. Maergen.
(Wednesday, June 26)

Note: Approximate walking time is 2.5 hours. Lecture: "Introduction of the Alsace and the History."



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet served at the hotel before beginning the transfer to Turckheim (760 feet).
 Morning: Private coach transfer via the panorama road to Sankt Maergen (3000 feet), starting point of today’s field trip. Walk undulating trails with magnificent views of the High Black Forest (Hochschwarzwald) to Sankt Peter. Both of these villages are situated in a valley with cow-speckled hills and both represented with impressive cathedral/abbeys with Sankt Peter having the most famous one, Klosterkirche.
 Lunch: Independent lunch en-route in the village of Sankt Peter. The Group Leader will assist with selections of local establishments.
 Afternoon: Continue by coach to your hotel in Turckheim (approx. 3,800 inhabitants), crossing the Rhein River en route. Briefing prior to dinner.
 Dinner: A special meal of the chef's choice will be served at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: COLMAR THE MOST ALSATIAN TOWN IN ALL OF ALSACE.
(Thursday, June 27)

Note: Approximate walking time is 2 hours. Lectures: "Colmar" and "Unterlinden Museum."



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet served at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning the walking field trip is through the charming historical center of Colmar, also known as “Little Venice,” 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.
 Lunch: Independent lunch in Colmar.
 Afternoon: Independent afternoon in Colmar, the Group Leader will be happy to assist you with "must-see" suggestions. At one's own leisure, return to the hotel by train.
 Dinner: A local chef teaches you how to bake your own "flammachueche" - Alsacian Pizza. Bon appetite!
   
Accommodations: Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: THE ALSACE VINEYARDS AND CASTLES, one of the most impressive Alsace fortresses will be viewed, the Chateau Haut-Koenigsbourg.
(Friday, June 28)

Note: Approximate walking time is 3 hours. Lecture: "Alsace Wines and Gastronomy."



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast is served 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.
 Lunch: A special lunch will be served at an establishment in Huhnawihr.
 Afternoon: 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: A farewell dinner will be served at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Les Portes de la Vallee
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Transfer day back to Zurich.
(Saturday, June 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet served at the hotel prior to the transfer back to Zurich.
 Morning: Transfer by private coach back to Zurich and check-in at the airport hotel. Approximate transfer time is 2 hours.
 Lunch: Independent lunch in Zurich.
 Afternoon: Independent time, the Group Leader will be happy to give you ideas and assist with transferring into the city.
 Dinner: Independent dinner in Zurich.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Hotel Airport
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 14: Departure
(Sunday, June 30)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Independent shuttles to the airport for your flight home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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