Depart the U.S. for the Czech Republic. The
particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.
Day 2 - Arrive in Prague
Upon arrival at the Prague airport, claim your luggage and
clear customs. If your luggage is lost, you must fill out a PIR form before
leaving the customs area. VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs
area. Also, make sure that your VBT luggage tags are attached to your bags so
that your representative can identify you.
Upon leaving customs, enter the arrival hall and look for
your VBT representative, who will be holding a VBT sign. Your representative
welcomes you to Prague and helps you transfer via taxi or van (approximately 30
minutes, depending upon traffic) to your Prague hotel. (Note: At this time, please verify with your
VBT representative the time of your transfer from your Vienna hotel to the
Vienna airport at the end of your trip.) If your VBT representative is not
immediately in sight, there is a “Meeting Point Column” just outside of the
Arrivals gate. Please wait there, as the
VBT representative may be transferring with an earlier arrival. She should arrive
within 30 minutes of your scheduled arrival.
If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available
until 1:00 pm. You may store your luggage with the reception desk. The rest of
the day is free to relax or explore the city with your included 1-day Prague
VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel
Booklet that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do
during your stay in Prague.
Day 3 - All guests meet in Prague / Meet Trip Leaders / Warm-up ride and welcome
At 8:30 am, all guests meet the VBT representative at the
hotel in Prague and transfer to Cesky Krumlov in the south of the Czech
Republic (approximately 3 hours including a stop on the way). Our hotel in Prague
is the Mamaison Hotel Riverside Prague (address: Janáckovo nábreží 15, Prague
5; tel: +420 225 994 611). Meet your Trip Leaders during our stop en route.
Cesky Krumlov is a unique town in Bohemia, built in the
protection of a curve of the river Vltava. The historical center has been a
UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. In Cesky Krumlov, meet our local guide,
Standa, and follow him for a short walking tour and introduction to Czech life.
Get some tips from Standa on finding a restaurant for lunch on your own.
At 2:00 pm, check in at our beautiful hotel in Cesky
Krumlov. Settle in, and then join your Trip Leaders for a safety and
bike-fitting session, followed by a warm-up ride around the city. Later, gather
with the group for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Day 4 - Holasovice UNESCO Site / Cycle to Plav / Guided tour of Castle Cesky Krumlov
After breakfast we will take a short shuttle ride to the village of Holasovice. This uniquely preserved village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its typical Baroque farm houses. After exploring the village, we begin cycling through a beautiful and protected landscape to Plav, a typical little Bohemian village on the banks of a small river. If you like, board the VBT shuttle to avoid pedaling the few small hills this morning. Lunch today is hosted by a local family, allowing us to get a real feel for Czech daily life.
Return to the hotel with the shuttle allowing more time to explore the city center or enjoy additional bicycling on a longer optional ride this afternoon.
In the late afternoon, we will visit a gem of Cesky Krumlov, the Rosemberg family chateau, on an included walking tour. Its preserved Baroque theater and original stage are still used for Baroque opera performances three times a year.
In the evening find a cozy restaurant where you may enjoy dinner on your own.
Day 5 - Discover Sumava, the largest national park in the Czech Republic / Cross
the Czech – German border / Cycle to Passau
In the morning, travel by train through the Sumava National
Park to Nova Pec, not far from the German border. Take an amazing bike ride
through a beautiful forest, far from traffic and villages. At Nove Udoli, walk
across the border. This border crossing was closed in 1945 and reopened some
time ago for pedestrians and bicycles only.
Across the border, begin cycling in Bavaria on a downhill
stretch of former railway track. Bavaria is among Europe's most beautiful and
serene cycling areas. On your way, stop at a Bavarian tavern for a typical
lunch, prepared by the owner-family. Continue cycling to Waldkirchen, where you
shuttle or bike to the historic Baroque city of Passau, which is situated at
the confluence of three rivers: the Danube, Inn and Ilz. Tonight, enjoy dinner
at the hotel restaurant, right on the romantic Danube River.
Day 6 - Ride along the River Inn / Explore Passau
Enjoy a leisurely cycle along the River Inn, the frontier
between Germany and Austria. Start by following the German bike path. At
Neuhaus, cross the river to the Austrian town of Schärding with its colorful,
Baroque-style burgher houses on the two town squares. After exploring
Schärding, return to Passau. En route, stop for a delicious picnic lunch on the
river's opposite bank, where the Neuberg fortress looms. Use the rest of the
afternoon to look around Passau and shop the flea market and antique shops. You
might choose to visit magnificent St. Stephen's Cathedral. Dinner is on your
own tonight; you'll find that Passau offers many dining choices.
Day 7 - Danube impressions by bike and boat / Schlögener Schlinge
Start your day with a boating adventure on the most popular
river route in Europe. Cruise through the famous Schlögener Schlinge in
Austria, where the Danube snakes through steep, forested mountains in a series
of sharp and scenic, serpentine bends. Silence surrounds you, except for the
occasional hum of passing barges. (Note: For those departing in October,
cruising is not available and is replaced by a coach transfer.)
Begin cycling at Schlögen towards Aschach, where you stop
for lunch on your own. Continue through a beautiful forested region, then
follow the Danube bike path to Ottensheim, renowned for its hilltop castle,
before we conclude our ride in Linz. Here, we transfer by private motorcoach to
our hotel at Weissenkirchen. The village is dominated by St. Michael's Church,
which dates to 987. There are also many Renaissance buildings with romantic
inner courtyards. One of them houses our charming, family-run hotel. Many
vinegut (winemakers) and wine cellars call Weissenkirchen home and are located
in beautiful, ancient manor houses. Perhaps you'll savor a famous young
heuriger wine in one of these taverns. Later, gather for a group dinner in a
typical local Austrian guesthouse.
Day 8 - Cycle through Wachau Valley / Melk Abbey / The romantic town of Dürnstein
In the morning, cycle through the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO
World Heritage Site, to Melk. The Wachau is one of Austria's most striking
landscapes, featuring a mix of hillside orchards and vineyards among ruined
castles, abbeys and churches. In Melk, take an included, guided tour of the
spectacular Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe's largest Baroque monasteries. Eat
lunch on your own, perhaps in the abbey gardens, before cycling along the
Danube to the lovely village of Spitz. From Spitz, cycle back to Weissenkirchen
and maybe opt to continue farther to Dürnstein, where Richard the Lionhearted
was kept prisoner in 1193. Tonight's farewell dinner is in a local restaurant
within a private, ancient winepress room.
Day 9 - Transfer to Vienna / Free day / VBT No-Air Package ends
After breakfast, transfer to Vienna, arriving at
approximately 10:30 am.
VBT No-Air Package guests: Your tour ends at the Hotel
Stefanie in Vienna. Important: Train departures from Vienna prior to 11:00 am
are not recommended. If you depart earlier, you are responsible for your own
transfer arrangements from the last hotel in Weissenkirchen. A taxi ride to the
Vienna train station costs approximately €15/22 USD and takes approximately 20
minutes. A taxi ride to the Vienna airport costs approximately €30/45 USD and
takes approximately 40 minutes.
VBT Air Package & Post Trip Extension guests: Your room
at Hotel Stefanie may not be available until 1:00 pm, but you can leave your
luggage with the reception desk. VBT provides City Information in your Final
Travel Booklet containing recommendations for cafés, restaurants, museums and
transportation. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Vienna. Your
hotel is located near the historic “Inner Ring” in the Old Town; many of the
Old World palaces and concert halls are easily accessible.
Day 10 - Depart for U.S.
After breakfast*, transfer to the Vienna airport
(approximately 30 minutes) for your departing flight. Please ensure
that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time**. VBT
recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” or
with the hotel's reception desk the night before your flight.
*For guests with early-morning departures,
breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk
to verify the times that breakfast is served.
**VBT transfer times and departure points are
finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you
extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to
the airport will be at your own expense.