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Walking Austria, Germany & the Czech Republic: A Bohemian Rhapsody

Rife with soaring, snowcapped mountains

  • 10 Days
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Daily Mileage: 2 - 5 mi
  • Daily Walking: 2 - 5 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Walking
  • Easy
  • Plane

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Walking Austria, Germany & the Czech Republic: A Bohemian Rhapsody

Rife with soaring, snowcapped mountains, sparkling alpine lakes, lush pine and spruce forests, and verdant, rolling farmlands, the pastoral landscapes of Central Europe exude all the charms of a fairy tale. We’ll surely fall under their spell as we explore three distinct regions—Austria’s Lake District, Bavaria, and South Bohemia—balancing active days with relaxing nights in elegant boutique hotels and intimate, family-run inns. Along the way, we’ll stroll the scenic shores of the Inn, Danube, and Otava Rivers … spend a day in Bavarian Forest National Park … and savor unforgettable meals prepared by award-winning German and Czech chefs.

Cultural Highlights

  • Cruise sparkling Lake Wolfgang, reveling in the beauty of Austria’s Salzkammergut, Lake District
  • Delight in panoramic views of Bavarian Forest National Park while strolling along the Tree Top Walk
  • Revel in Prague’s enduring—and inimitable—Old World charm during a guided walking tour

What to Expect

This tour features a combination of easy terrain and paved roads mixed with moderate hills. We walk primarily in the open countryside and in small cities and on a variety of surfaces, including uneven footpaths over grass and soil and cobbled streets. Our VBT on-tour support vehicle is available at specific meeting points for those who would like assistance. This tour is ideal for both enthusiastic beginners and experienced walkers.

What’s Included:

  • 8 nights in 3-and 4-star hotels
  • 13 meals — 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
  • Free use of our custom VBT walking poles
  • On-tour vehicle support
  • Service of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Welcome reception
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • Transfers
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation — at least $174 per person
  • Special Good Buy Discount
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Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2015 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What's Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart U.S./Fly overnight to Salzburg, Austria

Depart the U.S. for Austria. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary and airline tickets.

DAY 2: Arrive in Salzburg, Austria/Transfer to your hotel

A VBT representative meets you at the airport and assists with your transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to make your own discoveries in Salzburg.

DAY 3: Land program begins/Transfer to St. Gilgen

After breakfast, we meet our VBT Trip Leaders and transfer to Austria’s celebrated Salzkammergut, Lake District, where we’ll embark on a warm-up walk along the scenic shores of Lake Fuschl. We make our way through the dense pine forests surrounding the lake en route to the quaint town of Fuschl, where you’ll have time for lunch on your own. Afterwards choose to continue on foot or transfer via shuttle to our next destination, the charming village of St. Gilgen am Wolfgangsee. If you’ve seen The Sound of Music, you may recognize this lovely lakeside locale, which appears in one of the film’s opening shots. Tonight, we enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel, followed by a lively performance by traditional Schulplattler dancers.

DAY 4: Cruise Lake Wofgang/Mount Schafberg/Steam cog train ride

This morning, we walk from our hotel along the shores of Lake Wolfgang to the pier, where our boat awaits to take us to St. Wolfgang, another popular Austrian summer resort. Here we climb aboard the Schafbergbahn Steam Cog Train—a steam-powered locomotive in operation since 1893—and ride to the summit of Mount Schafberg. Enjoy free time here to walk along the mountain’s paths, delighting in panoramic views of the area’s lush forests and glittering lakes. You’ll also have time for lunch on your own before returning via train to the mountain’s base. From here, you might choose to continue your explorations on foot along the shores of Lake Wolfgang before cruising back to St. Gilgen. Dinner tonight is on your own.

DAY 5: Walk to Passau, Germany/Rosenau

This morning we shuttle to the small Austrian village of Wernstein, where we begin today’s walk. We cross from Austria into Germany via a pedestrian bridge over the Inn River, then stroll a picturesque path through lovely Bavarian forests dotted with quaint summer cottages before arriving in Passau, situated at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers. You’ll have time at leisure here to explore this beautiful Baroque city on your own. You may wish to visit magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral, or browse for bargains in the city’s flea market and antique shops, before choosing from among Passau’s many inviting cafes and restaurants for lunch on your own. Later we regroup and shuttle further into the Bavarian countryside, to the village of Rosenau. During our time in Germany, we’ll be the guests of the Beck family, who have owned and operated the Landhotel Postwirt for several generations. Husband Josef, wife Gaby, and the three charming Beck children will do their utmost to ensure our stay here will be a memorable one. Indeed, Josef is a talented chef well-known throughout the region for his culinary delights—which we’ll have the opportunity to sample during this evening’s included dinner.

DAY 6: Bavarian Forest National Park/ Bavarian villages

After breakfast, choose to walk or shuttle to nearby Bavarian Forest National Park. Germany’s oldest national park, it covers an area of nearly 100 square miles and features beautiful forests, meadows, and rock formations. We meet the Park Rangers for a brief orientation, then set off on the park’s Tree Top Walk, a series of rope and wooden bridges rising from ground level to the top of the forest canopy. The pathway includes a spiraling tower nearly 150 feet high, from which we’ll have a fantastic panoramic view of the Bavarian Forest and surrounding mountains. Afterwards, we’ll be treated to a picnic lunch prepared by our Trip Leaders. You may then wish to explore the park further, or visit some of the surrounding villages, including Reidhuette, where you can observe a glass-blowing demonstration at a local factory, and Spiegelau, where you can visit the Schnapsbrennerei, or Schnapps distillery. This evening, we gather for a special Bavarian barbeque dinner (weather permitting) with the Beck family.

DAY 7: Walk Otava River to Pisek/Train ride to Tabor

This morning we cross the border into the Czech Republic, shuttling into South Bohemia. Our walk today brings us along the shores of the Otava River, and we’ll cross over Europe’s second-oldest preserved stone bridge before arriving in Pisek, a town known for its beautiful Baroque architecture. Spend some time exploring at your own pace, stopping to enjoy lunch on your own. Later we journey by train through the South Bohemian landscape, taking in the region’s sparkling ponds and verdant Sumava foothills before arriving in the medieval town of Tabor. Our hotel is located in the center of town, directly on Zizka Square, and is convenient to many restaurants, from which you might choose for dinner on your own tonight.

DAY 8: Walking tour of Tabor/Time at leisure

After breakfast, we embark on a walking tour of Tabor with an expert local guide. We’ll explore the town’s underground tunnels, and stroll through the narrow, winding streets to Lake Jordan, which was established in 1492 and is considered to be the oldest man-made reservoir in Central Europe. Then enjoy the afternoon at leisure, with time for lunch on your own and to make your own discoveries. Tonight’s farewell dinner at our hotel is sure to be a treat: This special meal will be prepared by one of the Czech Republic’s most acclaimed chefs, who is noted for his elegant interpretations of traditional Czech cuisine.

DAY 9: Transfer to Prague/Walking tour/Land program ends

We bid our Trip Leaders goodbye this morning and shuttle to Prague. Upon arrival, we’ll embark on a walking tour with an expert local guide. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the Czech Republic’s capital at leisure, with lunch and dinner on your own.

DAY 10: Depart for home or begin optional post-trip extension

After breakfast, transfer to the Prague airport for your flight home. Or continue exploring this majestic city during your optional post-trip extension.

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Accommodations

Hotel Altstadt Radisson Blu

The hotel displays a charming elegance of a bygone era dating back to 1377 with its medieval wooden ceilings, stucco decorations and antique paintings. The classic rooms are each unique in their furnishings and sizes with luxurious bathrooms made from marble. Every room has modern amenities such as LCD flatscreen television, minibar, safe, telephone, work desk and Wi-Fi. Located in the heart of the historic district of old Salzburg, the hotel is just a short walk to the Festival hall, the Getreidegasse and Mozart's birthplace. Also within walking distance are other main attractions such as the vast Dom (cathedral), the Festung Hohensalzburg (fortress) and the Schloss Mirabell.
Free WiFi Included

Landhotel Postwirt

The 3-star hotel is located near the Bavarian Forest National Park, at the border between Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. This quaint inn which has been in the Beck family for generations is currently managed by Josef and Gaby Beck. Josef is a master chef and ensures products come from high-quality resources. He prepares delicious specialties with the greatest care and professionalism, reflecting the regional traditions. All dishes are varied and unique ensuring there is something for every palate. The cozy rooms have been updated with modern décor and amenities and the specially selected quality bed mattresses ensure greater comfort. There is also a small indoor swimming pool in the cellar of the hotel for additional relaxation.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Nautilus

Centrally located in Tabor’s Zizka Square, the four-star Hotel Nautilus opened its doors in 2014. An intimate and elegant boutique hotel, it offers a range of modern amenities, including a wellness center—where you can arrange for a rejuvenating massage or other body treatment—and on-site restaurant, Goldie, which serves up refined takes on traditional Czech cuisine. The Hotel Nautilus has 22 tastefully-decorated rooms, each equipped with a private bath and hair dryer, electronic safe, minibar, and complimentary wireless Internet access.
Free WiFi Included

Park Hotel Billroth

Nestled into the mountains of Salzburg’s Salzkammergut, directly on the Wolfgangsee, the Billroth offers a charming mixture of a sophisticated ambience with the flair of past, great eras, combined with modern luxury-class amenities. The history of the Billroth goes back to the famous surgeon Theodor Billroth (1829-1894). He numbered amongst the most loyal summer guests of St. Gilgen for many years, and built the villa "Billroth" in the 19th century. Today, a second generation of the Billroth family continues to operate the estate as Parkhotel Billroth. Over the course of the years, the "Billroth" was expanded and renovated while maintaining its original charm. The hotel offers direct access to the lake with a private beach, sunbathing area, boathouse and their paddleboats. For sport enthusiasts, there is access to the tennis court as well as a basketball court and football pitch.
Free WiFi Included

Mamaison Hotel Riverside Prague

An upscale boutique hotel boasting an award-winning Art Nouveau design, the four-star Mamaison Hotel Riverside Prague is ideally located on the west bank of the Vltava River, near the iconic Charles Bridge. The National Theatre, Prague Castle, and numerous other architectural and cultural treasures are within easy walking distance, and music lovers will appreciate the hotel’s proximity to Mozart’s Prague residence. The Mamaison Hotel Riverside Prague has 61 air-conditioned rooms, each featuring a flat-screen cable/satellite TV, minibar, electronic safe, private bath with shower, and complimentary wireless Internet access.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Fuschlsee Jagdhof

Hotel Fuschlsee Jagdhofis a 4-star superior hotel overlooking scenic Lake Fuschl and a private golf course. The hotel offers luxuriously furnished rooms with a minibar, a safe and a bathroom with hairdryer. There is a large spa area which includes a hot tub, steam bath, a sauna, indoor swimming pool and fitness center. The restaurant Jagdhof serves Austrian and Mediterranean cuisine, with many regional game and fish specialties.
Free WiFi Included

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With LOw-Cost Trip Extensions

Pre-Trip Extension - Salzburg

2 nights for only $395

Post-Trip Extension - Prague

2 nights for only $345

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