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

Rife with soaring, snowcapped mountains, sparking 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.

  • 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

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

  • Witness a lively performance of traditional Austrian Schulplattler dances
  • Cruise sparkling Lake Wolfgang, reveling in the beauty of Austria’s Salzkammergut (Lake District)
  • Climb aboard a steam cog train and journey to the summit of majestic Mount Schafberg
  • Amble along the shores of the Inn and Danube rivers, crossing from Austria into Germany
  • Delight in panoramic views of Bavarian Forest National Park while strolling along the Tree Top Walk
  • Travel by train through the verdant landscapes of South Bohemia
  • Explore the medieval city of Tabor during a walking tour led by an expert local guide
  • Savor a sumptuous Farewell Dinner prepared by one of the Czech Republic’s most acclaimed chefs
  • 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 small cities and on a variety of surfaces, including uneven footpaths over grass and soil, and cobbled streets. We plan longer, optional walks for those who wish to spend more time on their own, exploring the small towns and surrounding areas; we also provide shorter, easier options for those who prefer to spend more time relaxing. Our VBT on-tour support vehicle is available at specific meeting points for those who need assistance. This tour is ideal for both enthusiastic beginners and experienced walkers.

Average Daily Mileage: 2 - 5 miles
Average Walking Time: 2 – 5 hours

What’s Included:

Walking Tour Only — Without Air

  • 6 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels
  • 11 meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • 8 nights in 3-and 4-star hotels
  • 13 meals — 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
  • Transfers
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Salzburg –  2 nights for only $395 • Post-trip: Prague – 2 nights for only $345

Both Vacations Include

  • 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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Air Package Plus 10 Days Includes round-trip international airfare

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Air Package Plus 10 Days Includes round-trip international airfare

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Air Package Plus 10 Days Includes round-trip international airfare

Land Only

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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $445 | Land Only Single Supplement: $295

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

Upon arrival at the Salzburg 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 our VBT representative, who will be holding a VBT sign. Our representative welcomes you to Salzburg and helps you transfer via taxi or van (approximately 30 minutes, depending upon traffic) to our Salzburg hotel.

If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 3 p.m., in which case you may store your luggage at the Reception Desk. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or begin making your own discoveries in Salzburg.

VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes information and recommendations about what to see and do during your stay in Salzburg.

Hotel: Hotel Altstadt Radisson Blu

DAY 3: Meet Trip Leaders/Transfer to Fuschlsee & St. Gilgen am Wolfgangsee/ Warm-up walk and Welcome Reception

After breakfast, we meet our VBT Trip Leaders in the lobby of our Salzburg hotel at 9:00am, the Hotel Altstadt Radisson Blu (address: Judengasse 15 / Rudolfskai 28, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria – phone +43 662 848 5710), then transfer to the Salzkammergut Lake District (a journey of approximately 45 minutes). We disembark for a warm-up walk along the scenic shores of Lake Fuschl. We’ll make our way through the dense pine forests surrounding the lake en route to the quaint town of Fuschl.

A beloved resort for Salzburg residents, Fuschl boasts many inviting restaurants and cafes, from which you can choose for lunch on your own. Afterwards, opt to continue on foot or via shuttle to our next destination, the picturesque 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. St. Gilgen is also recognized as “The Mozart Village”—despite the fact that the famous composer never set foot here. Rather, Mozart is connected to St. Gilgen through three members of his immediate family: His grandfather, Wolfgang Pertl, lived and worked here as a judge; his mother, Anna Pertl, was born here; and his sister, Anna Maria Pertl, moved here after marrying.

Upon arrival at our hotel, you’ll have time to freshen up before we gather for a welcome reception, followed by dinner at the hotel restaurant. Later, we’ll be treated to a performance of traditional Schulplattler dances. Dating back to the mid-19th century, these lively dances by lederhosen- and dirndl-clad young men and women began as courtship rituals.

Hotel: Parkhotel Billroth
Alternate Hotel: Hotel Fuschlsee Jagdhof
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 2 to 4 miles on flat dirt paths through forest.

DAY 4: Cruise Lake Wolfgang/Schafberbahn Steam Cog Train/Mount Schafberg

After breakfast, we will walk from our hotel along the shores of Lake Wolfgang to the pier, where our boat awaits us. We’ll board and enjoy a scenic cruise to St. Wolfgang, another popular Austrian summer resort. Here we’ll climb aboard the Schafberbahn 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 wonderful vistas of the Salkammergut Lake District and enjoy lunch on your own. After reboarding the train and returning to the mountain’s base, you may decide to cruise back to St. Gilgen, where you can enjoy the remainder of the day at our lakeside resort. Or opt to continue your explorations on foot along the shores of Lake Wolfgang, returning to our hotel on a later cruise.

For dinner on your own tonight, perhaps you’ll choose our hotel restaurant, whose terrace overlooks the lake. Or you may decide to walk into town and choose from among the local restaurants.

Hotel: Parkhotel Billroth
Alternate Hotel: Hotel Fuschlsee Jagdhof
Meals: B
Daily Options: 2 to 5 miles on flat, ascending, and descending dirt paths.

DAY 5: Cross border into Germany/Walk along the Inn and Danube Rivers/Explore Passau

After breakfast, we shuttle to the small Austrian village of Wernstein (a journey of approximately 90 minutes), where we begin today’s walk. We cross from Austria into Germany via a pedestrian bridge over the Inn River. Our scenic path brings us through lovely Bavarian forests dotted with quaint summer cottages before we arrive in the Baroque city of Passau, situated at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers.

Once in Passau, you’ll have time at leisure to explore this striking 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. If time allows, you might also enjoy a short cruise on the Danube River. You’ll also find plenty of options here for lunch on your own.

Later, we regroup and shuttle further into the Bavarian countryside to the small village of Rosenau (a journey of approximately 1 hour).

During our time in Germany, we’ll be the guests of the Beck family, who have owned and operated our hotel, the Landhotel Postwirt, for 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.

Hotel: Landhotel Postwirt
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 2.5 to 5 miles of flat dirt and paved paths; cobblestone and paved streets while in Passau.

DAY 6: Bavarian Forest National Park/ Bavarian villages

This morning, choose to walk or shuttle to the 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. Touted as the world’s longest tree top walk, 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. Then you may continue exploring the local flora and fauna with additional walks along an array of National Park paths. Or, if you prefer, you may utilize the extensive public bus service (complimentary for guests of local hotels), and explore 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 (Schnapps distillery).

This evening, we gather for a special Bavarian barbeque dinner (weather permitting) with our gracious hosts.

Hotel: Landhotel Postwirt
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 2 to 8 miles of flat and hilly paths and paved country roads. Steady incline and decline on wood boardwalk during the Tree Top Walk.

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

After breakfast, we bid “Auf Wiedersehen” to Bavaria and cross into the Southern Bohemia region of the Czech Republic (a journey of approximately 2 hours). We’ll begin today’s walk along the shores of the Otava River, crossing over the second-oldest preserved stone bridge in Europe before arriving at the town of Pisek. Often referred to as the “Athens of South Bohemia” due to its abundance of schools and students, Pisek also boasts beautiful Baroque architecture. Spend some time exploring the many sights this scenic city has to offer at your own pace, stopping to enjoy lunch at one of its many restaurants and outdoor cafes.

This afternoon, we regroup at the Pisek train station. From here, 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 (a journey of approximately 30 minutes).

Founded in the 15th century, Tabor is a maze of narrow cobblestoned streets and underground tunnels. Our hotel is located in the center of town, directly on Zizka Square, and is convenient to several restaurants, from which you can choose for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Hotel Nautilus
Meals: B
Daily Options: 2 to 4 miles on flat dirt paths through forests as well as cobblestone and paved streets in cities.

DAY 8: Walking Tour of Tabor/Farewell Dinner

This morning we embark on a walking tour of Tabor with an expert local guide, who will explain the historical significance of this medieval town and its most significant sites, including Zizkovo namesti (Main Square) and the narrow medieval streets radiating in all directions from the main square. We continue our walk to the local man-made lake, which was constructed in 1492 and is the oldest reservoir of its kind in Central Europe. We will also enjoy a visit to the town’s underground tunnels.

Afterward, enjoy time at leisure for lunch on your own and to make your own discoveries in Tabor.

We are in for a treat tonight as our Farewell Dinner is created by one of the Czech Republic’s most notable chefs, who takes his grandmother’s traditional Czech recipes and gives them a modern day twist of culinary ingenuity.

Hotel: Hotel Nautilus
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 2 to 6 miles on cobblestone and paved streets with longer options on flat dirt paths and paved country roads.

DAY 9: Transfer to Prague/Free Day/VBT No-Air Package ends

After breakfast, we transfer to Prague (a journey of approximately 90 minutes). We arrive around 11:00 a.m. We will meet our local guide for a walking tour to orient ourselves to Prague before checking into our hotel.

VBT No-Air Package guests: Your tour ends after our Prague walking tour upon our arrival at the Mamaison Hotel Riverside Prague. Please Note: Train departures from Prague earlier than 2 p.m. are not recommended. If you do choose an earlier departure, you are responsible for making your own transfer arrangements from our hotel in Tabor.

VBT Air Package & Post Trip Extension guests: Rooms at the Mamaison Hotel Riverside Prague may not be ready until after 1 p.m., in which case you may store your luggage at the Reception Desk. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city with your included 1- or 3-day Prague Transportation Pass.

At the hotel, our VBT Representative, Barbara, will be available to offer information about getting around and about restaurants and sites of interest.

VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes information and recommendations about what to see and do during your stay in Prague.

Lunch and dinner are on your own today.

Hotel: Mamaison Hotel Riverside Prague
Meals: B
Daily Options: 1.5 mile Prague city tour walk on paved and cobblestone streets.

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

After breakfast*, transfer to the Prague airport (a journey of 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 VBT Representative Barbara.

* For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast may not be available. Please check with the Front Desk to verify the times when breakfast is served.

Please Note: 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.

Meals: B

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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

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

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

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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