A brand new tour to two of our favourite destinations, featuring the Christmas Markets and steam railways in both northern and southern Germany. Steam through "Franconian Switzerland", around Munich, through the wintry Selketal Valley and up to the peak of the Brocken, whilst enjoying Christmas Markets in Nuremberg, Bamberg, Munich and Wernigerode.
Friday 8 December 2017 (7 days)
A fabulous two-centre holiday with exhilarating excursions by steam during the day and ample time to relax at some of Germanys most authentic and popular Christmas markets. Compare Munichs market with Nurembergs famous Christkindlmarkt, Bambergs quaint market, nestled in its UNESCO protected centre, with the charming little market beneath Wernigerode Town Hall. Enjoy local customs and the sights, sounds and smells of advent in Germany, with half-board each day, including meals in two acclaimed brewery taverns.
Steam through Franconian Switzerland from Ebermannstadt to Behringersmühle
Guided tour of UNESCO World Heritage Bamberg
Lunch with local smoked beer tasting at the Schlenkerla brewery tavern
Free time at Bamberg Christmas Market
Around Munich special steam train journey
Munichs Christmas Market
Dinner at Munichs famous Hofbräuhaus
Storm by steam to the top of Brocken Mountain
Relax at Wernigerodes quaint Christmas Market
Steam through the Selketal Valley
Spend time at UNESCO World Heritage Quedlinburgs Christmas Market
We depart London St Pancras International by Eurostar to Brussels, and then by ICE train via Frankfurt to Nuremberg and the InterCity Hotel, located in the centre of this historic walled city, where we have a welcome evening meal.
We travel by regional train to Bamberg for a guided walking tour of this beautiful UNESCO-protected world heritage town, including a visit to the Schlenkerla Restaurant for a three course lunch and a tasting of 3 types of their famous beer, including their speciality smoked beer. We then have free-time to explore the charming Christmas Market followed by an early evening steam run on the Dampfbahn Fränkische Schweiz e.V. between Ebermannstadt and Behringersmühle, returning by regional train to Nuremberg for free time at its famous Christkindlmarkt.
Today's excursion heads south by regional train to the fabulous city of Munich, the Bavarian capital. We begin our exploration with a special steam run 'Around Munich', organised by the Bavarian Railway Museum, before enjoying free time at Munich's Christmas Market, nestled in lovely Marienplatz square beneath the ornate Town Hall. Before leaving Munich we meet for a hearty dinner at the Hofbräuhaus, arguably the most famous beer hall in the world, with oompah music and conviviality Bavarian-style.
Today we rejoin the German rail network, travelling northwards into Lower Saxony, changing at Göttingen and Goslar en route to Wernigerode, where our hotel for three nights is the Alt Wernigeröder Hof.
Today we enjoy an exhilarating ride aboard the Brockenbahn, a steam-hauled journey from Wernigerode through wintry landscapes up to the summit of the Brocken mountain to Germany's highest narrow-gauge station and the Harz region's highest peak. Returning to Wernigerode, the remainder of the day is free to discover the sights, sounds and smells of the Wernigerode Christmas Market, beautifully nestled within the market square in front of the picturesque town hall. Wander amidst the quaint half-timbered buildings sampling the delights of traditional German advent, overlooked by Wernigerode's stunning castle.
The regional rail network takes us to another UNESCO World Heritage site today, Quedlinburg. Quedlinburg's patchwork of half-timbered houses has led UNESCO to consider it one of the best examples of a medieval town and the Collegiate Church overlooking the town from its hill a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. From Quedlinburg we steam on the narrow gauge Selketalbahn through the wintry forests to Alexisbad. On our return to Quedlinburg there is time to sample its Christmas Market, before we return to Wernigerode for our final night.
We depart Leaving Wernigerode, we change trains in Hanover and Cologne. In Brussels we join the Eurostar service to London St Pancras.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Inter City Hotel, Nuremberg
A modern 3 star hotel situated adjacent to the station and city centre. All rooms are en-suite with individually controlled air-conditioning, fully equipped bathroom, hair dryer, cosmetic mirror, minibar, LCD flatscreen with SAT-TV and SKY, phone with voice mail, WiFi, laptop size safe and work desk.
Hotel Alt-Wernigeröder Hof, Wernigerode
This traditional hotel is close by the historic Old Town and offers buffet breakfast and restaurant with comfortable bedrooms all fitted with modern bathrooms and cable TV. Free Wifi is available in the public areas.
From London St Pancras International:
Standard Class rail travel to / from Germany including
First Class rail travel to / from Germany, including Standard Premier Eurostar
Single Room Supplement
Fare inclusive of:
6 nights bed & breakfast, 5 evening meals, 1 lunch
Standard Class rail travel and seat reservations where available (subject to selected rail travel option)
All transfers, excursions and admissions as detailed
Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager
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Award winning rail holidays in Europe and the UK. All departing in 2017