A tour experiencing some of the world’s most breath-taking scenery including the Austrian Tyrol, Innsbruck, Bavaria, the Brenner Pass, ancient Roman roads, the Zugspitze and the staggering remains of a Stone Age man.
Stunning pink and grey snow-capped mountain peaks; sparklingly clear and torrentially flowing streams; verdant meadows; swathes of densely forested hillsides; shimmering lakes; wooden chalets bedecked with bright flowerboxes; iconic onion shaped church spires. Coupled with a tradition of genuine hospitality, tasty cuisine, excellent local wine, schnapps and great beer, plus an intriguing history stretching back to pre-historic times – all the unmistakable hallmarks of the astonishingly beautiful Tyrol.
We stay in the utterly charming alpine village of Seefeld, a perfect spot from which to explore the many and varied highlights of this mountainous province, bisected by the twisting river Inn.
What You’ll Love
- Enjoy peace of mind with Flexible Booking*
- Happy by day two or we’ll bring you home with a full refund
- Return travel from a selection of regional airports and transfers
- Seven nights in 4-star superior accommodation with half-board
- Stay in picturesque Seefeld in the heart of the astonishing Austrian Tyrol
- Experience some of the world’s most breath-taking alpine scenery
- Sightseeing tour of Innsbruck – Royal City of the Habsburgs
- Experience the Achensee Cog Railway using original 19th century steam locomotives
- Visit the wonderfully preserved Cistercian Monastery at Stams with its amazingly intricate baroque and gold leaf decoration
- Choose between a guided walking tour of Bolzano or visit Oetzi the 5,300 year-old mummified iceman, at the museum of Archaeology
- Visit the former silver mining village of Rattenberg, full of beautiful 15th century buildings
- Tour the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle – seat of the Bavarian Kings
- See the immense Oetz valley glaciers
- Option to join a complimentary guided walk
- Services of an expert tour manager
Subject to availability. Single supplements apply.
*Full terms and conditions can be viewed on the Riviera Travel website here.
Day 1 – Arrival in Seefeld
You will arrive at the airport in time to take your flight to Munich or Salzburg. On arrival you will be met by Riviera Travel and we then drive over the Austrian border to Seefeld, one of the Tyrol’s most attractive villages with its wooden, chalet-style buildings, bursting with colour from countless window boxes.
We stay seven nights with dinner at the four-star superior Krumers Post hotel, situated on the main square opposite Seefeld’s charming church. Built in the typical Tyrolean style with sloping roofs and wooden exterior, the hotel offers generously sized rooms which are superbly appointed, and complimentary Wi-Fi for all guests. To make your stay more special, you have the option to upgrade to an even more spacious suite.
The hotel’s restaurant serves wonderful Tyrolean specialties and international cuisine, while the “Platzhirsch” bistro offers more delicious options. Enjoy a refreshing drink at the hotel bar, which also serves snacks and excellent apple strudel.
Visit the panoramic rooftop terrace equipped with sun loungers, from where you can admire stunning views of the village and mountains beyond. Should you wish to relax, you may visit the hotel’s wonderful spa, equipped with two panorama pools, a sauna area, massage pool and leisure lounge. The staff are what make this family-run hotel special – many have worked here for years and offer friendly service with a genuine smile, continuing the true tradition of Austrian hospitality.
Day 2 – Innsbruck
After breakfast, we take the short drive along Inn valley to the Tyrolean capital, Innsbruck, for a guided tour of this delightful city. An important trading centre since Celtic times, then capital of a Dukedom before being incorporated in the Habsburg Empire, today your eyes can feast on the historic architecture.
There is the famous Golden Roof, the magnificent baroque St Jakob’s cathedral and the former Imperial Palace, once home of Empress Maria Theresa, the Stadtturm belfry tower with its excellent views across the city and Schloss Ambras, the Renaissance castle and palace. Today Innsbruck is delightful – wander its medieval streets, absorb the genteel ambience or just listen to the talented street musicians before we return to Seefeld mid-afternoon.
Day 3 – Merano & Bolzano
The Tyrol was first established as a province in the late 1200s, and today history is very much to the fore as we take the Via Claudia Augusta through the Südtirol. Built by the Romans to enable easier passage through the Alps from Italy, this ancient road is flanked by picture-postcard scenery – rolling hills studded with apple orchards, majestic snow-capped peaks, roaring rivers, shimmering lakes and hillside villages.
Our first stop is the pretty spa town of Merano. You can really soak up the atmosphere of the region as you wander through its glorious belle-époque buildings, fine gardens and excellent cafés that line a leafy riverbank walk, all set within a dramatic natural amphitheatre of high mountain peaks.
After visiting Merano you have a choice of two very different experiences in the town of Bolzano; a walking tour with a local guide or entrance to the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology home of Otzi the Iceman. Our visit to the provincial capital, Bolzano, gives you the opportunity to experience this intriguing mix – Italian coffee and traditional Tyrolian cakes make a great match!
Out return to Seefeld takes us along the famous Brenner Pass. The countless ruined castles seemingly guarded every hilltop are evidence that this has been one of the most important trans-alpine trade routes since the Roman Empire. As one vista blends into the next, you’ll marvel at the stunning scenery of verdant meadows, forested hillsides and snow-capped peaks of increasing light.
Day 4 – Free Day in Seefeld
Today is yours to relax and enjoy the attractions in and around Seefeld. Try a round of golf at one of Europe’s most picturesque courses, take a horse-drawn carriage around Wildsee lake or hire a boat before selecting a village café for a coffee and slice of irresistibly dense chocolate torte.
Day 5 – Oetztaler Glacier Road
Today we drive up the ever narrowing Oetztal valley to the high mountain resort of Soelden, enjoying ever more scenic views. Despite being almost 5000 feet high, this remote village is dwarfed by surrounding giant snow-capped mountains. Our spectacular drive continues up the Oetztaler Glacier Road into the heart of the mountains for stunning views of glaciers and peaks, ice and snow covered throughout the summer. Breathe deeply for several minutes – the rarefied air deep in your lungs has an almost medicinal quality!
Keep your eyes peeled for the mountain wildlife here, including eagles and those delightful indigenous rodents, marmots – hugely entertaining bundles of fur with a spine tingling whistle. It was near here that Oetzi the Iceman met his fate all those millennia ago, the victim of a Bronze Age arrow, why he was attacked, we shall never know.
This afternoon we return to the river Inn and a guided tour of the splendid Cistercian monastery at Stams. Founded in 1273, the two majestic onion shaped towers of its superb 17th century Basilica, can be seen from far and wide. This is a truly magnificent building justifiably renowned for its murals, ceiling frescoes, fine Baroque altar and breathtaking gold leaf decoration. Having suffered a turbulent history, including dissolution by the Nazis, Stams has been beautifully restored and is once again a thriving monastic community, welcoming travellers of all nations and beliefs and even baking its own delicious bread!
Day 6 – Neuschwanstein
Today’s drive takes you into nearby Bavaria seeing the might of Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze. Some of our journey will be on the fabled ‘Romantic Road’ and the beautiful ‘Deutsche Alpenstrasse’ – the Alpine Road, leading to one of Germany’s most famous monuments and one which seems to typify an image of the country, the castle of the instantly recognisable, and equally unpronounceable, Neuschwanstein! This is the classic ‘fairytale’ castle, inspiration for so many stories and allegedly the model for Disney’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ that has fascinated children the world over.
One of Bavaria’s most famous kings, Ludwig, modelling himself on France’s Louis XIV, embarked on an epic castle building programme, eventually bankrupting the then independent country! Indeed, one of his pet projects is the subject of our tour today. Clinging to the side of a vast valley in the most dramatic of settings, Neuschwanstein was constructed with pink granite, a symbol of Ludwig’s self-belief as divinely chosen for kingship and in homage to his idol, Wagner! The architecture inside is equally impressive, with marble everywhere; the design draws freely from different architectural styles, Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic. Tapestries and intrinsic art decorate the walls and the standard of workmanship is admirable.
Day 7 – Achenseebahn
After breakfast let us head back in time over 100 years, taking a journey to Jenbach where the unmistakable aroma of steam coal, which once graced every British station, fills the air and a narrow gauge railway winds away into the hills. This is a magically scenic experience on the truly historic Achenseebahn, a metre gauge railway climbing from the Inn valley using rack assistance to surmount the steep gradient. The coal-fired locomotives are amongst the world’s oldest working steam trains still doing the job they were built for in the 19th century, taking tourists at a leisurely pace up to the beautiful Achensee Lake.
Rejoining your coach, we journey even further back in time to delightful medieval Rattenberg, the Tyrol’s smallest municipality nestling by the river Inn. The gorgeous medieval stone buildings you see here are the result of growing rich on the proceeds of silver mining, then prospering from nail a glass making. It’s wonderful exploring the narrow streets, discovering the charms of this historic village. The creation of fine glassware is its major occupation today – raw materials fashioned into exquisite pieces by the skilled craftsmen – no wonder this lovely spot has such renown. Climb to the ruined castle for splendid views of the town and its surroundings – there’s also a lift, so don’t miss the fine panorama!
Day 8 – Return Flight
Today at the appropriate time you will be returned to the airport for your return flight.