Oberammergau & the Castles of Bavaria
Of all the attractions to combine with the once-a-decade spectacle of the Oberammergau Passion Play, few could be more enchanting and memorable than the 19th century ‘Dream Castles’ of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. These fortresses, palaces and country houses, all set in landscapes of Alpine splendour, were like none that came before – so romantic and beautiful that they appear taken from the pages of a fairy-tale. Ludwig’s story had no happy ending, but his fantastical architectural visions live on, bewitching visitors to the present day. Discover the reality behind the dreams in expert company on this outstanding itinerary.
• Witness the Oberammergau Passion Play with Category 2 Tickets
• Admire the stunning Herrenchiemsee Palace just outside of Munich, referred to as the ‘Bavarian Versailles’
• Stay in majestic Alpine surroundings in Füssen, near to the world-renowned Neuschwanstein Castle
Day 1 London - Munich
We depart from London on a direct flight to Munich and transfer to our hotel. After checking in, join us on an optional walking tour of Munich or explore at your leisure. We enjoy our first dinner as a group this evening.
Day 2 Munich - Chiemsee
Today we drive to the Chiemsee, Bavaria’s largest lake, where Ludwig realised his final castle dream by building Herrenchiemsee Palace on Herreninsel Island. Building began in 1878, directly inspired by Ludwig’s visit to the Palace of Versailles, and this is truly a monument to royal megalomania: 35 seamstresses spent seven years sewing the cover for the royal bed alone. The most extraordinary room here is the gilded Hall of Mirrors, best seen by candlelight, which arguably outshines the original in Versailles. After lunch, we explore the manicured palace grounds before returning to Munich.
Day 3 Munich - Oberammergau
This morning we drive south through the increasingly beautiful scenery of the Bavarian Alps, arriving in time for lunch in the delightful town of Oberammergau. We check in to our hotel and gather together in the afternoon to attend a performance of the legendary Passion Play. Dinner is included during the lengthy intermission.
Hotel: Oberammergau Area
Day 4 Oberammergau - Füssen
Today we make the journey to Füssen, located in the heart of the Bavarian countryside and full of Ludwig history – the perfect place to embark upon our exploration of the fairytale castles. Along the way we stop at Linderhof Palace, the smallest of Ludwig’s palaces, but the only one that he lived to see completed. This afternoon is dedicated to Ludwig’s crowning glory and the embodiment of his wildest Romantic fantasies – the stunning Castle of Neuschwanstein. Featuring in numerous films, its soaring turrets and wedding-cake walls draw an astonishing 1.3 million visitors per year. Built in the Romanesque Revival style, the castle was the scene of Ludwig’s arrest in 1886 by his courtiers, exasperated by his eccentricities and profligacy. We will spend most of the afternoon here before checking in to our hotel.
Day 5 Füssen - London
After breakfast on our final day, we return to Munich via Castle Berg on the Starnbergersee. This country manor house was where the King was confined after his deposition and declared insane. A few days later, he and his physician were found drowned in the lake. The mysterious double death has never been explained. We pay our respects at his tomb in Munich’s St Michael’s Church and head to the airport for our return flight.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Andante Tour Manager
- Return flights from London
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals as per the itinerary - Wine and tea or coffee with dinner
- Hotels Category B - (equivalent to 4-star)*
- Category 2 Tickets for the Passion Play - Passion Play textbook in English
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
- All taxes & gratuities