Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Spa Resort in the Sky!

June 23 – July 1, 2018

Need some vacation therapy in Europe’s Crown Jewels with the Alps at your feet?  Come step into a fairy-tale land that most people only dream about.  This is huge if you want variety, with four distinct cultures, languages, cuisines, city squares and nature.  Each so near, yet so full of contrasts.  Follow us as we delve into the historical wonders of Munich Germany, Innsbruck Austria, Vaduz Liechtenstein, Lucerne Switzerland and dozens of charming villages in between.

By planes, trains, steamers, cable cars and gondolas, nowhere else can you find more serene beauty and dramatic scenery.  In high season June, Europe comes alive.  Summer is so expensive, but we’ve done it all for less expense and the adrenaline is free!  “Been there, but haven’t done that?”…  Probably not, because we packed this with new fun.  This is not your dull typical motorcoach tour.  It’s a once in a lifetime vacay.

Crave adventure?   Ascend the Alps on the world’s only rotating cable car and snow tube down.  Cross a glacier to explore the Ice Caves.  Ride the world’s steepest cogwheel train up to Mt. Pilatus and return by steamboat across crystal Lake Lucerne.  Hike the floral alpine paths in Engelberg.  Ride the new Ice Flyer in open chairlifts from summit to summit for breathtaking views.  Get your pulse racing on the new Cliff Walk, Europe’s highest suspension bridge over the Alps.  There’s even paragliding.  Stunning Switzerland provides countless activities in summer. 

Our highlight is set in the Tirol region of Austria for 2 glorious nights at Aqua Dome Resort, one of the best Wellness resorts in Europe!  Immerse yourself in the posh Spa 3000 or swim in 12 mineral spring-fed pools, 7 unique saunas, 4 gourmet restaurants, guided alpine valley walks, stargazing at night and so much more.  It’s like a Water Park for adults to splash and relax.  When I discovered this spa resort in the sky, I knew I had to do this trip!

Memories are made from extraordinary experiences.  It’s all about discovery, one country at a time. Spoil yourself with our best AFS summer trip ever.  It will fill fast. Warning!  Side effects include: outstanding photos, lessons in history, sunny mountains to play in the snow, relaxation.

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Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.
Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate. We write our Itineraries a year in advance. Though unlikely, we reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”
Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!

Our Glorious AFS Itinerary

Jun 23 – Depart USA

Jun 24 – Willkommen bein Munich!

Often called Germany’s most livable city, Munich is also one of its most historic, artistic, and entertaining; bringing this region’s rich history and culture to life. Immerse yourself in the city’s art and history — crown jewels, Baroque theater, Wittelsbach palaces, great paintings, and beautiful parks. Spend your evenings in a frothy beer hall or outdoor Biergarten prying big pretzels from buxom, no-nonsense beer maids amidst an oompah, bunny-hopping, and festive Bavarian atmosphere.

We are met at the Munich airport and transferred to our 4-Star hotel, Holiday Inn City Center. Centrally located with free Wi-Fi, S-Bahn train station in the complex, key attractions close by, pool, restaurant, bar and coffee shop.

Your afternoon is at leisure to rst, enjoy the facilities or explore the city. This evening get-to-know your fellow travelers and perfect your toast at one of Munich’s historic beerhalls during our AFS Welcome Dinner at the famous Hofbrauhaus!  Our past groups loved this crazy fun place.  We’ll have delicious German cuisine and hoist a liter-sized mug of beer with live music and Lederhosen-clad thigh-slappers.

Overnight: Holiday Inn Munich City Centre (D)

Jun 25 – Munich City Tour

After breakfast, we begin our ½ day city tour with a panoramic tour by coach, then get up-close and personal during the walking portion. Some of the sites we will see: St Peter’s Church, Viktualienmarkt (market square), Marienplatz (pedestrian square with famous glockenspiel),  Bayerische Staatsoper (Opera House) and more.

Later stroll the famous four avenues lined by neoclassic buildings and great shopping.  Evening at leisure to continue exploring this uber-cool city with an efficient public transportation system.  Munich is filled with summer festivals, music, theater, outdoor beer gardens and tons of fun venues.

Overnight: Holiday Inn Munich City Centre (B)

Jun 26 – City Center to the Austrian Alps

This morning we make the 3-hour (approx.) drive from Munich to Langenfeld, Austria with a stop in Innsbruck. We will visit the Innsbruck Golden Roof (a 16th century 3-story balcony capped with 2,657 gold-plated tiles, built for Emperor Maximilian to view tournaments in the square) and the Maximilianeum Museum which celebrates the life of the Hapsburg emperor (admission included).

After a quick lunch on our own, we are completely surrounded by the majestic Austrian Alps as we finish our drive into Langenfeld, soaking up all the natural beauty and fresh, crisp air. We check into the Aqua Dome, our four-star superior hotel that combines alpine charm, Tyrolean hospitality, contemporary architecture and a focus on relaxation. With 12 pools, 7 saunas and 4 restaurants & bars and one of the best nighttime star-viewing there is in Europe – there is something for everyone.

One of the best wellness hotels in Austria, the AQUA DOME spoils you with an inexhaustible variety of spa, wellness and sports activities. Immerse yourself in the peace and calm, and enjoy an unforgettable time. From culinary highlights to stylish interiors, they satisfy your wishes. Enjoy free access to the spectacular indoor and outdoor pools and in the 20,000+ square-foot “Gletscherglühen” sauna area, you can enjoy a wonderful sauna and deep relaxation.

Group dinner is included this evening, but be sure to watch Mother Nature’s nighttime show– with stars so close you’ll feel like you can reach out and touch them!

Overnight: Aqua Dome (B, D)

Jun 27 – Today, It’s ALL ABOUT YOU

You have the entire day to relax or play exactly the way you want to in this amazing Alps Spa & Resort. Aqua Dome in Tirol is a futuristic hotel/chalet of wood and glass set in the breathtaking Otzal Alps at 13,000 feet.

  • Splash – 12 indoor/outdoor mineral swimming pools from cool to hot and 7 unique saunas with waterbeds.
  • Relax – Grab your heated robes and float in the warm mossy rock pools. Book some soothing spa treatments found nowhere else at Spa 3000.
  • Move – The fitness center offers a range of classes with personal trainers or join the mountain guides on alpine walks to hiking for any level of ability.  Nearby there’s a thrilling Alpine Coaster and suspension bridge in Imst to get your pulse up.
  • Chew – 4 distinct restaurants offer fresh Tirolian cuisines. The chefs are amazing here.
  • Drink – Several great bars to choose from indoors or out.

     

No one gets bored at this special place, but they do get spoiled!

Overnight: Aqua Dome (B)   https://www.aqua-dome.at/en/

Jun 28 – Three Meals in 3 Different Countries!

After breakfast, we say good-bye to the Austrian Alps with an exciting day ahead of us. We have breakfast in Austria, take a walking tour in Liechtenstein and go to bed in Switzerland! How’s that for European country-hopping?

During our drive (approx. 4-hour total) our licensed guide will highlight the beautiful scenery with history, current day and folklore information. About mid-way we arrive in Valduz, a small enclave beneath an imposing hilltop next to the Rhine and the capital of this tiny country of Liechtenstein.

Our walking tour of Valduz takes us through the Stadtle (town center), which has a wealth of sculptures by internationally renowned artists. Along the way our local guide will tell us about how Liechtenstein is governed by a constitutional hereditary monarchy, the Princely Family, the country’s political and economic development and what it’s like to live here today.  Everyone loves to send a postcard with the cool Liechtenstein stamp at the post office here.

After time for lunch on own, we continue onto Lucerne, Switzerland and check into our lakefront hotel, 5 star Radisson Blu Lucerne! Located in one of Switzerland’s most charming cities and surrounded by the famed mountains of Switzerland. The hotel is ideally located on the shores of Lake Lucerne, with fantastic scenery and convenient transportation. Within walking distance there’s a plethora of natural and cultural attractions.  Hotel has free WiFi, 2 bars, a restaurant, a fitness center, a sauna & steam bath and an extensive breakfast buffet.

Overnight: Radisson Blu Lucerne (B)

Jun 29 – Golden Roundtrip Tour of Mount Pilatus – Playing in the Sunny, Snowy Alps!

After a hearty breakfast, we are transferred by coach to Kreins where we board the 4-seat Panorama Gondola. We ascend to the mid-way station at Krienseregg. We switch cars and in another 15 minutes, we’ll reach Fräkmüntegg. Finish the journey to the summit of Mount Pilatus on a thrilling 5-minute aerial cable car ride, known as the Dragon Ride.

https://www.pilatus.ch/en/discover/aerial-cableway/aerial-cableway-dragon-ride/

At more than 2,000 meters above sea level, you’ll have spectacular views over the Lake Lucerne region and the Alps. You’ll be surprised to find 2 hotels, 7 restaurants, the region’s largest rope park; and the country’s longest summer toboggan run. You’ll have some free time for a bite to eat or a walk around the area.

As we begin our return trip we board the world’s steepest cogwheel railway for the ride down to Alpnachstad, passing lush meadows carpeted with Alpine flowers, sparkling mountain streams and fascinating rock faces. Once at the base, we embark on a steamer ship to take us back across the crystal blue lake to the center of Lucerne.  We then join our guide to finish off our spectacular day with a Walking Tour through Old Town Lucerne.

Overnight: Radisson Blu Lucerne (B)

Jun 30 – Mount Titlis, Ice Caves & Monastery

Our full-day tour of Mt. Titlis and Engelberg (with Kloster Engelberg) begins after breakfast. After a brief tour of the quaint Engelberg  and  a visit to the Benedictine Monastery (Kloster Engelberg) we have a short ride, until we begin the tour of Mount Titlis! We board the cable car and round & round it goes, the “Rotair” the world’s only revolving aerial cable car, which brings us from mid-station Stand to Klein Titile. Up there, the views do not only include 360 degrees vistas of the Engelberg Valley, but also the view into the deep crevasses on the eternal ice.

  

At the mountain station of the cable car, there’s a 150-meter-long Ice Grotto within the heart of the glacier. The ceiling is full of ice crystals, shimmering mysteriously blue, and crevasses open towards the top. Be sure to wear/bring warm clothes because the temperatures never go beyond 30 degrees Fahrenheit, thanks to the position of the ice grotto, 20 meters below the ice.

On arriving at the summit, the route leads you through an underground tunnel and on to the viewing platform at the south wall window. 3,041 meters above sea-level. 500 meters off the ground. 150 heart-pounding steps is what awaits you on the new TITLIS Cliff Walk, the spectacular suspension bridge high up on the summit. To cross the bridge, you’ll need nerves as strong as the steel cables from which it hangs.

https://www.titlis.ch/en/glacier

The suspension bridge stretches from south wall viewing platform to the ICE FLYER glacier chairlift station. Be sure to cast your eyes down into the impressive glacier world below. The open 6 person Ice Flyer chairlifts sweeps you smoothly and safely over crisp, virgin snow fields and icy depths. Some of the crevasses are up to ten meters deep. Only here on TITLIS can you expect such a fantastic glacier experience.

The ICE FLYER is also a means of transport to a bunch of snow activities awaiting you at TITLIS Glacier Park! Whiz down the snow on toboggans, sleds or minibobs and let the magic carpet conveyor belt whisk you quickly back to the top. Snow tubing is the ultimate experience which will see you skimming the glistening snow as you slide down the piste (French for ski run) on an inflatable tube. Your choice: sit or lie, facing forwards or backwards but you’re sure to spin full circle several times before reaching the end of this bumpy yet exhilarating ride down a specially designed run that keeps you safely on track.  Our AFS admission includes the Rotair, Ice Flyer and Glacier Park.

Not into these types of ‘X’ games? No worries.  You can stroll two spectacular alpine flower paths, part of a 300-mile network of trails.

After our summer snow playtime in the Swiss Alps, we are transferred back to our hotel and the rest of the evening is yours to explore. Be sure to try some traditional Swiss raclette, rosti or Swiss fondue for dinner followed by chocolate soup.

Overnight: Radisson Blu Lucerne (B)

Jul 1 – Say Good-Bye to the Alps

After breakfast, we are transferred to the Zurich airport for our flights home to the USA.  This is the place to stock up on your Swiss chocolates for gifts with 14 fine chocolate shops at the airport.


Fitness Level Two – I have no trouble walking and if necessary, can walk for 3+ miles.  Uneven surfaces are not a problem.  I do not need a cane or walking device.

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$400 deposit secures your reservation. Limited 39 participants. More details in AFS Trip Tips for registrants.

Land Cost: $2375 (per person/twin share)

Includes all stated above in itinerary, first class accommodation, meals as stated, daily guided tours with entrance fees stated, licensed English-speaking guides, private coach, AFS GTL.

Not Included: $95 gratuities, visa (if necessary)

Air:  You can book your own air or we will present Group Air later, in Trip Tips, if requests demand.

Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.
Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate. We write our Itineraries a year in advance. Though unlikely, we reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”
Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!

BOOK NOW
singles tour

Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.
Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate. We write our Itineraries a year in advance. Though unlikely, we reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”
Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!

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