Tour Leader: Icelandic Master Quilter Gudrun Erla
United States - Iceland - Munich
Tour participants travel to the nearest airport/gateway to Germany and check in for a flight by United Airlines or Lufthansa German Airlines to Munich Germany. These are direct overnight flights which arrive in Munich the following morning.
Morning Arrival in Munich. You will be met by your illustrious Bavarian tour guide Maximilian Bukszpan. Transfer to the traditional 4-star Hotel Platzl, located in the heart of the city. Hotel Platzl is located in the historic old town between famous Hofbrauhaus the Viktualienmarkt and Marienplatz, where the Christkindlmarkt takes place.
Spend time this afternoon with Max exploring the Christkindlmarkt. The traditional Christmas Market at Marienplatz dates back to the 14th century and is considered the most original and authentic in Munich, where about 40 such markets take place annually.
Rest and relax at your hotel before a “Welcome to Germany” dinner at Hofbräuhaus, “The World‘s most famous Tavern” – built in 1589 and accommodates up to 5,000 revelers. Have fun! (D)
YOUR TOUR MANAGER:
Gudrun Erla Gisladottir, the expert quilt designer, has her business in Minnesota. She is originally from Iceland and has lead several successful groups from the United States to Iceland and other European countries. You will find Gudrun a well organized and a fun girl to travel with.
GERMAN TOUR GUIDE:
Maximilian Bukszpan is the Bavarian expert tour guide who will meet the group on arrival in Munich and stay with the group until you leave Munich for Iceland. “Max” is a native “Münchner” who has traveled the world. For the last 20 years he has offered his services as private tour guide throughout Bavaria, – including Munich, Rothenburg and Nuremberg.
Munich-Neuschwanstein Castle & Linderhof Palace day tour
Today visit the fairy tale castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof, created by Germany’s 19th-century King Ludwig II. Admire Bavaria’s magnificent scenery as you journey to Linderhof, Ludwig’s rococo-style hunting lodge and last home. Take the interior tour of Linderhof before continuing to Neuschwanstein. Upon arrival at Neuschwanstein you will see a picture book castle of turrets and chambers that inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Maximilian will be in his element during this tour where his local knowledge will be of great value. Lunch at Alpenstuben then return to Munich and the Hotel Platzl.
You are on your own for dinner. (B, L)
Munich – Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Proceed from Munich along the Romantic Road for further adventures. Visit Nordlingen a charming town with half timbered buildings within its city walls. Your next stop is historic Dinkelsbuhl. Tour Dinkelsbuhl then enjoy lunch at the Deutsches Haus, known as one of the most beautiful hotels in southern Germany. The final phase of today’s journey takes you to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Check in at Hotel Goldener Hirsch< which has been receiving guests since 1588 for a two night stay. Dinner at nearby Restaurant Glocke – one of the best in town. (B,L,D)
You will be enjoying an early Christmas in Bavaria and all the wonderful festivities that are described on these pages. It is a fact, however, that you will be traveling in the middle of winter, when mother nature may not always accommodate.
The day is free, and you may decide to take off on your own to explore this lovely city – described by many as the most beautiful in Germany. You also could join Maximillian for a walking of this medieval city. Quilters may join Gudrun in the afternoon to visit “Der Patchwork Engel,” a local quilt store where a quilting workshop will be offered.
Rothenburg’s Christmas Market is located within easy walking distance of your hotel. Your breakfast is included today but lunch and dinner are on your own today. (B)
Rothenburg – Nuremberg
Depart Rothenburg for a short drive to Nuremberg Bavaria/s 2nd largest city. Take a tour of Nuremberg – Max is in charge. Discover what a beautiful and prosperous walled city. Nuremberg has been the center of the Holy Roman Empire, the temple of the Third Reich and home to both the Nuremberg Nazi rallies and Nuremberg trials.
Check in at charming Burghotel Nurberg. The hotel is located in a central yet quiet location and close to the famous Christmas Market where we will spend the afternoon. Dinner at Restaurant Sebald this will be the perfect finale to your Germany visit. (B,D)
Nuremberg – Munich – Iceland Northern Lights
Depart Nuremberg for Munich Riem Airport. Say your goodbyes to Maximilian. Checkin for your flight to Iceland by Icelandair. You will arrive in the afternoon at Keflavik Airport, Iceland – this is your tour manager- Gudrun Erla’s homeland. Your Iceland guide, Eythor Bjorgvinsson will meet you upon arrival at Keflavik. Eythor will be your guide for your entire stay in Iceland. Drive 2 hours to Southern Iceland and arrive at cozy Hotel Laekur. Your hotel is located in the perfect place to observe the Northern Lights – away from all city lights. Enjoy a hearty “Welcome to Iceland Dinner”. Before turning in after an eventful day you have a choice between a seat at the bar, sauna or outdoors hot tub – a perfect place to gaze at the spectacular Northern Lights. (B,D)
Geysir Geothermal Area – Gullfoss – Reykjavik
Drive to Geysir Geothermal area, where you will see any number of bubbling, spouting and boiling hot springs in eerie moonlike landscapes. Visit Geysir, the first geyser for which all geysers are named. See Strokkur geysir erupting every 4-8 minutes. Drive on to nearby Gullfoss, the majestic waterfall, one of the world´s most scenic. Lunch at Friðheimar Farm an amazing greenhouse complex, followed by a horse show that provides an insight into the story of the remarkable Icelandic horse breed. Enjoy a “Meeting with the Horses.” Continue to the Thingborg Wool Center where you can buy beautiful Icelandic sweaters, scarfs, mittens, etc.
The final drive will take you to Reykavik, Iceland’s lively and colorful capital. Check-in to the Center Hotel Plaza on Main Street, within walking distance to shopping and attractions. Dinner at Geysir Bistro located around the corner from your hotel. (B,L,D)
Breakafast at Hotel Plaza and be off with Eythor for a tour of Reykjavik and see all the major city attractions. The afternoon is free without a program. You might wish to try an Icelandic hot dog for lunch; a treat with a difference. Ask for a hot dog with everything – absolutely superb and a must do while in Reykjavik.
Your “Farewell to Iceland” dinner will be served at “Matur & Drykkur”, a restaurant located in a old salt fish factory in the harbor area. The building has been retrofitted as a restaurant and serves the very best that Icelandic cuisine has to offer. (B,D)
Reykjavik – Blue Lagoon – Return Home
Breakfast at the Center Hotel Plaza and then depart Reykjavik for Reykjanes Peninsula, where both the Blue Lagoon and Keflavik Airport are located. Arrive at the Blue Lagoon for a optional visit and dip (2 hours) in this spectacular outdoor spa oasis. Tour members who opt not to visit the Blue Lagoon will proceed to Keflavik Airport and early check-in for their flight to the United States.
There is lots of interesting shopping as well as a wide choice of restaurants for lunch to enjoy prior to your afternoon flight to the various destinations in the U.S. and Canada. (B)