This spiritual journey starts in Switzerland's majestic town of Zurich before officially heading to your first stop, Lucerne. As you continue your travels across Einsiedeln, Munich, Altötting area, Salzburg and finally Vienna, feast your eyes in some of Europe's prominent places of worship including cathedrals, abbeys, cultural treasures and historical spots. The tour's highlight takes you to a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Oberammergau for a chance to witness the villagers' famous Passion Play, exclusively shown only every 10 years.
Not only will you see the charming towns of Lucerne, Salzburg, Munich, but will also take you to a faith-based journey across the pilgrimage destinations across Central Europe. Rekindle the flames of your faith on visits to the Einsiedeln Benedictine Abbey, Melk Benedictine Abbey, and the Altötting area and opportunities to attend masses in these places. The highlight of your trip is at Oberammergau, where you are to witness the local's famous Passion Play which happens only every 10 years. The 7-day Shrines of Alpine Europe with Oberammergau Tour comes complete with hotel accommodations including select meals, guided sightseeing tours, individual headsets, and masses.
Check into your hotel, then the rest of the day is free to explore on your own. This afternoon, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers and prepare for your upcoming spiritual journey. Later this evening, a welcome dinner is served at your hotel. (D)
DAY 2 Zurich. Excursion To Lucerne & Einsiedeln
This morning, travel to Lucerne, a picturesque town built along the shores of a shimmering lake and at the foot of majestic peaks. Spend some time visiting the town center and take advantage of the optional excursions available. In the afternoon, head to the BENEDICTINE ABBEY OF EINSIEDELN, a major station on the Way of St. James and one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Switzerland. Visit the magnificent Baroque Monastery and Chapel that is home to the BLACK MADONNA, made out of black marble. Spend some time in prayer and then celebrate the Divine Office Vespers and the Salve Regina. Later, return to Zurich. (B)
DAY 3: Zurich–Oberammergau
Leave Zurich and travel east to cross briefly into Austria, skirting scenic Lake Constance, and then continuing into Germany through the farmlands of Bavaria into the alpine landscapes of Oberammergau. The highlight of the day is the famous PASSION PLAY, a performance that takes place every 10 years since 1634 when it was initiated as an oath to give thanks for the village having been preserved from the Black Death. All the actors who take part in the play, are from the village itself. There will be time for an included dinner during the intermission. (B, D)
DAY 4: Oberammergau–Munich–Altötting Area
Stop in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, for a short visit of the city center to admire Marienplatz with the Glockenspiel (carillon) of the new city hall tower. Head towards ALTÖTTING, spiritual focal point of Bavaria for more than 1,250 years. Here, enjoy a guided visit of the old town and the PANORAMA MUSEUM, a stereoscopic painting (large scale panorama) created in 1902 portraying the holy city of Jerusalem. Join the evening Mass Mass and the candlelight procession, ideal moments for reflection and worship, as well as for sharing your sense of faith with other believers (B)
DAY 5: Altötting Area–Salzburg–Vienna
Spend the morning getting to know picturesque Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace. Try the famous marzipan pralines, take a walk in the Old Town, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or step into the Cathedral for some prayer time. In the afternoon, travel to the imperial city of Vienna, built along the banks of the Danube. On the way, stop at the Baroque MELK BENEDICTINE ABBEY, an important intellectual and cultural center over the centuries. (B)
DAY 6: Vienna
Discover the capital of waltz on a guided city tour today; learn about the Habsburg dynasty that ruled the area for centuries; and see some of the finest buildings that give the city such an elegant feel: the State Opera, the Parliament, and the former imperial Hofburg Palace. Later, if you wish, you can celebrate Mass Mass in the solemn CATHEDRAL OF ST. STEPHEN. Continue exploring at leisure, or join an optional excursion. In the evening, say farewell to your newfound friends during the included dinner at a local restaurant. You certainly shared some really intense faith experiences, but also some unforgettable moments of joyous communal life. (B, D)
DAY 7 Vienna
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
WHAT TO SEE
Lüftmalerei (tromp l’oeil) Painted Houses- Beautiful houses with hand-painted facades. These homes use a painting method common to European baroque facades.
The Passionstheater- A place made specifically for the Passion Play the town is famous for. It is an open-air theatre (opened during the summer) and has a roof so the performance can go on, rain or shine.
Oberammergau Museum- A local museum that has quite a collection of art and artifacts. Due to the nature of the town, a lot of these items are religious in nature.
WHAT TO EAT
Leberkäse- More of a day snack than a meal, this dish a sausage-like dish that is put in the oven for a long time, sliced, and then served with white bread and sweet mustard.
Maultaschen- A type of Swabian dish (a local noodle made of eggs and other ingredients), maultaschen are either boiled or fried and are stuffed with things like pork, beef, or even vegetables.
Bratkartoffeln- An indulgent German dish made of boiled potatoes sliced thinly and then put in a frying pan with oil, bacon, and onions to fry until dark and crispy.
Rate is per person based on double occupancy, may change without prior notice, and not inclusive of airfare. Other terms and conditions apply.