Best Of Europe - 3 Countries
The beautiful and tranquil region around Lake Constance (Bodensee in German), one of Europe’s largest lakes, makes an excellent holiday destination as it straddles three countries – Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Right at the heart of Europe and within sight of the Alps, the wonderfully warm climate here makes it perfect for growing lush plants and flowers. Your holiday base is the medieval town of Feldkirch in Austria, staying in a Crusader favourite hotel, the Weisses Kreuz – the perfect location from which to visit the German shores of Lake Constance and the Flower Island of Mainau as well as a trip into Switzerland for a scenic train ride aboard the iconic Arosa Express plus a taste of some local specialities! You can expect the Best of Europe with a mix of trains, cable cars, mountains, lake, gardens, bears and even a bit of Heidi!
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1 - After joining your holiday coach, travel to Dover for the short sea crossing to Calais. Then continue via the auto-routes of France to your overnight stop at the Novotel Metz Hauconcourt. Bed & breakfast
Day 2 - Lots to see today as the journey takes you past the Rhine Falls in Switzerland en-route to your holiday base in Feldkirch for your 5-night stay with a welcome drink on arrival. Dinner, bed & breakfast
Day 3 - 6 - At leisure in Feldkirch with three included excursions.
During your stay you might like to take a walk through the forest to the neighbouring town of Rankweil. Here you can find the well-fortified basilica sitting quietly above the town - it offers a beautiful view of the Rhine Valley in Vorarlberg and Switzerland. Explore the charms of historic Feldkirch with an included transfer by local bus and a guided walking tour. Saunter through the intriguing alleyways and narrow lanes, peruse the local shops or maybe watch the world go by from a café on one of the pretty squares. Entrance is included to the imposing Schattenburg Castle which towers over the town.
Lake Constance & the Island of Flowers
Off to the lake today and a drive along the Swiss shore of the lake passing through pretty little villages with their half-timbered houses before crossing into Germany and the attractive town of Konstanz. It is a feel-good university town, bisected by the River Rhine, with a cobbled old quarter, a harbour and a leafy promenade. From here head to the lush green islet of Mainau, a 45-hectare Mediterranean garden jutting out into the lake and bursting with an extraordinary collection of glorious flowers, plants, shrubs and trees. Originally created by the Bernadotte family, the gardens feature a baroque palace, glass houses bursting with palms and orchids, sequoia shaded avenues and the star attraction, the Butterfly House. A short lake ferry trip then takes you from Konstanz to Meersburg for the drive along the lake’s German shores to Friedrichshafen, famous as the home of the Zeppelin. Head back to Feldkirch after almost a complete circuit of the lake via 3 countries.
Arosa Express Rail Journey, Heidi & Bears! (with local tour guide)
Switzerland today and a visit to Heididorf (Heidi’s village) in the picturesque town of Maienfeld. This unique attraction authentically re-creates the charm of the world-famous fictional character in a beautiful mountain setting – from the house where Heidi was born to the Alpine cottage where she spent summers with her grandfather. Nearby you will also have the opportunity to sample some of the local speciality of air-dried beef with a glass of regional red wine. Your Swiss odyssey continues onto Chur, Switzerland’s oldest city, to board reserved compartments on the Rhaetian Railway. The railway takes you deep into the magnificent mountains around many curves and over deep ravines to the famous ski resort of Arosa. From here you take the Weisshorn cable car to Bärenland where an observation platform offers wonderful views of the mountain panorama. It is also home to the Arosa Bear Sanctuary, a place of refuge for old bears. Here they can live out their remaining years in peace in vast natural outdoor enclosures. Return to Arosa by cable car where your coach awaits to take you back to Feldkirch.
Mountains, Cheese & Cable Cars (with local tour guide)
Back into Switzerland today to Appenzell, the smallest Swiss canton and a region of rural traditions, rolling hills and the captivating Alpstein mountain range. Experience unforgettable moments on Hoher Kasten, Eastern Switzerland’s panoramic mountain, via the Hoher Kasten Cableway which takes you comfortably from Brülisau to 1,794 m above sea level in 8 minutes. The views from here are simply spectacular – Lake Constance, the Rhine Valley, the Austrian Alps and even your hotel on a clear day! Relax with a cup of tea / coffee and a ‘Gipfeli’ (a kind of croissant) in the revolving restaurant as the changing panorama slowly drifts by. Head back down for a stop in Appenzell village with pretty painted wooden houses at its picturesque centre. Here you will have a chance to try the famous Appenzeller cheese with a glass of wine. Last stop of the day is the compact Swiss city of St Gallen with its charming, traffic-free old town, striking burgher houses and its most famous landmark, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Abbey District.
Day 7 - Today bid farewell to Austria as you head north to the final overnight stop at Hotel Simons Plaza in Luxembourg. Bed & breakfast.
Day 8 - After breakfast, travel back through France to Calais for your return to England.Back to top
Hotel Weisses Kreuz, Feldkirch
The 4*Hotel Weisses Kreuz assures you of a warm welcome from the Herburger family who have run the hotel since 1852. It is conveniently located about a mile from the centre of Feldkirch and has a bar, terrace, steam room and solarium. The restaurant serves regional dishes and local beer. All rooms are tastefully furnished and feature all mod cons including TV and hairdryer. A kettle may be available on request for a small charge.