Prague, Vienna, Bohemia & the Danube Valley
The heart of the Austria-Hungarian Empire, medieval, baroque and fin de siècle showpieces blend with the precision of the Spanish Riding School and the romance of the great composers. This wonderfully varied tour visits two of Europe’s most alluring capitals, follows the most romantic stretch of the serene River Danube - Austria’s enchanting Wachau, explores Melk’s incredible baroque monastery and steps back in time seeing Bohemia’s bucolic scenery, crowned by the medieval gem of Cesky Krumlov - one of central Europe’s most utterly beautiful and unspoilt towns. At the heart of central Europe since the earliest civilisations and steeped in tales of powerful emperors, this, plus some of the world’s most exquisite architecture and momentous cultural collections all await you.
Bohemia’s rolling hills and extensive forests were once hunting grounds for medieval lords and its historic centres of Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov wonderfully retain their medieval atmosphere, stunning beauty and complete authenticity. Continuing onwards you will be enchanted by the sheer majesty of the gorgeous River Danube, as it twists its way through countless charming villages, their rose-coloured buildings adorned with the colourful murals so typical of central Europe. With its rugged valley sides covered with vines and forests almost impossibly springing from every nook and cranny, and punctured by ruin-encrusted rocky pinnacles, this is some of Europe’s most stunning river scenery. In contrast, dominating the valley is Melk’s palatial mustard-yellow Benedictine monastery, Austria’s most richly decorated building.
Imperial Vienna, a truly elegant city, one of the real gems of Central Europe conjures an image of culture, ornate architecture, elegant cafés, aristocratic palaces, imposing cathedrals and everywhere the romantic music of the great composers: Beethoven, Mahler and, of course Strauss. Reality is no different and as capital of the Habsburg Empire, holding sway over much of Central and Eastern Europe for centuries, there is a wealth of things to see. In the city’s heart is the lovely St Stephen’s cathedral and the centre of Viennese life. Then the Hofburg, formerly the Court Palace, now home to the crown jewels and relics of the Holy Roman Empire, the Vienna Boys’ Choir and the famous Spanish Riding School. Similarly impressive, the Kunsthistorisches houses the world’s fourth largest art collection, together with antiquities from throughout the ancient world.
Then to Prague – often described as ‘The Magical City’, ‘The Golden City’ or ‘City of a Hundred Spires’ – this stunningly beautiful capital has been a melting pot for innumerable civilisations: Slav, Jewish and German, all leaving unique legacies. Architecturally it is a marvel, and in terms of its sights, a revelation, with some six centuries of stunning buildings, ranging from medieval, through to baroque and art nouveau. Subsequently, some forty years of self-imposed isolation prevented haphazard development, followed by a further twenty of superb renovation and it is not an exaggeration to state few of the planet’s cities look this good! Of course it has its palaces, cathedrals and beautiful churches, but its real charm is to be found in the city’s unique atmosphere, especially during the evening; take a wander through the old town, where quite literally, around every corner you will find a picture postcard view. You will love this superb tour!
- Guided tour of medieval Prague, central Europe’s jewel and one of the world’s most beautiful capitals
- Guided tour of Prague’s 17th century castle district, home of St Vitus’ Cathedral
- Guided tour of imperial Vienna, a true cultural capital, home to a host of the world’s greatest composers including Strauss and Beethoven, the Vienna Boys Choir and the world’s fourth finest art collection
- Take a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna, the oldest of its kind
- Tour of Vienna’s Schönbrunn, summer palace of the Habsburg dynasty overflowing with art and fine furniture
- Visit to Melk Abbey – Austria’s magnificent Benedictine monastery
- Visit to the exquisitely beautiful Bohemian spa town of Cesky Krumlov
- Tour of the Budvar Brewery, home of one of the world’s finest beers
- Experience Bohemia’s breathtaking scenery: rolling hills, dense ancient forests, medieval castles and centuries-old villages
- Seven nights in four-star hotels, with breakfast and one dinner, plus two dinners in carefully selected quality restaurants
- Escorted by our experienced tour manager
- Return flights and transfers included
- Departures from April to October 2019
- The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement date dependent. The price includes: return scheduled flights; all airport transfers and taxes; seven nights four-star accommodation as mentioned with breakfast and three dinners; guided tours of Cesky Crumlov Castle and Vienna; two sightseeing tours of Prague; guided visit of Melk Abbey; visit to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna; entrance to Durnstein Basilica; entrance and tour of Budvar Brewery; guided tour and visit of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace; all transport as mentioned; services of Riviera tour manager.
- Not included
- Classical concert in Vienna - See 'Personalise Your Holiday'section for details.
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