In the heart of Europe, the capitals of Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria offer big-city charm, fine food and wine and a wealth of art, architecture and culture plus the perennial pleasures of huge tracts of forest, palaces and castles along the Danube. These countries lie at the crossroads of Continental history. From the Holy Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Prussian kings, the Habsburg Dynasty, First & Second World War, Communism and Nazism, Central Europe has been at the pivotal point of so much history which in turn has inspired so much culture. Somerset Tours & Travel now invites you to join us on an amazing journey through this extraordinary region of Europe.
Departing from South Africa on 01 July 2019 we’ll fly on Turkish Airlines via Istanbul to Berlin where we’ll spend three nights with time to explore this vibrant city, including an excursion to Potsdam, city of the German Keisers before heading south to Leipzig for one night. Leipzig acquired the nickname Klein Paris (“Little Paris” in the 18th century, when it became a centre of a classical literary movement. Today, Leipzig is widely known as a cultural centre.
From Leipzig we’ll head to Dresden for a night. There are few city silhouettes more striking than Dresden’s. The classic view from the Elbe’s northern bank includes spires, towers and domes belonging to palaces, churches and stately buildings and it’s hard to believe that he city was flattened by Allied bombings in 1945.
The following day the group will cross the Czech Republic border and continue on to Prague for three nights with lots of fabulous sightseeing (and even an afternoon of leisure). The 1989 Velvet Revolution that freed the Czechs from communism, bequeathed to Europe a gem of a city. Prague’s maze of cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards is a paradise always beckoning one to explore a little further. Just a few blocks from the Old Town Square you’ll discover ancient chapels, unexpected gardens, cute cafés and old-fashioned bars.
It’s a days drive from Prague to Budapest in Hungary for a further three nights. We’ll visit Buda and Pest as well as the village of Szentendre, famous for its Marzipan Museum. A dinner cruise on the Danube is also included. With a unique, youthful atmosphere, a world-class classical music scene and an exceptionally rich offering of natural thermal baths, Budapest is one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities. In 1987 Budapest was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for its cultural and architectural significance.
The tour then proceeds to Bratislava in Slovakia. The city’s history has been strongly influenced by people of different nations and religions viz Austrians, Croats, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Jews, Serbs and Slovaks. It was the coronation site and legislative centre of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1536 to 1783 and has been home to many Slovak, Hungarian and German historical figures. The historic centre of Bratislava is mostly pedestrianised, so we’ll be exploring it on foot with a guide.
Our last stop on the itinerary is magnificent Vienna in Austria. Vienna’s history dates back to the first post-Christian century when the Romans established the military camp Vindobona. Today’s cityscape is characterised by the abundance of baroque buildings created mostly under the rule of Empress Maria Theresia and Emperor Franz Joseph who was largely responsible for the monumental architecture round the Ringstraße. Austria’s capital offers a unique blend of imperial traditions and stunning modern architecture. It is famous for its cultural events, imperial sights, coffee houses, cozy wine taverns and the very special Viennese charm.
We’ll be flying back to South Africa from Vienna via Istanbul on 17 July to arrive on 18 July 2019.
Liz Cotton will be leading the group from South Africa and professional local guides will be escorting the group in each city.
The tour is limited to 18 participants, and if you are interested in joining us, please do not hesitate to contact Liz Cotton on email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your space.
If you have any queries, or would like to secure your reservation on this tour, please do not hesitate to contact me on +27 (0)21 786-2598 or cell +27 (0)83 357 4855 or email email@example.com. I look forward to booking your place on this unique tour.