Itinerary Help - Germany/Austria/Venice

We are traveling to Germany, Austria and Venice in Jun of 2014 and would like some suggestions on my itinerary. The plan is as follows: Day 1/Day2: Overnight flight to Frankfurt. Arrive at 8am and rent car. Drive to Bacharach and see Bacharach and St. Goar. Spend the night in Bacharach Day 3: Drive to Burg Eltz and maybe see Cochem. Return to Bacharach Day 4: Drive to Marksburg, then drive to Rothenburg for remainder of the day. Day 5: Visit Wurzburg and Nurnberg and then back to Rothenburg for the 2nd night Day 6: Drive to Fussen - Visit Oberammergau, and stay in Fussen for the night Day 7: Visit Neuschwanstein and other castles and drive to Munich for the night and turn in the car Day 8: Take train to Dachau in the morning and spend rest of the day in Munich Day 9: Full day in Munich, maybe tour to Herrenchiemsee Day 10: Train to Salzburg. Site see and spend night in Salzburg Day 11: Full day in Salzburg to site see Day 12: Train to Hallstatt. Spend night in Hallstatt Day 13: Train to Vienna. Tour vienna and stay the night in Vienna Day 14: Full day in Vienna to tour. 2nd night in Vienna Day 15: Fly to Venice - 2nd half of day tour Venice Day 16: Full day in Venice to tour Day 17: Fly out of Venice for home A few questions: 1. Is this a good itinerary without trying to get too much in on one trip 2. My wife is thinking that we should reduce one or two days. If so, we were thinking the (Day 5) the 2nd day of Rothenburg which would eliminate Wurzburg and Nurnberg or not going to Hallstatt (Day 12). What is everyone's thought? 3. I am the opposite of my wife (that is why we get along so well), should we stay an extra day in any location to see more of the area or will be be able to see the highlights with our current plan. thanks,
David

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9134 posts

"1. Is this a good itinerary without trying to get too much in on one trip" No. Time to start cutting unless you want to spend all your time in the car. Also, there's no built-in flexibility for bad weather. You are correct, you don't have time for Nürnburg and Würzburg in one day. "Full day in Munich, maybe tour to Herrenchiemsee" I would say, either one or the other. Chiemsee will occupy the better part of the day, especially if you want to visit one of the other islands. You haven't given a whole lot of time to Munich and there's enough to see there to fill about 2-3 full days. I'll let someone else comment further on Austria.

Posted by Russ
Paradise
1760 posts

"...we were thinking (of eliminating) ...the 2nd day of Rothenburg which would eliminate Wurzburg and Nurnberg or not going to Hallstatt (Day 12). What is everyone's thought?" I think your trip is too rushed, generally. If the first part of your trip were more efficient, you could free up Day 5 by seeing Würzburg on the way to Rothenburg on Day 4. Your plan: Day 1/Day2: ...Drive to Bacharach and see Bacharach and St. Goar. Spend the night in Bacharach Day 3: Drive to Burg Eltz and maybe see Cochem. Return to Bacharach.
Day 4: Drive to Marksburg, then drive to Rothenburg for remainder of the day. I would drive instead directly to Braubach for 2 nights and overnight there so that you can tour Marksburg on Day 1. On Day 2, see Eltz and Cochem. Spend the late afternoon/evening in Bacharach. You could stop in St. Goar but unless you have plans to see Rheinfels, there isn't any point. Make a stop in fabulous Oberwesel (just a few km north of Bacharach) instead, if you have extra time before returning to Braubach. If you don't mind 2 nights in different towns, spend your first night in Braubach and the 2nd in Bacharach. Braubach is has a small but very scenic old town and several overnight options and eateries, including these from none other than Bavaria Ben: Braubach

Posted by Russ
Paradise
1760 posts

Your plan: Day 6: Drive to Fussen - Visit Oberammergau, and stay in Fussen for the night Day 7: Visit Neuschwanstein and other castles and drive to Munich for the night and turn in the car Day 8: Take train to Dachau in the morning and spend rest of the day in Munich Day 9: Full day in Munich, maybe tour to Herrenchiemsee
Day 10: Train to Salzburg. Site see and spend night in Salzburg You might also be able to spare yourself (1) the daytrip to Herrenchiemsee and (2) the overnight in Füssen and your two out-and-back-into Munich drives (these are often very traffic-heavy...) N'stein, Herrenchiemsee, and Ludwig's two other "castles" are not castles, but late 19th century palaces. The UNESCO World Heritage-designated Residenz in Würzburg is a similar edifice and easey to see on your way to Rothenburg, so there's more than a little duplication in your sightseeing. What to do? I would consider axing the stay in Füssen - instead, see the Residenz in Würzburg and Herrenchiemsee on the way to Salzburg (it's right on the way, situated on Chiemsee lake, magnificent setting.) HERRENCHIEMSEE Then maybe on the day you travel to H'chiemsee and Salzburg, you also take a scenic detour and drive past Neuschwanstein just for a look from the car - it's a marvelous sight - but honestly, the weak 30-minute tour of the interior and rubbing elbows with the tour bus folks there can be skipped. Now you have some decent time for Vienna and maybe Nuremberg or an extra day in Salzburg (daytrip to Berchtesgaden and Königssee for alpine wonders?)

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9134 posts

Forgot to mention this... Marksburg only offers relatively infrequent English tours, I think only two or three per day (unlike Burg Eltz, Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee, etc, where they give English tours throughout the day). Unless you're satisfied with the German tour, you would need to time your visit very carefully. This is made a little more difficult because Brauchbach sits on the opposite bank of the river from Bacharach. You would either need to catch one of the autoferries or drive to the closest bridge in Koblenz.

Posted by Russ
Paradise
1760 posts

Marksburg: English tours are normally at 12:00 and 4:00; alternatively, take Rick's printed guide along (the castle has one in English as well.) Rick's Marksburg guide

Posted by Roy
Fredericksburg, VA, USA
405 posts

Your Salzburg schedule looks adequate to get a feel for the city. Having just been there, I wouldn't skip Hallstatt unless you start to run out of gas towards the end of your tour - it was truly a highlight for us and in one day you can do everything you need to. Vienna, in my opinion, is a different story - I think you should add a day. Just too much to see and experience. We spent 10 days there and never ran out of things to do.

Posted by David
Miami, FL, United States
49 posts

Great to know about Vienna and Hallstatt. We will look into possibly adding a day in Vienna. Maybe give up the 2nd day in Rothenburg