A culinary journey along the Rhine River

In France, eating and drinking is a philosophy of life. In the land of the connoisseur, exquisite culinary delights and fine wines are considered inseparable. But it is not only France who knows how to enjoy and celebrate "la joie de vivre". The French and German people do have more in common than to be thought, especially along the Rhine River! The Germans in South-West Germany love to dine and wine like the French. Take part in this journey of the senses to discover and experience the incredible culinary diversity that France and Germany have to offer.

Day 1
Arrival - Heidelberg - German Wine Route (160km)
Upon arrival at Frankfurt International airport you are met by your tour guide who will accompany you throughout. You board your private deluxe motor coach for a short drive to Heidelberg, a gorgeous town on the Neckar River, where romanticism is both past and present. Your walking tour includes the Old Town, the famous Stone Bridge over the Neckar River, the Heidelberg Castle (where the Heidelberg Confession was written in 1653), the Castle Church, German Apothecary Museum, and the Church of the Holy Ghost. You then proceed to the area of the German Wine Route, very often also called the "Germany Tuscany" and the largest production zone of Riesling wine in the world. You check-in to the hotel. D

Day 2
German Wine Route (100kms)
Today you explore this awesome and lovely region on a panoramic tour. You visit the largest barrel of wine in the world in Bad Dürkheim; the Hambacher Castle has come to stand for the cradle of German democracy when the flag with the German national colors of black, red and gold first fluttered the first time in May 1832; the German Wine Gate, the impressive landmark of the German Wine Route at the German-French border. In the afternoon you learn more about the making of wine when hiking through the vineyards and enjoying a wonderful wine tasting included in a fabulous dinner at the end of the tour. B, D

Day 3
Stuttgart (130km)
Today you travel south-east to the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg - Stuttgart. It is not only the headquarter of two of the most famous automobile companies - Porsche and Mercedes. It is also the only German capital city which has its vineyards in the city center. From the roof of the television tower you have a fantastic 360°panorama view over the city. Explore the city on a walking tour with its historical buildings and squares. The beautiful Art Nouveau Market Hall which will revive memories of holidays in southern climes. Here you'll find all kinds of exotic delicacies, specialities, fruits and flowers from all over the world. In the afternoon you visit the Mercedes Museum before you enjoy delicious regional food and wine in a typical local restaurant, the so-called Besenwirtschaft. (It is a type of wine tavern in winegrowing areas that is only open during certain times of the year. Typically it is a pub run by winegrowers and winemakers themselves, in which they sell their own wine and simple but excellent food directly to the public. It can be furnished like ordinary pubs or like simple barns where benches and tables have been temporarily set up to accommodate guests. In earlier decades some winegrowers even cleared their flats or the stables to run such a tavern.) B, D

Day 4
Black Forest - Strasbourg (190km)
Following breakfast you board the coach and drive to the book-story magical Black Forest to Alpirsbach. You tour the 900-year-old former Benedictine monastery, an impressive example of the cluniac architecture. Afterwards you visit on a guided tour one of the oldest and most famous breweries in the Black Forest and try its different kind of beers. Excellent food is a treat - especially in Baiersbronn, a small village deep in the Black Forest. A total of seven Michelin stars light up Baiersbronn's gourmet sky. Enjoy the fine art of gourmet cuisine for lunch. You cross the Black Forest from east to west with spectacular panorama views deep into the Rhine River Valley and France. In the late afternoon you arrive in Strasbourg area for overnight. B, L

Day 5
This morning you tour Strasbourg with the Cathedral, the astronomical clock and "la Petite France" - the quarter on the waters. Time at leisure. You visit the Chocolate Museum nearby, in Geispolsheim. In the late afternoon you enjoy a very unique wine tasting - "wine & chocolate". This evening we have dinner in a nice brasserie with typical Alsatian food. B, D

Day 6
Alsace - Kaiserstuhl Hills
Today you explore the Alsatien "Route du Vins" and its capital, the city of Colmar. The city is renowned for its well preserved old town and numerous architectural landmarks which reflect eight centuries of Germanic and French history. The former butcher's, tanner's and fishmonger's quarter is crossed by canals and nowadays called "Little Venice". Another visit is dedicated to the medieval Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, watching over the wine and wheat routes to the North and the silver and salt routes from West to East in the past. You cross the border again and drive to one of the most impressive wine areas in South Germany - the Kaiserstuhl hills. On a panoramic sightseeing tour you hear more about this small wine area. And at the end of this excursion you have the opportunity to taste a sample of its excellent wines combined with a delicious dinner. B, D

Day 7
Rhine River cruise - Mainz (320kms)
Today you drive northward past the gorgeous wine regions on both sides of the Rhine River. The very last highlight of your culinary tour will be a relaxing Rhine river cruise including a wine tasting along one of the most picturesque stretches of this majestic waterway. You sail past magnificent castles and the famous Loreley rock. If time is still available you tour Mainz: the birthplace of printing. In the Gutenberg Museum the evolution of printing is documented, and Gutenberg's first Bible is on display, also the world's tiniest Bible. Jon Gooseflesh, better known as Johannes Gutenberg is considered to be the most important individual-contributor of the Second Millennium. Then tour St. Martin's Cathedral, built in the 8th century and towering in all its might and grandeur the city. Seven king's coronations took place in the course of the centuries in the Mainz cathedral. B, D

Day 8
A short transfer takes you to Frankfurt International Airport for your flight home. B