Music Festivals of Southern Germany, June 25 to July 08, 2018
Escape Houston’s summer heat and humidity to immerse yourself in music, art, wine tastings, and relaxation! Our 12-day summer music festivals tour takes us from the Rheingau (“German Tuscany”) region near Frankfurt across southern Germany through the Bavarian heartland. Along the way, we pass through forested hillsides, terraced vineyards, and idyllic towns and villages with half-timbered houses, to the grand architecture of towns off the beaten tourist track like Bamberg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Heidelberg, Ludwigsburg, Ulm, and Augsburg. Our program will include 6 (six) performances, wine-tastings, sightseeing excursions, and a variety of other options.  Of course, we will also allow you ample time to just kick back and relax as well.

Following nearly two weeks, relaxing in picturesque small towns and 
enjoying a variety of performances, you might want to extend your trip by a couple of days to explore Munich's museums, churches, and palaces (and shopping opportunities) by day while dedicating your evenings to as many as three major productions at the Munich Opera Festival - all featuring today's top singers and conductors.
 
Consult the itinerary below and plan to join us!
Our recent tours have been selling out in very short order and there is substantial preliminary interest in this Summer Music Festivals program; if you're interested, don't delay.

CONTENTS AND COSTS

PACKAGE PRICES

12-day Southern German Festivals Tour:

$4,850 per person,
sharing
 a double/twin room

$5,650 per person,
in a single room


 ♦ ♦

Prices include

Accommodation in these
select 4 & 5-star hotels 


Burg Schwarzenstein
 Geisenheim, 3 nights

   Hotel Frankenland
Bad Kissingen, 3 nights

 Nestor Hotel
Ludwigsburg, 3 nights

Schlosshotel Park Consul
Heidenheim, 2 nights

Hilton Munich Airport
1 night
- or -
 Hotel Platzl
Munich, 3 nights
(if including extension)

Breakfast each day

Lunch or dinner most days
(drinks included)

Airport transfers on
June 26 and July 8 (or 10)

Ground transport by
private coach

 Tours with expert guides as described at the right

Six included performances

 ♦ ♦

ADDITIONAL COST FOR MUNICH OPERA FESTIVAL EXTENSION:
$600 per person,
sharing a double/twin room


$900 per 
single occupant in double room
(single rooms not available)

Prices for the extension include only:

Three nights accommodation
at the Platzl Hotel 
including breakfast


Transportation
to the Platzl Hotel on July 7
and to Munich Airport on July 10


Assistance in booking tickets to the performances of your choice, at cost-prices, plus a nominal markup to cover transaction costs

Assistance in planning your daytime activities

General assistance with any travel-related issues

 ♦ ♦

Group Flights
 
Non-stop both ways on
Lufthansa and United
if at least 10 opt in

Afternoon departure from Houston, arriving in Frankfurt
at 8:35 the following morning

Morning departure from Munich, arriving in Houston early that same afternoon


Advantages of Group Air

♦ Best available prices
♦ Advance payment
not required 
♦ Prices locked in
♦ Group kept together, in case of delayed or cancelled outbound flights
♦ Option of switching
the return date 

Economy class: $1,240*
Business class: $4,306*

If you wish to participate
in group air arrangements,
please check the appropriate box on your reservation form.


* $150 of these total fares constitutes taxes and can potentially change marginally,
until ticketing;
otherwise, these fares are fixed.


You may tentatively reserve space on the tour by submitting the online form, accessed via
the button below.
We will send your official reservation form, including the opportunity to make your performance choices in Bad Kissingen and in Munich, if you sign on for the extension.

Your place will be guaranteed and the order of honoring ticket requests will be established according to the date we receive that form,
together with your deposit.


TOUR DESCRIPTION
 

Arrival day: Mainz

You will meet Dean, Zsofi, and the remainder of the group at Frankfurt Airport, load baggage, and depart for nearby Mainz.  There, we'll stroll through Old Town with its beautifully restored half-timbered façades, and visit both the city’s great Romanesque Cathedral and St. Stephan’s Church. The latter is noteworthy for the blue stained glass windows, celebrating the creation, that Marc Chagall completed shortly before his death, at age 98. The spectacular six-towered Cathedral of St. Martin and St. Stephen, largely unharmed in the extensive bombing of World War II, is one of the supreme achievements of Romanesque religious architecture on the Upper Rhine; it was here on March 27, 1188 that Frederick Barbarossa set out on the Third Crusade. Following our two-hour guided tour, you’ll have free time for further explorations and to get a bite to eat. We’ll then continue to our hotel, arriving in time to settle in, freshen up, and enjoy the gorgeous setting before our Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
 
We suggest that you seriously consider our group flight arrangements (see below and at the left). It is the only schedule that provides nonstop travel both from Houston to Frankfurt
and from Munich to Houston, while arriving in time for our Mainz tour.

The rates, both in economy and business class,
are substantially lower than any other fares currently offered. 
If you choose to book your air separately, please be certain that you
arrive in Frankfurt not later than 9:00 AM on June 26;
most major carriers can accomplish that, but all require at least a single change of plane.

Rheingau / Rhine River Valley, Hesse (June 26 to 29)

Sightseeing/Visits: The Rheingau region is dotted by picturesque towns with grandiose manor houses and beautifully preserved half-timbered homes (Eltville, Rüdesheim); palaces and castles, many wine-producing (Schloss Vollrads, Schloss Johannisberg); monasteries that date back to the Middle Ages (St. Hildegard Abbey, Eberbach); even Germany's oldest still playable organ (ca.1500) in the tiny wine-growing village of Kiedrich. We have arranged for an exclusive recital, by the parish organist, in the excellent acoustics of the church, which was a highlight of our 2011 visit as well.

Music: The Rheingau Festival is one of Europe’s most extensive, lasting two months and involving a “Who’s Who” of the world’s star-quality soloists and prestige ensembles in concerts that take place in a multitude of settings all over the region.  Two performances are included in our tour package: a piano recital by pianist Lukáš Vondráček (winner of the 2016 International Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition) at Schloss Johannisberg, and Verdi’s Requiem at Eberbach Monastery.

Bad Kissingen, Lower Fanconia/Bavaria (June 29-July 2)

Bavarian kings, Empress Sisi of Austria, and Otto von Bismarck, Germany’s first Chancellor returned to Bad Kissingen time and time again – the most cosmopolitan and stylish spa resort for 19th-century European aristocracy and bourgeoisie. Magnificent buildings from that grand era still dominate the town’s architecture, many of which serve as sites of the Kissinger Sommer –  the spa town’s largest classical music festival: the "Regentenbau” (regent’s building) with its sumptuous Max Littmann Hall (one of the best concert halls in the world) and the art nouveau Green Hall, a perfect setting for chamber music; as well as the “Kurgarten” (spa garden) with its Rossini Hall, formerly a royal conversation hall, with magnificent paneled ceilings.

Music: We will be in Bad Kissingen over the weekend, meaning there are plenty of musical offerings, including a concert of turn-of-the-20th-century French music by the period instrument orchestra, Les Siecles; a recital of Romantic German masterpieces by virtuoso pianist Arcadi Volodos; and a performance by the Aris String Quartet (a young ensemble that has already won first prize in at least four major competitions) of major works by Beethoven and Schumann. Also available: Giuliano Carmignola playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons, a song workshop, and even a Jazz Brunch on Sunday. Choose two as your "included performances" or more at a modest additional cost. 

Sightseeing/visits: In addition to a brief walking tour of the old city, we will offer an optional half-day tour to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Bamberg. This outstanding example of an early medieval town in central Europe was a center of the 18th-century German Enlightenment and home to such eminent philosophers such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and E.T.A. Hoffmann. On the other hand, you might want to take more time to simply unwind and take advantage of Bad Kissingen’s excellent spa facilities, which include drinking cures, bath treatments, and brine therapy.

Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg (July 2-5)

Sightseeing/visits: En route to Ludwigsburg, we will go through the wine region of Franconia. Whenever someone talks about German wine, it’s usually about Riesling. However, Franconia (Frankenland) produces other excellent wines as well. Renowned for their rounded and flattened bocksbeutel-shaped bottles, the wines of the Franken region, such as Silvaner, Bacchus, Müller Thurgau, and Scheurebe are distinctly memorable. In Germany, the bocksbeutel is a sign of excellence; in the U.S., many consumers link this kind of bottle shape to lower-quality wine. We will provide the opportunity to convince yourself otherwise, with a 6-wine tasting at a renowned winery (named the German winery of the year 2017).

Another stop en route to Ludwigsburg will be Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany’s best-preserved walled town and second largest city in the Middle Ages. The Old Town tour will include a must-see art treasure: the glorious 500-year-old altarpiece at St. Jakob’s church by Riemenschneider, the Michelangelo of German woodcarvers. We will also see another impressive Riemenschneider altarpiece nearby at Detwang (even older than Rothenburg).

Ludwigsburg Palace (Schloss Ludwigsburg), built for the royal family of Württemberg, is one of the largest Baroque buildings in Europe to survive in its original condition. There is much to see: the Porcelain Museum, the Fashion Museum, the Baroque Gallery, and the private apartments of Duke Carl Eugen, with its sumptuous original furnishings. There is a magnificent landscaped park surrounding the palace, which includes a baroque garden and the charming Märchengarten (fairy-tale garden).

You will also have the option of taking a day-trip to Heidelberg and Maulbronn Monastery (another UNESCO World Heritage Site). Heidelberg is a photographer’s delight, from the 18th-century Alte Brücke, the red sandstone bridge on the Neckar River, to the castle that dominates the city. The town is also home to Germany’s oldest university (1386). Maulbronn is one of Europe’s most complete and best-preserved medieval monastery complexes, combining a multitude of architectural styles, from Renaissance to late Gothic.

Music: The Schlosstheater (palace theater) is the setting of the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, which is among the oldest cultural festivals in German-speaking lands. One of Europe’s oldest theaters, the palace theater’s original stage machinery and decoration remain almost intact. We will attend a performance at the festival: we don't yet know what the performance will be, but are promised there will be at least one during our stay.

Heidenheim an der Brenz, Baden-Württemberg (July 5-7)

Sightseeing/visits: En route to Heidenheim, we stop in Ulm and the nearby Wiblingen Monastery. Ulm, the birthplace of Albert Einstein, is situated on the River Danube, and is home to the highest church steeple in the world (530 ft). Although the city was severely damaged in World War II, most of its important buildings have been repaired, and many medieval walls, gates, and fountains survive. The library and the church of the former Benedictine monastery of Wiblingen are the final masterpieces of Baroque architecture in Upper Swabia. The interior of the library is considered to be one of the finest examples of Rococo architecture in the world.

Music: The ruins of Schloss Hellenstein, located 74 meters above the town, provide the backdrop for the prestigious Heidenheim Opera Festival, one of the five oldest in Germany. The castle’s former “Knights’ Hall” (Rittersaal) has been named one of Europe’s most beautiful open-air music stages. We will attend Verdi’s Nabucco. Marcus Bosch, general music director at Nuremberg’s Staatstheater, is at the helm of the Heidenheim Opera Festival. He promised to join us for dinner before the performance, and perhaps bring along the director, designer, or dramaturg as well, to explain the production.

Augsburg, Return to Houston, or Munich Extension (July 7 to 10)

You will have the option to stay in Munich for three days to attend the Munich Opera Festival, or return to Houston on July 8. In either case, we will depart Heidenheim on July 7, stopping at Augsburg for an Old Town tour and farewell lunch before making our way to Munich. Those who are returning to Houston will overnight at a 5-star hotel literally between the terminals, to simplify your morning departure; those opting for the extension will be staying at our favorite Munich hotel, the Platzl, a stone’s throw from the Bavarian State Opera House and a favorite not only of opera fans but artists as well - you never know who you might bump into at breakfast or in the bar. The days will be yours to use as you wish; we'll assist in organizing museum or palace visits.
 
There will be three performances at the Festival, each with star-studded cast:

  • Strauss's Arabella, with Kurt Rydl and Anja Harteros.
  • Wagner's Parsifal, with Rene Pape, Jonas Kaufmann, Wolfgang Koch, Nina Stemme, and Kevin Conners. Kirill Petrenko conducts.
  • Puccini's Tosca, with Anna Netrebko, Joseph Calleja, and Thomas Hampson. Marco Armiliato conducts.
Besides the operas, there are plenty of other musical offerings to choose from, including a concert in the Philharmonie im Gasteig by the Munich Philharmonic and cellist Truls Mørk; a string octet of members of the Bavarian Radio Orchestra performing in the Residenz Palace; and a concert in a courtyard of the palace, featuring the Munich Symphony in a program of light music just right for a summer evening.

Tickets for the Munich Opera Festival do not go on sale until February 2018. We are already in touch with festival organizers and will do our best to secure the ticket(s) of your choice at the first opportunity. If booking your own air, we urge you not to make any non-refundable arrangements before your seats for the opera(s) have been secured. Our group air package offers the advantage of locking in prices now without being forced to choose your date of return till after we know for sure about the Munich tickets. 

Please note that the cost of performance tickets in Munich
is not included in the price of the extension.

Thanks to the German National Tourist Board, Rothenburg Tourismus, Bavarian State Opera,
and Gasteig München, GmbH for the photos indicated;
all other images were taken by Zsofi and Dean and are © Dean Dalton Tours.

Rudesheim Weinstube
Rudesheim Weinstube
©Rothenburg Tourismus
©Rothenburg Tourismus
Town Hall Clock, Ulm ©GNTB
Town Hall Clock, Ulm ©GNTB
Mainz Cathedral ©GNTB
Mainz Cathedral ©GNTB
RheingauVineyards
RheingauVineyards
Kiedrich Parish Organist
Kiedrich Parish Organist
Castle overlooking the Rhine
Castle overlooking the Rhine
Kloster Eberbach
Kloster Eberbach
Old Town, Bad Kissingen
Old Town, Bad Kissingen
Kurhaus, Bad Kissingen
Kurhaus, Bad Kissingen
Old Town Bamberg ©GNTB
Old Town Bamberg ©GNTB
Vineyards near Rothenburg ©GNTB
Vineyards near Rothenburg ©GNTB
At Ludwigsburg Palace
At Ludwigsburg Palace
Maulbronn Monastery
Maulbronn Monastery
Heidelberg Castle ©GNTB
Heidelberg Castle ©GNTB
Library of Wiblingen Abbey ©GNTB
Library of Wiblingen Abbey ©GNTB
The Danube at Ulm ©GNTB
The Danube at Ulm ©GNTB
Castle overlooking Heidenheim Town
Castle overlooking Heidenheim Town
Golden Hall, Augsburg ©GNTB
Golden Hall, Augsburg ©GNTB
Munich ©GNTB
Munich ©GNTB
Arabella, © Bavarian State Opera
Arabella, © Bavarian State Opera
Philharmonie im Gasteig München©
Philharmonie im Gasteig München©
 
deandaltontours  | 2011
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