Prague, Oktoberfest in Munich, & Bamberg
September 21 - October 1, 2016
Departs every year in September
Travel across the heart of central Europe and through the heart of one of the world's great beer regions. From impressive Prague, through festive Munich, to medieval Bamberg, we will explore breweries, pubs, beer gardens and cellars, and restaurants that serve a seemingly endless variety of beer. In the Czech Republic, spend three days in Prague with its centuries-old brewpubs and cafes, well-preserved architecture, cool neighborhoods, and bustling public squares. A daytrip to the traditional Herold Brewery will be made, as well as a stop in Plzen and the famous brewing facilities of Pilsner Urquell. Next we find ourselves in the heart of Bavaria with visits to Brauerei Eck and Ayinger Brewery with an overnight in a traditional brewery guesthouse. Then we head to Munich for the world's biggest festival: Oktoberfest! Two nights in Munich provide time enjoy the festival and explore the capital of Bavaria. Medieval Bamberg, home to ten traditional breweries and infamous smoke-beer, welcomes us for our final three nights. The whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage site; and with a variety of great brewery taps serving fresh local beer from the wood, it is a very pleasant place to spend a couple of days, and a fine culmination of our trip.
Day 1, Wednesday - Travel Day
Travel to Prague, Czech Republic.
Day 2, Thursday - Arrival, City Tour, Dinner at U Flecku
Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel located just a short walk from Prague's historic Old Town. Check-in and relax before a walking city tour with our local guide. Tonight we will enjoy the distinctively Czech atmosphere and food at one of the Prague's brewpubs. After dinner, a host of night spots and beer cafes offer a taste of Czech beer and culture. (Dinner)
Day 3, Friday - Herold, Breznice Daytrip
Today we will make a daytrip to southern Bohemia to visit the Herold brewery and Breznice Castle. The brewery tour offer a look at a traditional, medium sized Czech brewery. If we are lucky the brewmaster himself will show us around. We'll also enjoy a local lunch adjacent to the brewery. This evening we return to Prague for overnight. (B, L)
Day 4, Saturday - Free Day in Prague
Today is free to spend as you wish in fascinating Prague. There are plenty of authentic Czech beer cafes to visit; and Prague offers a host of interesting neighborhoods, cathedrals, bridges and castles to explore. Small groups will likely form as people pursue their own interests. Prague's most famous sites: Hradcany Castle, Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge will no doubt merit visits. You might also consider a cruise along the Vlatava River. (B)
Day 5, Sunday - To Eck, via Plzen, Tour Pilsner Urquell
This morning we board our private bus to travel to Plzen, home to the world's original Pilsner. Tour the brewery, drink unfiltered, unpasturized pilsner from the wood and eat lunch at Na Spilce - the brewery restaurant. After our time here we will continue to Eck, Germany - tucked away in the hills near the Czech border, and home to a fine brewery guesthouse where we will spend the night enjoying bavarian, food, beer and hospitality. (B, L, D)
Day 6, Monday - To Munich, via Aying, City Tour, Oktoberfest
This morning we travel to Aying and Ayinger Brewery, home of Bavaria's best-known country beers. After touring their beautiful brewery, tasting some beers, and enjoying a beer lunch paired with their beers, we'll continue to Munich. Upon arrival we'll take a locally guided walking tour of the old town to get oriented and absorb a bit of regional history. Overnight in Munich. (B, L)
Day 7, Tuesday - Explore Munich, Oktoberfest
Today is dedicated to Oktoberfest. Pacing is everything... There is also time explore Munich by bike, or visit a few notable beer gardens, before a late afternoon or evening visit to the biggest beer festival anywhere. (B)
Day 8, Wednesday - Free morning in Munich, Travel to Bamberg, Dinner at Schlenkerla Tap Room
This morning is free until our early afternoon rail trip to Bamberg. Upon arrival we'll transfer to our hotel, check-in and then re-gather for a short walk to the Schlenkerla Brewery Tap for a dinner of Franconian fare and smoky beer. Overnight in Bamberg. (B, D)
Day 9, Thursday - Bamberg Walking tour
This morning we will take a guided, walking city tour to get oriented in beautiful Bamberg. The afternoon is free to explore the town or to begin visiting the ten brewery taps in this city of 70,000. The per capita beer consumption averages 330 liters per year. This is a beer city if ever there was one; and also a UNESCO World Heritage site for architecture. (B)
Day 10, Friday - Bamberg Breweries, Free Time, Farewell Dinner
Today is essentially a free day. Bamberg offers many beer options and plenty of worthwhile sites, churches and museums. Renting a bike is a great way to explore at leisure. Or take the train to historic Nurnburg or Wurtzburg - each with their own beer attractions. No doubt visits will be made to local Bamberg breweries as well. This evening we will celebrate the end of our trip with a farewell beer dinner. (B, D)
Day 11, Saturday - Alas, time to go home
Alas we must leave beer heaven. The nearest airport is a short train ride away in Nuremberg (NUE). Most major airlines have service to Nuremberg. Frankfurt and Munich are 3 hours by train. (B)
The overall style of the trip is best suited for somewhat adventurous, beer-loving travelers who want the camaraderie and structure of a tour, as well as the opportunity to explore independently. Planned events and excursions will, for the most part, be informal. Guided touring is generally the exception, though travelers can always rely on the support and assistance of the trip leader.
* Please note also:
This itinerary is subject to change based on brewery or hotel availability, force majeur, acts of dieties, common sense or bad weather, etc. Smaller breweries, as well as the Trappists, are often unable to commit to hosting groups until a couple of weeks before we arrive. Substitutions, when necessary, will be as good or better than what we replaced. And, don't worry, the beer is always good!