Oktoberfest: Jewels of Alpine Europe

13 days Special Event, Multi-country
Journey from Switzerland’s mountain-lined Lake Lucerne to France’s inspiring Lake Annecy. Take in the picturesque Chamonix Valley, stroll along Italy’s Lake Como, cross Liechtenstein and hit the winter wonderland of Innsbruck. End your adventure in Munich, the lively capital of Bavaria, where you’ll join thousands of beer lovers from around the world in celebrating Oktoberfest.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 1 hour daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Zurich today.

Lucerne 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Switzerland

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Switzerland! After arriving in Zurich, transfer to Lucerne to meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Lucerne

  Included meals: Breakfast

A local guide introduces you to the charming lakeside city.  

• Explore Lucerne’s Old Town

• View the sandstone lion statue commemorating the Swiss Guards

• Stroll over Chapel Bridge, a 17th-century covered footbridge, for views of Lake Lucerne and the Alps

Enjoy a free afternoon in Lucerne or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mount Pilatus $115pp* Details

This scenic excursion begins with a cruise on Lake Lucerne. After docking, ascend 7,000-foot Mount Pilatus on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Legend holds that the mountain was named for Pontius Pilate, blown here by the devil after the Crucifixion. From the peak, the views of the Alps are stunning; on a clear day, you can see for 200 miles. Toward the end of your trip, you’ll return to the base of the mountain via gondola. Please note: The cruise and cogwheel railway only run from mid-May through October. During the winter months, this excursion includes the cable car ride only. If the cogwheel railway is unavailable, you’ll enjoy lunch on the mountain.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Annecy 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Annecy via Interlaken & Bern

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel through the Alps, taking in stunning scenery as you pass Lakes Sarnen, Brienz and Thun. Visit the Swiss cities of Interlaken and Bern en route to Annecy, France.

• Stop in Interlaken to catch a glimpse of Jungfraujoch, or the “Top of Europe”

• Cross the Aare River, a tributary of the Rhine, and discover the Swiss capital of Bern with your Tour Director

• Walk through Bern’s charming Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, passing the Gothic Bern Cathedral

• Pass through the vineyards of Lausanne and Lake Geneva as you drive to Annecy

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Annecy

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know Annecy today with your Tour Director leading the way.

• Walk through Annecy’s Old Town

• Take in sweeping views of the Alps

• Get a close-up look at the villas on Lake Annecy’s shores during a cruise

Lake Como Region 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Lake Como Region via Chamonix

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to Italy, stop to explore Chamonix, a picture-perfect village at the base of Mont Blanc. Then, continue through the scenic Aosta Valley en route to the Lake Como region.

Day 7: Como & Villa Carlotta

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know the city of Como’s charming medieval quarter with your Tour Director.

• Pass by the 15th-century Gothic Duomo

• View the 12th-century Porta Vittoria, a defense tower overlooking the old city

• Stroll through the elegant gardens at Villa Carlotta, a palace completed in 1690 (Please note: From November to February you may alternatively take a funicular ride to Brunate.)

Enjoy a free evening in the Lake Como region or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Lake Como Cruise & Bellagio $79pp* Details

Lake Como Cruise & Bellagio

Hop aboard a scenic cruise of Lake Como to soak in some of Italy’s most beautiful estates and gardens. Float past charming lakeside towns to Bellagio, a village whose scenery has inspired poets and young lovers for centuries. You’ll have time to take in Bellagio’s classic beauty before heading to a local restaurant, where you’ll sample cuisine from a carefully chosen menu. Please note: Your included meal may be lunch or dinner. This excursion is only offered from March through October, and its departure time varies by season.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

St. Moritz 1 night Hotel info

Day 8: Train ride to St. Moritz

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Tirano, where you’ll board the Bernina Express. Enjoy a scenic train ride through the stunning, UNESCO-recognized landscapes of the Alps to St. Moritz, a prestigious Swiss resort town and hub of wintertime sports.

Innsbruck 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Innsbruck

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel into Liechtenstein, a tiny Alpine principality dating back to the Holy Roman Empire, and continue on toward the wintertime wonderland of Innsbruck, where you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour.

• Visit Liechtenstein’s capital, Vaduz, and pass the royal family’s hilltop castle, still in use as a royal residence

• Arrive in Innsbruck, site of two winter Olympic Games

• See the famed Golden Roof and the City Tower in Innsbruck’s historic Old Town

• Pass the Hofburg, a former Hapsburg Imperial Palace, and walk into its cobblestoned courtyard

• Enter the Baroque Cathedral of St. James

Day 10: Free day in Innsbruck

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Innsbruck or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Neuschwanstein Castle $99pp* Details

Spend your day discovering the regal Neuschwanstein Castle. The historic retreat of Bavaria’s “Fairytale King” Ludwig II, who was known for his reclusive tendencies, was the inspiration for Disney’s Magic Kingdom Castle. On a guided tour, explore the residential areas of the castle, including the oak-furnished servants’ quarters and the king’s lavishly decorated staterooms. Afterward, enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Munich 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Oktoberfest in Munich

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to Munich today to join thousands of others in celebrating Oktoberfest. Enjoy special admission to an Oktoberfest tent, where you can sample Bavarian delicacies along with steins of Munich’s famous beer.

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Munich

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Get to know the Bavarian capital on a guided tour. 

• Travel past the Olympic Stadium and fashionable Schwabing district 

• View the Residenz, once home to the Wittlesbach dukes of Bavaria

• Enter the Nymphenburg Palace, the Baroque home to past Bavarian royalty

• Explore Marienplatz, Munich’s medieval heart, and see the famed Glockenspiel

Say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner this evening.

Day 13: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on to Salzburg.

Add Salzburg Starting from $399 pp

Dubbed the 'Rome of the North' because of its many churches, Salzburg is a beautiful city filled with museums, mansions, parks and churches. Spend two days soaking up the city’s celebrated musical history.

Salzburg 2 nights

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Salzburg

  Included meals: Breakfast

Head to Salzburg, where a local guide leads you on a walking tour of the Old Town.

• View the University of Salzburg and the churchyard of St. Peter

• See the Kapitelplatz, Residenzplatz and Alter Markt, in the city’s Old Town

• Enter the 17th-century Salzburg Cathedral, built in the Baroque style

• Pass through scenery from the beloved film “The Sound of Music”

• Take the funicular to the hilltop Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of Europe’s largest medieval castles

Optional Excursion - Mozart Concert & Dinner $109pp* Details

Step inside the 1,200-year-old St. Peter Stiftskeller, located within St. Peter’s Abbey. Enjoy an evening of fine dining and music. Mozart composed over 600 works in his short life, and tonight, you’ll hear his masterpieces accompanied by opera singing as you sample local delicacies.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Day 14: Free day in Salzburg

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Salzburg or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Eagle's Nest & Salt Mines $105pp* Details

Drive through the Bavarian Alps to the mountain village of Berchtesgaden, where you’ll tour the 450-year-old salt mines that brought wealth to Bavaria and Salzburg. Take an underground boat ride on Mirror Lake before enjoying free time for lunch. Continue to Obersalzberg, where a scenic bus ride along steep gorges offers beautiful views of the snow-capped Alps. Enter the Dokumentation Obersalzberg, a museum with an exhibition on the history of Nazi dictatorship. Then, take a gilded elevator up to the Eagle’s Nest, an Alpine retreat built for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday. On your way back down, stop at a distillery to sample a liqueur made from Alpine flowers. Please note: The elevation of the Eagle’s Nest is approximately 5,500 feet, which may not be advisable for travelers with heart/lung problems or other altitude-related limitations. This excursion is seasonal and runs from mid-May through late October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Annecy, France
  • Como, Italy
  • St. Moritz, Switzerland
  • Innsbruck, Austria
  • Munich, Germany
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

  • This tour visits Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein and Germany. In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. 
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.    

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 1 hour daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills or stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times as well as getting in and out of boats.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Zurich and depart from Munich. A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. 
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour. 
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to goaheadtours.com and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.    

Cuisine

  • Swiss food is varied and sophisticated, and some popular dishes include sausages, breaded veal fillets, freshwater fish and cheese dishes such as fondue and raclette. Be sure to try Swiss chocolate, which is among the world’s finest.
  • For a picnic with French flair, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, pâtés, cured meats, fresh-baked bread and fruit. In the cities, sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crepes, while mouthwatering pastries and hot café au lait beckon from cafes. In restaurants, the prix fixe option is a popular way to enjoy a set three- or four-course menu for a good price.
  • Northern Italian cuisine is light and savory, emphasizing fresh pasta, simply prepared seafood and vegetables roasted with herbs. For more authentic meals, try local trattorias, small restaurants set away from the main piazzas. A typical Italian meal includes wines and the occasional beer, followed by a few sips of after-dinner drinks like grappa or limoncello. 
  • Austria is known for its savory Wiener schnitzel and excellent wild trout, carp and crayfish. Save room for dessert—especially the strudels of fruit and nuts and elegant chocolate cakes, such as the world-famous Sachertorte.  

Electricity & air conditioning

  • All destinations visited on this tour operate on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C, E or F plugs with two small, round pins. You may also use a Type J plug with three small pins in Switzerland and a Type L plug with three small pins in Italy.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.  
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel. 
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. In more remote locations, internet access may be limited and is not guaranteed.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time zones

  • All destinations visited on this tour are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).   
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.

Currency

  • You will use the euro in France, Italy, Austria and Germany, and the Swiss franc in Switzerland. 
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. 
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. 
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. 
  • Tips can only be paid in cash. 

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on your tour. 
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions. 
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/19/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NS

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The Alps & Octoberfest

We (my husband, myself and a girlfriend) were on the Sept 19, 2016 tour and as per usual Go Ahead did a fantastic job. Not sure why but I went on this tour with no expectations of how wonderful it was, the scenery was breath taking. Some of the many things I liked about the itinerary was all the small towns (except for Munich) that we stayed in, they really gave an intimacy to the tour. I felt I got a better understanding of the lifestyle of Europeans, which is so different from North America. Everyday there was something new and beautiful to see and do. But we never felt rushed, there was always time to stop and take in the moment. It was one great memory after another. Jurgen, the tour guide was super, can't say enough about the way he looked after us to make sure our experience was one to remember. My husband and I have mobility issues but Jurgen made sure we never felt that that was a problem for him. We took all of the added tours and even though Schlos Neuschwanstein was a challenge to my mobility, I don't regret spending the extra on them. They added so much to the trip in the way of interest and beauty. We were so fortunate to have Frank as our bus driver, he fit right into the group and was always so helpful, considerate and fun. When you plan a trip you always hope that the weather will cooperate and on this tour it sure did, sun and warm weather for two weeks(except the last day). Not sure how we got to be so lucky. There is so much to tell but I will not rave on any more, just if you have the opportunity to take this trip take it you will not regret it.

1 / 4
 

Hi Kathy! We're happy to learn that you, your husband, and your friend enjoyed this tour. We're glad that you came away with a deeper understanding of the cultures within that region and that you were able to soak up your new surroundings at the carefully designed pace of this itinerary. We appreciate your feedback on both your Tour Director and your bus driver, and we will be sure to share your accolades with their supervisors. In addition to all this, we're thrilled that you had such exceptional weather. What a difference that can make! Thank you for recommending this tour, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 01, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/19/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: OK

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great guide, driver and trip!

We loved this trip! Our guide Juergen and bus driver Frank made a great team! They safely got us to each destination and added a lot of fun and facts along the way that enhanced the experience. We enjoyed each and every stop during this tour (you MUST use the spa in St Moritz!! It's only two blocks from the hotel). I highly recommend this tour. This is my 3rd trip with Go Ahead and each one has been excellent. Prost!

 

Hi Michael! Thank you for recommending this tour. We’re thrilled to learn that you had a wonderful experience, and we’re glad that your Tour Director and bus driver made it one to remember. We appreciate your fantastic feedback, and we hope to welcome you on your fourth Go Ahead tour soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 25, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/21/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful trip to the Alps

Our trip, Jewels of the Alpine and Jens our tour director surpassed all my expectations. This was our first tour with Go Ahead Tours . We had a small friendly cooperative group of 17 people. We quickly became comfortable with each other . Our tour director,Jens was very flexible and personal. He made many wonderful suggestions and allowed us as a group to make decisions about what we would like to do. As a result we had many more experiences then expected. Oktoberfest as promised was a highlight of the trip. Jens' enthusiasm was infective. His love of the countries, cultures and people encouraged us to meet the locals and interact. This is a very valuable aspect of traveling. Our trip to the top of Mont Blanc during our free time is an experience I will never forget and will always treasure.

1 / 2

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/16/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Best Tour Director EVER

Juergen was awesome. He managed to keep us on track, well informed, interested and amused all at the same time! Annecy was a wonderful small village with lots of history as well as beauty. Mount Blanc was a spectacular once in a life time scene. ( pay the extra to go to the top.). We loved the atmosphere at Octoberfest, as well as the beer. The weather wasn't great, but we got a great trip on Lake Como in, as well as dinner overlooking the lights of the lake. We took the extension to Salzburg and saw a wonderful view from Eagles Nest. My husband and I do quite a bit of traveling and have never done a Go Ahead tour, but we are already researching our next.

1 / 2