• .

    Login

1-800-CATHOLIC

regina@groupist.com

Dates & Prices

Land Only

Air & Land

Contact us for rates & availability

 

Pilgrimage of a Lifetime - Experience the world-famous Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany

Trip Length

11 Days

Current Weather

Trip Type

1-800-CATHOLIC

Trip Overview & Highlight

Join Arkansas Catholic for an additional 11-day pilgrimage to Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland with Father William Burmester, pastor in Texarkana, Camden and Magnolia

Highlights

  • The village of Oberammergau will put on the 42nd Passion Play from May to October 2022, a tradition that has occurred with almost without interruption for more than 380 years. The play was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic. It is regarded as the most important passion play in the world, expecting about 450,000 visitors.
  • Our Lady of Altötting, the national shrine of Bavaria and Germany’s premier Marian shrine
  • Guided tour of Mozart’s birthplace
  • Scenery from “Sound of Music”
  • Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World
  • Shrine of Our Lady in Einsiedeln and the world’s largest nativity scene
  • Dachau concentration camp

Back to top

What’s Included

  • International airfare from New York gateway
  • 8 nights hotel accommodations
  • Breakfast and Dinner daily
  • Ground & Air Transportation
  • Sightseeing & Entrance fees
  • Professional English Speaking Tour Director throughout
  • Private motorcoach & driver
  • Porterage of 1 piece of luggage per person

Back to top

Prices & Dates

Prices are based on double occupancy: all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will accommodate triples/quads whenever possible. Please call for further details.

Back to top

Itinerary

DAY 1: June 29, 2022

We depart LR to connect with our overnight flight to Munich

DAY 2: June 30/Day 3 July 1, MUNICH

oday we arrive in Munich, the Bavarian center of Germany. We are greeted by our tour escort and board our deluxe motor coach for an outstanding two-day visit of the city. Every big city has at least one place that tourists must visit. In Munich, this is Marienplatz. Home to the Town Hall (Rathaus), the historic square is always buzzing with people who come to shop, take in its beautiful architecture and watch the Glockenspiel tower put on its animated show three times a day. Our sightseeing for these two days includes:

  • The Michaelskirche-St Michael, a Jesuit church dating back to
    1583 where many nobles are buried
  • Alter Peter, Old Peter to the locals. St. Peter Church is one of the most iconic sights in Munich. If you want to enjoy a view of the entire city center from the church tower, you will first need to climb 299 steps, but the sight is worth the effort. When the weather is very good, you can also see all the way to the Alps.
  • The Residenz, once the city castle of the Bavariandukes, princes and emperors. Today, it is the largest city-center castle in Germany.
  • AsamkirchChurch (Church of St. Johann Nepomuk) with its breathtaking frescos built in 1733-1746
  • Theatiner Church of St. Cajetan (1663-1690), built as a gesture of thanksgiving for the birth of the long-awaited heir to the Crown
  • St. Paul Church, heavily damaged during World War II, including the high altar. Through the years it has been fully restored.
  • English Gardens, a beautiful and vast park with great charm
  • A must visit is to Viktualienmarkt. Born as a farmers market, it has evolved into a popular hub where you can find all sorts of fresh food and deli items.

Our panorama tour of the city will take us past the Felaherrnhalle Monument commissioned by King Ludwig I in 1841 to honor the tradition of his army, view the Chinesische Torm (Chinese Tower), oldest and most famous tower, and much more. A must visit for those who love beer is Hofbrauhaus, a heaven since 1589 for the local beer and Bavarian charm. Tasting is on your own. One afternoon will be spent touring Dachau, which was established in March 1933. It was the first German concentration camp and the model for all Nazi camps. Our guide will give us a history of the camp. Each night is dinner and overnight in Munich.

Day 3: Sept 9 - OBERAMMERGAU

After breakfast we will attend a Morning Mass in Memory of September 11th. We will then transfer to the outdoor theater to experience the last week of Christ’s life in this amazing presentation of the Passion of Christ as performed by the local villagers every 10 years since 1634. Return to hotel for Dinner and overnight (B, D)

Day 4: July 2, MUNICH/ALTOTTING/SALZBURG

After breakfast we bid farewell to Munich and head to Altotting, referred to as the “Heart of Bavaria,” with Germany’s most famous Marian shrine dating back more than 500 years. Each year more than a million pilgrims come to Altotting to venerate the “Black Madonna,” a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary. Altotting Shrine is listed among the Marian shrines of Europe. Pilgrims come to Altotting called the “Lourdes of Germany” seeking healings. Mass will be celebrated at the center of the pilgrimage complex, the Chapel of Mercy. While there, we have the opportunity to visit St. Konard Monastery where the saint’s relics are housed under the altar and St. Anna Basilica, the largest church built in Germany in the 20th century. We will have a walking tour with a visit to the Panorama of the Crucifixion of Christ, the Pilgrim Museum. St. John Paul II visited Altotting in 1980 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. Pope Benedict XVI was born a very short distance from Altotting. We continue on to Salzburg via the Shrine of Maria Plain, where St. John Paul II was on a pilgrimage. Legend says the image of the Virgin Mary with Jesus as a child remained unharmed during a fire in the city of Regen (Bavaria) that destroyed the church. The image was sent to Salzburg in 1652 where a chapel was built to house it. As we drive to Salzburg we will be taken back by the beauty of the mountains and lakes in the Salzkammergut area, backdrop for the “Sound of Music.” Dinner and overnight.

Day 5: July 3, SALZBURG

We wake up this morning in Salzburg, the lovely birthplace of Mozart, the city of great houses, mansions, castles, festival hall and the Mirabelle Gardens to hear the bells of the great Glockenspiel Tower, performing a melody of Mozart’s Music. Salzburg is a UNESCO World Heritage City since 1997 and is compact, best explored on foot. We will stroll the narrow, winding streets and secluded passageways, all evidence of its medieval roots. Visit Mozart’s birthplace, stop at Heilbronn Palace to enjoy its gardens and hidden trick fountains, next St. Peter Churchyard, one of the oldest monasteries in Germany. The abbey and cemetery were featured in the “Sound of Music” escape scene. Time permitting we will visit some of the other sites featured in the movie. We will continue our tour of Salzburg to visit the Fortress Hohensalzburg, a castle built in 1077, with time for shopping before we head to dinner at Mozart’s Concert Hall. Dinner and overnight.)

Day 6: July 4, BAVARIA/OBERAMMERGAU

After breakfast we bid farewell to Salzburg and head to Oberammergau. Arrive in time to attend the play. The Passion Play dates back to 1632 when woodcarvers coming back home after selling their wares in other parts of Europe brought the plague with them. In a desperate plea to God the town vowed to perform a Passion Play every 10 years if God spared them. The entire Bavarian village takes part in the play as performers, musicians and stage technicians every 10 years. Dinner and overnight.

Day 7: July 5, OBERAMMERGAU/MUNICH

After breakfast we will drive to the Linderhof Place and Neuschwanstein Castle, which opened to the public seven weeks after his King Ludwig II’s death in 1886. Neuschwanstein Castle is the most popular of all castles and palaces in Europe. It is called the “castle of the fairy tale king.” Walt Disney was inspired by this castle when he designed the castle for Sleeping Beauty. We continue on to Kloster Ettal Abbey, built in 1330 by Emperor Ludwig, to tour the beautiful Benedictine monastery. The monastery runs a brewery producing the famous Ettaler Kloster Liqueur. The grounds are lovely with a bookstore, art publishing house, hotel and cheese factory. We continue on to Tyrol for dinner and overnight.

Day 8: July 6, TYROL AND LIECHTENSTEIN

We depart this morning for Tyrol, with its natural beauty and exceptional countryside is one of the highlights of the tour and will make it an unforgettable memory. As we arrive, experience the former Olympic town of Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol. See the Golden Roof and the Imperial Palace with the 800-year-old Imperial Church, the City Tower and the Ambras Castle near Innsbruck, which is probably Austria’s finest Renaissance palace. In the afternoon, we will visit Swarowski’s Crystal World. The Swarovski Crystal World, created by Andre Heller, is a pure invitation to dream. Only a 20-minute drive away from Innsbruck, this sparkling fantasy world is definitely worth a visit. This unique crystalline theatre is, aside from Schonbrunn Palace, Austria’s second most visited museum. Drive to Liechtenstein for some free time in Vaduz. Dinner and overnight.

Day 9: July 7, EINSIEDELN

This morning after breakfast and a city tour of Vaduz, capital of Liechtenstein, we drive to Einsiedeln to visit the Shrine of Our Lady in Einsiedeln, the founding abbey for our own Subiaco Abbey. This shrine attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year. The shrine is the most ancient and revered holy palace in Europe dating back to the ninth century when the hermit St. Meinrad built the heritage and brought with him a wooden statue of the Madonna. He was killed by two thieves in 861. On Sept 14, 948, when two bishops tried to consecrate the chapel they saw Christ standing before the altar with his angels and saints announcing he had already consecrated the chapel the night before. The village itself is also known as the home to the world’s largest nativity scene, the Diorama Bethlehem, with its 500 carved wooden figures. Because this display runs from Easter to the end of October, we will be able to visit it. We proceed to Lucerne. Dinner and overnight.

Day 10: July 8, LUCERNE

Today we will explore Lucerne, and see this outstanding lovely city on the River Reuss. Our walking tour will include the colorful Old Town, 14th century Museggmauer City Walls, the many outstanding fountains, squares, colorful homes, great shops and its world renowned Wine Market with the beautiful Weinmarket Fountain. A must-see is “Kapellbrucke” the Chapel Bridge, a covered wooden footbridge spanning across the Reuss, which opened 1333. It is named after the nearby St. Peter’s Chapel. Next is a visit to the breath-taking Lion Monument, a rock relief hewn in 1820, to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution. Mark Twain praised the sculpture of the mortally wounded lion as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” Last stop is Hofkirche, Church of St. Leodegar, built in 1633. Dinner and overnight.

Day 11: July 9, LITTLE ROCK

We depart Lucerne for a short drive to Zurich airport for our U.S. flight arriving home the same day. We will take with us many memories and blessings to last a lifetime.

Back to top

Essential Information & Weather

Weather

Italy

The country of Italy has a mostly Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and cold, rainy winters. But at nearly 840 miles in length north to south, Italy also has a variety of sub- and micro-climates where seasonal weather can differ greatly from national norms. Global climate change is affecting Italy’s weather, with more extreme weather events and overall warmer temperatures year-round.
In general travelers to Italy should plan on hot, sunny summers; mildly cold winters with a lot of rain and little snowfall; and fall and spring seasons that can range from sunny and pleasant to rainy and chilly.
In the heavily touristed area of Rome north to Florence and the rest of Tuscany, you’ll find four distinct seasons. Summers are dry and can be extremely hot, with daytime temperatures in the high 90s F and even exceeding 104 F. Winters in this section of Italy are generally wet and mild, with temperatures seldom dropping below 32 F.
While you may get some chilly, sunny days, overcast skies are more the norm.
In the eastern, mountainous regions of Abruzzo and Le Marche, summertime temperatures may be lower, and winters more severe, with regular snowfall.
For a real-time weather report: https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/italy

Germany

Germany weather is a mix of two major climatic conditions – the continental (in the south) and the maritime (in the north). Overall, it is a country of good climate over all, with the best time to visit Germany is in the shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn.

Spring begins on the colder end of things, with March still cold and stiff, but the end of the month brings some life back to the land. The real spring season begins come April and trees start to blossom. May is at its best spring behavior and the weather is never better. Hence if you wish to visit Germany and avoid crowds, April-May make for a great time. Spring season also marks the celebration of Easter and many business and trade fairs take the country by storm.

Summer makes for the peak tourist season in Germany, as it does in the rest of Europe. Weatherwise, expect highs in the 80’s — perfect for exploring the outdoors, as well as the many music festivals that come through.

Autumn is a shoulder season and a good time to visit to avoid crowds. October is the time of drying leaves and everything green is overnight turned to gold. The average day temperature stays in the 60’s and drops to low 50’s come nightfall. Autumn is also the major season of rain in the country so please come prepared.

Wintertime in Germany can get brutal. The major northern chunk of Germany, due to close proximity to the sea, is a windy green landscape, while southern parts see freezing temperatures that sometimes dip to -4°F. The season is not for ideal for travel, but those who brave the cold can enjoy beautiful Christmas markets and Carnival in February.
For a real-time weather report: https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/germany

Packing List

Italy

The following suggested packing list is for a general week to ten-day trip in Italy. Please consider the season of travel and type of trip to adjust, as it gets quite hot in the summer and can get quite cold and wet in wintertime.

• 7-9 x underwear, socks,
• 2-3 x loose, lightweight trousers or skirts– one full length and one cropped pair would be ideal!
• 2-3 x shorts
• 2 x long, loose shirts
• 4-5 x t-shirts or tops
• 2-3 evening tops

• 1-2 x sandals or flip flops for warmer-weather walking
• 1-2 pairs of comfortable walking/running shoes
• 1 x pair of more formal shoes
• 1 rain/wind-proof jacket
• 2-3 sweaters or other colder-weather gear
• sunglasses
• sun hat
• toiletries
• 1 x day bag
• 1 x evening bag
• European adapter
• Phone, camera and any other electronics needed
• passport and travel docs
• insurance

Specific packing notes for the Vatican:
• Cover shoulders: avoid strapless tops, spaghetti straps tops and vests (both men and women)
• Avoid above the knee skirts and shorts (men and women)
• Avoid exposing excessive cleavage, a waist/belly or back
• Do not wear slogans or prints that may be perceived as offensive

Germany

The following suggested packing list is for a general week to ten days’ trip in Germany. Please consider the season of travel and type of trip to adjust, given the significant difference between warm summers and fiercely cold winters.

• 7-9 x pairs of underwear, sock
• 2-3 x loose, lightweight trousers or skirts– one full length and one cropped pair would be ideal
• 2-3 x shorts (if in warmer season)
• 2-3 x long, loose shirts
• 4-5 x t-shirts or tops (think layers in wintertime)
• 2-3 evening tops
• 1-2 pairs of comfortable walking/running shoes
• 1 x pair of more formal shoes
• 1 rain/wind-proof jacket
• 2-3 sweaters or other colder-weather gear
Scarf – Men and women wear scarfs throughout the year, especially in fall and winter.
• sunglasses
• sun hat
• toiletries
• 1 x day bag
• 1 x evening bag
• European adapter
• Phone, camera and any other electronics needed
• passport and travel docs
• insurance

Passports

Italy

Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months following your return from the Schengen area, and that you have at least two blank pages available for the entry stamp.

Germany

Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months following your return from the Schengen area, and that you have at least two blank pages available for the entry stamp.

Visa

Italy

Visas are not required for stays less than 90 days.

Germany
Visas are not required for stays less than 90 days.

Currency & Exchange

Italy

The currency of Italy is the Euro, which breaks into 100 cents. You will be able to exchange dollars for Euros in most hotels, as well as at banks and registered money exchanges. ATMs can be found throughout the country, and most major credit/debit cards can be used to withdraw cash.

Though most merchants prefer cash, credit and debit cards are accepted at most larger businesses — especially aimed at tourists. For purchases under 20 euros, you’ll likely need to use cash. Before traveling, try to ascertain what fees your credit card company or bank of choice might take for transactions, to avoid any unhappy surprises.

Tipping is not obligatory, but is appreciated. There is no standard for you to follow, but consider rounding up on restaurant bills, and adding a euro while paying for a taxi-ride. Please note that tips should be in cash.

Germany

The currency of Germany is the Euro, which breaks into 100 cents. You will be able to exchange dollars for Euros in most hotels, as well as at banks and registered money exchanges. ATMs can be found throughout the country, and most major credit/debit cards can be used to withdraw cash.

Cash is truly king in Germany, and many smaller businesses may not be too obliging if you use plastic, particularly for smaller purchases. That said, most major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express to certain extent) are accepted, and ATMs are ubiquitous. The cash machines are also often your best for lowest exchange rates, so try to skip the exchange houses at first.

Tipping is not obligatory, but is appreciated. There is no standard for you to follow, but consider rounding up on restaurant bills, and adding a euro while paying for a taxi-ride. Please note that tips should be in cash.

Phone & Internet Connectivity

Italy

Broadband internet access is available in most cities, and some municipalities even offer free wifi in the touristic centers. Free wifi is also offered to customers in different cafes, restaurants and some hotels (hotels may charge for access). Internet connectivity on your mobile device is available throughout most of the country, but unless you have unlimited roaming, your bill may leave you a nasty surprise. If your mobile phone allows for it, and you are in need of constant connectivity, you can always purchase a local SIM card and a prepaid plan. This provides you with local phone number and internet access, allowing for your mobile phone to double as a modem through the mobile hotspot function.

Germany

Wifi access in Germany can be tricky, given a ruling by the German civic court on public providers’ responsibility for unlawful actions taken by customers using their services.

As such, Free wifi at cafes and hotels can sometimes be limited if available at all. Public wifi zones are often accessed at cost, which can run up a hefty tab after days of use.

Internet connectivity on your mobile device is available throughout most of the country, but unless you have unlimited roaming, your bill may leave you a nasty surprise. If your mobile phone allows for it, and you are in need of constant connectivity, you can always purchase a local SIM card and a prepaid plan. This provides you with. Local phone number and internet access, allowing for your mobile phone to double as a modem through the mobile hotspot function.

Electricity and Adapters

Italy

In Italy the power plugs and sockets are of type F and L.
• Type F: also known as “Schuko”. This socket also works with plug C and plug E.
• Type L: This type is of Italian origin. This socket also works with plug C.

Germany

In Germany the power plugs and sockets are of type F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Dress & Modesty Norms

Italy

Italy is chic, fashion-forward, and respectful of religion. You’ll spot locals dressing elegantly just to go on daily errands. This, of course, is not expected, but worth noting if you want to blend in. Additional tips for dress norms:
• Italy is a major center of European fashion. Italians are chic. Even people in small towns spend a great deal of money on their wardrobes and dress well at all times.
• Dress elegantly but conservatively.
• Jackets and ties are required in better restaurants.
• Old, torn, dirty clothing are seldom seen and not appreciated.
• Men and women dress conservatively and formally for business (men: suits and ties; women: dresses or suits). Women should wear feminine clothing.

A few notes on body language:
• Maintain eye contact while talking. Otherwise Italians might think you are hiding something.
• To beckon a waiter or waitress raise your index finger and make eye contact.
• Italians are known for using the most body language of all European nations.

Germany

Germany is a land of contrasts when it comes to dress. On the one hand, Germany is a liberal democracy with growing ethnic diversity and cosmopolitan attitudes. Yet German culture is historically more conservative and still holds on to its rigid characteristics. Travelers won’t be bothered for their dress, as long as you keep to modest clothes when entering religious sites. But to blend in remember that , as in the rest of Europe, Germans dress more formally. Particularly in major cities, fashion-forward clothing is ubiquitous.

Food & Water

Italy

Water: Thanks to the mountains, clean drinking water is abundant and relatively available across most regions. The processing and cleaning standards are as good as any in Europe. The main issue is the piping and storing, so be careful when drinking from the tap.

While out and about, cheap alternative to bottled water runs from public water fountains that can be found in all towns and villages. This water is free, safe and readily available from marked water posts everywhere. And it is safe for tourists to stop and take a drink or fill up their drinking bottles from these fountains instead of carrying bottled water around.

Germany

Tap water in Germany is among the safest and cleanest in the world. However, locals may still opt for bottled water when dining out. Food hygiene matches water safety, but please take the usual precautions when eating out.

Timezone

Italy

Italy is +2 hours UTC. You can find up-to-date time information here: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/italy

Germany

Germany is +2 hours UTC. You can find up-to-date time information here: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/germany

Back to top

From The Pilgrimage

Back to top

Share This