Treasures of Saxony 

We journey into the pulsating heartbeat of Germany to the landlocked region of Saxony, former East Germany discovering its hidden gems beyond Dresden on a wonderful sojourn combining the arts, gastronomy, wine and the old spirit of Germany's past. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Experience enchanting villages and towns of Saxony

Enjoy stays in unique and boutique hotels

Experience exceptional wine and gourmet experiences

Enjoy an intimate experience with local characters

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE FRANKFURT / MARBURG / KASSEL / NORTEN-HARDENBERG

Arrive into Frankfurt Intl Airport where you will be met and then begin our journey north where we make a stop at the pretty university town of Marburg. Dating back more than 800 years, the town nestled on the Lahn River charms with its pretty alleys, winding lanes and rustic buildings overlooked by the imposing Landgrafenschloss Castle. It is here that you will be introduced to the stories of the Brothers Grimm and the humble beginnings of their fairytales. Thereafter, continue northeast to the museum city of Kassel and the city of inspiration for the best works of the Brothers Grimm. Visit the UNESCO-listed Bergpark Wilhelmshohe, spanning over 590 acres where we marvel at Europe's biggest hillside park featuring its stunning 350m long cascade waterwork that descends from an octagon-shaped building surmounted by a pyramid topped with a giant statue of Hercules. The large water features in the Bergpark, which were created under Landgrave Carl (1677–1730) embodied a great feat of architecture and engineering of their time and represent a milestone in the history of art and gardening. Also worth visiting in Kassel is the contemporary Grimm World Kassel, completed in 2015 to showcase the life and legacy of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm as well as arts dedicated to fairytales. A stone's throw away, consider a visit to the pseudo-medieval Lowenburg Castle, one of the most important examples of Neo-Gothic ruins in Europe, built between 1793 and 1801 where you have the opportunity to marvel at an extensive collection of opulent furnishings, a magnificent collection of weaponry as well as suits of armour from the 16th and 17th centuries. Finally, a short drive crosses us into Saxony territory as we arrive into the town of Norten-Hardenberg to check into the Hardenberg Burghotel where we will spend the next 2 nights. 

Overnight: Hardenberg Burghotel, Norten-Hardenberg

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: NORTEN-HARDENBERG (GEMS OF LOWER SAXONY)

Embark on an excursion uncovering some of the gems of the heritage-rich Lower Saxony. Our first stop today will be the UNESCO-listed city of Goslar, with its rich mining past as well as its claim as one of the most beautiful old towns in Germany. We enjoy an insightful tour visiting the iconic Rammelsberg Mine, the only mine in the world that has enjoyed an uninterrupted operation for over 1,000 years which eventually ended in 1988. Thereafter, a visit of the Old Town of Goslar with more than 1,500 impeccably well-preserved half-timbered houses from different eras providing some of the most charming scenes at every corner and alley. In the old town as well, you will see the Market Church at the centre of attraction with its impressive late-Romanesque stained-glass windows, which depict scenes from the life of the Saints Cosmas and Damian. 

Next, we move on to the Renaissance town of Wolfenbuttel, which was the residence of the Royal House of Hanover for more than three centuries, charming visitors with its pretty alleys, beautiful canals and waterways. Starting our visit will be the impressive Wolfenbuttel Palace, the state residence of the Dukes of Braunschweig (Brunswick) and Luneburg until 1754. Worth a visit will be the Herzog August Library, founded by Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, in 1572. Under the learned book collector and Prince of Peace Augustus, it amassed the largest book collection in Europe and was seen as the eighth wonder of the world. 

Thereafter, take a walk in the historic old town which boast more than 600 charming and colorful half-timbered houses. From here, we return back to the Hardenberg Burghotel. 

Overnight: Hardenberg Burghotel, Norten-Hardenberg

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3: NORTEN-HARDENBERG / IN THE TRAILS OF MARTIN LUTHER / WEIMAR

We leave the Hardenberg Burghotel today and continue our journey of Saxony. Our first visit of the day will be the UNESCO World Heritage listed Wartburg Castle, one of the best-preserved medieval German fortresses in existence for more than 1,000 years and where Protestant Reformation central figure, Martin Luther sought refuge from the Inquisition till his death sentence. Next, we move on to the medieval townscape of Erfurt, where Martin Luther studied. We begin our visit of the historic old quarter marveling at the monumental ensemble of the Church of St. Severus and the Cathedral with its 500-year-old "Gloriosa" bell, famous throughout the world for the beauty of its tone, as well as wealthy patrician townhouses, charming half-timbered buildings and a great many churches, which earned it the nickname the "Rome of Thuringia". Next, our attention switches to the well-preserved Baroque fortress of Petersberg Citadel, built between 1664 and 1707, is still mightily impressive today on account of its sheer scale and reflects the European style of fortress construction. 

Finally, a short drive away arrives us into the UNESCO-listed Classical town of Weimar, renowned for its revolutionary Bauhaus-styled buildings, fundamental representatives of Classical Modernism as well as home to luminaries like Goethe, Schiller, Liszt and Strauss. Enjoy an insight of the charming old town dotted with magnificent town houses, the royal stables, the neo-Gothic Town Hall, the Baroque Duke Palaces while listening to the life and tales about the famous residents that Weimar once housed. We will then check in into the Dorint Am Goethepark

Overnight: Dorint Am Goethepark, Weimar

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4: WEIMAR / DRESDEN

We leave Weimar today on a scenic journey to the historic and dynamic city of Dresden. On an insightful tour, we discover the marvelous monuments and architectural wonders of Dresden painstakingly reconstructed after WWII. On the itinerary agenda, we visit the historic centre uncovering monumental buildings such as the Frauenkirche, Dresden Castle and its striking green vault, the awesome and spectacular Zwinger Palace, a Baroque palace - home to many electors of Saxony, succumbed to significant damage during many wars, including the Seven Year’s War and the Napoleonic Wars, but it was nearly completely destroyed during World War II. It has now been carefully reconstructed and stands as a wonderful example of German Baroque architecture, the Furtenzug and more as we dedicate the day to understanding the stories of the once mighty city of East Germany that was dubbed "Florence of the Elbe". Finally, we will check in at the historic Hotel Bulow Palais where this evening, enjoy a degustation dinner at its Michelin star Restaurant Caroussel savoring to Chef Benjamin Biedlingmaier's exceptional cuisine

Overnight: Hotel Bulow Palais, Dresden

Meals: Breakfast & Michelin Dinner

DAY 6: DRESDEN (GEMS OF THE ELBE PART I)

An exciting day beckons as we uncover some of the gems of the Elbe River which traverses much of Germany and the Czech Republic into the North Sea. We make a detour inland to the town of Moritzburg, with its impeccable Moritzburg Castle used historically as a hunting retreat for the Saxon kings. Long regarded as the most beautiful moated castle in Germany, enjoy an immersive visit of the castle and learn about the opulent life of the rulers with its rich display of valuable collections and furniture. Later, we continue to the unbelievably-beautiful Wackerbarth Castle, set at the foot of the Radebeul vineyards and where the Saxon court once celebrated lavish parties. We enjoy a tour of the estate including the wine cellars to understand the making of the second oldest sparkling wine in Germany. Thereafter, continue to the medieval riverside town of Meissen with the majestic Albrechtsburg Castle and cathedral overlooking the shimmering Elbe River. On our visit, we will enjoy an informative understanding of the very foundations of Saxony and the beginnings of European porcelain manufacturing at the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. Also worth a visit nearby is the Schloss Proschwitz, a converted winery with some of the most revered award-winning Saxon wines produced in a remarkable setting. From here, we return to Dresden. 

Overnight: Hotel Bulow Palais, Dresden

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 7: DRESDEN (GEMS OF THE ELBE PART II)

We spend another day in the inspiring landscapes of Saxony along the Elbe River where today we continue on an excursion of the south. A short drive past idyllic vineyards arrives us at the Baroque Pillnitz Palace, nestled on the banks of the Elbe River and was once a pleasure palace and summer residence of the Saxon royals where we spend time to admire its magnificent gardens. Thereafter, we cross to the left bank of the Elbe arriving at the photogenic Baroque Grosssedlitz Garden captivating visitors with its magnificent flower gardens and fountains.

 

Not far away, we then arrive at possibly the most surreal and remarkable hilltop fortress in Germany in the form of the Konigstein Fortress, situated on a rocky plateau with virtually impregnable fortifications. Our next highlight of the day will be a short drive to the most incredible rock formation in Germany, the Bastei, situated on the edge of the Saxon Switzerland National Park where we will enjoy some of the most incredible views of Upper Saxony's mountainous landscapes as well as a walk over the surreal Bastei Bridge. From here, we will return to Dresden.

Overnight: Hotel Bulow Palais, Dresden

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 8: DRESDEN DEPARTURE

A wonderful journey comes to an end as we transfer to Dresden Airport where you may connect on domestic flights to international airports such as Frankfurt or Munich or perhaps consider an extension program to Berlin and Brandenburg or over to Poland or the Czech Republic. The options are infinite. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

A member of Relais Chateaux, the Hardenberg Burghotel is nestled at the foot of a 1000-year-old castle ruin with tastefully-appointed rooms and state-of-the-art wellness facilities. Featuring as well is its Michelin-guide gourmet restaurant by Chef Bastian-Alexandrer Rau that is quickly becoming a draw for discerning travelers and gourmands to the area. 

Hardenberg Burghotel, Norten-Hardenberg

Set in an elegant Neoclassical building, the hotel Dorint am Goethepark Weimar overlooks Goethe Park in the central German city of Weimar. Rooms are designed in Art Nouveau and Bauhaus styles with modern amenities and a main restaurant serving local cuisines and dishes of the area. 

Dorint Am Goethepark, Weimar

Located on the new town side of the Elbe River, the historic Hotel Bulow Palais is a member of Relais & Chateaux with each of the 58 rooms and suites carefully-furnished to present the contrasting styles of classic regal and modern refinement while savoring to Michelin star Chef Benjamin Biedlingmaier's exceptional cuisine at its Restaurant Caroussel. 

Hotel Bulow Palais

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