Spring in Saxony and Bohemia

Friday 21st April to Monday 1st May 2017
11 - Days


Prices from: £1770


Idyllic railways, inspiring landscapes and magnificent castles are just some of the ingredients of this exciting holiday to Czech Bohemia and Saxony in Eastern Germany.


Departure Date: 21-Apr-2017
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You’ll be based in the historic cities of Liberec, Görlitz, Dresden and Prague and travel steam-hauled on many of Saxony’s famed narrow gauge lines as well as experiencing main line steam over ‘rare track’ in North Bohemia. Languid river cruises on genuine paddle steamers, private rides on heritage trams, and a trip on Dresden’s iconic mountain monorail are also on the menu. Complimentary public transport rovers issued in all cities give you the ultimate freedom to explore their local infrastructure, architecture and cuisine. Together with ample photo opportunities and staged run-pasts, as well as a heady backdrop of towering mountains, wild forests and quaint villages, it’s a wonderful recipe for a memorable holiday that’s not to be missed!

Friday 21st April
Fly to Prague, transfer to Liberec
After a direct morning flight from London to Prague you have a one-hour coach transfer to Liberec. Dubbed the ‘Czech Innsbruck’ on account of of its mountainous backdrop, this vibrant city is your base for the next four nights. After checking in to your centrally located hotel you’ll have time to look around the city’s spacious squares and cobbled streets. You’ll also receive a complimentary public transport rover ticket, valid on the entire Liberec tram network. In the evening, a buffet dinner will be served at your hotel. (D)

Saturday 22nd April
Steam in the mountains of North Bohemia
After breakfast your first privately chartered main line steam train awaits at Liberec main station. Today you’ll discover the large network of scenic branch lines located north of Liberec, along the frontier with Poland. Hauled by the ornate tank engine 310.0134 ‘Coffee Mill’ from 1913, you’ll travel over the main line via Frydlant to the Czech border station Cernousy, before reversing and covering the idyllic branch lines to Jindrichovice and Bily Potok pod Smrkem. Steam trains are rare in this northernmost part of the Czech Republic. The route is flanked by imposing hilltop castles, deep pine forests and traditional timber cottages along the way. Lunch will be served in the buffet car on the train. You return to Liberec in late afternoon, in time for a hearty buffet dinner at your hotel. (B L D)

Sunday 23rd April
North Bohemian Steam Circular
Another fine excursion awaits today on the Czech main line. Hauled once more by tank engine 310.0134, you traverse the spectacular, stone-arched Novina Viaduct on the circular journey from Liberec westward to Ceska Lipa. You then head south to Bakov and Jizerou, before turning north to Turnov and once again to Liberec. Castles, churches, cliffs and little creeks decorate the evocative landscape as you speed past. Lunch is taken on the train and with frequent staged photo stops you’ll have lots of highlights to discuss over dinner this evening. (B L D)

Monday 24th April
Vintage trams in Liberec and mountain magnificence at Jested
After two invigorating days on the Czech main line, today is more relaxed as you venture by aerial cableway to the summit of Mount Jested, the local peak towering over Liberec at 1012 m (3320 ft) above sea level. Jested offers a breath taking 360 degree panorama with views of three countries and clear sightlines to Germany to the west, Poland to the north and the Czech heartland to the south. After lunch at the summit you then explore Liberec’s, travelling in a variety of privately chartered heritage vehicles. The network uniquely features both standard and narrow gauge tracks, including the long overland line to the neighbouring city Jablonec. Dinner is at your hotel this evening. (B L D)

Tuesday 25th April
Steam in Zittau
A first narrow gauge highlight awaits today as you visit the Zittau steam railway in Saxony, operating in the south easternmost corner of Germany along the frontier with Poland and the Czech Republic. From the quaint city of Zittau the 12.2 km branch line leads to the resort town of Kurort Oybin, located among picturesque hills and impressive rock formations. There’s also a short 3.8 km long stub from the junction station of Bertsdorf to Kurort Jonsdorf to enjoy. You’ll be given a day-long rover ticket and the chance to experience both lines and film the attractive double departure from Bertsdorf. Impressive 2-10-2 tank engines run every day on the Zittau network with normally 2 or 3 in steam. In the evening you transfer on a service train from Zittau to nearby Görlitz, where you’ll stay at an elegant hotel in the expansive medieval old town for the next two nights. Dinner is at your hotel this evening. (B D)

Wednesday 26th April
Steam at the Muskau Forest Railway and Pückler Park Visit
Today a real ‘diamond-in-the-rough’ awaits you, on a trip to the little known 600mm gauge Muskau Forest Railway northeast of Dresden via Görlitz. Arriving by service train and starting in Weisswasser, you’ll cover all three of the forest railway’s branch lines on a private steam charter. Your steam-hauled special arrives at the spa town of Bad Muskau, with its charming local chateau and the enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Pückler Park, a beautiful 19th century English landscape garden spanning both sides of the German-Polish border. There’ll be time to see the chateau and gardens and also stroll across the River Neisse to Poland. Lunch will be provided at the railway today. You return to Görlitz with more time to explore this fantastic historic city. Dinner will again be served at your hotel. (B L D)

Thursday 27th April
Steam to Radeburg and Moritzburg Castle
After breakfast you take a service train from Görlitz to Dresden, the provincial capital of Saxony, famed for its incredible Baroque architecture. After checking into a centrally located 4-star hotel opposite the station. An exciting afternoon excursion awaits as you visit the local narrow gauge railway at Radebeul. Green heritage coaches and a big black tank locomotive take you from Radebeul down the 16.5 km long line to Radeburg, stopping at the famed Moritzburg Castle en route. You return to Radebeul, where the narrow gauge steam train has a level crossing with the standard gauge Dresden tram network. From Radebeul you return to Dresden on a DB service train with the evening free to explore at leisure. (B)

Friday 28th April
Vintage Monorail in Loschwitz; Paddle Steamer Cruise on the River Elbe to Saxon Switzerland
After lunch today you transfer by tram to the unique ‘dingle dangle’ style 1901 mountain monorail in Loschwitz, overlooking the River Elbe. You then explore Saxony by water on an authentic late 19th century paddle steamer, cruising from Dresden to Königstein, in the heart of Saxon Switzerland. See Dresden´s famed ‘Canaletto’ panorama as you depart from the main pier. The cruise skirts many of Dresden´s villas and residential chateaus before passing under the impressive ‘Blue Wonder’ steel span bridge. As you approach Königstein and its expansive, hilltop fortress dating from the Napoleonic era, you see the distinctive table top mountain known as the Lilienstein. You return to Dresden where the evening can be spent at your leisure in the city. (B)

Saturday 29th April
Steam at the Dresden Park Railway and Steam at the Weisseritz Valley Railway
Today there’s another private steam charter for you, this time on the 15-inch Dresden Park Railway, with its impressive 5.6 km long circuit in the city’s formidable Baroque-style ‘Großer Garten’. You’ll be hauled by a green 1925 vintage Pacific ‘Moritz. Early afternoon you transfer by service train to Freital-Hainsberg, where another narrow gauge highlight awaits. This trip takes you over the re-opened Weisseritz Valley Railway for the spectacular journey from Freital-Hainsberg to Dippoldiswalde, along the powerful current of the River Weisseritz and past craggy cliffs, narrow bridges and pretty lakes. With the planned re-opening to Kurort Kipsdorf, the full 26 km long branch line can once again be traversed steam-hauled. Enjoy the splendid views from your open-top observation car. You return to Dresden in the afternoon, for another opportunity to enjoy and explore the city. (B)

Sunday 30th April
Paddle Steamer Cruise in Prague
Today you return to the Czech Republic and spend a day in the ‘Golden City’ of Prague. You travel on a comfortable Euro City service train through the scenic Elbe Valley from Dresden to Prague, before arriving in the Czech capital and checking into your centrally located 4-star hotel. You’ll once again benefit from a complimentary public transport rover ticket and have free time to explore this amazing city. You’ll then enjoy a late afternoon paddle steamer cruise on the River Vltava aboard the authentic steamer ‘Vltava’ from 1940. Among the trip highlights are unobstructed views of the stone-arched Charles Bridge and magnificent Prague Castle. (B)

Monday 1st May
Leisure in Prague and return to London
In the morning and early afternoon you’ll have more leisure time to explore historic Prague before taking a direct early evening return flight to London. (B)

Images 2,3 and 4 by Niels Kunick.


Details

Price

  • Tour price £1895
  • Single supplement £235
  • Ground only (Liberec – Prague) £1770

All prices shown are per person

Price Includes

  • 10 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels with 8 breakfasts
  • 6 lunches and 6 dinners
  • All railway and steamboat excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Multi-day public transport rover tickets in Leipzig and Dresden
  • All private steam railway and vintage tram charters as detailed in the itinerary
  • The services of a tour manager

Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner

 

Map feature coming soon!