We tend to do things big here in America, but when it comes to ski resorts and vertical drops, the Europeans have it much better (and bigger!). Nauseating vertical drops aside, Austria, Italy, France, Germany, and Switzerland have the added benefits of more reasonable ski lifts (last time we checked, at least), great food, even better wine, and an après-ski (and some might say even avant-ski) experience that would - to say the least - expand your cultural horizons.
Austria is more epitomized by green glacial valleys and snow-capped peaks - and the wooden picture postcard chalets. Nonetheless, visitors have much to explore from the stylish capital, Vienna, to the baroque splendor of Salzburg. Austria's mountain landscape is undoubtedly its biggest draw for tourists. Although a year-round destination, there is a definite seasonal split in visitors. Summer is best for exploring the countryside on the many mountain trails that snake through the Austrian Alps and the lowlands, while the ski season kicks off in December, attracting winter sports fans from all over the world.
France remains one of the worlds most talked-about and written-about destinations. Whether the romance of Paris sweeps you off your feet or you fall gently for the relaxed life of Provence, France is a place for lovers, and will leave you spellbound. Paris is undoubtedly one of the world's great cities, with enough monuments, museums, restaurants, theatres and shows to last a lifetime. The northern provinces of Normandy and Brittany are steeped in history while the Loire Valley is world famous for its châteaux. And there is more to explore.
Germany's landscape is straight from the Fairy tales: castles, deep dark forests and mythical rivers. The German landscapes are extraordinarily diverse, with graceful big-city appeal, small picture-postcard towns, pagan-inspired harvest festivals, a wealth of art and culture, and the perennial pleasures of huge tracts of forest, delightful castles and fine wine and beer. From Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire to the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, no other nation has molded Europe the way Germany has - for better or worse.
For centuries Italy has drawn foreign visitors - mostly for its architectural, artistic, and scenic splendors. Italy can truly be all things to all people. From the passion and excitement of noisy urban crowds to the quiet, rural idyll where the traditional life can be experienced. Italy's great cities are replete with rich attractions and culture alongside some of the most pristine beaches and spectacular mountains in the world.
Switzerland is a pristine country of lakes, mountains and forests. The best known of the continent`s mountain ranges, the Alpine chain, runs through most of Switzerland and provides the majority of the country`s magnificent natural sights. In the summer, towns such as Interlaken become green mountain centers for walking and mountaineering, and there are few places more naturally beautiful in the whole of Europe. Zurich, Geneva, Bern and Lucerne are models of Swiss efficiency, offering a wealth of perfectly serene history. Less busy are the lakeside resorts, including fashionable Montreux on Lake Geneva.
Take an unforgettable vacation through Europe and visit Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen with a rent a car to explore on your own. There is simply no shortage of museums, churches, parks, historic sights or activities to explore in these fascinating cities. This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in the city, desired hotel and activities.
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* Sample prices displayed include international and domestic airline tickets as per itinerary and ALL airline-related taxes and fuel surcharges and are per person, based on double occupancy, and are dynamic in nature. Prices do not include insurance or delivery charges which are optional and customizable by the traveler. The airfare portion of the itinerary price is based on economy class, midweek departure. Prices do not include fees for carry on or checked baggage which can add additional fees per ticket on a roundtrip flight based on carrier charges. It also does not include any entrance fees or visa fees that may be charged at international airports. Some cities may charge local taxes that can only be collected by hotel at destination.
Prices were accurate at the time we posted them. Sample prices were for a specific travel date and specific departure airport, as indicated. Your prices will vary according to departure cities and travel dates. We do not control prices (airlines and hotel reservation systems do). Prices may change dynamically and at times significantly numerous times during any given day.