France·May 13 - 20 2024

The Ravishing Rhine - France, Germany & Switzerland

A glorious journey to France, Germany and Switzerland through the Rhine River Valley

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Overview

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure exploring the picturesque Alsatian villages of France, wandering through the enchanting Black Forest of Germany, and immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of Basel, Switzerland? From the quaint streets of Colmar to the vibrant city life of Freiburg, each destination offers a unique charm and allure that will leave you spellbound. Exploring the picturesque Alsatian villages, sampling local delicacies, and indulging in wine tastings will awaken your senses and ignite your passion for culinary adventures. The journey through the Black Forest will immerse you in the raw beauty of nature, while the tranquil mountain spa retreat offers a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation. In Basel, the fusion of contemporary design and timeless artistry awaits, inviting you to delve deeper into the creative spirit of the region. From the Vitra Design Museum's innovative exhibits to the Beyeler Foundations' masterful collections, you'll embark on a cultural odyssey that celebrates the diversity and creativity of human expression. As you wander through the charming streets of Basel, exploring its historic landmarks and vibrant neighborhoods, you'll create memories that will last a lifetime. So, who's ready to embark on this extraordinary adventure and discover the magic of Europe's hidden gems?

Highlights

Explore one of the most beautiful villages in France

Explore one of the most beautiful villages in France

Shop in Freiburg

Shop in Freiburg

Join the locals in a beer garden

Join the locals in a beer garden

Take a day retreat at one of the best spas in Germany

Take a day retreat at one of the best spas in Germany

Savor award-winning Alsatian wines with a female winemaker

Savor award-winning Alsatian wines with a female winemaker

Relish the food, the pastries, the chocolate!

Relish the food, the pastries, the chocolate!

Discover the art and design mecca of Basel

Discover the art and design mecca of Basel

Cruise down the Rhine River in Basel, Switzerland

Cruise down the Rhine River in Basel, Switzerland

Itinerary

Here's a day-by-day itinerary for the trip.

Previous

Next

Colmar

Colmar, France

Day 1: Monday May 13, 2024

Take the train to Colmar from Paris or Zurich (or whichever city you fly to internationally). Arrive and check into the charming central Hotel Colombier Suites, where we'll stay for our first two nights. Transfers from Strasbourg are also available.

This afternoon, we’ll tour the old town of Colmar and visit the expansive and impressive food market, picking up a snack or two en route.

We'll meet again in the lobby around 7 pm after taking time to refresh and relax. We’ll have a short get-to-know-you session over drinks, discussing what adventures are in store for the week. Then, we’ll head out for a local meal at the Wistub Le Cygne, where we’ll feel properly welcomed to Alsace!

Included

Snacks

Dinner and drinks

Not Included

Breakfast, Lunch

Kaysersberg

Colmar & Kaysersberg, France

Day 2: Tuesday May 14, 2024

This morning, you'll have time to shop and explore on your own. There are such beautiful souvenirs in this lovely town.

Afterward, we’ll explore the charming village of Kaysersberg with our local guide. We’ll savor a wine tasting and lunch with a well-known female vintner. We’ll return to Colmar in the late afternoon for a rest.

Tonight, we’ve planned a meal of Flammekueche - a delicious Alsatian-style Pizza - in the darling village of Eguisheim nearby. Wash it down with refreshing local beer or wine. 

Included

All Meals

Freiburg2

Freiburg, Germany

Day 3: Wednesday May 15, 2024

Today, we depart for Freiburg, Germany. We'll stay at the Hotel Colombi for the next two nights.

Your host Katrin’s family comes from Freiburg. After checking in, we'll tour the town, and Katrin will show us her favorite shops in this small but charming and sophisticated German town. You could choose instead to relax and swim at the hotel’s indoor pool or enjoy their hydrotherapy services. 

Tonight, we’ll sample local German delicacies at a historic beer garden.

Included

All meals

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Freiburg, Germany

Day 4: Thursday May 16, 2024

As today is market day in Freiburg, Katrin will walk us through the market and the main cathedral, dating back to 1,200 AD – both are on the picturesque central square.

After a traditional sausage lunch at the famous stall on the cathedral square, we’ll enjoy a local German wine tasting.

During your free time this afternoon, you may want to visit the Augustiner Museum, home to an impressive collection of paintings from the Middle Ages and the Baroque period.

This evening, we’ll visit a beautiful cloister to walk through the vineyards and dine on the best pork/veal schnitzel you’ve ever tasted. (Vegetarian options are available).

Included

All meals

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Germany & Switzerland

Day 5: Friday May 17, 2024

After breakfast, we’ll head up into the mountains as we travel halfway to Basel, Switzerland, where we'll visit a well-known German spa town from the Roman era. Enjoy a massage or another treatment (one of which is included, so feel free to pamper yourself with more)! You'll have hours to rest and rejuvenate in the spa's thermal baths, six different types of sauna, and the Roman Irish steam and plunge pool. After our spa time, we'll enjoy lunch outside (weather permitting).

After our spectacular spa day, we'll head to Basel to check into our gorgeous hotel on the banks of the Rhine River, the Krafft Hotel

After a rest, we'll dine in style at the hotel restaurant. 

Included

All meals

one spa treatment

Vitra

Basel, Switzerland

Day 6: Saturday May 18, 2024

Today, we'll visit the Vitra Design Museum. It's a campus full of architect-designed buildings by the likes of Gehry, Tando Ando, etc.

Afterward, we'll lunch at the Beyeler Foundation, designed by Renzo Piano, one of the most important museums in Europe. Then, we'll take a guided tour of the beautiful collection and gardens.

You'll have time to explore Basel alone before dining on Swiss classics in central Basel.

Included

All meals

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Basel, Switzerland

Day 7: Sunday May 19, 2024

After breakfast, we’ll take a boat ride along the Rhine River.

Then, there's a short tour of the Old Town, stopping at the ancient Cathedral of Basel, built over 1000 years ago.

Enjoy some free time this afternoon with an optional visit to the Kunstmusem with its collection of old masters through to contemporary artists. Alternatively, you could spend time shopping and exploring Basel. Stop for lunch on your own or with friends. 

We’ll dine this evening at a grand yet charming Swiss restaurant and celebrate our wonderful week together, treasuring lasting friendships made.

Included

Breakfast-Dinner

Not Included

Lunch

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Basel, Switzerland

Day 8: Monday May 20, 2024

After breakfast, it's time to say au revoir, auf Wiedersehen. It's sad to say goodbye to this lovely part of the world and new friends made. Still, you'll have memories for a lifetime!

We'll drop you at the train station or airport in Basel to start your journey home. Train or fly from Basel to the most convenient international city (probably Paris or Zurich) for your flight home.

Included

Breakfast

You'll Be Staying Here

Hotel Colombier Suites

Hotel Colombier Suites

On the edge of the river, in the heart of Colmar's "Little Venice", the Colombier Suites exude the charm of a traditional, half-timbered Alsatian house. Dating from the 18th Century, it combines tradition and modernity.

Hotel Colombi

Hotel Colombi

The Colombi on the outskirts of the picturesque, historic area of Freiburg, is the perfect starting point for a stroll around the city.

Krafft Design Hotel

Krafft Design Hotel

The historic Hotel Krafft has stood prominently on the banks of the Rhine since its founding in 1873. Still, the design is anything but fuddy-duddy, its chic and gorgeous.

Hosts

Katrin Hodapp

Katrin Hodapp

A 25-year resident in her adopted Paris. Katrin has moved from a career as an international literary agent to sharing her passion for travel and art. She speaks five languages fluently and, when not guiding visitors in France, is an active translator in the film industry. She's always keen to find the perfect view, the ideal bistro, and hidden gem to ensure a memorable trip.

Price

Private Room

Private Room

Everyone gets their own fabulous room!

FROM$6,895

Shared Room

Shared Room

Share a room with a friend or family member - we do not match up singles who do not know one another

FROM$6,195

Add Ons

Arrive one day early in France

Arrive one day early in France

Includes one night and breakfast at the Hotel Le Colombier Suites

PRICE$330.00

ADD THIS

Rhine. The river that, somewhere out there, has broken free

Rhine

With vineyards and castles, medieval towns, and buzzing cities, the Rhine region has some of the most spectacular and in-demand scenery. Join us as we make our way down the river (moving south to north as the river flows) and enjoy sightseeing excursions as you go. 

Rhine

What's Included

What's Included

Everything stated in itinerary above including most meals plus wine or beer with dinner

All lodging

All meals including some wine or beer with dinner

All trips, tastings and museum entries as indicated

All transport in the three countries by van + a boat ride

A spa treatment at the Black Forest hotel and spa.

Your international flights & trains to and from the start and finish of the trip.

All personal souvenir purchases

Any museum entries that you wish to go to during your down time

Additional spa treatments

Extra wine or beer beyond what is offered

Travel and Medical Insurance (required)

Taxi from train station to the hotel

Reviews

"Katrin is a delight. The Design museum was so interesting. Colmar village center was charming. The variety and quality of meals was amazing. Freiburg was delightful."

Derryl Z, Alameda CA, USA, 2022 Trip Guest

"This was the perfect trip for my desire to explore the Rhine River area of France, Germany and Switzerland. The gorgeous towns, tasting Alsace food and wine, visiting historic sites, shopping for artisan gifts, private vintage boat cruise on the Rhine River, and experiencing a German spa in the Black Forest made this trip so special. I met the most wonderful and interesting travel companions with Girls' Guide to the World. Our trip leader was so much fun, we laughed so much, and made the best memories. This is my third solo trip with a travel company and I have discovered that this style of travel allows me to easily start fulfilling my dreams of "must see" on my travel bucket list."

Charkland Mae, May 2023 on Trip Advisor

"I just loved visiting the churches and learning about the towns - when they were built, and how the amazing churches are still standing throughout the years."

Yubia J, Kansas City, MO, USA, 2022 Trip Guest

FAQs

You should fly to Charles De Gaulle Airport or the Zurich Airport and take the train to Colmar.

The trip officially starts on the afternoon of May 13th, but if you are traveling across an ocean to get to Paris, consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and adjust to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we will take care of booking your room for you and make sure that you are kept in the same room as you will be in when the trip starts.

We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list.Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.

The weather in May is moderately chilly with a gentle breeze, with average highs of 65°F (19°C) and lows of 45°F (7°C).

Your trip leader will be Karin Hodapp. Karin is a 25-year resident in her adopted Paris. Katrin has turned from a career as an international literary agent to sharing her passion for travel and art. She speaks five languages fluently and when not guiding visitors in France, is an active translator in the film industry. She's always keen to find the perfect view, the ideal bistro and hidden gem to make the trips she leads seamless and memorable.

Inquire about this trip

The Ravishing Rhine - France, Germany & Switzerland

France· May 13 - 20 2024· 7 nights

FROM$6,895/pp