December 14th 2015

High in the Alps, where Bavaria and Austria meet, children still thrill to the Christmas legend of the Krampus. The mystical horned, chain-wielding devil-figure punishes those who have misbehaved, while St Nicholas rewards the good children with gifts.Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 14.01.23 This folklore, celebrated with dressing up and parades in the high mountain villages, doesn't recognize modern borders. But Bavaria and the Austrian Tyrol are by no means the same. Sometimes dubbed the "odd couple" of Europe, they are each proud lands, where local traditions are carried down from generation to generation. Our new Walk in both Bavaria and Austria lets us discover the best of both. Their languages are similar, but not identical. The cuisines of Bavaria and of Austria are deliciously distinct. There are, of course, close ties throughout history. Empress "Sisi" of Austria, young bride of Emperor Franz-Joseph was Bavarian - indeed, she was first cousin to "Mad" Dream-King Ludwig, who built his succession of over-the-top palaces - and his Schloss Linderhof is a highlight of our tour. linderhof palace From the peak of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain, we survey the views over Bavaria, stretching in to Austria. We stroll through Oberammergau, famous for the Passion Play. When we cross the border into Austria we stay in a family-run hotel high in the Alps and go into Salzburg, to dine in St Peter's Keller, Europe's oldest restaurant. Come with us and explore this historic region. We promise mountains in all directions, wonderful hikes by sparkling sapphire lakes, fairytale castles, storybook villages, famous beer and delicious food! See our new itinerary for our Walk in Bavaria and the Tyrolean Alps and join us in 2016.

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