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Dating back almost 400 years, the Oberammergau passion play came about following a vow made in 1633, when the German village of Oberammergau was in the terrifying grip of the Great Plague. If their village was spared, the villagers promised to re-enact the Passion of the Christ every 10 years and in 2022 the village is making preparations for the 42nd performance. An estimated 500,000 people are expected to visit Oberammergau in 2022 to watch history taking place and you could be one of them. Don’t miss out on this once-a-decade opportunity to see one of the most important plays in the world and explore the breath-taking Austrian Alps as you go.
Your holiday begins when you meet our Tour Manager at London’s St Pancras International station, ready to board the Eurostar to Brussels. On arrival in Brussels, we’ll take an onwards connecting train to Frankfurt then Stuttgart for our overnight stay.
After breakfast, we’ll take the train from Stuttgart to the beautiful resort of Zell am See on the banks of Austria’s glistening Lake Zell. Once here, there’ll be a coach transfer waiting to take us to our hotel in the area, where we’ll be staying for the next three nights. You’ll have plenty of time to settle in and enjoy a refreshing welcome drink before heading to dinner in the evening.
Today you’ll get to spend some time exploring more of the wonderful town of Zell am See. At breakfast, we’ll have a chance to fuel-up for the busy day ahead before we venture out on a full day excursion, by coach, around the elegant resort in the heart of Austria. Have your camera at the ready to capture the stunning scenery as you soak up the charming atmosphere and character of the historic town centre. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the bustling waterfront promenades, set against the picture-perfect backdrop of the surrounding mountain peaks. We’ll tuck into a tasty three-course lunch at a local restaurant before experiencing a ride on the Kitzsteinhorn funicular in the afternoon. You’ll have some free time to take in the incredible views from the top of the mountain when you get off, then it’s back to the hotel to relax and enjoy our evening meal.
We drive to Mayrhofen today where we join the Zillertal steam train for a scenic journey through the Zillertal Valley to Jenbach. Completed in 1902, this spectacular stretch of narrow-gauge railroad was considered an engineering marvel for its time. Today, the train is a popular tourist attraction and an exceptional way to see the amazingly beautiful Zillertal Valley. The beauty of the rugged mountains surrounds you as the old-time steam locomotive travels 32 kilometres. From Jenbach, we continue by coach to Krimml Waterfalls. The falls boast the status of being both the largest and steepest in Europe, standing tall at an impressive 380m. We’ll have time to take in the sights and sounds of this spectacular natural wonder before returning to our hotel for dinner.
It’s time to leave Zell am See and embark on the next part of our journey. After breakfast, we’ll travel by coach across the border into Germany and head west towards the Bavarian Alps. We’ll arrive at our next stop, Oberammergau, and check-in at the hotel we’ll be staying at for the next two nights. Dinner will be served at the hotel this evening.
Today we get to experience the pinnacle of this fascinating tour; the 42nd Oberammergau Passion Play. You’ll have a highly sought-after ticket to this iconic and memorable performance, dramatically telling the story of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. The cast of over 2,000 local Oberammergau residents will bring the captivating play to life in the open-air theatre, set against the backdrop of the Ammergau Valley. You’ll enjoy a Passion Play dinner during the five-hour-long performance’s two-hour break and will be transferred back to your accommodation at the end of the evening.
We’ll leave Oberammergau behind today and will be taken, by coach, from our hotel to Oberammergau railway station. From here, we’ll take the train to Cologne, where we’ll be staying for one night.
Today is the final day of your holiday. We’ll have breakfast at the hotel, then depart Cologne on the train to Brussels. From here, it’s time to head home on our connecting Eurostar train back to London, bringing this remarkable tour to a close.