Please note this itinerary is copyrighted.
Key: IF = In Flight Meals, B= Breakfast, D = Dinner
Day 1: Sunday, May 7, 2017: Overnight Flight to Berlin, Germany
Our journey to explore the sites and heroes of the Reformation begins with an overnight flight to Berlin. Early arrivals are welcome to join Frank & Rowena for an optional dinner at a local restaurant. (IF)
Day 2: Monday, May 8, 2017: Arrival in Berlin, Wittenberg
Welcome to Germany! On arrival in Berlin, travelers will take a taxi to the centrally-located Berlin Hof hotel. After time to explore the nearby Kaiser Wilhelm Church, purchase lunch, and shop, we will gather back at the hotel to begin the tour. Our afternoon bus orientation tour will include a stop at the famous Brandenburg Gate for photos. We will also see the Cathedral, the Reichstag building and the lively boulevards, followed by visits to WWII Topography of Terror Museum and Cold War Check Point Charlie Museum. We will then travel to Wittenberg and dine at our hotel. Tonight local Christians will join us for dinner and share their experiences of ministry in Wittenberg. (B/D)
Day 3: Tuesday, May 9, 2017: Wittenberg
This morning we have an opportunity to attend church in Wittenberg. Then our local guide will take us on a tour of Lutherstadt Wittenberg. It was here in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses and Melanchthon helped forge Reformation Theology. Here the Cranachs painted now famous portraits of Luther. We will spend time in the Lutherhalle (Luther House) Museum, where Luther lived first as a monk, then later with his wife and children. We’ll be able to view some of Luther’s very own personal library, rare manuscripts, and early Bibles. The tour will also include Castle Church, Stadtkirche St. Marien (St. Mary’s church) where Luther preached and where his children were baptized, and the Luther Oak where he burned the edict from Rome, condemning him as a “heretic”. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the town. (B)
Day 4: Wednesday, May 10, 2017: Erfurt
After breakfast, we will travel to Erfurt, where we will have free time for lunch and a stroll around this delightful medieval town. Our local guide will take us on a tour including St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Severin’s Church and the famous Merchant’s Bridge. We will end at the Augustinian Monastery where Luther became a monk on July 17, 1505. We will be able to see his monastic quarters, including one cell furnished to look as it would have done when he lived there. At the end of the tour we will have a group worship service in the chapel. This evening we will dine in the “Luther Cellar” restaurant with a traditional meal from his time. We spend two nights in his Augustinian Monastery, which is now a Christian hotel (subject to availability). (B/D)
Day 5: Thursday, May 11, 2017: Eisenach, Erfurt
In 1521, while fleeing from the wrath of the Pope, Luther took refuge in the Wartburg Castle after a fake kidnapping staged by his friend and protector, Frederick the Wise. We will tour the Wartburg and see where Luther finished translating the New Testament into German in just eleven weeks. Luther spent time in the nearby town of Eisenach at as school boy and sang in the choir of St. George’s Church, where the Bach family also worshiped. The afternoon is free to explore the town or tour the Bach Museum and Luther House Museum. The bus will then take us back to Erfurt, followed by an optional tour to Buchenwald, a Nazi concentration camp. The evening is at leisure. (B)
Day 6: Friday, May 12, 2017: Rhine Cruise, Rüdesheim
On our way to the Rhine River, we will enjoy some discussion of the Reformation and then enjoy a delightful and picturesque cruise from St. Goarshausen, past magnificent castles and the famous Loreley Rock to charming Rüdesheim. We will then take a cable car over vineyards to the Germania Monument with a gorgeous Rhein view, followed by dinner at a local winery. Here, we’ll enjoy a relaxed group meal and learn about life in the abbey. This evening in Rüdesheim we can sing along to German folk songs with live accordion music. We overnight in Rüdesheim. (B/D)
Day 7: Saturday, May 13, 2017: Worms, Strasbourg
Our guide in Worms will take us to see the amazing Cathedral, followed by the site of Luther’s Worms Debates (Diet of Worms), now a park, with a plaque commemorating Luther’s brave stand for faith and truth. We’ll have a photo stop at the stunning Reformation Monument, followed by worship and prayers in the Church of the Holy Trinity. We will then travel into France to visit Strasbourg, referred to as the “City of Hope” and “Refuge of the Righteous” by the Anabaptists. This is where John Calvin wrote his famous books on systematic theology and where Martin Bucer, another Reformation leader, helped bring in the Reformation. We will have a stroll around the city centre and view the Cathedral of Strasbourg, St. Thomas’s Church, and the charming “La Petite France” quarter. This evening we enjoy a fellowship meal with local believers. (B/D)
Day 8: Sunday, May 14, 2017: Strasbourg
This morning we have the option of attending church in Zurich, meeting local English-speaking believers. Today is at leisure to explore this wonderful French city, take a canal tour boat ride, rest or try local cuisine favorites. Frank will also be leading an optional excursion in the afternoon to explore charming Colmar, just an hour south by train. Colmar escaped damage during the war, and has numerous picturesque half-timbered houses. This was the hometown of Frederic Bartholdi (creator of the Statue of Liberty) and the town includes a small museum. (B)
Day 9: Monday, May 15, 2017: Constance, Zurich
Today we will have breakfast in France, lunch in Germany and dinner in Switzerland! In Constance, we will pray on the spot where the pre-Reformer Jan Hus was martyred, and see the Cathedral where some of the trials were held. Crossing over in Switzerland, we’ll dine in an authentic Swiss restaurant. Overnight in Zurich. (B/D)
Day 10: Tuesday, May 16, 2017: Zurich, Mürren
This morning we will meet up with our guide in Zurich, to learn about Zwingli and the Anabaptists on a tour of the key Reformation sites in Zurich. We will tour the Grossmünster, the Helferei (where Zwingli lived) and see the Zwingli Statue. After a stroll through the historic Auld Stadt (old city) we will depart for Mürren. (B/D)
Day 11: Wednesday, May 17, 2017: Mürren
This is our fun Alps play day! Local leisure options include bike rental, hiking with a picnic in a meadow, or the cogwheel railway up to Kleine Scheidigg and the spectacular Jungfrau Peak. Frank and Rowena will escort those who wish on an amazing journey of cable cars and trains to Murren, returning to the hotel in the evening. (B)
Day 12: Thursday, May 18, 2017: Geneva
We will stop for coffee in medieval Murten, where we can walk atop the original city walls and explore another chapter of Swiss history. We then continue to Geneva, where Calvin, Knox, Farel and others brought Christ’s teachings to eager listeners. Our tour will begin at the impressive Reformation Monument. Four statues of four Reformation leaders stand as sentinels to truth and courage inspired by godly faith. We will see Calvin’s church, the Auditoire de Calvin, (Calvin’s Academy, also known as The Protestant Lecture Hall), where the inspired theologian himself taught. Next door is St. Pierre’s Cathedral, where John Calvin preached. We can see his chair and a restored section decorated as it would have been before Calvin. Our final stop is an audio guide tour through the incredible Reformation Museum. Below the museum and the Cathedral, we can see the ruins of a Roman sanctuary, a 4th century basilica, and a 6th century church. We have a free time this afternoon to experience these key sites before we dine at a local restaurant this evening for our farewell meal. (B/D)
Day 13: Friday, May 19, 2017: Return
We transfer from the hotel to the airport for our flights. (B/IF)
This is a Reformation Tours itinerary, sold with permission by Special Group Tours.
What are accommodations like?
Our hotels are chosen for their quality, amenities and proximity to areas of interest. Whenever possible, we choose hotels in town centers, so that you are able to go off and explore in your free time. It may be necessary for us to substitute hotels for others of equal quality. You will be fully informed of any changes that affect you. Enjoy your stay!
Pre-tour nights are available at the Berliner Hof Hotel. Let us know if you would like us to book you a room.
May 8-10, 2017
Best Western Stadt Palais
May 10-12, 2017
May 12-13, 2017
65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein
May 13-15, 2017
Ibis Strasbourg Centre Gare
10 Place de la Gare
May 15-16, 2017
May 16-18, 2017
Hotel Edelweiss or similar
May 18-19, 2017
Ibis Geneva Airport
10 Chemin de la Violette
Please arrange to be in Berlin on the morning of May 8, 2017. If you would prefer to arrive earlier, we can arrange a pre-tour hotel nights in Berlin. We can either assist you with flights or you can book your own. Please ensure we have a copy of your flight itinerary for our records as soon as you have booked it.
May 8, 2017: Please arrive in Berlin in the morning, preferably before 10 AM.
May 19, 2017: You can depart from Geneva at any time.