During medieval times, salt and gold were Europe’s most precious natural resources and their trade established the ‘Golden Path’ leading from Salzburg to Prague. This trip covers Austria, Bavaria, and Bohemia, the three historic regions that played a vital role in the wealthy exchanging of salt for gold. We begin around Austria’s famous alpine salt mines, continue through the awesome landscapes of Bavaria, and finally reach what was known as the Bohemian gold fields. Along the way, hike up to mountain towns, walk through deep forests, hop across borders, glide on glassy lakes and travel from the majestic city of Salzburg to Prague, the city of spires. Clearly, salt and gold are no longer the most precious natural resource this region has to offer.
* From Salzburg to Prague
* 8 nights/9 days walking trip
* Professional bilingual guides
* Van support/Luggage transfers
* Hotels and Inns with private baths
* Moderate to long countryside hikes
* Focus on history, architecture, and nature
* All meals included, except one dinner
* Entrance fees and beer tastings included
Day 1 Salt + Castle = Salzburg
Arrive in the grand city of Salzburg, one of Austria’s most beautiful cities because of the precious salt collected from its nearby Alps. Stroll the narrow lanes during a guided tour and hear about its gardens, green hills, architecture, fortress and of course The Sound of Music.
Day 2-3 Awesome Bavarian Alps
Enter Bavaria’s Berchtesgaden National Park. This is the ‘Yosemite’ of Europe and artists have been inspired here for generations. Our hotel sits on the banks of the Konigssee where the mirrored reflections of Bavaria’s mightiest mountains are simply awesome. A boat glides us across the Konigssee so that we can hike to the upper lake and before we leave, witness the most scenic place of all, the ‘painter’s corner’. This national park is unforgettable.
Day 4 Ancient Bavarian Monastery
Mined salt from the Alps was transported up stream on the rivers Salzach, Inn and Danube. We follow this path toward Regensburg where salt was stored before transfer to horse carts. Today, we hold the hands of angels in the 150 year old "Hall of Liberation" built to commemorate the victories against Napoleon during the Wars of Liberation. An afternoon hike through lush forests above the river Danube is rewarded with a late lunch in the biergarden of the oldest monastery in Germany's - Weltenburg. Let's toast the day with the local "Dunkel" beer that scored a gold medal in the World Beer Cup.
Day 5 Fields of Gold to Iron Curtains
A morning Regensburg walking tour takes us around the imposing 13th century St. Peter's Cathedral. At the Danube whirlpools, under one of the oldest bridges in Europe, we spoil our tastebuds with bratwurst and sauerkraut from a medieval tavern "Wurstkuchl". During an afternoon hike alongside the majestic, stony river Vydra, we explore the history of the Bohemian borderlands, former gold mining fields turned into the Iron Curtain in the 1950s.
Day 6-7 A Fairytale Castle and Cobblestone Lanes
Cesky Krumlov’s castle reaches high above the Vltava river and the town’s charming cobblestone streets. This is the second largest castle complex in the Czech Republic and inspiration for the famous impressionist painter Egon Shiele.
Day 8-9 City of One Hundred Spires
A walking tour through this magical city reveals some of Prague’s amazing secrets. Cross the famous Charles bridge at sunset and gasp when you enter the stunningly beautiful old town square.
Walking countrysides, exploring castles, and strolling through towns are the core activities of this trip with 2-5 hours of moderate/long countryside, trail walking each day. Our vehicle transfers your luggage between the hotels so you can carry just a daypack. If you’d like to take a break the vehicle is available for transport support.
Before the trip, you will receive an information packet containing a recommended packing list, detailed itinerary, and special travel requirements or recommendations.
First, contact us and we’ll send you a trip application for your chosen trip. Second, after receiving your application and deposit, we’ll send you a confirmation letter, detailed itinerary, travel insurance suggestions, and other useful pre-trip information. Four weeks before the trip, we’ll send arrival instructions so you can meet your guides and begin the trip!
Prices are in U.S. dollars. Prices listed on the website are subject to change because of possible cost increases or currency fluctuations that we cannot absorb. Once you have paid your deposit, your quoted trip price will not change. We do everything that we can to keep our prices competitive and stable. Prices do not include airfare.
Trip deposit = $800
Due at time of trip application
Payment of trip's remaining balance
Due at least 90 days before departure
LATE SIGN UPS - If you’d like to reserve your trip less than 90 days before departure, you must pay the trip’s full balance with your application.
If you cancel, we’ll miss you! We understand that cancellations happen and you may be refunded some of your deposit or trip balance based on our cancellation fee policy.
If you cancel more than 91 days before departure:
Cancellation Fee = 50% of the $800 deposit (=$400)
If you cancel 90-61 days before departure:
Cancellation Fee = 25% of trip price
If you cancel 60-31 days before departure:
Cancellation Fee = 50% of trip price
If you cancel 30-0 days before departure:
Cancellation Fee = 100% of trip price
We strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance to prevent any loss that may be associated with canceling your trip. We will send a suggested cancellation insurance company along with your trip application.
We reserve the right to cancel any trip at any time for any reason determined in our sole discretion, including if there are too few participants, or if the quality of the trip is deemed to be compromised. In such a case, refund of payments received by Pathways Through Europe shall constitute full and final settlement. Notice of such cancellation shall be given one month prior to trip departure. In the event of cancellation, Pathways Through Europe is not responsible for any loss incurred on account of non-refundable or non-transferable air tickets or other unrecoverable travel costs.
If a trip is cancelled due to force majeure (acts of God, war, labor strikes, earthquake, flooding, etc.), Pathways Through Europe will promptly refund the portion of the trip cost not already advanced to suppliers and use its best efforts to recover and refund the balance as promptly as possible. However, Pathways Through Europe does not guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made, and our use of best efforts to recover these payments will not include the institution of any legal proceedings in foreign jurisdictions.
Accommodations are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by travelers who directly request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you are a single traveler and want to share accommodations, then we will try to match you with a roommate. But, if a roommate is not available, then a forced single supplement will be charged. A forced single supplement costs 50% of the trips regular single supplement.
Participants are responsible to be in sufficient good health when they join a trip. We count on travelers to read their detailed itinerary and pre-trip information packet so that they understand any recommended clothing and equipment and they realize in some countries the standards of living, practices, and accommodations differ from those in North America. By sending a deposit in advance of your trip purchase and by returning your Trip Application, you certify that you do not have any physical condition or disability that would create a difficulty for you or other trip members. Please consult your doctor.
Before you join a trip, we strongly recommend you ensure that you have sufficient medical coverage appropriate to meet your needs and the needs of your family and dependants, in case of any loss of property or illness, injury or death.
We require that each traveller read, sign and return our Acknowledgement of Risk, Release, and Indemnity form before they come on a trip. This document will be sent to you when you contact us to reserve a trip. This document must be completed and returned to us with your deposit, prior to the trip’s departure. Your reservation will not be complete until we have received the completed and signed form.