Penn State Lehigh Valley Salzburg and Vienna, Austria (April 26 - May 4, 2017)

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Penn State Lehigh Valley Salzburg and Vienna, Austria (April 26 - May 4, 2017)

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TOUR PRICE:  The price for this eight days air-inclusive tour is an incredibly affordable $1649.00 per person based on double occupancy (two to a room) and excluding air taxes of approximately $199.00.   The single supplement is $319.00 extra for the eight days.  There is no trip occupancy reduction, although we can accommodate triples.  The above rate is based on a minimum of 25 passengers. 

AVAILABILITY:  SOLD OUT.

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Welcome to the PSU Lehigh Valley 2017 trip to Salzburg and Vienna, Austria.  If you love classical music, great food, clean air and rich history, then this tour is definitely for you.  Our tour begins in beautiful Salzburg, which is the baroque capital of Land Salzburg, and the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756).  Situated on the banks of the Salzach River, Salzburg was originally built of the site of a former Roman town and became part of the Holy Roman Empire before it was joined to Austria in 1816.  Salzburg is famous for its splendid Cathedral, its 17th and 18th century houses, its imposing fortress and opulent princely palace (Residenz).  But, of course, the main reason tourists seem to flock to this pretty Austrian town is because one of the greatest composers the world has every seen was born in a little house on Getreidegasse, where he lived until the age of 17.  During our three night stay in Salzburg, we will have the opportunity to visit Mozart's birthplace and to see his exquisite childhood violin as well as his concert violin.  To top it all off and to pay proper tribute to the great master, we will have a classical music performance featuring some of Mozart's greatest hits.

Although Mozart was born in Salzburg, he often played outside of the city, particularly in Vienna and Prague.  So it makes sense for us to combine our Salzburg city stay with several nights in Vienna, where Mozart performed at the magnificent Schonbrunn Palace at the age of six and where he was buried at the age of thirty-five. 

In 2001, Vienna, the seat of the Austrian Habsburg rulers from 1273-1918, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. This status is well-deserved, as Vienna is an impressive city with over 100 art museums, countless classical music venues, many of which are located in stunning settings like the Shonbrunn Palace, a proud but often tumultuous Imperial history dating from the 13th century, delicious ethnic food and outstanding wines, and sightseeing second to none.  It is no wonder that nearly 8 million visitors enjoy Viennese culture every year!  Here are five great reasons why they come:

1.  Visiting the Hofburg and/or the Schonbrunn Palaces - The Hofburg was the winter palace of the Habsburg rulers and is now a fantastic complex of buildings that includes the famous Spanish Riding School, where you can see a performance of the famous Lipizanner stallions, or where you can attend mass at the Hofburgkapelle to hear the ethereal voices of Viennese Boys' Choir (tickets should be purchased in advance).  The Schonbrunn  Palace was the summer palace of the Habsburgs and special care was given to it by Maria Theresa, who rules Austria for forty years.  Containing 1,141 rooms and splendid gardens, the Schonbrunn is a must-see for anyone visiting Vienna and interested in art and architecture.

2.  Food and Coffee - Home of the Wiener schnitzel, Vienna offers the tastiest breaded veal you will ever have.   Another local specialty worth trying is the Tafespitz, or "Emperor's Dish."  A favorite of Franz Joseph, Tafelspitz is a boiled beef infused with the flavors of juniper berries, celery root and onion and served with Apple-and-horseradish sauce and fried grated potatoes.  Slake it all down with potent Schwechater beer.  For dessert, you must try the chocolate cake with apricot jam, known as the Sachertorte.  Sachertorte can be enjoyed at one of the many wonderful coffee houses throughout the city, the first one of which was established in Vienna in 1683.  If you tire of Austrian food, you may enjoy the cuisine of many nationalities, including French, Slovakian, Hungarian, Slovenian, Italian, Russian and even Asian.  

3.  Kevin's Favorite Activity in Vienna:  Going to the Heurigen in Grinzig -- In 1784, Franz Joseph allowed each wine-producer in the suburbs of Vienna to sell his own wine.  Heurig in fact means "new wine."  In the district of Grinzig, you can visit one or several of these wine taverns and spend a very merry evening feasting on country buffets, listening to live folk music, and, of course, enjoying the tavern's homemade vintage.  It is about a thirty minute ride by public transportation to Grinzig, so don't miss the opportunity to visit one of the taverns. It will be a highlight of your tour, for sure!

4.  Museums, Cathedrals and Shopping -- Although there are many art museums in Vienna, one that you must visit is the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts), which contains wonderful collections of Egyptian and Greek art as well as outstanding works of many Dutch masters.  St. Stephen's Cathedral, with its 450 ft. steeple, is one of Europe's greatest Gothic structures dating from the 12th century and is also a must-see.  You can also spend time shopping either in the Naschmarkt, which is the most famous open-air market in Vienna with Medieval roots, or window shopping along Vienna's Fifth Avenue, known at Kartnerstrasse.  Exhausted from your day of museums, cathedrals and shopping, hop on a tram and circumnavigate the grand boulevard known as the Ringstrasse, which Emperor Franz Joseph had constructed along the former medieval fortifications of the Old Town.

5.  Take a Day Trip to the Danube Valley -- The Wachau, part of the Danube Valley, is a beautiful region northwest of Vienna, where you can visit such places as Krems, Durnstein and Melk.  Located in the heart of vineyard country, Krems is a 1,000 year-old town with old churches, ancient houses and narrow streets.  Durnstein is another picturesque town along the Danube with a castle fortress and fortified walls.  And Melk is famous for its spectacular abbey which overlooks the Danube basin.  About Melk, Maria Theresa had this to say:  "If I had never come here, I would have regretted it."  I have been to Melk a number of years ago and can completely agree with the Maria Theresa's assessment.

We hope you will join us on this great tour to Austria.  Below is a short summary of the tour inclusions:

TOUR FEATURES: This eight days BEST DEAL air-inclusive PSU getaway includes round trip air transportation to Salzburg with a non-stop return from Vienna on Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines out of Newark Liberty International Airport; private motor-coach transportation and English-speaking assistant from Salzburg Airport to the hotel;  three wonderful nights in the four stars, centrally located and well-reviewed Crown Plaza Hotel with buffet breakfasts daily;  a half day guided sightseeing tour of Salzburg with entrance to Mozart's House;  one way long distance motor coach transportation from Salzburg to Vienna;  four nights in the beautiful four stars, centrally-located and well-reviewed AT Savoyen Hotel with breakfasts daily;  a half day guided sightseeing tour of Vienna including a visit to the Schonbrunn Palace and to Mozart's burial place;  A PSU Lehigh Valley reception in either Salzburg or Vienna;  the opportunity to participate in one or more optional excursions, including a Mozart concert;  and a pre-departure orientation and pizza party sponsored by ArawjoTours, LLC.  

AVAILABILITY:  Accepting advance courtesy reservations.