The extraordinary spectacle of the 2020 Passion Play
Once a decade, in accordance with a solemn oath sworn by their forefathers nearly 400 years ago, the residents of the Bavarian village of Oberammergau re-enact the last week of the life of Jesus. The result is a Passion Play unlike any other, a labour of love produced and performed by 1500 villagers, and presented on a vast open-air stage surrounded by a covered auditorium with space for 5000 spectators.
It's an astonishing endeavour and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those lucky enough to see it, so join us and experience Oberammergau 2020 on an unforgettable tour of the Austrian Tyrol that also includes four-star accommodation, guided tours of the fascinating cities of Innsbruck and Salzburg, and a day of blissful relaxation beside the crystal waters of Lake Achensee.
A little way from Innsbruck, in the heart of the Austrian Tyrol, Kramsach is a traditional village nestled in a rolling landscape of green pastures dotted with farms and forests. Take in the views across the valley floor to the distant peaks of the Brandenburg Alps, visit the fascinating open-air Farmhouse Museum and the unusual Cemetery Museum, or simply relax in a cafe or browse the little shops.
Your Austrian Tyrol Tour Base: Kramsach
Your Oberammergau 2020 Holiday Itinerary
Fly to Munich, meet your Tour Manager then relax as our coach carries you through the South Bavaria scenery into Austria and on to your hotel in Kramsach. Spend a first evening settling in to your wonderful surroundings, and enjoying dinner at the hotel (depending on the time of your flight).
Day One: Fly from the UK to Germany
Today's excursion takes you to Imperial Innsbruck. You'll see the landmarks of the city's outskirts, the Wilten Monastery and Olympic ski-jump, and then pass through the historic triumphal arch for a guided tour revealing the sights, including the famous copper-tiled 'Golden Roof' built for Emperor Maximillian I at the start of the 16th Century. Don't forget to stop for coffee and cake in one of the countless cafes in the Old Town before you return to Kramsach in the afternoon.
Day Two: Included Innsbruck tour
Our next excursion takes you to beautiful Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart. Beneath the imposing Hohensalzburg castle and beside the Salzach River, Salzburg is a treasure-trove of onion-domed churches, elegant squares and cobbled thoroughfares. A guided tour will introduce the city's history and highlights, after which you'll have time to explore at your own pace. Don't miss the Castle, which towers 400 feet above the city, and offers predictably wonderful views, or the exquisite Dom cathedral and its frescoes. Connections with Mozart are everywhere, from the Glockenspiel clock on Mozartplatz to the composer's birthplace and his family home (entrances payable locally).
Day Three: Included Salzburg guided tour
The creation of 'Mad' Ludwig II of Bavaria, Neuschwanstein castle has become an unmistakeable benchmark for fairy-tale castles everywhere, and is the destination on today's optional excursion. Discover its lavish interiors inspired by the operas of Wagner, and take a walk through the forested grounds to the Marienbrucke for an unforgettable view across the treetops to the castle atop its craggy perch.
Day Four: Optional excursion to Neuschwanstein
Our final Tyrolean excursion takes us high above the Bavarian Alps to Lake Achensee. This stunning, turquoise lake is the Tyrol's largest body of water and its beach-fringed, wooded shores are understandably popular with local bathers. Why not cruise across the lake on a steamer, enjoying the stunning views, or simple sit back and relax beside the water's edge?
Day Five: Included trip to Lake Achensee
Spend your final day in Kramsach exploring the town, strolling the surrounding slopes, or simply relaxing at your hotel.
Day Six: Day at leisure
Today you'll journey the two hours into the Bavarian Alps to Oberammergau. Relax, maybe have a spot of lunch or visit the village museum, which chronicles the development of the Passion Play since its first performance in 1634.
Day Seven: Oberammergau 2020
In the early afternoon, you'll take your seat as the story of Christ's Passion unfolds on the vast open-air stage. The unfolding drama, of scenes from the Old and New Testaments, takes place over five hours and two acts. Over 1500 villagers are involved in the production, acting, singing or playing in the orchestra, and the production values are astounding. The acoustics of the auditorium as so carefully engineered that music and dialogue carry to even the furthest seats, despite the fact that no microphones are used.
After the first act there will be an early evening interval during which you'll have time to stretch your legs and enjoy an included dinner at a local restaurant, and at the end of the performance, and a unique and unforgettable day, you'll head to a local guesthouse allocated by the Passion Play organisers - a delightful end to an extraordinary experience.
After breakfast you'll re-board the coach and head back through the spectacular landscapes of Austria and southern Germany to Munich to check in for your flight home.
Day Eight: Return flight from Munich to the UK