Germany

Throughout Germany the old and the new co-exist in harmony. Although one of the world’s leading industrial nations, picture- postcard Germany is still much in evidence – glass façades of modern buildings are likely to reflect the ornate towers of a mediaeval cathedral; ancient castles overlook not only the Rhine River but high-speed intercity train lines and highways.

Covering over 357,000-square kilometres, Germany is one of the largest European countries with landscapes varying from the Alps in the south to the beaches of the Baltic and North Seas, from the industrial heartland in the west to the open vistas of the European plain in the east. Between these lie vibrant cities with fabulous shopping and pulsating nightlife, enchanting mediaeval villages, vast tracts of quiet countryside reflecting centuries of careful husbandry, steep-sided river valleys and deep, quiet forests and castles, palaces and abbeys seemingly untouched by time.

The people of Germany have a liking for the good things, standards that are reflected in every aspect of life. Hotels are excellent, public transport is clean and reliable, entertainment is exciting and varied and food universally good.

Pavement cafés (open-fronted in the summer and glassed-in during the winter), smart bistros, beer-halls and wine taverns may be found throughout the country, whilst top-class restaurants serve food from around the world.

As you might expect from a land of such diversity, there are holidays to suit just about everybody. You can join in the fun at a beergarden or in a wine cellar; take a cruise on the Rhine or Danube; investigate the wealth of museums and art galleries; take to the waters at Baden-Baden; ski in the Alps or cycle along tow-paths; marvel at the magnificence of Neuschwanstein fairy-tale castle or dance the night away in a lively nightclub.

Explore Frankfurt, one of Europe’s major financial and shopping centres; venture westwards to Düsseldorf, nicknamed the Paris of Germany, with its flair for fashion and style and visit nearby Cologne with its cathedral, perhaps the most magnificent Gothic church in Christendom. Head north to the great seaport of Hamburg or south to Munich, the heart of Bavaria, with its outstanding museums and art galleries, strong tradition of music and of course, the exuberant Oktoberfest.