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Goway UK & Europe Product Manager Nadya Phelan recently returned from a trip to Germany, where she was able to visit some of the country’s most popular sites in the offseason. Here, she answers some questions about her recent trip and gives travel agents some advice about selling Bavaria and what to communicate to clients about this large European nation.
Can you tell us a bit about where you went?
As product managers, we have the privilege of visiting places in the offseason. The advantage is that we miss the crowds, and since I am usually there to see the history, the architecture, and the hotels, the weather isn’t making or breaking my trip. That being said, I expected to travel in much colder and drearier weather than I experienced as it was November in Germany and I was pleasantly surprised. The weather was fresh, but the sun shone brightly and it was really a great excuse to enjoy all that Bavaria had on offer in terms of food.
What cities did you visit in Germany?
As mentioned, I went to Bavaria, which is the state in the southwestern part of the country. I travelled from Munich to Lindau to Oberammergau to Ettal to Fussen to Aschau to Chiemsee Lake and back to Munich. It was a very busy itinerary, but everything I saw was beautiful.
What was your main highlight and why?
There were a few. Neuschwanstein Castle is as stunning as it is in the pictures. As well, the history and tragedy of King Ludwig was so interesting and beautiful. However, we also had an amazing guide in Oberammergau. Hearing the stories of the passion the people in the town have for an ancient play is incredible. I think my number one highlight was Lindau. This little town on Lake Constance is stunning. It was great to walk around in and the water at the lake is so clean.
What were your favourite properties you stayed at and why?
One was the Residence Heinz Winkler in Aschau. It was a unique, quaint property with a two Michelin-star restaurant. The whole family was involved in the property, which really gives it a feeling of a very nice residence. The service was impeccable. My hotel in Lindau had a stunning view of the harbour, which made it an absolute gem. However, the whole town is small so anywhere in town is easy to get to. In Munich, it’s important to stay in the city. Being close to transport and being able to hop on the U-ban is so convenient.
Travelling around Germany, name two things that surprised you about the experience.
It was the quality and variety of food. Beer, sausages, and pretzels are not the only culinary delights in Bavaria. Those are delicious, but what was also amazing was the variety and quality of the produce, dairy, and meat. We ate like kings and queens, feasting on various cheeses, vegetables, and meats throughout our trip.
What are some interesting excursions or itineraries that you would recommend?
If you can do them, I’d recommend walking tours. They do not disappoint. Our guides were passionate about the region, but also provided great history and at a different vantage point when we weren’t on the bus. It allowed us to mix in and out with tourists and locals alike.
In Munich, we went to the market and ate like royalty. Our guide had set up places he collected the food from and we finished with a fantastic fresh-pressed juice to wash all the food down with.
What are your top tips for agents selling Germany?
Get your clients out beyond the cities. Our Best of Bavaria is a great tour of this region. It doesn’t include the excursions, as it’s hard to estimate when someone driving themselves will arrive, but our private guided one does. It travels in comfort so your client can enjoy the wine, food and of course beer that the region has to offer fully, while they are whisked from place to place.
If you went back, what would you like to see and do?
I would like to spend more time on Lake Constance. I would also love to go in summer and swim in the lake. The fact the lake touches three countries tells you how much there is to explore around it.
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