Photography Tour Overview: Travel Images' European Alps
photography tour takes in the Berchtesgaden region of Germany,
Grossglockner Pass, Heiligenblut, the classic St. Magdalena in
northern Italy, Zermatt and the Matterhorn, Liechtenstein, plus
the Innsbruck and Interlaken regions. All of this will be
interwoven with spectacular mountain passes, wildflowers,
Ludwig’s castles, and rustic German, Austrian, Italian and Swiss
communities that nestle beneath the magnificence of the towering
Alps. It’s all very photogenic indeed.
Europe is a place
to be savored, touched, and of course, photographed. Take the
opportunity offered by this Travel Images’ European Alps trip to
photograph the same maze of cobbled streets that musicians,
poets, artists and thousands of talented folk trod down the
centuries. You’ll also be encouraged to lower your camera, and
make new friends amid the mosaic of quaint communities of the
log-cabin spectacle that nestle amid the foothills of the many
spectacular mountain ranges.
During this 15 night/16 day trip we’ll move from Germany, to
Austria, spend a night in northern Italy, on to Switzerland and
back to Germany via more of Austria. We’ll traverse many alpine
passes shooting as we go, while seeking out the local village
fête and faire for more unique and colorful images. You’ll also
have the opportunity to chat with the locals in broken French,
German or Italian, and the facial grins you capture with your
camera, plus those placed on your heart, will live on and on
within you. Europe is that charming and intoxicating.
Days 1 + 2 | Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany
Our small group will gather late morning, and
as we head for Berchtesgaden National Park we'll kick things
off with the included lunch plus a digital presentation of
images you can expect to capture during our photo tour. We’ll pause for
several very European scenes as church spires dominate rooftops
on the steep landscape, then onto the far reaches of Bavaria for
our two-night stay in Berchtesgaden National Park.
On day 2 we’ll be on the spot at dawn for the first light on
the Watzmann massif and surrounding peaks. Breakfast back at our
‘Gasthof’, followed by a boat ride down Königssee [lake] for
classic compositions of St. Bartholoma Church complete with it’s
spectacular alpine backdrop. Two classic church and mountain
scenes are scheduled as is Berchtesgaden's old town.
Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany, 2 nights
Day 3 | Germany to Austria
On day 3 we'll
head via the Salzburger Kalkalpen and Dientener Berge mountain
ranges, and on to the spectacular Grossglockner alpine pass.
We'll reach Grossglockner pass just as the light is improving,
and you'll revel in the light and shade cast upon the many peaks
still laden with snow. Wildflowers, Marmots, waterfalls, curved
road abstracts, and motion blur shots of two-wheeled transport
are all part of the Grossglockner experience.
Heiligenblut, Austria, 1 night
Day 4 | Austria to Italy
photography, breakfast, then a waterfall and the classic
Heiligenblut scene of church steeple and a towering mountain
backdrop. Get used to it, as there will be more of these! Stops
are planned as we head south, then west into northern Italy.
Among the stops that afternoon will be Heinfels with its covered
bridge and castle, plus a dramatic route directly through the
Dolomite mountain range. Our evening light subject will be the
classic St. Magdalena church set against the backdrop of the
Villnöss Valley, Italy, 1 night
Days 5 + 6 | Italy to Austria
We know the
best time to capture the best morning light on St. Magdalena
church and Dolomite peaks, then when accomplished we’ll head
back to Austria via a few more scenics in the Villnoss valley.
North via the fast track to the ancient city of Hall, ye olde
word for salt. It is a cobblestone city with a myriad of photo
ops, and was once a major player in the salt-mining industry. On
to Innsbruck where the ‘Golden Roof’ dominates. The city is
nestled in the Tirol mountain range, and was the site for the
1964 and 1976 Olympic Winter Games. The city name derives from
the Inn River on which it sits, and the German word for bridge,
i.e. 'brücke'. Then west for our two night stay in the
We'll start day 6 in an open expanse near our
accommodations, with light falling on peaks and church spires.
After breakfast we’ll explore local mountain communities via
less traveled roads for subjects including villages, hillside
communities, cows, wild horses, wildflowers, tiny churches, and
drying hay on hand-made stakes with the appearance of 'old men'.
Mieming, Austria, 2 nights
Day 7 | Austria to Switzerland
photography amid a 'cathedral' of mountain peaks, breakfast, and
then a travel day full of images as we take our time over the
westwards trip toward Llanz. Through lush valleys we shall go
with the occasional pause for church steeples reaching for the
heavens from clusters of alpine cabins perched on ledges of
green grass and wildflowers. Castles too, which dot the European
landscape occupying every available outcrop of rock. Over
Flüelapass and past 3,085 meter high Wisshorn peak to the
impressive Haupstrasse [road] with its granite peaks and
photogenic churches. On to our off-the-beaten-track hotel
situated in an Alpine village for our overnight stay, with the
last light on the surrounding peaks.
Switzerland, 1 night
Days 8 + 9 | The Matterhorn and Zermatt,
First light photography on the slopes above
our hotel prior to breakfast, followed by our day-long trip
onto Zermatt. Our route will take us over Oberalp and Furka
Passes, along the Rhone River, then on the last leg of the days'
journey we'll follow the Matter Vispa River, jump aboard a train
and make our way home to Zermatt for two nights.
light on day 9 you'll be stunned by the magnificence of the
Matterhorn which rises to 4,478 meters [14,693 feet] to the
southwest. The mountain will, weather permitting, pretty much
dominate your images and day! You'll have ample time to explore the
contrasts of old and new in the village, plus take a train ride
and downhill trails for superb shots of wildflowers and a
Matterhorn lake reflection etcetera.
Zermatt, Switzerland, 2
Days 10, 11 + 12 | Zermatt to Lauterbrunnen,
Early light photography
with the Matterhorn dominant once more, then following breakfast
we’ll board the train back to Tasch, and start another slow
photo-exploration as we head north. We'll pause for an ornate
old bridge, then we'll take a ‘short-cut’ via train, minibus and
all, to the north side of Berner Alps range. We’ll continue our
photography on Thunersee [Thuner lake] where a 15th/16th castle
dominates. More lake scenes as we continue on to our three-night
home in a truly spectacular mountain valley.
Days 11 and 12
will see us exploring the Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen valleys
with adjustments for weather conditions. A major highlight will
be the gondola ride up to a pair of Alpine villages from where
we’ll amble about shooting wildflowers, rustic cabins, the peaks
of Eiger and Jungfrau [both around 4,000 meters high], while
'orchestrated' by the sound of cowbells. It really is a
photographic heaven, and music for the soul and mind. Also, a
train ride will place you below the face of the Eiger, and while
walking downhill back to another alpine village you'll shoot the
mountain's many moods. This is some of Europe’s most notable
mountain photography, and you’ll fill memory cards at a rate you
Near Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, 3 nights
Day 13 | Lauterbrunnen to Sargans, Switzerland
point cameras at more magnificent walls of granite when the
first rays of light hit this morning, then it will be time to
bid farewell to the heart of Switzerland. Going west then north,
there will be a stop in Meiringen, plus trips over Brunig and
Zuger passes, with the lakes of Lungersee, Sarnersee and Lucerne
sandwiched in-between. We'll make short side trips for the
flavor of quaint Swiss communities, complete with 'musical'
dairy cows, and pass under mountain ranges that appear to touch
the sky. Sargans, our next overnight home, sits on the eastern
edge of Switzerland, and on the doorstep of the tiny nation of
Liechtenstein. This is also known as 'Heidi country' as the
author of Heidi based the story on a nearby village.
Sargans, Switzerland, 1 night
Day 14 | Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany
We’ll start day 14 at a pair of very photogenic locations with
Gonzen peak backdrops, and just yards apart. Liechtenstein is
just 62 square miles in size, has a population of under 34,000,
and our first after-breakfast stop will be for a spectacularly
situated castle set against mountain skyline. We'll pause in
Liechtenstein's capital Vaduz, then on eastwards to Flexen Pass
and stops to shoot a series of Austrian villages as we head
northwards. Fussen in Germany has it’s charming and colorful
Hauptstrasse [Main Street], then it’ll be time to point our
cameras at King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle in the late light
which no doubt inspired Disney!
Schwangau, Germany, 1 night
Day 15 | Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen and Wies
We’ll be out early to photograph Neuschwanstein Castle once
more, and after breakfast make our way up to the castle for the
classic view, plus closer scrutiny for those who wish to do so.
We'll linger for half a day or more in the area where
Hohenschwangau castle is also worthy of a few frames, as is
Fussen. Our European Alps photographic odyssey will be almost
over as we head off in the direction of the Munich airport,
except for one more scheduled stop to photograph the superbly
ornate interior of the Wies Church. The included dinner on the last night of our photography tour will feature an 'It's You!' presentation of clients in action by John.
Munich airport [MUC], Germany, 1 night
Day 16 | Departure day
Flights home after
12 noon are recommended. Free transport to England is
available if participating in our
England photography tour.