For more information about most of the programs and events listed below contact the national tourist office of the appropriate country.

Austrian Tourist Office

  • Los Angeles 310-477-3332
  • New York 212-944-6880

German Tourist Office

  • Los Angeles 310-575-9799
  • New York 212-661-7200

Swiss Tourist Office

  • Chicago 312-630-5840
  • Los Angeles 310-335-5980
  • New York 212-757-5944

• An inexpensive week in the Black Forest town of Freiamt starts at 177 DM ($115) and includes bed, breakfast, group hike, tour, use of indoor pool, sauna and extras. Info: Verkehrsburo, Badstrasse 1, D-79348 Freiamt, phone 7645/644, fax 628.

Tauberbischofsheim, near Würzburg, has a three-day weekend bicycle program with two nights accommodations for 155 DM ($100). The program includes a Tauber Valley bicycle tour, a wine tasting in a castle cellar, a Franconian supper and one other meal. Info: Stadt Tauberbischofsheim, Marktplatz 8, 97941 Tauberbischofsheim, phone 09341/803-0, fax 09341/803-89.

• Trier, in the heart of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer wine region, offers a program, called "Wine and Sekt-making in Germany's Oldest City," (sekt is Germany's sparkling wine) which costs 148 to 325 DM ($96-$211) per person, depending on accommodations. It includes two nights lodging plus a city tour, a group lunch and a wine and sekt tasting. Arrival can be any day except Saturday. Info: Trier Tourist Information, Postfach 3830, D-54228 Trier, phone 651-978080.

• Bad Dürkheim in the Palatinate offers culinary/wine weekends (Friday - Sunday) from 299 DM ($194). For program and dates, contact: Verkehrsamt, D-67098 Bad Dürkheim, phone 06322-935156 fax 935159.

• The two finest hotels in Germany, according to DM, a German magazine, are the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg and the Hotel Nassauer Hof in Wiesbaden. Both can be booked through the Leading Hotels of the World reservation service, 800-223-6800.

• The mountain resorts of Davos, Arosa and Lenzerheide-Valbella now offer a luggage-free hiking package. While guests walk from one alpine resort to another, luggage is transferred to the next hotel. Packages for four to seven days are available through October 16 from $235 to $435 depending on hotel category and length of trip.

• Through October 2, Zürich celebrates "Magic America" on Sechselauten Square in the heart of the city. Attractions include dance shows with fire and water games, jazz nights at the "Cotton Club," multimedia shows and a NASA exhibit.

Conny Land, an amusement center in Lipperswil (Canton of Thurgau, Eastern Switzerland) has added a new attraction. An electric jeep takes visitors on a prehistoric journey past 14 dinosaurs and all sorts of other long-gone creatures. The largest dino is 45 feet long and weighs 7.5 tons. The atmosphere is enhanced by sound and lighting effects. Open daily from 9 a.m to 6 p.m.

• The newly renovated Basel Hilton Hotel now pays special attention to the needs of disabled and elderly guests. In addition to rooms being especially equipped for disabled, blind, partially sighted, deaf and hearing impaired guests, the hotel also features rooms for allergy sufferers and for very tall persons. The hotel has introduced a training program to enable its staff to better serve disabled and elderly guests. Basel Hilton, Aeschengraben 31, CH-4002, Basel, phone 61/271 66 22, fax 61/271 52 20.

• Vevey on Lake Geneva hosts an International Festival of Street Artists August 26-27 and, on September 10, a lakeside wine festival.

• Montreux offers "Brunch at 2,000 Meters," a package that includes transport via cogwheel train to Rochers-de-Naye for buffet brunch at the panoramic restaurant. The splendid view is of Lake Geneva, the Valais, the French Alps, Fribourg and, in the distance, the mountains of the Jura. Afterwards, return to the midway station, Caux, via steam train. Departures on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through September 11 from Montreux station at 8 a.m.; open ticket return on the hour.

Idyll Hotel Schweiz is a new association of 24 inexpensive, family-operated Swiss hotels in rural locations. A brochure with information about the hotels is available from the associations U.S. agent, Boldt International, 3123 Deep Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills CA 90210. Boldt is the U.S. booking agent not only for the Idyll but the German Ring Hotels, as well. The company's owner, Hans Boldt, guarantees the lowest possible rates at these properties by reserving through his toll-free number 800-558-6850. Ring Hotels booked via Boldt currently offer a $59 per person rate double occupancy and $79 single, though in major cities such as Munich and Berlin rates are slightly higher.

• Graz, one of Europe's great undiscovered cities, offers its Concerts at Eggenberg Palace every Monday evening through mid-September. The music is presented by candlelight in the resplendent Baroque palace.

• The Anton Bruckner Festival in Linz goes from September 11 through October 2 and this year features The Vienna Philharmonic under Ricardo Muti and Milan's Orchestra della Scala conducted by Carlo Maria Guilini.

• Replacement of the hydraulics system of the stage and substage has set back the opening of the Vienna State Opera from September 1 to mid-December. In the meantime, the company will tour Japan for several weeks and stage a series of five performances of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte at Theater an der Wien. The Staatsoper will reopen December 14 with Elektra by Richard Strauss and then continue as usual through June 30, 1995.

• Bicycle routes have proliferated in Austria over the past few years and many hotels and inns are now geared to the needs of cyclists. A list of such hotels, plus maps which show bike paths that separate bike riders from motorized traffic, are available through the Austrian Tourist Offices in the U. S. Bike rental in Austria is available through the Fahrrad am Bahnhof system operated by the federal railway. The system allows a renter to pick up a bike at one railway station and drop it days later at another in a different city. The regular daily rate for a standard bike is 90 AS ($8.50) and 200 AS ($19) for a mountain bike. The five-day rate is 360 AS ($34) for a standard bike and 800 AS ($76) for a mountain bike. By showing a valid rail ticket or rail pass these prices are reduced by about 35% to 45%.

• The Austrian National Tourist Office has begun an educational program for U. S. travel agents known as ACTS (Austrian Certified Travel Specialists). Some 200 agents have completed the one week training program in Austria and earned certification. Travelers looking for an agent with this speciality can request a list of ACTS from the Austrian Tourist Office.

• Vienna's Museum of Fine Arts (Kunsthistorishes Museum) offers a buffet dinner every Thursday evening right in the museum. For 90 AS ($9) entry, and 270 AS ($26) for the three-course buffet, visitors can leisurely enjoy the magnificent Gallery of Paintings with its masterworks by such artists as Cranach, Dürer, Holbein, Brüghel, Rembrandt, Rubens, Raphael, Tintoretto, Titian and Velzquez.

July 1994