Welcome to my references page; all my clients opinions are important to me.
After you have completed your tour, please send me an email with your personal commentary of our time together.
Allow me to help plan your vacation in Bavaria from beginning to end!
Sorry for the delay in responding - as expected things at work have been very busy since my 2 week absence. Thanks again for a wonderful time in Munich - we frequently think of our time there and look forward to a return in the future. I have posted my trip advisor comments. They are also listed below:
We recently returned from Munich with our 2 young children (age 12 months and 4 years) and had the pleasure of spending two days with John Wetstone. We spent the first day visting King Ludwig's castles and went to Dachau on day 2. Initially we were not sure how compatible this experience would be when traveling with two small children. However I don't think we can say enough positive things about it. It far surpassed our expectations. John was friendly, incredibly knowledgeable - his enthusiasm about King Ludwig II is contagious. He was very flexible and planned our day around the evolving needs of the children, including stopping at a wonderful family friendly restaurant for lunch, and discussing Dachau with the appropriate sensitivity when little ears are around. He even took our son for ice cream so we could watch the documentary. I highly recommend using his services while in Munich, especially if traveling with small children.
Overall a wonderful experience.
Ottawa, ON Canada
We just want to say thank you for a great guided tour with you April 1st. We were eight adults from Norway who had an eventful day in the great weather and beautiful scenery.
When we booked our trip, we had a special request to John. "Agriculture and food." John found a great destination for us. He knew of a local dairy in Ettal. There, we got a very interesting tour. We saw how they made yoghurt and cheese. Very professional and hygienic. We tasted both cheese and yogurt - very tasty products. We also took the cheese home, the goods held up very well!
We also visited King Ludwig's Castle - "little Versailles" It was a wonderful experience to see the castle and the cave. At home in Norway we have talked about King Ludwig several times. He made an impression on us ..
John, you were a perfect guide who had much knowledge you shared with us.
Anne and the rest of the gang
Varteig, Norway 2011
“7 Days on the road with John’s Bavarian Tours”
While serving in the US Army in 1968, I was stationed in Augsberg, Germany at Flak-Kaserne. My weekend tours of the beautiful Bavarian countryside left me with the feeling that I had to return one day.
I contacted our local travel agent and discussed the available tours of Bavaria, however, no tours covered all the amazing places I remembered and wanted to visit. With a little research via the wonders of the Internet, I found John’s Bavarian Tours. His website was very informative, and his tours covered all the places my wife and I wanted to see and visit.
For us, John’s recommendation of Munich’s Hotel Opera was perfect. Hotel Opera is a small government rated 4 star hotel with a wonderful outdoor courtyard. Hotel Opera is less than a 15 minute walk to Marienplatz, the vibrant heart of the City.
With John as our driver and guide, we were able to see and enjoy all the places I had visited over 40 years ago. I wanted my wife to see Flak-Kaserne, it was not listed on John’s regular tour of Augsberg, but see it we did.
Each day’s tour was flexible, allowing us to determine the time spent at each venue. Whether it was relaxing after lunch at an outside café, enjoying the view of the Alps and the surrounding countryside, getting all the photos I wanted of Herren Chiemsee and the Eagles Nest or my wife’s shopping for our four granddaughters, not once in 7 days did we hear those familiar tour guide words, “It’s time to go.”
John’s Bavarian Tours gave us memories we will have for a life time because we did it our way.
Mike and Patty
I took the Casle tour with Johns Bavarian Tours in August 2011. I had my 9 year old daughter with me and we had a wonderful time! John was courteous and knowledgeable of the area. Next time we are in Germany, John will be our man!
“A wonderful day in John's neighborhood!”
My wife and two teenage sons took a 2-week European vacation this summer. Our trip started with 4 days in Munich and we wanted to adventure out to the Alps with Munich as our base.
We did our homework (in large part using trip advisor!) well in advance and booked two separate day tours with John: Tour #5 - King Ludwig's Caste Tour, and Tour #7 - Salzburg with WW2 Historical Interest. We were totally satisfied with the quality of tours and although John's fees might seem high you receive tremendous value for your money.
Tour #5 - Castle Tours
John's intimate knowledge of all things King Ludwig as well as his tight syncronization of the day's events made this day a spectacular experience for the entire family. Impressing two teenage boys who are typically only impressed by sports, girls, and the X-Box is quite a challenge. Both of our boys noted Linderhoff in particular as one of the top highlights of the entire European vacation. Linderhoff and Hohenschwangau were definitely the right choice (John's recommendation) for us to tour that day. John's knowledge of the region allows him to also stop by unique spots for photos as well as outstanding local restaurants; pictures at the Plansee (Austrian Lake) as well as a fantastic lunch. John also took us by a small store selling hand made wood carvings and cuckoo clocks - we purchased a beautiful clock which was shipped to our home in perfect shape.
Tour #7 - Salzburg and the Eagles Nest
My personal expectations were high for these spots and John did not let us down. Again, John's syncronization was perfect as he was able to avoid the tour group masses and yet still not feel rushed as we toured these great spots. Our favorite meal of the entire two weeks (including wonderful meals in Paris & London) was lunch at the St. Peter Abbey. We also toured on a Sunday which worked out quite well as there was still plenty of shops open in Salzburg whereas in Munich we would not have had near as much to do. The Eagles Nest was beautiful (it had actually snowed the day previous - July 3) and a must see in my humble opinion.
I mentioned before that I did do quite a bit of research. Having lived in Germany before I knew that I could do these tours "on my own" by either renting a car or taking trains. I also knew that it would take at least two days to accomplish what John can accomplish in one day. The cost would have likely been about the same given that it would have taken two days and the time/frustration saved by touring with John was well worth it.
Lastly - John's passion to serve his clients was clearly evident as he litterally ran through the rain to get ahead of a crowd of tourist to purchase one of the castle tour tickets for us. I actually did not notice this at the time and only saw it later as I was video taping the scenery and notice John about 100 meters away running ahead of a group. That is the type of service you can expect from John.
Our thanks to John for making our trip so memorable and we hope to get back to see you again!
Chis and Family
“A fantastic trip in Bavaria with John.”
My wife and I spent four glorious days visiting Munich and Bavarian late August. It was memorable from beginning to end, starting with Dachau, just off the plane, and moving through the tour of the BMW display show area. Next morning, bright and early we started off for the Castles of Ludwig, passing through Oberammergau to see some of the traditional area wood carving. I found a few pieces to add to my owl collection there, and visited the Rococco church in the center of town before going on to view Linderhof castle and the grotto that is located there. The following day we were off to the castles of upper Bavaria. We took a tour of Hohenschwangau and viewed the "Disney" castle, Neuschwanstein, from afar because there is only one floor open we decided not to tour that castle. Our tour was fascinating, especially seeing the family home of this interesting historical figure, with the fill in by John, demonstrating his extensive knowledge of King Ludwig II and his family. Lunch was a small side trip into Austria, and was well worth the trip a 4 star restaurant stuck in the middle of the countryside, with a marvelous view of the area in the outdoor dining area. On the next day, we went out to Herren Chiemsee by ferry on the lake, where Ludwig II built his copy of Versailles. I haven't been to the French version, but this one was truly spectacular.
Next was a short ferry trip to Frauen Chiemsee for a look at some Roman ruins and the Monastery, as well as a delightful lunch in one of the restaurants on the Island. After collecting our fellow passengers, there were 6 of us for this tour day, we headed back to the van and back to Munich. It was rush hour, but John managed to keep us rolling around the traffic without much diversion, other than more views of the countryside. The next day was our day of departure for Italy, and John made sure that these typical American tourists got to the right train, at the right time, and waited to make sure we got on safely. This was an amazing trip full of delightful historical commentary and great driving throughout the countryside of Bavaria with a knowledgeable and capable guide, whose knowledge of the area was freely given and whose comfort with the locale was obvious. We felt like a member of his family going on a weekend outing, and enjoyed every minute of the trip.
David & Jancie
“John Wetstone--Bavarian Guide Exemplar”
I have traveled in Bavaria with John Wetstone, of John’s Bavarian Tours, on several occasions over the past few years and always found it a very rewarding time. I have been visiting Bavaria on numerous occasions over the past 30 years for both business and pleasure and thought I knew the area pretty well. I was then pleasantly surprised at how much more fun a trip was with John “in charge”. My wife and I have traveled with Herr Wetstone on adventures such as the Ludwig tour to Linderhof and Hohenschwangau Castle and to Herren Chiemsee as well as to the Sissy Museum (Empress Elizabeth of Austria) at the Lake of Starnberg. We’ve done the Christmas Markets located in small outlier villages.
Sure, I can always find a restaurant by myself, but why not go to one that is a favorite of a local expert like John? In fact, one of my most memorable excursions with John was a walk around central Munich, which I thought I knew. Suddenly John was taking us into beautiful old buildings I’d never noticed, including an amazing Baroque church visible only as a doorway when viewed from the street. Of course we visited a couple of his favorite old taverns, not the over-touristed Hofbrauhaus, for a schnitzel and Weissbeer. Those are experiences and insights the average tourist just does not get!
I was motivated to make these points in part by some of the grousing I read in the blogs of other travelers. I understand that everyone has a different experience, but that is, perhaps, a reflection of themselves. A rainy day, a flat tire, a traffic jam; you have to separate yourself from this trivia and enjoy where you are at the moment. And it’s not just to blame your personal unhappiness on your Guide, or anyone else. John knows Bavaria well, he is a courteous person and he tries to give you a Bavarian Experience. Go with him and Gute Fahrt!
I had an unusual request for John. I wanted to return to my Grandma and Grandpa's home city of Dinkelsbuhl and see how things have changed.
My mom came to the US as a young woman and I wanted to see where she grew up. I had visited as a young kid, but had not been back for 40 years. Chance would have us in Munchen for a week, and I wanted to take a day trip to Dinkelsbuhl to revisit my Grandparents home.
I presented the idea to John and he was very excited to help us out. John also gave us great tips on hotel selections as well as other areas of interest we should consider seeing in the Munchen area.
John was very punctual and met us early at our hotel. He had a great vehicle for the ride and it was spotless. He knew all the shortcuts and avoided all the Munchen early morning traffic jams. He even had a great selection of music for our listening pleasure, but we preferred to pepper John with all kinds of questions about Germany, Bavaria, the Autobahn, the Black Forrest and Dinkelsbuhl.
The ride to Dinkelsbuhl was great, we were fortunate enough to be in the peak fall color season, so the Bavarian countryside was even more beautiful than usual. Upon arriving in Dinkelsbuhl, John had the great idea of heading to city hall first and checking on all the records of my ancestors. The clerk spoke no English, so John was especially helpful as my translator, especially since my High School German was pretty rusty. Once John explained who I was and what I was doing, the clerks were wonderful and made copies of all the records that they could find. Upon leaving City Hall I had all the birth, marriage and death certificates for my Mother and Grandparents and two new friends in Dinkelsbuhl City Hall.
We went to my Mom's old neighborhood and talked to the neighbors, who were much older, but were still there. After John explained who I was, they couldn't believe it and they even remembered me from my visits over 40 years prior. John and the neighbors even convinced the people who were in my Grandma and Grandpa's old house, to give us a tour. They were uncertain at first, but reluctantly agreed and it was fantastic. The house was built in 1540 and it looked fabulous.
The memories came flooding back to me from all the fun times I had there as a young kid. As word spread, even more neighbors started coming over and it was just like a reunion.
Time went so fast, but John wanted us to take our time and he pointed out some interesting historical facts about the houses and the city. He even patiently waited for us as we shopped for souvenirs.
The ride back to Munchen was great and John even took the long way back, pointing out landmarks in Munchen that we should see before we left.
So at the end of the day, we got some great pictures, video, email addresses and lifelong memories. So John was more much more than a "tour guide". He was our driver, guide, interpreter, photographer and our new friend in Munchen.
Vielen Dank, Herr Wetstone
Mr. and Mrs. George F.
Cottage Grove, MN.
A Great Time with John's Bavarian Tours”
We spent three days with John between Christmas and New Year and had a great experience. We saw many locales that we would never have known about due to John's expertise. The highlight was John driving us through the mountains and lakes on a lightly snowy day. One of the most beautiful sights ever. John's vehicle was immaculate and comfortable and his driving was expert. We always felt safe and well cared for even in snow at high elevation. John also made excellent lunch recommendations and reservations for us on two of the days. I usually like to do the planning on these trips but I turned these three days over to John and he came through with an itinerary that only a local expert could arrange. Highly recommended.
Bill and Family
Park Ridge, IL.