Specialty Escorted Tours: Brendan Worldwide Vacations offers escorted tours of German Christmas markets, as does Maupintour. Reformation Tours (800/303-5534, www.reformationtours.com) leads excursions to cathedrals, monasteries, and sites associated with Martin Luther. Alpenventures World War II Tours (888/991-6718; www.worldwar2tours) visits naval bases and other sites associated with the war. You can taste beer in Munich, Bamberg, and other cities with BeerTrips.com (406/531-9109, www.beertrips.com) and tour the Rhine and Mosel vineyards with Wine Tours of the World (888/635-8007; www.winetoursoftheworld.com).

Learning Vacations: Road Scholar offers travelers 55 and older university-based courses on art, history, culture, and other subjects that provide insight into Germany. Fees for the programs, usually two weeks long, include airfare, accommodations, meals, tuition, tips, and insurance. Good sources for language schools in Germany are Languages Abroad, Languages Directory, and GoAbroad.com.

Biking: Germany is excellent biking terrain. Classic Adventures leads bike tours along the Romantic Road and other scenic routes. 

Walking & Hiking: It's estimated that Germany has more than 80,000 marked hiking and mountain-walking tracks. The Deutschen Wanderverband offers details about trails, shelters, huts, and addresses of hiking associations in various regions. The Deutscher Alpenverein owns and operates huts in and around the Alps that are open to all mountaineers; it also maintains a network of Alpine trails. The best Alpine hiking is in the Bavarian Alps, especially the 1,240m (4,070-ft.) Eckbauer, on the southern fringe of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The tourist office supplies hiking maps and details.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.