Frankfurt to Frankfurt

16 - 21 May, 2019


Includes 1 Geopark and 2 World Heritage Sites
Exclusive small group tour, number of participants : 4 - 7
Prices are per person, based on 2 people sharing a room.  Single supplement applies please make contact for details.

Loriolaster mirabilis brittle star fossil from the Hunsrück Slate

Darwinius masillae a species of primate from the Messel Pit World Heritage Site
By Jens L. Franzen, Philip D. Gingerich, Jörg Habersetzer1, Jørn H. Hurum, Wighart von Koenigswald, B. Holly Smith -
Marine reptile skeleton Temnodontosaurus acutirostris, with ammonites: Harpoceras falcifer Stage : Lower Jurassic (Toarcian) 185 million years Locality : Holzmaden Germany
By Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
An Archeopteryx fossil bird from the Solnhofen limestone.

Itinerary - 6 Days

Day 1. Arrival in Frankfurt. Transfer from the airport to our hotel.

Day  2 - Bundenbach - Hunsrück slate fossils. We spend the day at Bundenbach a world famous fossil locality. Beautifully preserved detailed fossils have been found in the slates from the lower Devonian period (400 million years old) and fossils from the marine deposits in this area can be seen in many museums in the world. We will visit the small museum in the old quarry at Herrenberg in Bundenbach. It's even possible to find our own fossils in the Herrenberg quarry.  We then drive to the city of Speyer where we stay the night. Speyer is one of Gemany's oldest cities and its magnificent cathedral is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Total driving time for the day: 3 hrs 25 mins.

Day 3 - Holzmaden fossils in the Swabian Alb Geopark, and the 'Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura'  World Heritage Site . Today we visit Holzmaden, and its Jurassic  "Posidonia"-shales. These rocks are famous for the marine reptile fossils they have yielded.   Directly opposite the Huff Museum in Holzmaden is a large fossil quarry where we can search for our own fossils. Qualified museum and/or quarry staff will review our findings and decide if we can keep the specimens or if they are to be withheld for the state due to scientific importance. It is likely we may find ammonites, belemnites and even isolated reptile bones. We then visit the museum itself which has an excellent display of fossils. We then visit the nearby Hohle Fels cave which is part of the 'Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura' World Heritage Site. Artifacts found in the cave represent some of the earliest examples of prehistoric art and musical instruments ever discovered. The night is spent in the town of Ulm, which itself contains the Erminger Turritellenplatte fossil site. The site is a 20 million-year-old beach deposit that contains fossil shells and shark teeth. We will pay the site a quick visit on our way past. Total driving time for the day: 3 hrs.

Day 4 - Solnhofen Archeopteryx. Our first stop is in the village of Solnhofen, which is known for the 10 Archeopteryx prehistoric birds that have been found here. The first feather was found in 1860, and the first Archeopteryx was found in 1861. In Solnhofen we visit the Bürgermeister Müller museum where we can see an orginal Archeopteryx fossil. We then visit the Jura Museum in Eichstätt to see more fossils . The rest of the day is spent at the Blumenberg Quarry near Eichstätt as we attempt to find our own fossils. The night is spent in the nearby town of Weissenburg in Bayern. Total driving time for the day: 2.5 hrs.

Day 5 - Messel Pit UNESCO World Heritage Site, fossil quarry situated inside the Bergstrasse-Odenwald Geopark. Today we visit the Messel Pit which is the richest site in the world for understanding the living environment of the Eocene, between 57 million and 36 million years ago. In particular, it provides unique information about the early stages of the evolution of mammals and includes exceptionally well-preserved mammal fossils, ranging from fully articulated skeletons to the contents of stomachs of animals of this period. Here we take a guided tour of the pit and visit the Visitor Centre. We then visit the Landes museum in Darmstadt where many more Messel Pit fossils can be seen. The night is spent at a hotel near Frankfurt International Airport.

Day 6 - Depart from Frankfurt.

The trip price includes accommodation (with breakfast), transportation during the trip and guiding. Flights, lunches and dinners are not included in the price.