The European Christmas Experience is a special 12-night tour that takes us to three different areas in three different countries during the magical Christmas season. We spend four nights in Salzburg, Austria; Munich, Germany; and Colmar in Alsace, France. These are areas with rich histories that offer very different experiences… and three areas we love, know very well, and want to share with others. Each location also enables us to easily access the surrounding countryside and small villages to enrich an already-special trip.
The Christmas season is an incredibly special time of year in many parts of Europe, demonstrating strong regional traditions. Creative decorations and colorful lights enhance the charm of medieval buildings and cobblestone streets. Christmas markets are found in cities, towns, and villages, some lasting more than a month and some just a weekend. The season also involves special exhibitions, concerts, and other entertainment.
The major Christmas markets are typically outdoors and feature booths or chalets selling a wide variety of merchandise including holiday ornaments and decorations, nativity scenes, toys, gifts, handicrafts, gourmet food, takeaway food, and of course hot mulled wine (“glühwein” in German or “vin chaud” in French). There may be music and other entertainment and special activities for children. Some markets feature only products made by local artisans. And there are “theme” markets, such as the medieval market we enjoy in Munich.
But our European Christmas Experience includes much more than markets, shopping, and holiday traditions. We’ll also experience the richness of the culture, history, and cuisine in each area we’ll visit. And if you’ve visited these places before in warmer months, you’ll find that the festive holiday environment and crisp, winter weather will make this a very different experience.
This is a truly magical trip of a lifetime! The price includes 12 nights’ accommodation in well-located 3- and 4- star hotels with authentic local charm; most meals (including a dinner convert in Salzburg and cooking class in Munich); walking tours with local guides; admissions to nine museums and historic sites; a winery visit/tasting in Colmar, two musical events in Salzburg, and a salt mine tour and visit to a family farm in Austria. We’ll make day trips to the Salzkammergut region of lakes and mountains near Salzburg, the Bavarian Alps, Strasbourg, and several Alsatian wine villages). Transportation between Salzburg and Munich and between Munich and Colmar is included.
Our 2023 trip is a mixed group of men and women, but our group is 75% women. Solo women travelers will feel very comfortable!