Alpine Christmas Markets - Insight Vacations

Alpine Christmas Markets (Winter 2017-18)

Duration: 10 days Visiting: Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

The lead up to Christmas in traditional German towns and the snow-frosted Alps, is the stuff of storybooks – twinkling markets full of Yuletide delights and towering Christmas trees. Enter the realm of gingerbread, Glühwein and carol singer this winter.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Arrive in Munich

    Welcome to Munich. Transfers leave Munich Airport for your tour hotel at 10:00 and 13:00. Later, an orientation tour will show you all the city's major sights, culminating in the Marienplatz, with its soaring Town Hall and Glockenspiel. Here, the Christkindlmarkt will be in full swing - an entrancing festival of light and music. Your Tour Director will introduce you to one of the market stallholders for a taste of traditional Bavarian Lebkuchen and a fragrant cup of Glühwein. In the evening, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception with dinner and wine.

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    Free time in the Bavarian capital

    (Relaxed Start) Munich embraces the holiday season with a particular zeal, so the day is all yours to enjoy the vibrant festive markets that abound in this city. On crisp winter days, organ music and carols ring out from the ancient churches. If snow has fallen, the vast English Garden provides lovely winter vistas. Another option is to experience the romantic royal palaces of the Bavarian Alps.

  4. Day 4

    Lake Chiemsee, Salzburg and Innsbruck

    Drive beside the tranquil waters of Lake Chiemsee on your way to Salzburg in Austria, where the spires and domes of the old town are often draped in snow come December. A walk with a Local Expert will show you Mozart's family home and the rosy hues of the 500-year-old Christmas Market in front of the cathedral. Head through the mountains to your Innsbruck hotel. In the evening, drive to the charming town of Hall in Tirol - boasting one of Austria's best-preserved historic centres. Soak up the unique atmosphere in a 700-year-old building and delight your palate with a medieval banquet and wine.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Innsbruck at Leisure & Carriage Ride

    (Relaxed Start) Spend the morning at leisure. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of the Old Town and Christmas Markets, set in front of the Golden Roof, graced by beautifully preserved medieval façades. In the afternoon, enjoy delightful scenery and crisp, fresh air on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the countryside of Tyrol.

  6. Day 6

    The Black Forest via Lindau

    Take Austria's longest road tunnel back into Germany and pause in the tiny island-town of Lindau. Walk through the maze of ancient streets down to the harbour. Across the lake, often shrouded in mist, look for the rising silhouette of snow-capped peaks. After time to explore, continue along the shores of the Bodensee to your hotel in the Black Forest for three fabulous nights.

  7. Day 7

    Freiburg Sightseeing

    Visit Freiburg in the morning - a lively university city with a charming Christmas atmosphere. Walk from the medieval Münster through the heart of the historic old quarter, past colourful stalls offering a range of festive goodies from the Black Forest.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Strasbourg & Alsace experience

    (Relaxed Start) Cross the Rhine to the region of Alsace, wedged between the Black Forest and the Vosges Mountains. This area has changed nationality four times since 1870! Arrive in Strasbourg, the ‘city at the crossroads', where the Christmas Market is the oldest and one of the largest in France. Spend time in a cosy neighbourhood of timbered fairy-tale buildings, with Christmas shops and a gingerbread bakery, warm with fragrant promise. Return to Germany and your Black Forest hotel in time for dinner.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    The Swiss City of Zürich

    (Relaxed Start) Cross the Swiss border and head for Zürich where sightseeing includes the imposing Grossmünster, elegant Fraumünster, and winding alleys of the old town alongside the River Limmat. A highlight is Europe's biggest indoor Christmas extravaganza held in the main railway station, with over 160 wooden chalets and a three-storey Christmas tree, draped with Swarovski crystals. In the evening, toast to the culmination of your Yuletide tour with a festive Celebration Dinner and wine.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Depart Zürich

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy a relaxed breakfast before checking out. Complimentary transfers to the airport, by hotel shuttle, depart every 15 minutes.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Salzburg: With a Local Expert, see Mozart's family home and the 500-year-old Christmas Market in front of the cathedral.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Innsbruck: Meet your coachman and enjoy a delightful journey through Tyrol's picturesque countryside, on your horse-drawn ‘Fiaker'.
  • Freiburg: Enjoy a romantic walk through the medieval cobbled streets of Freiburg and soak in the magic of its Christmas Markets.
  • Strasbourg: Exploring the Christmas Markets is like stepping directly into a fairy tale, where glittering lights and the scent of cinnamon enchant your senses.
  • Zürich: Attend Europe's biggest indoor Christmas Market with its magnificent Swarovski crystal-decorated Christmas tree.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Munich: See the Town Hall in the Marienplatz.
  • Salzburg: View the Hohensalzburg fortress, see Mozart's birthplace and spend some time in the Old Town with its Cathedral and Residenz Fountain.
  • Innsbruck: See the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace in the Old Town.
  • Lindau: Use your free time to walk through the medieval streets of this island-town to see the harbour.
  • Black Forest: See Freiburg's medieval Münster and spend time in the historic old quarter.
  • Strasbourg: Visit France's oldest Christmas market in front of the Cathedral and spend time in the atmospheric neighbourhood of La Petite France.
  • Zürich: See the Grossmünster, Fraumünster and elegant Bahnhofstrasse.
  • Scenic drives: Austrian Alps, Lake Bodensee.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Munich: At the Christmas Market, meet a stallholder and taste the aromatic and utterly delicious Lebkuchen with a glass of Glühwein.
  • Innsbruck: Situated perfectly in a 700-year-old building in the charming town of Hall in Tirol, enjoy a medieval banquet of Austrian specialties with wine.
  • Zürich: The Swiss just love good food and wine, a decorative, well-laden table, and a touch of Gemütlichkeit - all of which you will find at your warm Celebration Dinner.
  • Included Quality Dining: 8 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Signature Evening (SE), 2 Three-course table d'hôte Dinners (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Munich: The Leonardo Royal Hotel, located next to Munich's famous Olympic Park, features modern architecture and refined interiors.
  • Innsbruck: Enjoy breathtaking views of the Tyrolean Alps from the Hilton Innsbruck, situated within the city centre of Innsbruck.
  • Black Forest: With its large lakeside meadow and prime location overlooking the lake's crystal clear waters, the Maritim Titisee truly deserves its name. The successful combination of typical Black Forest ambience and a genuinely friendly atmosphere, has made the hotel a favourite holiday gateway.
  • Zürich: The Mövenpick Hotel Zürich-Airport is designed in a contemporary style, offering spacious bedrooms.

OUR FIVE-STAR SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Insight Tour Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend in a foreign land.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat touring coach, with extended Business Class legroom and on-board restroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included; you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • From time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish - a local tidbit representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Complimentary transfers are available from Munich Airport at scheduled times only on arrival day. Complimentary Zurich Airport transfers, by hotel shuttle, available on departure day. Should your flights not coincide with these transfers or additional accommodation has been booked with Insight Vacations, charged transfers are available. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trips. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Bavarian Dinner

Tonight we'll soak in the lively atmosphere of a popular traditional restaurant. We'll enjoy traditional Bavarian hospitality and sample delicious regional specialties and local beer.

Adult Price: EUR 65.00

Code: MUN0002

Linderhof and Oberammergau

South of Munich, we'll venture from the magnificence of the Bavarian Alps to the world-renowned passion-play village of Oberammergau. Admire the artistically - decorated architecture of local homes, churches and of Ettal Monastery. Then, we're on to mad King Ludwig’s baroque fantasy - the rococco splendour of Linderhof castle, set in beautiful gardens.

Adult Price: EUR 40.00

Code: MUN0003

Nordkette Alps & Heritage

A visit to the Nordkette is an unforgettable experience - a unique combination of relaxation, natural wonder and modern architecture. Space-age stations designed by star architect, Zaha Hadid herald your journey up to Hungerburg. From here the panoramic gondola continues up to the 1,905-metre-high Seegrube, where (weather permitting) you can enjoy tremendous views of the entire Central Inn Valley and across to the Italian border. Back down in the Old Town, join your local expert to explore the heritage of the Golden Roof and the "Black Men" of Emperor Maximilian.

Adult Price: EUR 54.00

Code: INN0004

Tyrolean Evening

Enjoy a lively evening of traditional entertainment, featuring dancers in national costume, yodelling and entertainment typical of the life, crafts and traditions of the Tyrolean people. Two drinks are included. (This evening may not be available on every departure)

Adult Price: EUR 45.00

Code: INN0001

Colmar Excursion

Nestled in the heart of the Alsatian vineyards lies the impossibly quaint little town of Colmar. Our local guide will help you to discover its half timbered bye-ways and Venetian style canals. Afterwards free time to explore the four Christmas markets.

Adult Price: EUR 36.00

Code: COL0001

Accommodation

 

Leonardo Royal Hotel Munich

Munich (Central) - Germany

The Leonardo Royal Hotel, located next to Munich’s famous Olympic Park, features modern architecture and refined interiors.

Hilton Innsbruck

Innsbruck (Central) - Austria

Enjoy breathtaking views of the Tyrolean Alps from the Hilton Innsbruck, situated within the city centre of Innsbruck.

Movenpick Zurich Airport

Zurich (Gateway) - Switzerland

Completely refurbished modern hotel with a variety of facilities and amenities. Perfectly located for arrivals at Zurich airport.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
8002 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 04 February, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good amount of places for the allotted days. Loved the horse drawn carriage drive in Innsbruck.

    Service: The tour was well planned. Didn't feel rushed. Great hotels and clean bus. Wonderful tour director (John) and driver ( Bert)

  • 03 February, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: All the markets were magical and we felt we were extremely lucky to see so much snow.

    Service: Everything was done well. A very well planned trip. Customer service was experienced thru Steve, who was wonderful.

  • 19 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I could not fault the itinerary. The best aprt was that yiu were given options of what additional tours you wished to do, This meant that you could just wander off on your own and do your own thing if you wished.

    Service: Everything was well planned. The staff had excellent local knowledge and made you feel special and had a great sense of humour. You always felt that your wellbeing and happiness was a priority.

  • 13 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Met expectations as advertised.

    Service: Loved the places we visited and the Tour Director was very caring. Alwasys recommend Insight to others!!

  • 11 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Fantastic locations with plenty to do and see

    Service: Everything was wonderful, tour guide was helpful, knowledgeable, and so organized. Being this was our first time to Europe, we loved knowing we had a great tour guide to guide us. The bus driver was friendly and safe. Overall, great customer service

  • 11 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I rated 4* because the hotels were not all as good in terms of location and quality.

    Service: Yes, I would definitely recommend Insight Vacations to others!

  • 10 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We would have preferred more time on Lake Titisee. Outstandingly good location

    Service: John and Bert went beyond expectations. Friendly and ready to help. Great information provided about all sites visited. Excellent daily itinerary arranged. All accommodations first class

  • 10 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The Christmas lights and atmosphere was fantastic. The Black Forest was absolutely amazing.

    Service: Their overall service was very good. Tour guide and bus driver were excellent. Would travel with Insight again.

  • 08 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great itinerary. Fabulous

    Service: Everything was beyond expectation

  • 08 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Wonderful Christmas market trip through 4 countries.

    Service: I always enjoy traveling with Insight. This was my 5th trip with them. Meals and itinerary were well done. Options were a little expensive for what was offered.

  • 08 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: A wonderful variety of locations with great stays near city centres. Especially loved the horse drawn carriage ride in the mountains..it was magical.!! The funnicular..gondola rides up the mountains were very exciting. The Bavarian musical entertainment was great..

    Service: Our tour guide..Joey McLean.. was outstanding.. Pleasant..helpful.. sensitive to needs of all ages... knowledgable.. All of the locations we visited were interesting.. Our hotels were excellent with the exception of the Hilton which was okay.

  • 05 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Was glad to have arrived 2-3 days early so as not to quite literally hit the ground running. I would have loved to take my mother but the pace would have been too much for her.

    Service: I enjoyed in the trip but I didn't like the pace. There were several of us who had difficulty keeping up with the group. In hindsight I would have preferred an alternative method of getting to the Christmas market rather than a quick paced 15-20 minute dash to get there.

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