French Heritage - Carcassonne

Autumn, Winter, Spring & Christmas Markets

Special Interest Trip

A White Christmas in Europe

Duration: 16 days Visiting: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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

Join Insight Vacations for a once in a lifetime experience as you enjoy the magic of a white Christmas set against Europe’s most spectacular winter backdrops. This elegant tour features the grand cities of Paris, Bruges, Venice & Rome, charming medieval villages twinkling with festive lights and the finest of Europe’s Christmas markets.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).

  2. Day 2

    Arrive Paris

    Welcome to Paris! Transfers to your hotel depart Charles De Gaulle Airport at 08.00, 10.00 and 15.00 hours. In the glow of the afternoon light perhaps take your first stroll along the tree lined boulevards festooned with fairy lights. Meet your Tour Director for a Welcome Drink this evening.

  3. Day 3

    Paris Sightseeing

    Today’s orientation tour shows you all the famous sights of Paris! See Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe and stop for a photo of the Eiffel Tower. Next join your Tour Director to visit some of the city’s best Christmas markets, including the capital’s largest market on the Avenue des ChampsElysées, offering holiday treats like mulled wine, gingerbread and sausages. Tonight ascend the glittering Eiffel Tower for a wonderful Highlight Dinner overlooking the ‘City of Light’.

  4. Day 4

    Paris – Bruges

    Travel through the former battlefields of the Western Front into Belgium. On arrival in picturesque Bruges, join a local expert for a stroll along cobbled streets, explore Burg Square with its ornate Gothic town hall and glorious frescoes on the wall of the Holy Blood Chapel. Then visit the Market Square dominated by the 80m Belfry of the Market Hall and where festive Christmas markets crammed with Christmas goodies surround a glittering ice rink!

  5. Day 5

    Bruges – Cologne

    Head east across the German border to Cologne where you visit the Gothic Cathedral, one of the most awe-inspiring buildings in the world. Surrounding the Cathedral, the city’s sprawling Christmas markets attract millions of visitors each year. Beneath the imposing backdrop of the soaring spires you’ll find the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland and well over 160 festively designed wooden pavilions.

  6. Day 6

    Cologne – Rothenburg

    A scenic drive this morning takes you along the most beautiful part of the Rhine, past sleepy villages, terraced vineyards and ancient hill top castles. As you pass the Loreley Rock, hear the myth where sailors are said to have perished on a Siren’s call. We arrive in medieval Rothenburg, the most well preserved town on the “Romantic Road”. Plunge into the 16th century as you walk through the narrow cobbled streets lined with high gabled houses to the market square, dominated by its Renaissance town hall, all set up for Christmas featuring an array of Christmas markets.

  7. Day 7

    Rothenburg - Interlaken

    Head south through the varied landscapes of southern Germany, skirting the famous Black Forest. Cross the border and continue into the heart of Switzerland with mountains rising all around to reach your resort ‘between the lakes’. Your majestic hotel, Interlaken’s finest, offers unobstructed views of the Jungfrau mountain range and has been beautifully decorated for the season. This evening, get into the Christmas spirit with mulled wine and music by candlelight, before enjoying a Christmas Eve Gala Dinner.

  8. Day 8

    Interlaken

    Awake Christmas morning to a magnificent winter setting. After checking if Santa’s been, you can relax with your loved ones, or explore the winter activities on offer. Gather for a special Christmas Day Breakfast, then travel out to the pretty Alpine village of Grindelwald nestled at the foot of the Eiger. From here enjoy a carriage ride through snowy scenes, followed by tasty gingerbread and gluhwein. Christmas Dinner is another festive affair, celebrated at your luxurious hotel.

  9. Day 9

    Interlaken Day 2

    On Boxing Day get ready for what is undoubtedly one of the highlights of your tour. Take the Bernese Oberland Railway via Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg, where you board the iconic Jungfrau Railway. This sensational journey tunnels through the Eiger to Europe’s highest railway station at 11,333 feet (3,454m). The underground station sits just beneath the Jungfrau summit itself providing breathtaking views. Now visit the labyrinth of ice caves and sculptures of the Eismeer Glacier. Back at the hotel, why not indulge yourself at the much acclaimed Spa? The attractive treatments on offer include the Sensai Day Spa and a soothing massage with authentic Swiss Alpine herbs.

  10. Day 10

    Interlaken – Innsbruck

    Drive through glorious mountain scenery to the beautiful lakeside Lucerne. Here your Tour Director will show you the covered wooden Chapel Bridge and you will learn about the poignant history of the Lion Monument. Then cross the border to Innsbruck, the beautiful capital of the Tyrol. See the Imperial Palace, Golden Roof and 14th century houses of the Old Town.

  11. Day 11

    Innsbruck – Venice

    After breakfast travel across the impressive Europa Bridge into Italy and on to glorious Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. Your luxurious hotel is only minutes from St Mark’s Square, gazing out over the Guidecca Canal. This evening, witness the magic of Venice as our private launch takes us past ornate palaces, bridges and gondolas to the unforgettable St Mark’s Square. A stroll through its narrow alleyways brings us to our restaurant where we enjoy a typical Venetian dinner. Later there is free time to enjoy the romantic atmosphere and music of St Mark’s Square.

  12. Day 12

    Venice

    Winter time in Venice is superbly atmospheric, with its misty views and quieter streets. Your sightseeing tour focuses on St Mark’s Square, visiting the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica. For those that want to explore Venice by canal, there will be an opportunity to take a Gondola ride, or for those that prefer dry land, take your time getting semi-lost in a labyrinth of streets where local people are going about their daily lives.

  13. Day 13

    Venice – Rome

    Depart Venice and travel into Tuscany, celebrated worldwide for its gastronomy. A two course lunch in a rustic beautiful region is arranged here, with a glass of its local vino! Now follow the course of the River Tiber to the ‘Eternal City’. Winter in Rome is a special time – the marble and travertine edges are sharper, the colours are more vivid and the low-flying sun turns the Italian capital into a huge Baroque stage set.

  14. Day 14

    Rome

    A local guide introduces you to the grandeur of the city. We begin with a visit to the mighty Colosseum where gladiators once fought and see the Roman Forum. Afterwards we take a walking tour through some of the oldest streets in Rome where you will discover piazzas, fountains & hidden backstreets. We visit the famous Spanish Steps, immortalised in many Italian movies and then stop at the Trevi Fountain, where you can toss a coin over your shoulder and make a wish to return to Rome. Next visit the timeless Pantheon, and marvel at the best-preserved Roman temple in the world. Then on to the lively Piazza Navona with its baroque Palaces, street artists and trattorias! There is then some free time before heading back to your hotel to get ready for a Gala New Year’s Eve Dinner tonight! For those staying up, the citywide show is unforgettable at midnight! New Year’s Eve in Rome means fireworks – thousands of them, let off with huge glee from windows, balconies, tall trees and car roofs.

  15. Day 15

    Rome at Leisure

    Today is set aside to relax and have time at leisure in Rome. As evening falls, perhaps join your Tour Director and fellow guests to celebrate the finalé of your tour over a Highlight Dinner at an authentic Italian restaurant or have a final evening on your own.

  16. Day 16

    Depart Rome

    Bid your Tour Director and driver farewell this morning. Transfers from the hotel depart for the airport at 8.00, 11.00 and 16.00 hours.

Highlights

 

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Paris: Indulge in a special Highlight Dinner up the Eiffel Tower.
  • Bruges: Visit the famous Christmas markets in Market Square.
  • Cologne: View the largest Christmas tree in Rhineland at the Cologne Christmas markets.
  • Rothenburg: Drive along part of Germany’s “Romantic Road’. See the Renaissance town hall and Christmas Markets.
  • Interlaken: Enjoy a carriage ride through the snow. Ride the Bernese Oberland Railway and iconic Jungfrau Railway to the highest station in Europe. Christmas Eve Gala Dinner, Christmas Breakfast and Christmas Dinner at the iconic Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa.
  • Lucerne: See the Chapel Bridge and the poignant Lion Monument.
  • Innsbruck: See the architectural jewels of the beautiful capital of the Tyrol - the Imperial Palace, Golden Roof and 14th century houses of the Old Town.
  • Venice: Visit to Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica.
  • Rome: Visit the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. New Year’s Eve Gala Celebration Dinner.

SIGNATURE DINING

  • 13 Buffet Breakfasts , 1 Local Restaurant Lunch, Christmas Eve Gala Dinner, Christmas Breakfast, Christmas Dinner, 2 Highlight Dinners, New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner, 2 Three-course table d’hote Dinners or Buffets.

INCLUDED SERVICES

  • 14 nights in Premium Hotels
  • Baggage handling on tour
  • Escorted by an expert Insight Tour Director
  • Business class legroom onboard your 40 seat luxury coach
  • Included airport transfer service on Day 1 and Day 15
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included
  • Insight Traveler document wallet & information pack

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.

Accommodation

 

Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel Paris

Paris (Central) - France

NH Brugge

Bruges (Traditional) - Belgium

This hotel uniquely boasts all the modern conveniences of a contemporary facility within the antiquated charm of a 17th century monastery.

Marriott Cologne

Cologne (Central) - Germany

Tilman Riemenschneider Hotel Rothenburg

Rothenburg (Scenic) - Germany

Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa Interlaken

Interlaken (Scenic) - Switzerland

Grauer Baer Hotel Innsbruck

Innsbruck (Scenic) - Austria

Molino Stucky Hilton Venice

Venice (Central) - Italy

Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice

Hotel Imperiale Rome

Rome (Central) - Italy

Hotel Imperiale, Rome

Guest Reviews & Experiences

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

  • 23 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Wonderful tour director, Mark was knowledgeable and made the trip a fantastic experience.

    Service: The customer experience was superb. Mark went out of his way every time anyone on the trip had an issue, whether it was personal or otherwise.

  • 11 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good cross section of European cities including Christmas markets - perhaps a little rushed through a couple of centres, but fitted the promised program.

    Service: Very efficient, everything seemed to go as promised.

  • 10 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Just enough time in each stop to enjoy the Christmas markets.

    Service: I was not left holding when I called in. They listened and were very helpful with all details of the trip and especially flight arrangements.

  • 09 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The cities we visited were great but not enough time in Rothenburg. We got to the city late in the day and we didn’t even have time for the tour if we wanted to shop. The hotel in Innsbrook was sub-par. Terrible beds and kids running up and down the hall screaming. We got no sleep. Other than that, everything else was great.

    Service: Fantastic execution of the three days over Christmas! Great guide (Mark) and wonderful coordination with all of the stops. I have comments for improvements in the tour, itself, but the customer service was great.

  • 09 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was very good with lots of extras included, particularly the arranged dinners in terrific locations.

    Service: The whole tour was well organised and executed.Would happily recommend this tour to friends. A good tour of European highlights if you have not travelled through Europe previously.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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