Winter is a truly magical time in Europe and offers some of the best locations for Christmas shopping.
We look at three guided holidays that encapsulate the artisan, handcrafted European approach to Christmas that we love.
Christmas Markets of Strasbourg and the Black Forest (10 Days)
This festive voyage unveils the Christmas markets of Strasbourg and Alsace, on a journey that roams from the romantic French capital to the enchantment of Germany’s Black Forest.
A quintessential Black Forest experience
The hills and lakes of the Black Forest region in southwestern Germany are considered to be the most beautiful pristine sights of central Europe. The Black Forest region is famous for its wooden cuckoo clocks, handmade by local craftspeople and a highlight of the trip includes watching these intricate and unusual clocks being made in the region they were first created, and a scenic drive through this stunning location.
An insider’s experience
Experience sightseeing with a Local Specialist in both Paris and Freiburg in Germany, giving you deeper and more personalised access to historians, artists and craftspeople in these historic cities.
At the Strasbourg Christmas Markets, one of the largest of it’s kind in Europe, discover delicious treats made by local bakers, winemakers, brewers and producers. Meandering through the hundreds of stalls, taste the best produce offered by the region or chat with local artists and craft makers under beautiful traditional Alsatian Christmas decorations.
This thoughtfully designed guided holiday will take you on a journey to see breathtaking Gothic and Renaissance architecture in Dijon in the Burgundy wine region of France, a cruise past significant buildings housing the European Union in the city of Strasbourg, and a relaxing scenic journey through Germany’s Black Forest.
For more on Trafalgar’s Christmas Markets of Strasbourg and the Black Forest guided holiday visit trafalgar.com/aus/tours/christmas-markets-of-strasbourg-and-the-black-forest
German Christmas Markets (8 Days)
Mulled wine, music and cinnamon filled air will float along with you through this festive jaunt through Germany’s finest cities and towns. Each stop will have you swept up in the joy and magic of Christmas in Europe; from Saxony capital Dresden, to Nuremberg and Eisenach, home to UNESCO world heritage site Wartburg castle.
Go back in time then ascend in Berlin
From the dynamic financial centre of Frankfurt you’ll head to the walled town of Rothenburg, built in the Middle Ages. The northern Bavarian town still boasts original medieval cobblestone streets and preserved half-timbered houses.
In Berlin enjoy special priority access to one of city’s prime modern locations, taking in 360 degree views of the cultural city atop famous Fernsehturm – Berlin TV Tower, Germany’s tallest structure.
You’ll be lead by a Local Specialist through the city’s culturally vibrant sites, artisan markets, shopping and entertainment districts. This is a once in a lifetime insider experience of Germany’s capital that will satisfy your curiosity and your senses.
Christmas Market feasts
Germans are renown for their monumental cultural festivals; wandering the Christmas Markets of Rothenburg, Nuremberg, Weimar and Dresden on this guided journey through Germany will fill you with treasured memories.
At Germany’s oldest Christmas market, the Dresden’s Striezelmarkt, become acquainted with the original Dresdner Christstollen, a delicious Christmas pastry that originated in the city.
Let the Travel Directors take you on a journey that will see you bring in the season like a true local, delighting in classic German wintry treats such as the mouth-watering ‘Stollen’ cake and ‘Giuhwein’ swirls along the way.
Christmas Markets of Austria, Germany and Switzerland (8 Days)
Mixing iconic sights and seasonal delights in central Europe, this encounter features festive markets and illuminated landmarks in Vienna, Salzburg, Munich, Innsbruck and Lucerne.
A musical Christmas
In Salzburg visit the birthplace of Mozart and the home of the Von Trapp family, made famous by the film Sound of Music. The city is renown for its baroque architectural features, protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Enjoy an insider experience as you are lead by a Local Specialist through the city’s historical sights and introduced to exclusive locally known hot spots.
Chat to the stallholders of Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt about the origins of their traditional toys made of wood, just as they have been for centuries. A local specialist will show you the sights of Austria’s capital, including imperial palaces, the sites that made Vienna the intellectual haven for the likes of Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. This experience will have you in awe of the city’s significant history and cultural influence.
This guided experience will have you crossing fairy tale Alpine landscapes, taking leisurely sojourns in magical landmarks along the way from Vienna to Lucerne. Throughout your journey you’ll have unprecedented access to charming local food producers and makers of stunning arts and crafts.
For more on Trafalgar’s Christmas Markets of Austria Germany and Switzerland guided holiday visit trafalgar.com/aus/tours/christmas-markets-of-austria-germany-and-switzerland