Christmas Markets (7 days, 6 nights) December 3-10, 2021

UK, SWITZERLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY, NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM

December 3-10, 2021 – 7 days, 6 nights – $2195, single supplement $2795

Airfare not included

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CHRISTMAS MARKETS

Day 1 – US-London

Day 2 – There is nothing quite like an evening stroll on the streets of London during Christmastime.  You will have free time to explore the sites of the big city and check some items off of that list!

Hotel:  London

Day 3 – Big City London, UK-Basel, SWITZERLAND; Colmar, FRANCE

In the morning we will catch a 1 hour 40 minute flight to Basel, Switzerland.  Basel has a deep-rooted tradition as Switzerland’s most beautiful and largest Christmas city and is well worth a visit. The Old Town shines in the warm Christmas light, and the shops and facades of the buildings glitter with a golden glow. Close to a hundred tall pine trees line up the streets and the Christmas market is located in one of the most beautiful squares in Basel.

Walking into Colmar, France is like walking into a storybook.  Its origins are the inspiration for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  You will love just strolling the town with French architecture dating from 7 different centuries.  Enjoy the quaint French bakeries, shops and Christmas decor.

Hotel: Colmar

Day 4: French-German Villages – Strasbourg, FRANCE -Heidelberg, GERMANY

Continuing through the Alsace region of France, you will find the “Capital of Christmas” in Strasbourg.  For four centuries now, Christkindelsmärik has been working its magic with over 300 wooden chalets, spread around different squares in the city.  Strasbourg really gets decked out in all its finery for the season. 

We will end this day in Heidelberg with scents of roasted almonds, cinnamon and hot chestnuts winding through the alleyways of the Old Town. Against the romantic backdrop of the castle, couples glide hand-in-hand on skates – it is Christmas time in Heidelberg.  The atmosphere is unique, offering a warming glow of light along one of the longest pedestrian zones in Europe. In the fairy-tale winter woods at the “Kornmarkt”, the Advent stroll is transformed into a magical experience. 

Hotel:  Heidelberg 

Day 5 – GERMANY Christmas Markets – Romantic Road – Rothenburg, Dinkelsbühl, Wurzburg

We will spend the day touring quaint German villages.  Every year, medieval Rothenburg transforms into a wintertime fairy tale. Rothenburg has one of the oldest Christmas markets boasting a 500 year tradition. The beautifully decorated Christmas market booths have a fairyland backdrop of the Middle Ages.

Dinkelsbühl’s Christmas market in historical Spitalhof is one of the prettiest and most romantic Christmas markets along the Romantic Road.  You will be enchanted by the German architecture in the quaint German village.

In Würzburg during the advent season, the air is filled with spicy smells from decorated stalls and the sound of traditional Christmas songs.  The Christmas Market offers arts and crafts, delicious regional produce, and food.  More than 40 artists display and sell silver jewelry, hand-made teddy bears, pottery, jams, and hand-knit socks. 

Hotel: Wurzburg

Day 6 –  Frankfurt, Bonn, GERMANY; Maastricht, NETHERLANDS  

We will check out Frankfurt’s Romer (city hall), a medieval building in Frankfurt’s main square and one of the city’s most important landmarks.  We will also see the Haribo Gummy Factory in Bonn, which features an exhibition about Haribo and offers a wonderful variety of gummy bears for sweet prices.

We make our way to the Netherlands – the Maastricht Christmas Market is held every year at Vrijthof square. You can snack on bratwurst and glühwein, find all your Christmas presents at its numerous stalls, then continue shopping at the beautiful Jekerkwartier area. Maastricht Christmas Market is one of the top Christmas markets in the Netherlands.

Hotel:  Maastricht, Netherlands

Day 7 – Bruges, Ghent, Brussels – BELGIUM

3 foods that Belgium is known for – Chocolate, Fries & Waffles.  We will spend the day exploring all 3 as well as charming canals, cobbled streets, and intricate chocolate shops.  If you want to take a break from the markets, you can check out some historic sites and artifacts such as:  Gravensteen (preserved 10th-century moated castle with an armory museum, plus panoramic city views), Saint Bavo’s Cathedral (Church where Charles V (HRE) was baptised & home of Van Eyck’s masterpiece, the Ghent Altarpiece [Monument’s Men movie]) Markt, Belfry of Bruges (optional climb to the top of the medieval bell tower with 366 steps leading to views, plus treasure chamber & 47-belled carillon)

We will end the day at the Grand Place, which at night the lights on the buildings sparkle like a jewel box.  It is a sight to behold.

Hotel: Brussels

Day 8 – Brussels-London-US

Today we will take the train to London and then board our flight returning to the US

*itinerary subject to change

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