Guests looking for a different European Christmas markets experience are in for a delicious and visually enchanting treat. Our small group departure (6 guests only) is a chance for you to justify last minute holiday shopping. And there is nothing wrong with that! Ambling through the markets while sipping a mug of piping-hot mulled wine is one of the great joys of the season. Typically taking over the main squares in front of cathedrals, these beautiful and festive outdoor markets are replete with handmade ornaments. Added to the mix are local crafts and indulgent holiday treats such as marzipan, gingerbread and jam-filled dumplings. You will experience the magic and old traditions of centuries-old towns of Germany and Austria. We take you on the discovery of lesser known European Christmas markets, as well as more famous ones. In Bavaria, we "camp" in the beautiful city of Stuttgart. We enjoy day trips to quaint and historic little towns around such as Ludwigsburg (and its baroque markets) and Esslingen. Our journey continues to Nuremberg where we cover its world-famous markets, as well as those featured in the well preserved medieval town of Rothenburg. Finally, our European Christmas markets journey takes us across the border, in Salzburg, Austria.
Wander the streets of famed towns of Germany and Austria at Christmas time, sipping on mulled wine and getting into the feel-good spirit of the holidays. In addition to having several dinners & tours included throughout the journey, our host & shopping expert will assist in getting you the best finds.
Christmas Markets are as much part of Europe’s history as their royals or castles. Seeing these sites in the winter is often a treat, as culture is showcased in the form of traditional displays and outfits. Come & find out why it is, and bring home unique gifts for your loved ones.
Today, after a private transfer from the airport, we invite you to unwind and settle in what will be your home for the next 3 nights before joining us for a private guided tour of the city. We complete our first (and light) day with the markets by night and a traditional welcome Bavarian dinner.
After breakfast and some time for our guests to discover more of the cobblestone streets and shops of Stuttgart, we depart for the town of Ludwigsburg (30 minutes away) where, after a lunch at leisure, we are expected by a local guide for a private tour of two of its most famous palaces. As the night falls, we discover the beautiful lit-up markets and medieval streets of the town. Shopping and dinner (at leisure) are on the agenda.
This morning, we have an early departure for Baden Baden, a little over an hour and a half drive away. There, after a hot coffee in the center of the beautiful town and some time to discover it, we are hosted at one of their luxury spas for a relaxing experience followed by lunch. Re-energized, we then make our way to Esslingen. There, Medieval and Christmas Market merchants in historical costumes will peddle their wares just as they did hundreds of years ago. The concert of medieval music in St. Paul's Cathedral and the atmospheric backdrop of timbered houses and romantic alleyways are what make Esslingen's Christmas and Medieval Market an experience second to none. Dinner at leisure in town before a 25 minute drive home.
After breakfast and the unpleasant packing, we depart for Rothenburg, which is on our way to Nuremberg. A local historian awaits for a private guided tour of the town. Today, it's the country's most exciting medieval town, enjoying tremendous popularity without losing its charm. There's a thousand years of history packed between its cobbles. After lunch at leisure, we regroup with Karen for an afternoon shopping under the tents. We then depart for Nuremberg where we check into our new property and hold a dinner at one of our favorite eatery near the castle (included)
After a traditional breakfast, a private guide awaits for a 2-hour guided tour of the town. For centuries, Nuremberg was the undeclared capital of the Holy Roman Empire and the preferred residence of most German kings. Rich and stuffed with architectural wonders, it was also a magnet for famous artists, though the most famous of all, Albrecht Dürer, was actually born there. The town also holds what is constantly rated THE best Christmas market town of Europe. Afternoon and evening shopping or discovering the markets - dinner at leisure with our recommendations.
This morning, we make our way to the beautiful city of Salzburg, across the Austrian border. We reach the city in 4 hours, driving through the breathtaking Bavarian countryside and its famous castles. On the way, we stop for lunch on the riverbanks of Lake Chiemsee. In Salzburg, we are likely to be met with snow on the ground, giving the city its incredible holiday look and vibe. After settling down at our property, we head to the center of the old town to uncover the traditional Christmas markets. Dinner is at leisure with our recommendations.
Upgrade option available at Hotel Sacher
This morning, a local historian and private guide gives us a tour of the city, from its fortress to, yes, its "Sound of Music" sites and memorable moments. We will also take on DomQuartier (Salzburg Residenz, the North Oratory, the Cathedral Museum, the Long Gallery, and St Peter´s Museum) as well as Mozart's birthplace turned museum. The rest of the day is at leisure. Allow us to assist in booking particular and unique tours, or simply stroll the streets of Salzburg and its Christmas market stalls. Tonight, we regroup for a farewell dinner in a very unique location, paired with lovely wines.
This morning, our hosts and local partners transfer you to Salzburg airport or train station (Munich and Vienna airports are available for a small supplement)...or maybe extend a few more days with our assistance. Wherever your journey may take you next, the whole team wishes you memorable holidays.
This modern five-star hotel is a welcoming and luxurious place to stay, with a refreshingly informal vibe and a peaceful spot overlooking the Stuttgart's main park. This city center location makes it convenient for all the major sights. Inside the 10-story tower, the foyer’s soft browns and golds provide a soothing backdrop to the bustle of guests coming and going. The 106 bedrooms fall into six categories, from Executive through to several suites. Attention to detail is evident: bathrobes and slippers; a bottle opener and glass for the free bedside bottle of water; proper padded, skirt and trouser hangers; safes; windows that open. The smart, clean bathrooms are well-lit, with adjustable mirrors and space for wash kits.
The hotel's best known restaurant is the Michelin-starred Zirbelstube, whose honey-colored pine paneling is covered in modern art. Chef Denis Feix creates simple-sounding dishes with complex flavors. Farmers duck, Pumpkin, Verjus, for instance, translates into roasted duck breast, ravioli filled with confit leg and Japanese spicing. The Leysieffer Café offers light meals, coffee and cake – and, in fine weather, tables on the terrace overlooking the park. The Weinwirtschaft Weingut Franz Keller focuses on wines and regional dishes, while the spacious John Cranko Lounge (a tribute to the Stuttgart Ballet’s legendary choreographer) serves drinks, small plates and English-style afternoon tea.
The lustrous flair of a classic grand hotel, enhanced with state-of-the-art technology and all of the convenient features you expect from a hotel of this standard – all this and more is offered at Le Méridien Grand Hotel, against the stunning backdrop of Nuremberg's ancient city. Just a short stroll away, visitors will find museums, shops, the city's famous market and the Imperial Castle.
This Salzburg cultural site has been very specially renovated in such a way that it has managed to retain its absolute exclusivity and luxury standard while at the same time has lost none of the flair that makes this historic place so unique. The foundation stone of the present Hotel Bristol was laid by Archbishop Paris Lodron in 1619. In the following centuries, the building served as the seat of various noble families. It has been repeatedly extended and remodeled before being given its present form in the late 19th century.In 1892, the city of Salzburg, into whose possession the property was passed in the meantime, opened the first hotel to be equipped with electricity within the city of Mozart, the so-called "Electric Hotel", whereby the electrical system of the hotel also supplied a large part of the right-hand center of the old quarter.
With its combination of traditional charm and modern comforts, stylish elegance and first-class service, staff and management endeavor to create an atmosphere where you can feel completely at ease, making your stay become something really special.
Rates displayed are per person, based on double occupancy. Solo travelers are welcome for a small single supplement fee of $999 per single traveler.
All listed retreats (hotels, villas and barges) are, at times, subject to changes. If replaced, similar or higher standards will be upheld.
A refundable deposit of $750 per person is due at the time of your reservation. In case of a cancelation at more than 90 days prior to departure, your deposit will be returned minus a $150 per person administrative fee.
Solo travelers welcome for a small single supplement of $999.
Your final balance is due 90 days prior to departure, at which point your journey becomes non-refundable.
NEW! Find a replacement at least 30 days prior to departure and your journey will be fully refunded, minus a $150 per person administrative fee.