Christmas in an Italian Castle Tour
11 days only $4,499 pp twin share
- Leisurely 2 and 4 night stays
- Stay in authentic, character style hotels
- Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
- Guaranteed 'My Time'
- Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
- Personal group sizes up to 40
Imagine celebrating this Christmas in a glorious 900 year old Italian Castle set in the charming foothills of the Italian Dolomites. Add visits to the picturesque Austrian Lakes District, the Christmas Markets of Salzburg and Innsbruck, the chic ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo and the romantic city of Venice.
- Celebrate Christmas over 4 nights in a stunning Italian Castle in the foothills of the Italian Dolomites
- Savour the fabulous Christmas Markets in Munich, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Bolzano
- Enjoy Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day lunch and Boxing Day in the chic ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Stay 2 nights beside Lake Fuschl in the picturesque Austrian Lakes District and enjoy a torch light walk with mulled wine
- Spend a day in the baroque city of Salzburg, enjoy a hot drink and biscuits in Austria’s oldest restaurant and visit the ‘Silent Night Chapel’
- Explore ‘The Sound of Music’ Mondsee and drive through the lakes district past Wolfgangsee to picturesque Hallstatt
- Stay 2 nights in medieval Innsbruck and visit Swarovski Crystal Worlds
- In Bolzano, shop in the Christmas Markets and see Ötzi - the mummified mountain man
- Visit Neuschwanstein Castle, the ‘Passion Play’ village of Oberammergau and the wonderful Kloster Ettal Monastery
- Visit the canals and hump backed bridges of Venice, relax by Lake Garda and enjoy a farewell dinner in stylish Milan
Day 1: Munich
Your tour commences this evening in cosmopolitan Munich. Shopping is always excellent in Munich - particularly around the town hall and the decorated, wooden, Christmas market stalls. Before your Bavarian style buffet dinner enjoy a welcome drink in the hotel.
Day 2: Mondsee, beautiful Hallstatt and lakeside Fuschl
A leisurely start as we cross into Austria to spend lunchtime in Mondsee on Lake Mondsee, and visit the church made famous in the wedding scene of the film ‘The Sound of Music’. Later we drive deep into the lakes district and visit Hallstatt. Set on a rocky terrace jutting into the quiet dark water of the lake surrounded by towering peaks, this is considered the oldest inhabited village in Europe and perhaps the most beautiful in Austria. Afterwards, passing Wolfgangsee (lake), we soon reach Fuschl - the tiny country village on Lake Fuschl. Only 30 minutes from Salzburg this is our home for the next two nights. This evening join in a torchlight village walk followed by mulled wine.
Day 3: Silent Night Chapel, Salzburg sightseeing and ‘My Time’
Day 4: Swarovski Crystal Worlds and ‘My Time’ in Innsbruck
Day 5: Neuschwanstein Castle, Oberammergau and Kloster Ettal Monastery
Driving up over the beautiful Fern Pass we enter Southern Bavaria and visit the tiny village of Hohenschwangau. After a brisk walk uphill you enjoy a guided tour of one of the most inspiring and famous castles in the world – ‘Mad’ King Ludwig’s romantic Neuschwanstein Castle. The staterooms, halls and throne room are all reminiscent of a Wagner operatic saga. In the afternoon we also visit the ‘Passion Play’ village of Oberammergau, with its ornately painted buildings and stop at Kloster Ettal Monastery with its incredible painted ceilings. Dating back over 700 years this is one of the finest examples of Rococo architecture in existence. Your evening is at leisure.
Day 6: Bolzano, ‘Otzi the Ice Man’ and CastelBrando
Today we cross into Italy via the Brenner Pass and visit Bolzano, capital of Alto Adige region. Intricately carved gables, painted timber façades and an elegant arcaded main street illustrate the influence of both Tyrolean and Italian cultures. We have included a visit to the Museum of Archaeology where you can see the mummified remains of Ötzi, the famous Ice Man, along with a fascinating exhibition documenting the ancient history of Italy’s South Tyrol. At Trento we cut across the scenic Val Sugana and mid afternoon reach the foothills of the Dolomites and our superb CastelBrando.
Located above the village of Cison di Valmarino this 2,000 year old Roman fortress was turned into a sumptuous Noble’s palace in the 13th century. On arrival we have included a guided tour of the castle – there is a lot to see - and this will be your home for the next four evocative nights.
Day 7: Venice sightseeing and ‘My Time’
Christmas Eve! Today we visit nearby Venice – arguably one of the most romantic cities in the world. At Tronchetto we board a boat to take us to St Marc’s Square where we join our expert local guide for a walking tour. The rest of the day is free to shop and explore the myriad of narrow, water lined streets and canals spanned by humped back bridges. Tonight we enjoy Christmas Eve with dinner back in ‘our’ castle.
Day 8: Christmas Day – ‘My Time’ in your Castle and a sumptuous Christmas lunch
Day 9: ‘My Time’ in chic Cortina d’Ampezzo
Boxing Day! Time to have some fun in the snow as we drive north into the spectacular Dolomites to visit the chic Italian ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo. The rest of the day is free to shop and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the dramatic, snow laden peaks surrounding you. For lunch maybe take the cable car (not included) to one of the numerous mountain restaurants.
Day 10: Sirmione on Lake Garda and stylish Milan
Leaving our castle we head for the shores of Lake Garda where we take a morning break in the incredibly picturesque town of Sirmione with its tiny harbour surrounded by cobblestoned walkways and cafés. Later we continue to the stylish city of Milan for time at leisure before enjoying a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 11: Milan
Your Christmas tour ends this morning in Milan. For those of you joining one of our wonderful New Year Tours that begin in Luzern today, the good news is, we have arranged a complimentary Group transfer.
Incredible Value Inclusions
- All excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
- Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
- Travel in a first class air conditioned touring coach
- 10 nights authentic, specially selected hotel accommodation
- Hotel porterage (1 suitcase pp)
- Welcome drink in Munich
- 20 Meals – Buffet breakfast daily (B), 1 lunch (L) and 9 evening dinners (D)
- A complimentary wine, beer or soft drink with all included dinners
- Tea and coffee with all included dinners
- Local guides as described
- Free WiFi on most coaches and at hotels
- End of tour tips to Tour Manager and Driver, tips for local guides
- Albatross Tours travel App
The Mohrenwirt, Fuschl - 2 NightsSet in the old village centre this former Rustic Inn has been serving guests for over 150 years. You will be guests of the Schmidlechner family who have developed this hotel into one of the best country hotels in the region. Furnished with wood panelling your hotel boasts a charming lounge bar and lovely restaurant. Leisure facilities included sauna, solarium and wellness centre.
Grauer Baer Hotel, Innsbruck - 2 NightsSuperbly located just 200 metres from the historic city centre, this hotel has 196 rooms with private facilities. The hotel boasts style and tradition and features a restaurant, bar, sauna, steam-bath, solarium and a gym.
CastelBrando, Cison Di Valmarino - 4 Nights
A beautifully restored castle with sensitive modernisation has brought the original magnificence back to life. Guelph style decorative battlements, stone cellars, tapestries, swords and suits of armour set the scene for the elegant halls, dining rooms, manicured gardens and terraces overlooking the valley. Glorious for après dinner drinks on a summer evening!
Our tour manager’s attention to detail was excellent. His relaxed, humorous approach to meeting the needs of all the group was personal and genuine. He knew everyone by name, I was travelling alone and he checked when I needed extra information so I could keep notes and made sure I had the correct times. He had maps, written itinerary’s each morning, and clear instructions and backup. He knew many had limitations of physical endurance, fitness and age and he dealt with all in a sensible and practical manner. Christmas day was very special. The village church had a mass that many attended and the simple piety and service of a ritual celebrated for five hundred or more years was beautiful and so powerful. The local community offered us the sign of peace by holding hands greeting us in Italian, and most of the group took communion. The way they share their Christmas was very moving, a highlight for me, as I myself am not Christian.
A wonderful tour! Gilberto was a fabulous tour guide. Very friendly and with a wonderful knowledge of the places we visited.
Highlights were our day at the ski resort and making snow angels. I loved the walks through the old towns of Salzburg, Innsbruck (and the Christmas markets) and Hallstat. Castlebrando was very impressive. I loved the tour and the fun people we met.
Sheryl, travelled December 2014
The breakfasts were all fantastic. Christmas Day was fabulous, starting with Mass with the locals following by lunch with new found friends ajoy! Our guide Helen, was fun, humorous and happy to accommodateour groups' requests and requirements. Looking forward to hopefully enjoying another tour with Albatross in the future.
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