French and Italian Christmas Markets Tour
11 days from $3,959 pp twin share
- Enjoy a leisurely 4 night stay in Megeve
- Stay in authentic, character style hotels
- Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
- The festive tour experts
- Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
- Guaranteed group departures
Imagine… spending four nights in the heart of the chic ski resort of Megève surrounded by the beautiful French Alps. Now add Christmas shopping in the boutiques and Christmas markets of Paris, Milan, Lyon and more. Visit Beaune in Burgundy, lakeside Annecy, Chamonix in the incredible Mont Blanc mountain range, the exclusive resort of Courchevel 1850 in Les Trois Vallées and ride on a glacier train up to Montenvers to enjoy the view down on to the ‘Sea of Ice’.
- Spend 3 nights in vibrant Paris, be enchanted on a special 'Paris by Night' illuminations drive
- Visit the magnificent Palace of Versailles
- Explore 6 Christmas Markets from Paris, Lyon, Annecy, Chamonix, Megeve and Milan
- Visit the fascinating Hospices de Beaune in Burgundy
- Stay 4 nights in beautiful Megeve surrounded by the soaring peaks of the Mont Blanc massif
- Enjoy ice curling and savour Megeve's dining & elegant shopping
- Shop in Milan's luxurious 'Golden Triangle' & at the Christmas Markets
- Dine in a local Milanese restaurant
Day 1: 7 December - Paris
Your tour commences this evening in Paris. Dinner tonight is included, but first enjoy a welcome drink. This is an ideal opportunity to meet your fellow travellers.
Day 2: 8 December - Paris
This morning we enjoy a guided panoramic tour which will bring alive the city from the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées and Arc de Triomphe, to the Louvre and Notre Dame. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore the broad boulevards and myriad of shops and museums. Make sure you wander through the largest Christmas markets in Paris which stretch down the Champs Elysées. Christmas decorations abound!
Day 3: 9 December - Paris
Today begins with a guided tour through Louis XIV’s magnificent Palace of Versailles. The sheer size and opulence of this incredible palace is quite amazing. The royal state rooms, the golden Queen’s bedrooms and the ‘Sun Kings’ classic Hall of Mirrors, are quite extraordinary. Your afternoon is at leisure to immerse yourself in Paris’ wealth of museums or perhaps do some serious Christmas shopping! This evening we have included a ‘Paris by Night’ illuminations drive. You will be enchanted by the grand monuments, boulevards and palaces all bathed in glorious light. In addition, department stores around the Opera set up gigantic Christmas trees and light shows in competition with the extravagant, festive street displays. Tonight, dinner will be in a local restaurant. C’est Magnifique!
Day 4: 10 December - Lyon
Travelling south we reach Beaune, capital of the Burgundy wine region. On arrival we have included a visit to the fascinating Hospices de Beaune (audio guide included). Covered with multi-coloured, glazed roof tiles the ‘Hotel Dieu’ was built over 550 years ago to help the town’s folk in a time of poverty and famine. You will then enjoy lunchtime at leisure amongst the quaint medieval streets and squares. Later we continue to France’s gastronomic capital, Lyon, where we stay two nights.
Day 5: 11 December - Lyon
A wonderful day in Lyon! This morning we explore the historic Roman area to visit the ancient amphitheatre and the hilltop Basilica of Fourvière which dominates the whole town. The views from its terrace are splendid. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure. Perhaps stroll through the cobbled stone streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), stop at a riverside café for white wine and oysters, or shop along the pedestrianised shopping mall from Place de la Republique to Place des Terreaux. The Christmas markets on Place Carnot are excellent, and at night the hilltop Basilica is beautifully illuminated. Lyon is famous as a culinary capital, so this evening explore the old town and discover your own cosy ‘Bouchon’ – a typical, Lyonnais style restaurant.
Day 6: 12 December - Megeve in the French Alps
After a leisurely start we enter the Haute Savoie region to enjoy lunchtime exploring the pretty lakeside town Annecy. Here, cobbled stone streets, half-timbered and beautifully painted houses sit beside picturesque canals which are criss-crossed with stone bridges. With its Château d’Annecy, once castle home to the Counts of Geneva, and a back drop of mountains and the turquoise lake, the Vieille Ville (Old Town) is incredibly pretty and the Christmas Markets add to the picture.
Later this afternoon we drive deep into the heart of the mighty French Alps to the chic ski resort of Megève. Surrounded by a dozen world class ski resorts, and the enormous mountains of the Mont Blanc massif, Megève’s chalets and ancient rustic buildings date back as far as the 1300’s. At night time the horse and carriages sitting in the pretty town square in front of the illuminated church and enormous Christmas tree, decorated with Swarovski crystals, create one of the most gorgeous festive settings you will ever see. Designer boutiques, restaurants and après ski bars makes this the perfect base to stay the next four nights.
Day 7: 13 December - Megeve in the French Alps
Today we visit the world famous resort of Chamonix. Here we board the historic ‘Red Train’ which winds its up through the forests and valleys to Montenvers station. From the café terrace you have spectacular views onto some of Chamonix’s highest and most dramatic peaks. At 1,913 meters you will also be able to look down onto the largest glacier in France, the spectacular Mer du Glace – the ‘Sea of Ice’. For the more energetic, your ticket also includes the cable car down to the top of the 430 steel steps that lead to the glacier. Here you can enter the labyrinth of a manmade ice grotto, complete with ice sculptures, a throne room and beautifully illuminated, carved tunnels. Your afternoon is at leisure in Chamonix town. Time to stroll amongst the cafés, restaurants, shops, boutiques and Christmas markets set under the shadow of the Mont Blanc massif.
Day 8: 14 December - Megeve in the French Alps
To start the day we have included a game of Ice Curling. A local instructor will teach us the rules and then a game… Watching will be as amusing as playing! The rest of the day is completely at leisure. From Megève you have access to all the main peaks by cable cars and chair lifts. All over the mountains are large restaurants, cafés and rest facilities all with spectacular views over the mighty French Alps. You can try your hand at winter sports or maybe take a winter walk. A famous walk called the Calvary of Megève starts from near the ice skating rink. There are a series of 14 chapels along the way representing the Passion of Christ – the Way of the Cross. Otherwise simply relax, shop and explore Megève, one of the prettiest ski resort towns you will ever see.
Day 9: 15 December - Megeve in the French Alps
Time for a superb mountain drive – to visit Courchevel 1850. Whereas Megève is located in a valley, this superb ultra-chic, modern ski resort is set at 1850 metres altitude. Part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest linked ski area in the world, Courchevel 1850 is a massive ski complex with 8 lifts and gondolas running directly in and out of the central ski station, surrounded by dozens of shops, bars and restaurants of all kinds, tastes and styles, with a constant bustle of colourful sport enthusiasts and elegant sightseers. The surrounding scenery is breathtaking and the wood cabin villages so picturesque. Intriguingly, elegant mountain restaurants have tables with wine lists, fine tableware and crisp white linen, whilst underneath you will see clunky, snow covered ski boots! A terrific experience!
Day 10: 16 December - Milan
Driving through the Mont Blanc Tunnel which passes under Europe’s highest mountains, we enter the Italian Alps near Courmayeur. We soon reach the stylish city of Milan where we enjoy a guided panoramic tour followed by time at leisure amongst the fashion shops of the luxurious ‘Golden Triangle’ and the Christmas Markets by the elaborate Duomo. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner in a local Milanese restaurant.
Day 11: 17 December - Milan
This morning it is time to say farewell as your tour ends.
Incredible Value Inclusions
- 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 Paris
- 16 Meals – Buffet breakfast daily (B) and 6 evening dinners (D)
- A complimentary wine, beer or soft drink with all included dinners
- Tea and coffee with all included dinners
- All excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
- 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
Mercure Lyon Centre Chateau Perrache - 2 nights
Housed in a listed Art Nouveau building, the hotel is perfectly located, less than 200 metres from the Christmas Markets in Place Carnot. Renovated in 2015, the hotel blends old style elegance with stylish and contemporary furnishings.
Aux Vieux Moulin, Megeve - 4 nights
Location, location! Set within 200 metres of the church square and the absolute heart of Megève, your cosy hotel has that distinct Alpine chalet style feel. The modern bar and restaurant harmonise beautifully with the more traditional wooden floors and comfy arm chairs and tables in the lounge area.
Dates and Prices
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No Additional 'On Tour' Costs
Over $100 value of extras per day are already included. There are no additional 'on tour' costs - even your end of tour tips are included!