A French Winter Wonderland
11 days only $4,389 pp twin share
- Enjoy 5 nights in the French Alps
- 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… being there, as dozens of colourful hot air balloons soar high above you in a snowy winter wonderland! Spend five nights in the heart of the French Alps in chic Megève. Visit Montreux and Chaplin’s Vevey on the Swiss Riviera, the amazing hilltop town of Gruyères, lakeside Annecy and Chamonix in the incredible Mont Blanc mountain range. Relax in exclusive Courchevel 1850, in Les Trois Vallées, take a cable car up to ‘the roof of Europe’ and the glacier train to the dramatic Mer du Glace, enjoy ice curling and a romantic horse drawn carriage ride!
- Stay 1 night in Zurich
- Explore lakeside Luzern and Bern's medieval streets & squares
- At Chateau-d'Oex experience an incredible hot air balloon spectacle as dozens of balloons drift alooft amongst the snow covered alpine peaks
- Stay 5 nights in beautiful Megeve
- Explore world famous Chamonix, take the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi & the glacier train to the dramatic Mer du Glace
- Enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride & learn ice curling
The French Winter Wonderland Tour is just one of the many tours you can enjoy in France. Visit the destination page for more information for our other amazing tours!
Day 1: 25 January - Zurich
Your tour commences this evening in Zürich. Dinner tonight is included in your hotel, but first enjoy a welcome drink. This is an ideal opportunity to meet your fellow travellers.
Day 2: 26 January - Montreux
Our morning will be spent at leisure exploring the lovely lakeside town of Luzern with its quaint old town and the famous Chapel and Mill wooden bridges which cross the river. In the afternoon we set off to explore the medieval cobbled stoned streets of Bern. A UNESCO World Heritage Listed landmark, this capital city is set on a spectacular bend above the River Aare, and boasts kilometres of sheltered arcaded shopping ways, an intriguing clock tower and the famous ‘Bärengraben’ bear pits. Later we continue to Montreux, on the exclusive Swiss Riviera where we will stay the next three nights.
Day 3: 27 January - Montreux
This morning we have included entrance and a guided tour through the beautifully preserved Chateau Chillon. Made famous in Byron’s poem ‘The Prisoner of Chillon’, this 13th century fortress juts out imposingly into Lake Geneva.
The rest of the day is at leisure to explore this grand lakeside city.
Day 4: 28 January - Montreux
Our first stop today will be in Charlie Chaplin’s hometown of Vevey. Make sure you visit the lakeside promenade to see the statue of the ‘little man with baggy pants’. Lunchtime will be at leisure in the unique village of Gruyères. Rising out of the flat valley floor, Gruyères village and castle are perched on top of a steep rocky hill. The broad cobbled stone main street, flanked by centuries old houses, is an astounding time capsule and one of the great sights of Europe. Highlight of the day will be deep in the snowy mountains in a little village called Chateau-d’Oex, a mecca to Alpine Ballooning enthusiasts. Every year in the last week in January, Château-d’Oex is host to a festival called the International Hot Air Balloon Week – the “Semaine Internationale de Ballons à Air Chaud”. We have timed this Wonderland tour specifically to be there during this amazing spectacle involving around 100 gigantic balloons of all shapes colours and sizes, as they soar amongst the magnificent alpine peaks. Please note: timings, inclusions, and order of the day will be determined by the weather and Hot Air Ballooning programme on the day.
Day 5: 29 January - Megeve in the French Alps
After a leisurely start, we arrive into Geneva mid-morning. You will have time at leisure to explore Switzerland’s second largest city and once home of the Red Cross. Make sure you take a walk along the beautiful foreshore of Lake Leman (Lake Geneva) to see the city’s symbolic 140 metre high Jet d’Eau fountain which is set offshore in the lake. The views of the mountains around the lake are exceptional. Crossing into France, we continue deep into the heart of the Haute Savoie region of the mighty French Alps and 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. Designer boutiques, restaurants and après ski bars makes this the perfect base to stay the next five exciting nights.
Day 6: 30 January - 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 highlight of today will be a ride on a horse-drawn carriage through the delightful old town and local countryside. The rest of the day and evening 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 cantry 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 7: 31 January - Megeve in the French Alps
Today we visit the world famous resort of Chamonix. On arrival we enjoy an incredible mountain cable ride up to Aiguille du Midi, which translated means the ‘Needle of Midday’. At an altitude of 3842 metres (11621ft) you are seemingly within reach of Mont Blanc and the views across the French, Italian and Swiss, Alps are astounding. At the top you will also find a café restaurant, mountaineering and alpine exhibition, plus a stomach clenching, glass bottomed observation platform! Your afternoon is at leisure in Chamonix town. Time to stroll amongst the cafés, restaurants, shops and boutiques set under the shadow of the Mont Blanc massif.
For those who want ‘more mountain, less shopping’ we have also included a ticket on the historic ‘Red Train’ which winds its way up through the forests and valleys to Montenvers station. From the café terrace you have spectacular views up onto some of Chamonix’s highest and most dramatic peaks and down onto the largest glacier in France the spectacular Mer du Glace – ‘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 man-made ice grotto, complete with ice sculptures, a throne room and beautifully illuminated, carved tunnels.
Day 8: 1 February - Megeve in the French Alps
This morning we visit 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. This afternoon we return to Megève and the rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 9: 2 February - 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: 3 February - 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 in the square beside the elaborate Duomo. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner in a local Milanese restaurant.
Day 11: 4 February - 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 in Zürich
- 15 Meals – Buffet breakfast daily (B) and 5 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
Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic, Montreux - 3 nights
This impressive 4 star hotel is located on the shore of Lake Geneva, a short stroll along the lakeside promenade to the heart of Montreux. All guestrooms are air-conditioned and have minibar, safe, flat-screen TV, direct-dial phone and hairdryer.
Aux Vieux Moulin, Megeve - 5 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
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!
Have you travelled with Albatross Tours previously? Save $200 on our European Summer tours or $100 on our Christmas and ANZAC tours.
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If you book and deposit on any of our tours, as long as there are just 10 or more people travelling on your designated group departure, we guarantee it will travel.