We wanted to see a really typical European Christmas, complete with plenty of Christmas Markets and hopefully, snow on Christmas Day. We thought Austria sounded like the best place to experience this. We were also excited about seeing the beautiful city of Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck. We absolutely chose the right tour!
Who did you travel with?
My husband Andrew and our two teenage children, Bella & Campbell.
Have you travelled with us previously?
What was your favourite place/s on your Albatross tour?
You know, there were so many! We LOVED Vienna, and in particular , our day spent exploring the city and ending with a tour of beautiful Schonbrunn Palace was fabulous. After the tour, we were given time to explore the divine Christmas Markets in front of Schonbrunn. Dusk had settled, the Christmas lights were on, the Christmas stalls were sparkling with beautiful decorations (and wonderful food and Gluwein). Then much to our delight, a choir started singing Christmas carols! It was absolutely magical and actually brought tears to my eyes! This was exactly what we were hoping to experience on our tour.
Salzburg was beautiful, and the little village of Leogang, where we spent Christmas was utterly charming (the hotel was a highlight) but Innsbruck was breathtaking. Those snow covered mountains set behind the city are extraordinary and at every turn was another beautiful view.
What was the most amazing thing you saw or did on your Albatross tour?
The Christmas decorations and markets in Vienna at night were just stunning and driving through the Austrian countryside, with majestic snowcapped mountains and fir trees, is like something from a fairytale.
Tell us about your most memorable moment on tour?
On Christmas Eve we went for a walk in the snow with Mark, our ever entertaining Tour Guide and then back at our hotel we gathered in the beautifully decorated old stables for Gluwein and Austrian ginger biscuits. However, nothing beats waking up to big fluffy snow falling on Christmas morning and then a horse drawn carriage ride through the countryside as the snow kept kept coming down. It was something we will never forget.
What was your favourite meal on tour?
Definitely the Wiener schnitzel at the 550 year old Griechenbeisl Inn in Vienna. An authentic and charming Inn where we were served delicious schnitzel that was bigger than our heads!! The waiters were entertaining ensured that none of us went home hungry (or thirsty). A great night!!
What advice do you have for anyone interested in travelling on this tour?
Wear lots of layers (its very cold outside but very warm inside); try the Gluwein at every market...it's surprising how different it can taste each time and it keeps you nice and warm as you wander the markets. There are activities most days but also plenty of free time to do your own exploring at your own pace.
Oh, and be prepared to make friends! We had a wonderful group of like minded Aussies who we loved travelling with. Lots of laughter!
Would you recommend this tour to family and friends? If so, why?
Absolutely! This is the first time we have gone on an organised tour and we were really pleasantly surprised. Even our teenagers had a great time! I think Albatross has just the right mix of sightseeing and free time and we loved it all.
Festive Photo Competition Finalist
You may recognise some of the photos from our 2019 Festive Europe Photo Competition. If you would like to see who else was a finalist then check out our competition page here.
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