German & Austrian Christmas Markets

Not too long ago I was down in Sydney and Melbourne presenting at a function for our Albatross Christmas Tours. One question I received several times was ‘How do I join one of your Christmas tours, but not over Christmastime?’ You see, they were eager to experience one of our festive tours but have an overriding urge and need to be back at home in Australia close to their family and friends for Christmas Day. It reminded me of exactly why I created our pre-Christmas tour. Our German and Austrian Christmas Markets tour has a number of departures each year commencing from the end of November to mid-December and they are perfect for those wishing to capture that European Christmas magic and still be back in Australia for their annual ‘Christmas barbie’.

The festive markets originated in Germany over 600 years ago and each year both the Germans and the Austrians really capture the essence of Christmas so well. It therefore made absolute sense to create a tour that goes to the best Christmas markets and amazing sites around the ‘Romantic Road‘ and visit the snow covered Alps of Austria and wonderful city of Salzburg.
 

Nurnberg Christmas Markets, courtesy of Julia Higginbotham


Rothenburg

The 10 day German & Austrian Christmas Markets tour starts in Frankfurt and ends in Munich with three multi night stays along the way.

Our first two night stay is in the gorgeous town of Rothenburg, perhaps the finest medieval city in all of Europe. Our hotel itself is one of the highlights being over 500 years old and set amongst the cobblestoned streets. The hotel’s location is also fantastic as it is about 100 metres from the central Market Square where you’ll find one of the cutest Christmas markets in the whole of Europe. The next day we have a fascinating excursion to two amazing local cities. First stop is the nearby UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Bamberg, which was once capital of Germany and Nürnberg is our second stop for the day. Nürnberg boasts perhaps the most beautiful and certainly most authentic Christmas markets you’ll find anywhere. As dusk approaches the music and singing begins and the Christmas lights and the smell of mulled wine, roasting sausages and chestnuts fill the air.
 

Rothenburg Christmas Markets, Germany


Oberammergau

From Rothenburg we then travel south down the Romantic Road to visit the ancient town of Fussen, which dates back to Roman times. We also visit ‘Mad’ King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle that acted as the inspiration for Disney’s castle. Perched on mountain spur, this amazing castle looks like it has been taken directly out of a fairytale.

We stay three nights nearby in a delightful wooden alpine style hotel in the centre of Oberammergau. The historic town of Oberammergau is surrounded by the Bavarian mountains; and so on one day we have included a terrific excursion to the top of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. Sitting atop the mountain is a restaurant, with an altitude of nearly 3,000 metres; the views from here are absolutely astounding. From this point in Germany you can see the Alps stretch far away into Austria, Italy and Switzerland. We visit another of King Ludwig’s romantic creations, beautiful Linderhof Palace, as well as Kloster Ettal a 700 year old monastery.
 

SonnAlpin Glacier Restaurant, Zugspitze Mountain Germany


Salzburg

On our last two nights we stay in a wonderful, historic, first-class hotel right in the centre of beautiful Salzburg. After a guided tour of the amazing city of Mozart and ‘the Sound of Music’, the rest of your day is entirely free! This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy shopping in the winding, Christmas decorated, cobblestoned streets or visit the enormous fortress, churches and sights of the city. Of course make sure to soak up the atmosphere of some of the superb Christmas markets as well– as good as you will find anywhere!
 

Salzburg Christmas Markets, Austria

The special thing about this program is not only does it take in some most unique and memorable Christmas markets in this part of Europe, but you also visit snow-covered castles, memorable cities and experience cable car rides up the mountains to take in the stunning views.

With Albatross Tours we make sure you have genuine time to enjoy the vibrant festivities in Europe, but you have fun too! What’s more, if you didn’t want to come home straight after your tour, you can combine this tour with one of our actual Christmas tours which commence soon afterwards - making one longer, incredible, Christmas you will never forget!

Want to join us in Europe this Christmas? Feel free to get in touch.
 

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

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Euan Landsborough

Euan Landsborough is the Managing Director and Tour Designer at Albatross Tours