More Wintery Christmas Magic with Albatross Tours
I think every Australian dreams of enjoying a white Christmas at least once in their lifetime. I was lucky enough to have my white Christmas experience last year with Albatross Tours’ Austrian White Christmas tour. Can you imagine a more stunning location than the Austrian Alps to enjoy a magical festive season?
The Austrian White Christmas Tour
The Austrian White Christmas tour travels from Vienna in Austria east to Luzern in Switzerland, stopping overnight along the way in Leogang and Innsbruck. The 10-night tour also touches on stunning Austrian towns and villages like Salzburg, Mondsee, Zell-am-See and Rattenberg.
A Highlight and a Surprise
Luzern (or Lucerne) really is a magical place. We had seen many pictures of the beautiful lake, the medieval Old Town, charming plazas and the waterfront promenades in the lead up to the tour. The promise of seeing these places with our own eyes was actually one of the key motivators to choose this winter tour. Can you imagine our surprise then to find that the real Luzern is nothing like the pictures – it’s so much more beautiful in person! I was honestly shocked by how strikingly beautiful this city is.
I will also never forget the walk we took along the foreshore of the lake, looking across the cobalt waters to the picturesque Alps. Our trek started in warm sunshine but a light fall of snow soon fell upon us, creating a wondrous atmosphere
A Historic Hotel
We were lucky to stay in the Kirchenwirt during our time in Leogang. It’s a charming manor hotel set among the rolling hills under the majestic snowy Alps. This 680-year-old manor has plenty of history. The friendly staff will happily tell you about the archbishop who used the hotel as a hideout for his mistress, and many other intriguing stories. Don’t be put off by the hotel’s age. Kirchenwirt has been lovingly restored with all the modern luxuries you’d expect.
Fare You Shouldn't Pass Up
There are two meals I would recommend to anyone travelling through Austria and Switzerland during the festive season. Firstly, make sure you enjoy a steaming hot wurst at the Kriskindlemarkt, the Christmas markets in Austria. If you thought the Australians have the BBQ down pat, wait until you try your first wurst! My second recommendation is the weiner schnitzel in Vienna. It’s a traditional favourite that is perfect for a man like me who enjoys hearty meals. Of course, you should also treat yourself to one of the many fantastic local ales!
Stay Warm with Layers
My travel tip for anyone touring during winter would be to rug up with layers. If you’re like me, you’ll be constantly on the go during your holiday – zipping from one fantastic visual treat to the next – and the activity can make you quite warm, despite the snow falling all around! Dress with a number of layers so it’s easy to shed just enough to keep you as cool or as warm as you like.
The Austrian White Christmas tour is running again in 2015, departing from Vienna on 19 December. If you love Christmas, good food and friendly companions, this certainly is the tour for you!