Traveller Story: An Enchanting Slovenian Christmas
Christmas in Central Europe is absolutely enchanting and conjures up images from old Christmas carols. Think snow falling gently in pretty villages, alpine valleys and stunning lakes. That’s what my partner and I encountered on our Albatross Tours’ Christmas in the Slovenian Alps tour.
The Christmas in the Slovenian Alps Tour
This quintessentially Christmas tour departs from Munich and visits the fairy-tale Neuschwanstein Castle before crossing to charming Innsbruck in Austria for two nights. Italy is next, with two nights at historic Castelbrando and a side trip to Venice. You’ll then spend four unforgettable nights at Lake Bled in the Slovenian Alps over Christmas before returning to Munich via Salzburg.
Before embarking on the tour, we expected to experience a festive spirit, meet new friends and see the snow. We also looked forward to seeing the markets. Without a doubt, the tour exceeded our expectations on all counts.
When it comes to the Christmas markets in Munich, Innsbruck, Bolzano and Ljubljana, they were festive and full of delicious foods, drinks and Christmas trees decked out with vibrant ornaments. The hotel in Innsbruck is very close to the markets, so you can stroll through them after dinner while enjoying a hot mulled wine or hot chocolate and doing last-minute shopping for Christmas gifts.
The visit to Venice was a treat, and while the romantic gondola ride along the canals was at our own expense, the tour allowed ample time for this great experience. It was also there on the gondola where we took our favourite tour photo!
Another big highlight was the two nights we spent in Castelbrando. On arrival, a local guide took us around the grounds and castle’s museum, recounting the fascinating history of the family and buildings. There’s nothing like waking up to beautiful views across the valley and taking a morning stroll around the grounds, enjoying the historical 2,000-year-old Roman fortress.
The festive Christmas Eve dinner was unforgettable. We sat and listened to zither music while enjoying the company of fellow Australians and New Zealanders. This was followed by a visit to a local church for midnight Mass in the local Slovene language. We couldn’t understand what was being said, but the atmosphere alone was amazing.
Taste buds in Heaven
All the food was delicious, and we appreciated the many opportunities to seek out our own lunches on most days of the tour. Our favourite meals included the pizza in Venice and the divine Bled cream cake. As I’m not a drinker, I didn’t have the mulled wine. However, the hot chocolates at Innsbruck’s markets were delectable; the chocolate is just so thick and melts in your mouth. I was also offered a soft drink at meals, instead of wine, so I never felt left out.
This is a fantastic tour that visits four countries. On one day, you will wake up in Italy, enjoy lunch in medieval Austria and feast on dinner in Slovenia! Despite this, the tour is leisurely paced, so that you end up being surprised by all you have seen and done.
If you’re after an unforgettable European Christmas experience, this tour is a must.
To find out more information or to request a brochure please contact our friendly reservations team.
Courtesy of Albatross Traveller - Rachel Turner