Explore a Winter Wonderland with Albatross

When designing and creating a new tour, I like to listen to what you want. What inspires you to travel to Europe? What times of year you want to travel? What new holiday memories would you like to create?

When my friends Louise and Steve said jokingly they would love to do a Christmas tour but later, after Christmas, it sparked an idea. To develop and release a new series of tours which encapsulate that festive feeling and those incredible winter wonderland experiences.

I’d therefore like to announce another huge Albatross ‘first’ – the launch of a completely new type of seasonal tour. One designed specifically for people who like to be home spending Christmas with family and friends, but then want to enjoy a holiday, in a magical European winter wonderland. A brand new series of innovative tours departing in January and February which capture the magic of a European winter, when the snow is deeper, the skies seem bluer and the mountains and valleys are alive with sightseers relaxing, playing and having fun.

Why Embark on a Winter Wonderland Tour

There are many benefits of travelling at this time of year. Let’s first talk about the ‘heat’ and the ‘fly’. No, not the heat and flies. The ‘fly’ as in - the flight to Europe. As our Winter Wonderland tours depart in January and February it’s fantastic to note that this is when flights are at their cheapest. Now that doesn’t happen often!

That then brings me back to the ‘heat’. Unless you have an amazingly short memory, you’ll recall it gets rather hot here in Australia over January and February. Do you find the incessant heat and sultry humidity over seemingly endless weeks incredibly draining? I know I do! And that is another reason our new European Winter Wonderland tours are sure to have enormous appeal. To escape from the dulling heat and spend a few weeks in the fresh, crisp, clean, cool mountains of Europe.

Be Transported to a Magical Wonderland

Filzmoos Horse and Carriage Ride, courtesy of Albatross traveller I. Wicks

So you are now dreaming of escaping to a magical European winter wonderland. Now what are you getting away to?

A world filled with fun in the snow, making snow angels and building snowmen, where you will enjoy hot chocolates, and take in the dramatic mountain scenery while enjoying a cable car ride up to the soaring peaks high above snow laden valleys.

A wonderland where you will enjoy romantic winter walks down village pathways before heading to a local restaurant. Dine on aromatic hot apple strudel with lashings of custard, or a bowl of steaming French onion soup or spicy goulash in a picture perfect European setting.

Embrace the chance to rug up in mittens, a beanie and scarf, and more, so you are as snug as a bug before you venture out in the bright blue skies, breathing in the clean alpine air. Enjoy days exploring European towns before venturing back to your cosy chalet hotel and cosy up by the fire.

A French Winter Wonderland

Megeve, France

Curiously our French Winter Wonderland tours starts in Switzerland and our Swiss Winter Wonderland tour starts in Germany. But all for a very good reason! Our 11 day French Winter Wonderland tour starts on the 25th January in Zurich before staying 3 nights in Montreux, beside Lake Geneva.

The departure has been timed so you will be there during the week of the “Semaine Internationale de Ballons à Air Chaud” or the ‘International Hot Air Balloon week’ in the nearby town of Château-d’Oex. This quaint alpine village is blessed with a micro climate which makes it a mecca for alpine balloon enthusiasts. This annual festival is visually stunning. It is a truly amazing experience to be there whilst around 100 gigantic balloons of all shapes, colours and sizes soar above you amongst the magnificent alpine peaks. Moving on, you will continue deep into the heart of the Haute Savoie region of the mighty French Alps, to the chic ski resort of Megève for 5 nights. 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.

Included for you are so many exciting activities such as taking a cable car up to ‘the roof of Europe’ and the glacier train to the dramatic Mer du Glace, a lesson in ice curling and a romantic horse drawn carriage ride!

A Swiss Winter Wonderland

And the Swiss Winter Wonderland tour? There are a couple of reasons why you start in Munich and move on to Salzburg. The first reason is the 3 day stay in the heart of Salzburg. If you want the picture perfect city at a picture perfect time of year then Salzburg must go right up to the top of the short list!

Another reason is to visit the delightful ‘Sound of Music’ Lakes District as well as taking an unforgettable horse drawn carriage ride through the Austrian countryside to Filzmoos. It is simply superb! Crossing into Switzerland you will hit the pretty ski resort of Klosters, where a 2 night stay is enjoyed. From here you then catch the famous Glacier Express across the Swiss Alps to Zermatt.

Ahhh Zermatt, I love that place. It’s a mountain paradise. Down below in town there are no petrol driven vehicles. Just peaceful electric carts whisking people amongst the modern chic apartments and hotels, and along the little winding streets which are still lined with traditional stone and slate hamlets and cottages. And up above… unbelievable. Picture yourself being surround by 38 peaks all over 4,000 metres high. And, looming largest of all is the iconic, mighty Matterhorn. Now imagine soaking this up for 4 nights!

An Italian Winter Wonderland

Venice, Italy

Our third and final Winter Wonderland tour is the Italian Winter Wonderland. With both the Swiss and French Winter Wonderland tours ending in Milan, this is the perfect location for the Italian Winter Wonderland tour to start. It is so easy to combine these tours, creating an amazing winter wonderland European experience.

Travelling through Italy you will stay 3 nights in a historic castle on the edge of the Italian Dolomites before another 3 night stay in the Tuscan town of Lucca. Imagine soaking up the Italian atmosphere in a glorious 900 year old Italian Castle before living many a travel dream with some time in Tuscany.

Included for you are so many exciting activities such as taking a visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, exploring the romantic city of Venice with a local guide, and sampling some Italian cuisine at a local Tuscan Osteria.

Now, do you see why our Winter Wonderland tours are so different and so special? I never get tired of playing in these glorious snow laden mountains. In fact I love sharing my passion for Europe that I will be, along with my wife Julie-anne, joining the very first Swiss Winter Wonderland tour.

Contact our friendly European Travel Experts to discover a Winter Wonderland for yourself.

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Euan Landsborough

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