Swiss Alpine Christmas Markets Tour
13 Magical Days
- Longer stays with 2 and 3 night stays
- Stay in authentic, character style hotels
- Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
- Guaranteed 'My Time'
- Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
- Small group size 10 to 28
Christmas Markets are just wonderful, Switzerland's mighty snow covered mountains are sensational, and who doesn't just love those Bavarian 'fairytale' castles? Introducing our sensational new Christmas Markets tour which includes the lot! Relax in panoramic carriages on the inspiring Golden Pass train, enjoy mountain funicular rides and stay in chic ski resorts such as Klosters and Zermatt. Highlight will be your cable car ride up the Schilthorn for a unique James Bond lunch. But then there's also those glorious festive Christmas Markets of Innsbruck, Montreux, Berne and more! What a classic Christmas Markets tour!
- Stay 2 nights in medieval Innsbruck with its famous ‘Golden Roof’ and stunning Christmas Markets
- Drive over the beautiful Fern Pass & visit ‘Mad’ King Ludwig’s Fairytale Castle and the Bavarian town of Füssen
- Enjoy Swarovski’s Crystal Worlds and the ancient town of Hall
- Stay 2 nights in a chalet style hotel in the chic mountain resort of Klosters
- Visit Vaduz in Liechtenstein and drive down the Inn valley and enjoy a full free day of mountain ‘My Time’
- Stay 2 nights in the stunning village of Zermatt with Matterhorn views
- Relax in panoramic carriages on the inspiring Golden Pass panoramic train
- Explore Montreux’ fabulous lakeside Christmas markets
- Explore Zermatt’s historical old mountain village
- Ride on the Gornergrat funicular surrounded by dozens of 4,000 metre peaks
- Explore the historic town of Luzern complete with covered bridges and Christmas Markets
- Sample a meringue in Meirengen
- Ride on a cable car to the exhilarating Schilthorn summit for a buffet lunch in the famous 007 revolving restaurant, enjoy the 007 Experience and follow the Skyline Thrill Walk around Birg Peak
- Explore Bern’s Christmas Markets set amongst medieval streets and squares & lakeside Thun
- Enjoy dinner with a Swiss Folklore show
- Stay 1 night in vibrant Milan and enjoy a farewell dinner
Day 1 - Munich
Your tour commences this evening in cosmopolitan Munich. Shopping is always excellent in Munich – particularly around the town hall and the decorated wooden Christmas Market stalls. Before your Bavarian style buffet dinner enjoy a welcome drink in the hotel.
Day 2 - Neuschwanstein Castle, ancient Füssen and Bavarian Alps
Driving into the Bavarian Alps we enjoy a brisk walk uphill to visit ‘Mad’ King Ludwig’s romantic Neuschwanstein Castle. Our guided tour will take us through the King’s apartments, staterooms, halls and throne room all reminiscent of a Wagner operatic saga. Lunchtime will be in the delightful old town of Füssen. Stretches of the original Roman defensive walls are still in place, and the cobblestoned, pedestrianised centre of town is filled with shops, restaurants and historic houses, many elaborately painted. Later we cross into the Austrian Tyrol and Innsbruck where we stay two nights. After checking into our centrally located hotel, explore the Old Town on your doorstep. Make sure you enjoy the picture perfect Christmas Markets in the old medieval square beneath the famous ‘Golden Roof’.
Day 3 - Swarovski Crystal Worlds, medieval Hall and ‘My Time’ in Innsbruck
Your morning is completely free – ‘My Time’ in Innsbruck’s old town. In the afternoon we will visit Swarovski ‘Kristallwelten’ (Crystal Worlds)... a weird and wonderful crystal experience, and ancient Hall. The oldest town in the Tyrol, Hall is also considered perhaps the prettiest. You will discover Christmas Markets in the unspoiled, narrow medieval alleys and period townhouses. Back in Innsbruck, your evening is free to relax in the picturesque Christmas Markets!
Day 4 - Liechtenstein and Klosters
Crossing the mountains and valleys of Austria we visit the city of Vaduz, capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein, a tiny country on the border of Switzerland. Mountains soaring all around us, we continue to the exclusive ski resort of Klosters, where we stay the next two nights.
Day 5 - ‘My Time’ in Klosters & the mountains
Day 6 - Luzern and meringues in Meiringen
We will spend the morning in historic Luzern. A local guide will join us for a short walking tour through the old town, with its Christmas Markets and covered wooden bridges. After lunchtime at leisure, we drive over the Brünig mountain pass to Meiringen. Famous for inventing its culinary namesake, we have of course, included some delicious meringue and coffee. We are now deep in the heart of the Bernese Oberland and as a finale we drive along the shoreline of picturesque Lake Brienz to Interlaken, where we stay the next four nights.
Day 7 - Medieval Bern and ‘My Time’ in Interlaken
This morning we visit Bern, Switzerland’s capital city set on a spectacular bend above the River Aare, and a UNESCO World Heritage landmark. Here we have included a short, guided walking tour through the medieval cobblestoned streets with their sheltered arcaded shopping ways, the Christmas Markets and the famous ‘Bärengraben’ bear pits. Lunchtime is at leisure in Bern. Your afternoon and evening are free back in Interlaken. ‘My Time’. Nestled between two lakes, and surrounded by soaring peaks, Interlaken is an absolute joy during the run up to Christmas. The shopping is excellent and the Christmas Markets at dusk are an absolute pleasure, with its lines of wooden chalets and stalls, buzzing with festive cheer, and surrounding two enormous ice-skating rinks. Maybe try your hand at Ice Curling - somewhat like lawn bowls, only on ice!
Day 8 - The Schilthorn 007 Experience
Passing through the delightful village of Lauterbrunnen, flanked by 300 metre (1,000 ft) high, sheer cliffs, we take the cable car from Stechelberg up the rockface to the pretty village of Mürren. From here we are whisked further up to the glass floored observation deck of the Birg restaurant. Around the entire peak is the Skyline Thrill Walk – a metal walkway suspended over a sheer drop below. Thrilling indeed! Then onwards and upwards by another cable car, suspended between two peaks, to the Piz Gloria, a revolving restaurant set on top of the Schilthorn summit. With astonishing 360 degree views we have included a 007 buffet lunch. This was also the setting for the evil Blofeld’s secret mountain hideout in the James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. There is a James Bond museum and the 007 toilets are…. memorable! Your evening is at leisure in Interlaken.
Day 9 - Thun Spiez,'My Time' & a Swiss Folklore show
Following the shoreline of Lake Thun, we reach the old town of historic Thun, with its Christmas markets and excellent shopping. Later we make a stop in lake side Spiez before returning to Interlaken. The rest of your day is free - ‘My Time’. This evening we have included dinner and a Swiss Folklore show.
Day 10 - Golden Pass panoramic train and Montreux
Day 11 - Gornergrat mountain ride, the Matterhorn, Zermatt ‘My Time’
This morning we have included a ride on the Gornergrat funicular train (cog railway) up to the highest open air railway station in Europe – the Gornergrat. At 3,100 metres (10,170 ft) the view from the top across the Alps is beyond belief. We have also included a warming hot drink on the terrace of the Kulmhotel restaurant, surrounded by one of the great vistas of the world – the mighty Matterhorn and the 28 other 4,000 metre high peaks that surround you. The rest of the day is free to relax in the crisp, alpine air. Perhaps play in the mountains, go for a walk on the 70 kilometres of winter trails along the valley, or explore this fascinating mountain retreat, from its cafés and boutiques to the little winding streets still lined with traditional stone and slate hamlets and cottages.
Day 12 - Sightseeing and ‘My Time’ in Milan
Crossing over the dramatic Simplon Alpine Pass we enter Italy, and the stylish city of Milan. On arrival there will be time at leisure amongst the fashion shops of the luxurious Golden Triangle and in the square beside the giant Duomo. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner in a local Milanese restaurant.
Day 13 - Milan
Incredible Value Inclusions
All excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
Travel by coach & scenic trains as described
12 nights authentic, specially selected hotel accommodation
Hotel porterage (1 suitcase pp)
Welcome drink in Munich
20 Meals – Buffet breakfast daily (B), 1 lunch (L) and 7 evening dinners (D)
A complimentary wine, beer or soft drink with all included dinners
Tea and coffee with all included dinners
Local guides as described
Personal audio system whilst on tour
Free WiFi available at most hotels
End of tour tips to Tour Manager and Driver, tips for local guides