Christmas Markets of

 

Germany

Austria

Christmas Markets of Germany & Austria Tour

  

Turner, Trichel & Associates
By popular demand, again presents its

Christmas Markets of Germany & Austria Tour

Anticipate the joy of Christmas while visiting some of the famous “Christmas Markets” of Germany and Austria. People come from far and wide to be captured every year during Advent by the unique magic of these markets. You will be fascinated by the splendid aromas that assail the nostrils so seductively…gingerbread, cinnamon, roasting nuts, mulled wine, sausages, hot chestnuts…awakening your fondest memories of wonderful childhood days. Bells and carolers can be heard over the crunching of your boots on the snow. The city’s huge Christmas tree, adorned with thousands of twinkling lights, towers majestically over the many stands and stalls that offer their wares and goodies including the famous “Dampfnudel”…a steamed yeast dough swimming in vanilla sauce. Throngs of curious onlookers, lovers, tourists, locals, old and young mix and meet to share the warmth and friendliness of the season.

You are about to join them...

Itinerary (from 2015)

13 days, 12 nights

Saturday
Fly from Washington Dulles airport (or your departure city) to Frankfurt, Germany, arriving the next morning.
Sunday Arrive at Frankfurt am Main airport and meet your TT&A personal tour guides and coach driver who will be with you throughout the tour. Transfer via private coach to Eisenach, birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach and home of the Wartburg Castle (UNESCO World Heritage Site), inspiration of Richard Wagner’s opera, Tannhäuser, and where Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German.  Upon arrival we will check in to your hotel for tonight, the charming Boutique-Hotel Villa Anna. This afternoon, we will enjoy a guided walking tour of Eisenach’s famous sites, including a visit to Bach’s birthplace. This evening, we will enjoy dinner in town at a typical Thüringen-region restaurant. DB
Monday
After breakfast and loading the coach, we stop and take a guided tour of the famous Wartburg Castle. A van-shuttle is available to the top (or you can enjoy (?) a 15 min walk up to the castle). The Wartburg, built in 1067, sits above Eisenach in the wooded Thüringen forest. It was the seat for Thüringen Counts, and later became a place of refuge for the persecuted reformer, Martin Luther. It is a rare and exquisite example of late Romanesque architecture dating back to the 12th century.

Departing Eisenach, we have a short drive through the forested countryside to our next place to discover, Erfurt…the historical capital city of Thüringen, which has retained all the charm of centuries. After checking in to the 4-star Mercure Hotel Erfurt, our hotel for the next two nights, you are free to explore the unique medieval “Weinachtsmarkt” (Christmas Market) near the hotel. You can munch your way through lunch at the many varied food “stands” while shopping. Later this afternoon and evening, you may want to attend one of the various Advent musical venues. (List and maps available) or relax in the hotel’s spa area with complimentary Jacuzzi, sauna, or steam bath.  This evening we will dine in the hotel’s restaurant, Zum Rebstock. DBB

Tuesday

After a wonderful buffet breakfast at the hotel, we will have a half-day private guided tour around Erfurt, including the Petersberg Citadel, the Church of St. Severus and the cathedral (with its 500-year old “Gloriosa” bell, famous for the beauty of its tone), patrician half-timbered townhouses, the old quarter, the Merchant’s Bridge, the town hall, and the university district, including a special stop at the “Goldhelm-Chocolaterie” where each of us can make and taste an extraordinary praline.

Following our tour, you are free to relax or continue your exploration of Erfurt. This evening we will dine at the restaurant, Zum Goldener Schwan (Golden Swan), one of oldest and most important secular fabric of this capital city. They are famous for the Thüringen Klöse, a special version of the potato “dumpling”.  DBB

Wednesday
An extensive buffet breakfast starts the day again before we board our bus for a scenic drive southwest to Hartenstein, a tiny town in the midst of 20,000 square meters of beech forest. Our home for two nights will be at the 4-star Romantik Hotel Jagdhaus Waldidyll. During our stay, we have complimentary use of the  hotel’s magnificent wellness spa with its sauna, steam bath, exercise room, …all entered through a “Hansel & Gretel” type cottage. After check-in, we will visit one of the nearby towns to experience their version of Christmas Markets where you may notice different foods due to our proximity to the Czech Republic only a few miles away. Tonight we enjoy a special 3-course dinner prepared by their award-winning chef, followed by an optional drive to a nearby town like Schneeberg to experience the evening spectacular of every house window aglow with its lighted “schwibbogen” (window candle arches). DBB
Thursday Departing after an early breakfast today, we head through the Erz Mountains along the Silver Road where silver was king from the 12th century until it ran out. Rather than leaving their beloved mountains, the people of the “Erzgeberge” took up crafts such as lace making, carving, and woodturning. Today it is the source of most of the lovely wooden Christmas ornaments, toys, and decorations that grace homes all over the world. Our destination is Seiffen, the most famous of these towns where we have private tours in three of their most famous shops… the Kunst Workshop of F & A Uhlig where the world-famous wooden angels are made; the “smoker” workshop of Eva Beyer; and the crafters of wood-carved trees and unique ornaments, Heidrich Volkskunst. If time permits, we will visit the town museum to see wood-carved art from huge chandeliers to armies of tiny soldiers.  We return to our hotel for dinner.  DBB
Friday After breakfast, we board our coach and head south, visit the small chapel where Silent Night was born, stop for lunch along the way, and on to our destination…the romantic city of Salzburg, Austria. The city is divided into the New and Old City (Altstadt) by the river Salzach. Salzburg boasts its internationally renowned baroque architecture and one of the best preserved city centers north of the Alps its snowcapped peaks can be seen from here. We will be staying for two nights in the 5-star Radisson Altstadt Hotel where all the activities are just outside the front door! After check-in, we will go to the main Cathedral Square to enjoy the Christmas Market and see the arrival of St Nickolas and “Krampus”, the ugly creatures that accompany St Nick to homes of “bad” children. Today is the Krampuslauf festival…so a whole bunch of them will be on parade. This evening you are free to enjoy Salzburg’s other Christmas Market venues and its many varied restaurants.  DBB
Saturday This morning, we will enjoy a private walking tour of the Altstadt, including Mozart’s birthplace, boyhood home, and the famous Hohensalzburg Fortress with a funicular ride up and back. You are then free to enjoy the wonders of Salzburg on your own this afternoon. This evening we will attend the Mozart Dinner Concert at the famous Baroque Hall of St Peter’s Stiftskeller.   DBB
Sunday Today, after breakfast, we take our leave of Salzburg and stop for a short visit at the historic Silent Night memorial chapel in Oberndorf, where the hymn “Silent Night” was written. This afternoon we arrive in the Tyrolean village of Mayrhofen, Austria, nestled in the Zillertal valley surrounded by towering alpine peaks. We will enjoy a welcome drink at the four-star Hotel Edenlehen, where you will be spending two nights in your balconied double room. This is the last day for their quaint, small Christmas Market so you will be free to visit it before or after your dinner in the award winning hotel restaurant.  DBB

Monday

This morning, after breakfast, we will take a half-day shopping excursion to the Giesswein factory outlet store in Brixlegg, home of the world-famous fine woolen products. Later in the day, weather permitting, we will enjoy a sleigh-ride to explore this winter wonderland, followed by Glühwein (warm spiced wine). In  your free time, you can relax and use their spa facilities, including an indoor swimming pool, herbal steam room, solarium, etc. Dinner tonight with chef Walter Stippler who specializes in using products grown on the Hotel’s farm.  DBB
Tuesday

We depart this morning for our final and most fun city, München, Germany and travel along the alpine roads stopping in Garmisch-Partenkirchen for lunch. Upon arrival in München, we check into the four-star superior Platzl Hotel, our hotel for the three last nights of our memorable tour. Your hotel is only two blocks away from the center of it all…Marienplatz and its famous Glockenspiel. Munich’s “Christkindlmarkt” traces its history back to 1310. Since 1972, when the center of Munich was converted into a series of pedestrian malls, the Christkindlmarkt has been in and around the new town hall on Marienplatz as well as other locations, all within a short walk. Tonight we will visit the new Bier & Oktoberfest Museum and have dinner in their Museumsstüberl (cozy rooms in the oldest house in München). This is a special stop that is unknown yet to most locals. We will go to Marienplatz for a guided orientation of the venues to explore the square filled with a huge lighted tree, musicians, and Christmas Market stalls as far as the eye can see and up most of the pedestrian malls and beyond! You will be introduced to various special venues to which you can return later, including the Medieval Weinachtsmarkt, the special Bavarian treat -“Dampfnudel”, and the special Gluhwein “mit Schuss”!    DBB

Wednesday Today we will take a day trip to the famous 14th century walled city of Rothenberg. It is the most famous town on the “Romantic Road” and has a wonderful Christmas Market in its famous Marktplatz. Explore the Town Hall Tower or take a walk on the wall for a great view of the city from above. We will have a private tour of the factory that makes the unique Lichthäusen (miniature, lighted ceramic houses).  You don’t want to miss Käthe Wohlfarht’s wondrous Christmas store. This one is her original and largest store, opened in 1977. When we return to München, you are free to explore any venues you had on your list and to have dinner on your own at the restaurant of your choice (recommendations available).  BB
Thursday This morning after our buffet breakfast, we will take our coach south to see the beauty of Lake Starnberg, the largest lake of the Five Lakes Region of Bavaria. Some of this day’s itinerary will be flexible based on the desires of the group, but could include a visit to Andechs Monastery, home of the famous beer made by the monks. We will make a stop at Gut Aidebichl, the unique home of “retired” and deserted animals. Before returning to München, we will have a farewell Bavarian dinner at Gasthaus Fischerrosl, in Munsing near the Lake, famous for their fish menu. Upon return to your hotel, the rest of the evening is yours to enjoy München sights one last time and prepare for tomorrows departure. DBB
Friday After an early breakfast, our bus will transfer you to Munich airport for your return flight to the US.

Aufwiedersehn to Germany and Austria!
We’ll be back…again!

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