Castles & Christmas Markets of Alsace

  • December 3 – 9, 2020
  • France
  • France
  • December 3 – 9, 2020
  • 7 Days / 6 Nights
  • 7-12 Guests

Overview

When you were little did you ever dream of a true winter wonderland, a Christmas fantasy where elves were busy working on your toys? Now you are grown up and all that is forgotten but there is a place where that sense of Christmas magic can still be found.

Highlights

  • Visiting a huge medieval castle all decorated up for Christmas
  • Sipping on vin chaud (hot mulled wine) in the Christmas markets
  • Shopping for authentic artisanal stocking stuffers
  • Pampering in a gorgeous design spa
  • Having a traditional swiss fondue
  • Wandering through old towns decorated in lights
  • Discovering the world-famous vineyards of Alsace

That place is the Alsace region of France, home of Castles, Rieslings, the Vosges mountains and charming Christmas markets. Join Girls’ Guide to Paris for its Ladies Only Alsatian Trip in December, 2020 to experience this seasonal wonderland and sample some of the most delicious and unique wines you’ve ever had. Medieval castles, storybook villages, twinkly lights and hearty meals will inspire and transport you and set you in the mood of the season. Nothing quite equals the Christmas mood as what you find in the Alsace, with its lights, markets, mulled wine and music. We will plunge into this special atmosphere in style, mixing historic visits of castles, luxury accommodation and authentic cuisine off the beaten track. While Paris boasts of its brasseries, and Provence its cafes, Alsace has its winstubes which are cozy wine bars, with tiled stoves, carved chairs and hearty fare.

Itinerary

Day 1 December 3rd, Thursday

Arrive in Strasbourg by plane or train from Paris.
Check into your 4-star hotel, the lovely Hotel du Dragon in Strasbourg, for our first 3 nights situated right in the center of town.

Our luxury hotel exudes a modern French Alsatian charm and lies steps from the river yet in a quiet oasis.
Meet for a welcome drink in the hotel’s cozy lobby and then head out to dine on choucroute, the famous Alsatian specialty.

Day 2 December 4th, Friday

We will start our day with a two-hour boat trip of Strasbourg where you will learn a little bit of history starting from the middle ages to the Neustadt to the modern European institutions. Next we’ll see the Historic wine cellar of Strasbourg Hospital, an ancient cellar where you can see the oldest barrel-stored wine in the world and have a trip & tasting.

After a hearty Alsatian lunch, we’ll trip the famous Strasbourg Christmas market, which is called Christkindelsmärik and has been occurring near the cathedral in Strasbourg ever year for over 450 years, making it the oldest in Europe. Sip vin chaud (mulled wine) to warm your bones as you shop for loved ones. If we get peckish, we’ll nosh on Alsatian specialties that we find at the market from bretzels (pretzels) to tarte flambée, (Alsatian pizza). Whilst shopping we can also sample some of the unique Alsatian specialties which abound all over the central part of the city.

In Strasbourg it is de rigueur to make a stop inside the enormous Gothic cathedral of Strasbourg, which dates back nearly 1000 years and light a candle. There will be an option to go up to the top of the church to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

Tonight, we’ll view the lights on the 100 ft. Christmas tree, which is placed in the Place Kléber and then we’ll dine at a modern French gastronomic restaurant in town.

Day 3 December 5th, Saturday 

Today we’ll head out of town to visit the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle which dates back to 1147. Here we’ll explore the many rooms each decorated in some way for the Christmas season. We’ll enjoy a simple lunch at the Castle Tavern where we can also shop for handmade souvenirs.

This afternoon we’ll head out to the less-tripisty town of Obernai and survey its Christmas market, reputed for its authentic crafts and gastronomic specialties. Here we may want to sample Christmas beer, Alsatian foie gras, kugelhopfs, mannels, Pretzles and more. We’ll take a trip of this charming town and sit down to a hot cup of gluhwein (hot mulled wine) to warm up.

We’ll our last night in Strasbourg where we’ll enjoy a little restaurant near the hotel that specializes in Flammekeuche, delicious Alsatian pizza.

Day 4 December 6th, Sunday

This morning, we’ll check out of our hotel and head to the Eco-museum. This is an open-air museum/village made up of typical Alsatian homes that are 200 years old or more. Here you’ll see craftsman at work, enjoy a beautiful rural traditional Alsatian Christmas decor and you might even spot Pere Noel riding by on a horse-drawn sleigh. Witness, feel and even taste what life used to be like in Alsace. Christmas comes to this open-air museum with gusto as the houses are festooned with seasonal décor.

Lunch in at the Museum. After lunch we’ll check into our new mansion hotel the Domaine du Beaupre near the Vosges Mountains in the southern region of Alsace.

This afternoon and eve we’ll spend in Mulhouse, a former factory town, which has been re-imagined by artists and artisans. Every year a special Christmas fabric is made that is unique to that year alone. We’ll get to view the 2020 fabric and there will be an opportunity to purchase this as well as other items at their own Christmas market.

Then we’ll go on a pub trip, see some street art and then dine at a special pop-up restaurant, which is only open for the holidays.

Day 5 December 7th, Monday 

 Today is our Mountain Day. We’ll venture up into the mountains making a stop in Kaysersberg, a beautiful Alsatian village then we’ll head to a cheese farm for a cooking class a hearty lunch with the farmer & chef feasting on their own Meunster cheese and our handiwork. If we are lucky enough to have snow, we’ll take a dog sled ride into the forest or a snow-shoe hike to work off those calories.

Tonight after our big day, we’re going to stay in and have a drink or two at our charming hotel. We’ll be having take-in food from a superb caterer who is headquartered nearby.

Day 6 December 8th, Tuesday 

 Today will be our final Christmas market visit to Eguisheim and Colmar saving some of the most famous and best for last. This is time to do your final shopping, plus we’ll save some time for a stop at the post office if you want to send some goodies back home. Today we’ll lunch in Colmar at la Table du Brocanteur, a gastronomic café surrounded by the owner’s antique and vintage collection.

This afternoon we will enjoy a wine trip and tasting and learn about the myriad of both sweet and dry award winning Alsatian wines.

Final farewell dinner at a local haunt to toast to our friendship, our sparkling purchases and our week in a real-life fairy-tale.

Day 7 December 9th, Wednesday  

Sadly, its time to head home, or onwards, either by train or by plane, but first we’ll have a hearty breakfast together!

GG2P always reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on weather or availability as well as exciting opportunities that might crop up!

 NOTE -> Not to worry – Vegetarians will be well fed in all cafés and restaurants as well as those allergic to seafood or gluten. Options are plentiful.

Trip Cost

$4195.00 per person

 * All our trips are organized and priced based on single occupancy at all the places we stay. If you’re traveling with a friend/relative or would prefer to save some money by sharing a room, we can usually organize double occupancy and a reduction in cost.

Whats Included?

  • Everything stated in itinerary above including all meals plus wine or beer with dinner
  • All guides and experts including a chocolate experience
  • Your stay at 2 unique highly-rated hotels
  • All Museum or other entry fees
  • All in-country transport including airport or train transfers in Strasbourg

 Whats Not Included?

  • Roundtrip airfare to France
  • Train travel to Strasbourg and back from Mulhouse
  • Any spa treatment desired
  • Any personal souvenirs or purchases
  • Additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended) and trip medical coverage (required for travelers over 50 years of age).

I’m interested, so what do I do next?

If you have questions, press the Inquire Now button above, and complete the form. We’ll get back to you ASAP.

If you’d like to come, press the Reserve Now button above. You will be prompted to complete a form with your pertinent details, put down a refundable $250 deposit, and schedule a time to speak with a GG2P representative. We like to speak with everyone before they embark on their first trip with Girls’ Guide to Paris & Beyond. This allows you to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. These are intimate, small group trips; a quick yet personal conversation allows you to get to know how our trips work and make sure it’s right for you. If it’s not, we’ll immediately refund your $250 deposit.

If it’s a Go! after your call, we’ll bill you for 25% of the trip’s cost (less the $250 deposit you already paid) and your place is reserved. This is non-refundable; you’re committed to the trip. The balance is due approximately 2 months before the trip.
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