Day 1 – December 11th, Saturday
Arrive in Strasbourg, either via train (under two hours from Paris) or by plane (easy connections via Paris).
Our first stay will be at a stunning 4 star spa hotel in the charming town of Obernai located just 20 minutes from Strasbourg. Depending on your arrival time, you will be able to enjoy some quality spa time to acclimate and settle after your travels.
For our first evening, we’ll visit the local Christmas market for a little walk and shop and then enjoy a cozy authentic dinner in the hotel’s traditional restaurant.
Hotel: La Cour d’Alsace
Day 2 – December 12th, Sunday
What better place to start our day than with a medieval castle? We’ll visit Haut-Koenigsbourg which dates back to 1147 and boasts turrets from which one can look out as far as the black forest. Each room has some element that is dressed up for Christmas, in a fairly unusual yet authentic way. (Shh…its a surprise!)
We’ll enjoy a simple satisfying lunch in the quirky and delightful Taverne du Château on the property which has a cute souvenir shop which you can peruse while waiting for your meal.
After lunch we’ll visit the bucolic towns of Riquewher and Ribeauville that inspired Beauty and the Beast. They both have markets and ambience galore.
We’ll return to our hotel in the late afternoon, in time to have another dip in the delightful pools of the hotel before a gourmet dinner at the gastronomic restaurant at the hotel.
Hotel: La Cour d’Alsace
Day 3 – December 13th, Monday
Today we’ll check-out of the hotel and head to the mountains to visit one of the most picturesque villages in France, Kaysersberg. Here, we’ll stroll through the paved winding streets lined with charming half-timbered buildings and then enjoy a wine tasting at the world-famous Domaine Weinback winery. After, we’ll have a savory lunch at Flamme and Co. which has reinvented the traditional Alsatian pizzas with a modern twist.
In the afternoon we’ll visit the Eco-museum. This is an open-air museum/village made up of typical Alsatian homes that are 200 years old or more. Christmas comes to this open-air museum with gusto as the houses are festooned with seasonal décor. You’ll smell vin chaud brewing in one of their many hands-on workshops. Here you’ll see craftsman at work, enjoy beautiful, rural, traditional Alsatian Christmas decor and you might even spot Pere Noel riding by on a horse-drawn sleigh. Witness, feel and taste what life used to be like in Alsace.
Then we’ll cross the border into Switzerland and arrive at our lovely 4-star hotel on the banks of the Rhine. We’ll have time to wander the riverfront before having a delicious dinner with a view at the hotel’s prized restaurant.
Hotel: KRAFFT HOTEL
Day 4 – December 14th, Tuesday
Today we’ll explore this enchanting cosmopolitan city with its incredible chocolatiers, charming streets and world-famous museums.
In the morning we’ll take a little boat to the other side of the river, amble up the streets to the glorious Cathedral and the impressive Christmas market in the square that surrounds it.
Basel is the museum city, with the highest concentration of museums of any city, with its crown jewel being the Kunstmuseum where we’ll have a gourmet lunch followed by a trip of its incredible collection of everything from old masters to Picasso and beyond.
Later we’ll have time for some prime shopping and a visit to the scrumptious Läderach Chocolatier.
There’s nothing more Swiss than fondue, so tonight we’ll be transported to a Mountain Chalet in the heart of the town to feast on this cheesy delight.
Hotel: KRAFFT HOTEL
Day 5 – December 15th, Wednesday
We’ll check-out this morning and head back to France. Our first stop will be Mulhouse, a former factory town that has been re-imagined by artists and artisans. Every year, a special Christmas fabric is made that is unique to that year. We’ll have a chance to view the new 2021 fabric and enjoy an opportunity to purchase items at their own Christmas market.
Later we’ll head north to the town of Colmar and visit its little Venice, enjoying a lunch at Wistub Brenner.
Afterwards we’ll drive to Strasbourg where we’ll stay in the lovely design hotel Hotel du Dragon, a luxury hotel which exudes modern French-Alsatian charm – a quiet oasis steps from the river.
After dropping off our bags, we’ll visit 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 and tasting.
Tonight we’ll enjoy a traditional Alsatian meal of Choucroute at the cozy and authentic Maison des Tanneurs which overlooks the river in an 16th century setting.
Hotel: HOTEL DU DRAGON
Day 6 – December 16th, Thursday
We’ll start our day with a two-hour boat trip of Strasbourg where you’ll learn a little bit of history starting from the middle ages to the Neustadt to the modern European institutions.
After a hearty Alsatian lunch, we’ll tour the famous Strasbourg Christmas market, called Christkindelsmärik. This market has been operating 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 (or yourself). 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.
To cap off our journey together, we’ll reminisce while enjoying the stylish cuisine at Les Haras Brasserie.
Afterwards we’ll view the lights on the 100 ft. Christmas tree, which is placed in the Place Kléber before heading back for a relaxing rest.
Hotel: HOTEL DU DRAGON
Day 7 – December 17th, Friday
Sadly, it’s 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.