Christmas Winter Wonderland
Experience the winter wonderlands of Europe like never before with stunning views of Lake Lucerne from the peak of Mt Pilatus and all immersive tours of Munich, and Salzburg. An Insight Choice experience in Innsbruck lets you choose between a horse drawn carriage ride through the Alpine scenery or a visit to the world of Swarovski Crystal. The Austrian adventure continues with an exclusive Salzburg market tasting experience, where a local serves goblets of Glühwein and fresh from the oven Lebkuchen—fragrant with ginger and cocoa. Across the border in Germany, Rothenburg alongside the River Tauber serves up lashings of 16th century charm and in Munich, foaming steins of beer beckon at the city's famous beer halls.
Experience the magic of Switzerland at Christmas, journeying from Lucerne to Brig, and on to Geneva. Start your Swiss adventure in Lucerne, a stunning 14th century fortress city sitting on a lakeshore and surrounded by snowcapped forests. Voyage through the frosted peaks and frozen waterfalls of the Grison Alps to the Alpine ski resort of St Moritz—a retreat frequented by royalty and James Bond in the Spy Who Loved Me. Board the Glacier Express to Brig and adventure through the heart of the Swiss Alps in the Albula Pass tunnel, before crossing the skyscraping Landwasser Viaduct and descending through the Rhône Valley. Explore the car free, cobbled streets of Zermatt Village at the foot of Mount Matterhorn and in the Swiss capital, enjoy a sumptuous Geneva fondue dinner at Le Petit Chalet.
Your Fly, Stay & Tour Package Includes:
- Economy class flight from Sydney to Frankfurt, returning from Geneva
- 9 day Winter Wonderland guided holiday with Insight Vacations, Frankfurt return
- Includes hand picked hotels, 12 meals, unique experiences, top rated highlights plus more
- Economy class flight from Frankfurt to Zurich
- Private transfer Airport to Hotel
- 1 night 4-star accommodation in Zurich
- 7 day Magical Switzerland guided holiday with Insight Vacations, Zurich to Geneva
- Includes hand picked hotels, 11 meals, experience the Glacier Express train plus more
- Airline taxes
Rate is per person twin share and based on travel 20 December 2022 – 05 January 2023
Single traveller pricing available, speak with your travel consultant
Winter Wonderland Itinerary:
Day 1: Frankfurt and on to Mainz
Welcome to Germany. From the Rhine Valley to the Alps, experience lively cosmopolitan cities, historic old towns and breathtaking natural scenery. Transfers from Frankfurt airport to your Mainz hotel depart at 09:30 and 12:30. Mainz has been a bustling and important town since the time of the Romans. Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at 18:00, for a walk through the Cathedral Quarter to witness the magnificent architecture of the city’s Dom. At a local restaurant, enjoy a pleasant evening of good food and wine during your Welcome Dinner.
Day 2: Rothenburg ob der Tauber and the Romantic Road to Munich
Head to fortified Rothenburg ob der Tauber, overlooking the winding Tauber River. Once through the medieval walls, you are immediately transported back into the 16th century, as cobblestone streets lead you to the medieval Market Square with its Town Hall. Perhaps visit Tilman Riemenschneider’s ‘Holy Blood’ altarpiece in St Jakob’s Church or pop into the Christmas shop where you’ll find the festive spirit all year round? Follow parts of the Romantic Road to fun-loving Munich.
Day 3: The Bavarian Capital of Munich
During your orientation you will see Victory Arch and the university, concluding in the Marienplatz with its soaring Gothic Town Hall and colourful Glockenspiel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Why not try a foaming stein of beer at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus?
Day 4: Lake Chiemsee to Salzburg
Travel alongside the beautiful Lake Chiemsee and cross the Austrian border to Salzburg, ‘alive with the Sound of Music.’ Walk with your Local Expert through the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace and admire the city skyline, crowned by the majestic Hohensalzburg Fortress. Cross the Salzach River to see Mozart’s birthplace on the Getreidegasse, a lively shopping street lined with charming wrought-iron signs. Visit Mozart's birthplace to learn more about his life, and enjoy a musical interlude performed on his original pianoforte. For those arriving before Christmas, visit the festive Christmas Market and meet a local stallholder for a taste of traditional Lebkuchen and a fragrant cup of Glühwein. Follow the narrow lanes of the Old Town to the domed cathedral and the splendid Residenz Fountain, before having time at leisure to enjoy as you please. In the evening, perhaps visit an Austrian chalet for dinner, drinks and the opportunity to learn about life in the countryside?
Day 5: Innsbruck
In the morning, a scenic journey takes you through snow-capped mountains to Innsbruck. See the magnificent Golden Roof in the Old Town, then loose yourself in the festive atmosphere as you spend some time exploring Innsbruck's magical Christmas Markets. The giant Christmas tree dominates the square and is adorned in lights and decorations. Browse the market stalls, selling handmade trinkets that make perfect gifts for friends and family, along with delicious local treats of home-made biscuits, jams and delicious, soul-warming Glühwein. Explore Innsburck with Insight Choice. Choose to either meet your coachman and take in the delightful scenery and pure fresh air on a horse-drawn carriage ride, known as a Fiaker. Alternatively, visit the magical world of Swarovski Crystal. In the evening, enjoy a traditional meal accompanied by local Tyrolean entertainment and music.
Day 6: Liechtenstein and Lucerne by the Lake
This morning depart for Lucerne travelling through delightful scenery abounds as you make your way to the Arlberg Tunnel. Stop in Vaduz, capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein, one of Europe’s smallest countries. Cross the Swiss border and continue to lakeside Lucerne. Your Travel Director will show you the covered wooden Chapel Bridge and you’ll learn about the poignant history of the Lion Monument. Then you are at leisure to shop for Swiss watches or delicious chocolate.
Day 7: Lovely Lucerne
Start the day with a spectacular cable car ride with incredible views up Mount Pilatus. Back in Lucerne, you are free to admire the superb baroque Jesuit Church, stroll along lakeside promenades, or explore the old walls and watch towers of the medieval fortifications.
Day 8: Heidelberg
Stop at Schaffhausen to see the Rhine River thundering over the Rhine Falls. Cross the German border and venture deep into the Black Forest. Following the Rhine Valley north, head for the town of Heidelberg, set on the banks of the river Neckar and dominated by its magnificent red sandstone castle. Stroll through the old town with your Travel Director. Perhaps see the old Student Prison? In the evening, enjoy good food, wine and company at your Celebration Dinner.
Day 9: Depart Frankfurt Airport
A transfer to Frankfurt airport’s Terminal 1 arrives at 09:00 and Terminal 2 at 09:15.
Magical Switzerland Itinerary:
Day 1: Zürich and Lovely Lucerne
Welcome to Switzerland - an enchanting winter wonderland of frozen waterfalls, peaceful cosy villages, snow-laden forests and imposing mountain ranges, crowned by famous peaks. On arrival at Zürich airport, transfers leave for your hotel in Lucerne at 09:30 and 13:30. Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner with good food and wine.
Day 2: Lucerne and St. Moritz
Experience Lucerne, a beautiful 14th century city still protected by medieval fortifications. Your Travel Director will reveal the covered wooden bridges, the painted gables and the sorrowful Lion Monument. Then there’s time to enjoy the excellent shops and lakeside walks before heading along the dramatic Walensee, past Chur, to the fashionable ski resort of St. Moritz. Set in the sparkling Engadine Valley, this elegant resort nestles below the awe-inspiring, majestic Grisons Alps.
Day 3: St. Moritz at Leisure
This whole day is completely at leisure, so maybe enjoy a late breakfast to start? Afterwards you may choose to explore the spa quarter of this chic resort, see the houses with their traditional sgraffito facades or indulge in the stylish boutiques? You may even consider joining the Bernina Express for a scenic rail journey of such epic proportions that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Day 4: Aboard the Glacier Express
Board the world famous Glacier Express for a spectacular ride with lunch included, through the heart of the Swiss Alps. Descend through the tunnels of the Albula Pass and traverse the lofty Landwasser Viaduct. Your train then joins the broad Rhine Gorge and meanders beside rock-strewn rivers before climbing through snowy pastures and woodlands. Picturesque landscapes of ice-capped mountains and stone-built villages with chalet-style houses glide by. After a series of spirals, you will reach the highest point of the route, the icy Oberalp Pass. Modern, panoramic viewing cars ensure that you won’t miss a thing on your descent to Andermatt and down the Rhône Valley. Around mid-afternoon, you will disembark in Brig. Marvel at the dramatic Swiss scenery, as you follow the narrow valley which leads to Täsch, your home for the next two days.
Day 5: Zermatt, Matterhorn Village
Board the cogwheel train that takes you to the traffic-free haven of Zermatt, at the foot of the Matterhorn. Wander along its cobbled streets to browse among the shops, explore the ancient wooden farmhouses and mazot barns in the back alleys, or visit the Matterhorn Museum to pass through the homes of yesteryear. If you have a head for heights, then you may like to board the cable car up the Klein Matterhorn. From the summit, marvel at the incredible views of the icebound Swiss Alps, should weather permit. Return to your hotel in Täsch where the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 6: Chillon Castle and Geneva
Journey along the Lower Rhône Valley to the shores of Lake Geneva where the associations with the early European Romantic movement are very strong. Join Maud, the curator of the Chateau, to visit the beautiful Chillon Castle, former home to the Counts of Savoy, set on a rocky islet in the lake. In 1816, the castle inspired Lord Byron to write the poem ‘The Prisoner of Chillon,’ following his walk through the dungeons. Look out for his name, which he carved into a pillar. Close by is the sophisticated tiered town of Montreux, where it is delightful to stroll along the lakeside promenade. Enjoy a beautiful journey alongside the lake, passing Vevey and Lausanne, to reach the immaculate town of Geneva. On arrival, your orientation includes the United Nations Building, officially known as the Palais des Nations, the Old Town and the Jet d’Eau. Visit the Red Cross Museum for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience and learn how this world-renowned organization provides vital assistance to refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. Spend your night in Geneva, rejoicing with your newfound friends at a local restaurant, as you are treated to a delicious, traditional fondue Celebration Dinner complete with wine.
Day 7: Depart Geneva
Your magical journey comes to an end after breakfast. Your transfer will arrive at Geneva airport at 08:00 or 10:00.
Terms & Conditions
Prices listed are per person in Australian/New Zealand Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. All bookings are subject to availability. Minimum nights stay may apply. Other travel periods may be available. Some block out dates may apply. Rates may alter depending upon the dates requested and surcharges if applicable. Final booking confirmation only provided once payment has been processed. Contact our travel team for more details. Our Vacation Centre reserves the right to withdraw this promotion without notice at any time. Pricing correct as at 02 June 2022. Visas are not included. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Airfares are based on economy class flights from Sydney and are subject to the carriers’ flight schedules and conditions, please call us for prices from other cities.