Welcome to Collette Vacations' holiday program featuring the traditional Christmas markets, historic towns and spectacular scenery of Europe. Each stop will beckon you with unique handcrafted gifts like Hummels, Cuckoo clocks, and wood carvings. Highlights include a visit to the magical village of Oberammergau which owes its fame to the internationally known "Passion Play," as well as guided tours of Innsbruck, Austria; Munich, Germany; Strasbourg, France; and Lucerne, Switzerland. Enjoy a traditional Black Forest dinner and a concert inside an 850-year-old church; enjoy a picture stop at Wies Church, proclaimed a World Heritage Site; view the most famous castle in Bavaria, Neuschwanstein; and traverse the vineyard fields of the Alsace. There will be plenty of time on this tour to explore the many specialty markets, enjoy the amenities offered at your hotel, or simply savor the breathtaking Alpine scenery.
Day #1 Overnight Flight - Welcome to tour group's holiday program featuring the traditional Christmas markets, historic towns and spectacular scenery of Europe.
Day #2 Oberammergau, Germany - Tour Begins - Your tour begins in the charming town of Oberammergau. This evening, join your fellow travelers for dinner featuring local delicacies.
Day #3 Oberammergau - Innsbruck, Austria - Oberammergau - LANGUAGE DISCOVERY: Today, your Tour Manager will help you discover the origin and history of the language(s) you will experience on your tour along with key words and phrases that will help you communicate with the locals. Travel through the spectacular Bavarian Alps to Innsbruck, located in the heart of the Alps in the Austrian state of Tyrol. A local guide provides a tour highlighting the city’s rich history, culture, and popular attractions including Maria Theresienstrasse, the Hofburg, and the “Golden Roof,” all set against the backdrop of the majestic Austrian Alps. The remainder of the day is at leisure to shop in the many specialty stores and the Christmas market.
Day #4 Oberammergau - Munich - Oberammergau - This morning, travel to Munich and enjoy a panoramic tour featuring the Marienplatz, the Glockenspiel and Olympic Park. Enjoy some free time to explore Munich’s historic area. Later, return to Oberammergau for some leisure time in the small town of craftsmen which owes its fame to the internationally-known Passion Play which is performed only once every ten years.
Day #5 Oberammergau - Black Forest - Today's highlights include a picture stop at Wies Church, proclaimed as a World Heritage Site. You also view perhaps the most famous castle in Bavaria, Neuschwanstein, with its beautiful turrets and pinnacles. Continuing along the scenic route, you traverse southern Germany, skirting the northern shores of Lake Constance to the Black Forest, and proceed to the heart of the mysterious Black Forest region - the setting of legends and stories of yore! Don't forget to shop for authentic cuckoo clocks, Hummels and wood carvings. Your evening begins with a private choir concert performed in an 850-year-old church and ends with a traditional Black Forest dinner.
Day #6 Black Forest - Strasbourg, France - Black Forest - Travel the picturesque valleys of the Black Forest and the vineyard fields of the Alsace to the provincial capital city of Strasbourg, France where centuries of Roman, French, German and Alsatian influences blend together to lend this city its unique local character. Enjoy a guided tour of the charming old quarter, "Petite France," featuring the Cathedral of Notre Dame, considered to be one of the noblest achievements of Western architecture. Time is available for you to explore the wonderful Christmas market before dinner at the Gurtlerhoft Restaurant, one of Strasbourg's finest.
Day #7 Black Forest - Bern, Switzerland - Travel to Bern, one of Europe's most beautiful capital cities. Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic city tour featuring the Bundeshaus (the Swiss Parliament), the famous Bear Pit and the impressive Cathedral. Afterwards you may explore more of the area or shop for handmade items at the local Christmas market.
Day #8 Bern - Lucerne - Bern - This morning you travel to Lucerne, the "Swiss Paradise on the Lake." Enjoy a scenic walking tour of picturesque Lucerne, highlighted by a walk through the romantic old town. The balance of the day is at leisure to do some last minute shopping or simply enjoy the wonderful setting of this beautiful city on a lake, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. This evening, after returning to Bern, join your fellow travelers in celebrating the end of a marvelous trip with dinner, complete with the region's famous cheese fondue, at a popular local restaurant.
Day #9 Bern - Tour Ends - Your tour ends today in Bern.