Europe Eastern Christmas and New Years - XMEHX
Number of Days: 11
Experience the delights of eastern Europe over the festive season on this 11 day guided tour! Taking in some of the region's most exciting, historic and up and coming destinations, this coach trip is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas & New Year in Europe.
The fairy tale adventure begins in Munich and takes you though the panoramic countryside to visit the dazzling cities of Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Ljubljana, Vienna and Salzburg.
Tour commences and concludes in Munich 23 December 2017/18.
DAY 1: Munich
Welcome to Munich. Join up at our starting hotel this afternoon and meet your tour leader for the next 11 days and fellow travellers. A city that exhibits both prosperity, comfort and cosiness, Munich’s apparent contradictions will delight. Along with modern industry, designer shopping districts and sleek BMWs, you’ll find a wealth of cultural hotspots. Even with all its smart sophistication, Munich has a charm that visitors find irresistible. Tonight, we’ll take you to a traditional German beer hall to get a taste of German food and culture.
Included experiences: Munich orientation tour: your tour leader will take you on an orientation of Munich to get you acquainted with this wonderful German city.German beer hall: tonight we’ll take you to a traditional German Beer Hall. Sample German beer, along with traditional German cuisine.
Accommodation: Super 8 City West
ACHAT Premium München-Süd
Atrium Im Park Regensburg
DAY 2: Dachau - Nuremberg – Prague
Our first stop today is at Germany’s first ever concentration camp; Dachau. The museum houses photos and documents of the camps’ history from 1933 until it was liberated in 1945, and all displays are represented in an educational, honest way, and provide an educational experience regarding this darker period in Germany’s modern history. We'll then stop off in Nuremberg. Bavaria’s second-largest city, you’ll find incredible architecture here, painstakingly restored using original stone after the bombings of the Second World War. Arriving in Prague this evening, you'll discover a beautiful city, boasting elaborate baroque, gothic, art nouveau and cubist architecture, and rewarding those who explore it with quirky bars, cobbled lanes and courtyards. Experience authentic Czech cuisine for dinner on your first night in Prague. Get in the festive spirit, it's Christmas Eve.
Included experiences: Dachau: opened in 1933 by Heinrich Himmler, Dachau was the first of the Nazi concentration camps in Germany and was originally intended to hold political prisoners. Situated near the medieval town of Dachau , about 16 km from Munich, this is a fascinating insight into the conditions and brutal treatment and imprisonment of Jews, ordinary German and Austrian criminals, and eventually foreign nationals from countries which Germany occupied or invaded. It was finally liberated in 1945. Nuremberg: we take a comfort stop in this Bavarian city. See the medieval castle and get a chance to explore the old town and shop at the Christmas markets in the town square.Prague dinner: experience authentic Czech cuisine at a local restaurant on your first night in Prague. You will also have the option to try some famous Czech Beer. Prague walking tour: during your free day tomorrow, enjoy a local guided walking tour of the capital city of the Czech Republic. See the Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, St. Vitus Cathedral, Petrin Tower (Mini Eiffel Tower), Charles Bridge, Church of Our Lady before Týn, and a view of Prague Castle.
Accommodation: Hotel Duo
Ibis Mala Strana
DAY 3: Prague (Christmas Day)
Merry Christmas. This morning our local guide introduces you to the city on a walking tour. The rest of the day is free for you to explore at leisure. Check out majestic Prague Castle, the famous Charles Bridge,‘Old Town’ and the Jewish Quarter. There’s also a ‘Secret Garden’ leading to a man-made grotto. Prague's dramatic history is reflected in the beauty of the architecture of churches, opera houses, concert halls and parks. There are numerous beer halls to sample a local brew in, and for those who wish to put your stamp on the city, visit the Lennon wall - a tribute to John Lennon and words of peace, which is added to on a daily basis by the thousands of visitors to the city. Prague also has one of the finest Christmas markets in Europe. Held in the historic Old Town Square, the atmosphere is incredible, shop amidst the sound of carol singers and the smell of mulled wine and spiced gingerbread.
DAY 4: Prague – Krakow
We hope you enjoyed Christmas in the Czech Republic. Leaving Prague behind us, we continue on to Krakow. The royal capital of Poland for centuries, Krakow today is home to some of Europe’s most impressive Gothic and Renaissance architecture – and over 2.3 million artworks to complement its historic buildings and monuments. Then we enjoy a walking tour of the city with your tour leader.
Included experiences: Krakow walking tour: a real gem of eastern Europe, Krakow has been the royal capital of Poland for some 500 years. We take a walking tour of the city and take in some of Europe’s most impressive Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
Accommodation: Hotel Polonia
Vienna Chopin Hotel Cracowor similar
DAY 5: Krakow
The day is yours to explore the city further if you wish. The renaissance cloth hall in the main market square, the Old Town, Kazimierz and the Wawel Castle, or maybe sample the local cuisine such as Zurek, a traditional Polish sour soup with a distinctive sour served in a hollowed out loaf of bread. There is also the option of taking an optional excursion to the Krakow Salt Mine. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the mine dates back to the Middle Ages and is a fascinating look at the area’s history. Descending underground, you’ll walk through 2km of tunnels, chapels, reliefs and freestanding sculptures carved from salt rock walls; along with underground lakes and archaeological displays.
DAY 6: Banska Bystrica – Budapest
On our way to Budapest, we stop briefly in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia, a picturesque town with beautiful buildings dating back to the late Middle Ages. Then we’re off to Budapest, the Hungarian capital. Blessed with natural beauty (it straddles the Danube River) as well as baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau architecture, this is a city to behold. Get a good overview of it all with our Budapest driving tour when you arrive. Starting on the Pest side of the Danube, head across the river and stop at the Fisherman’s Bastion for spectacular views of the city and the river below. See the Houses of Parliament and drive along the river admiring the city – take note of spots to revisit tomorrow on your free day. Tonight’s meal is at a local restaurant, so savour the chance to try some of the local cuisine.
Included experiences: Banska Bystrica: enjoy a comfort stop in this beautiful town in central Slovakia. Founded by German settlers, the centre is awash with Gothic churches, Baroque spires and clock towers. Driving tour of Budapest: we meet the local guide who takes you on a driving tour of this fabulous city pointing out places of interest and imparting their local knowledge and history. You will experience amazing views from Gellert Hill and the Citadel, drive through the city to include a stop at Heroes Square, see Budapest Parliament, St Stephen Basilica, the State opera, Castle District and then drive along Andrassy Avenue crossing the river to stop at Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion area.
Accommodation: ibis Budapest Aero
Hotel Exe Danube
Ibis Budapest City
DAY 7: Budapest
With traces of the past evident in the interesting and unusual details, this is your chance to get up close and personal with Budapest. Look out for remnants of the conflicts of WWII and the uprising of 1956, try Hungarian cuisine (there is so much more to it than just goulash), sample world-renowned wines, and soak your weary rambler’s bones in one of the city’s bath-houses – something Budapest has been known for since the Roman times, with some 123 thermal and 400 mineral springs from 14 different sources.
DAY 8: Bratislava – Vienna
We leave Budapest and head for the grandeur of Vienna, stopping for a short break in Bratislava. You’ll have time to explore for a while, taking in the sights and scenery. On arrival in Vienna, we’ll take a driving tour. Few cities can show off such cultural and historical splendour and maintain a profile as an exciting, modern city, but Vienna does it well. Along with a musical past that includes luminaries like Mozart and Beethoven, Vienna has a buzzing modern culinary scene, cheerful, bustling pubs and bars, and a host of clubs and music venues in which to dance the night away. After the driving tour we'll enjoy an included dinner, before some free time to explore further.
Included experiences: Vienna driving tour: take in the splendour of Vienna with a driving tour of the city. Ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world, Vienna manages to display its historical treasures just as well as its contemporary cultural assets.
Accommodation: Hotel Babenbergerhof
Ramada Innsbruck Tivoli
Courtyard by Marriott Wien Schönbrunnor similar
DAY 9: Graz - Ljubljana (New Year's Eve)
Leaving Vienna behind, we head for the grandeur of Ljubljana, stopping enroute at Graz. On arrival in Ljubljana, we’ll have a walking tour of this little gem of a city. Despite its small size, you’re sure to be entranced by the beauty of this city, which features a wealth of cultures, activities and sights. Ljubljana Castle overlooks the city, and dates back to the 16th Century. Tonight, ring in the New Year. Ljubljana's open-air celebrations are held throughout the city in public squares, with live music and events, before a beautiful fireworks display launched from the castle hill as the clock strikes midnight.
Included experiences: Local Guided Walking Tour of Ljubljana: your local guide will take you on a walking tour of this city, the capital of Slovenia where you will see the medieval old town, Preseren Square, City Centre, the Riverfront, Dragon Bridge and Cobblers Bridge. Although not on the walking tour you may wish to see St. Nicholas Church built in the 13th century to honour St. Nicholas, patron of fishermen and boatmen and the present structure dates from 1701 and is a fine example of Baroque architecture.
Accommodation: M Hotel
City Hotel Ljubljana
Hotel Parkor similar
DAY 10: Salzburg - Munich
Leaving Ljubljana behind, we stop off in picture-perfect Salzburg. Featuring gorgeous architecture, a formidable cliff-top fortress and imposing cliffs in the distance, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were in a fairy-tale. This was also Mozart’s home-town - see if a little of the genius rubs off. Shortly afterwards we press on for Munich. The evening is free for you to spend as you wish. Relax in your hotel, go for dinner in a local restaurant, or even visit another beer hall with your new-found friends on the tour.
Included experiences: Salzburg comfort stop: divided by the Salzach River, the west side of the centre is characterised by the medieval and baroque architecture of the World Heritage Listed Old City (Altstadt), which faces the 19th century New City (Neustadt). A fairytale castle overlooks the city upon a steep hill and against a background of scenic Alpine mountains.
Accommodation: Super 8 City West
ACHAT Premium München-Süd
Atrium Im Park Regensburg
DAY 11: Munich
Our Christmas and New Year tour concludes in Munich after breakfast.
- 10 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room.
- Services of your tour leader, who will be on hand with advice and tips to ensure that you get the most from your trip.
- 10 breakfasts, 5 dinners
- All taxes and fees
- Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)
- Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
- 12 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences)
- $2995 per person ts. Single supplement + $995.