We will visit Christmas Markets & taste wine in the Champagne, Alsace and Baden wine regions!
Dates: 2023 TBD
The tradition of having a Christmas market dates back to the early Middle Ages and it comes originally from the Germanic cultures. The idea was connected to the celebration of the festival of St Nicolas, an early Christian saint, from what is now southern Turkey. The first documented mention of a specific Christmas market was in the 1300’s in Germany. The region of Alsace was, for years, an independently governed area and Strasbourg, a wealthy city and trade exchange place on the Rhine River, was an important place to have these “Fairs” or Foire” in French since the 16th Century.
Two engaging and experienced tour guides: Chris Coleman & Toni Seymour
Small group: 16-20 participants
4* Hotel accommodations in central locations: 3 nights Paris+2 nights Reims+3 nights Colmar+2 nights Strasbourg
Historical walking tours in each city
All breakfasts, 5 dinners with wine pairings, 6 wine tastings
All group transport: via private coach between cities and in-city transport via private vehicles
Tour price: $4125 per person double/twin accommodations, single supplement $725
11 Days/10 Nights
December 3-13, 2022
International flights, airport transfers, meals not listed and independent travel are not included
Day 1 - Saturday, December 3 Meet in Paris
Meet at our hotel this afternoon for an aperitif welcome followed by a stroll on our way to dinner to see the holiday lights - especially the Christmas window displays at gorgeous department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.
Day 2 - Sunday, December 4 Paris
Enjoy a historical walking tour this morning including Saint-Germain-des-Prés and other Christmas market locations. Take the afternoon to explore the sights of the city as you please. Dinner on your own.
Day 3- Monday, December 5 Paris
Free time this morning. Rendez-vous after lunch for our first wine tasting experience. Tonight enjoy a dinner river cruise on the Seine to see the City of Lights in style!
Check out this great video of the Alsatian Christmas market in front of the Gare de l'Est - the train station of the east which brings travelers from Paris to Alsace!
Day 4 - Tuesday, December 6 Paris-Reims
We meet our driver and private coach this morning for our drive east to the famous Champagne region of France. We hightail it to the center of the Champagne world- Épernay where we will enjoy fabulous champagne tastings, bien sûr! In the afternoon we arrive in Reims, known for its Christmas market that surrounds the city's historic gothic cathedral. After we settle into our hotel we will set out to enjoy dinner together.
Day 5- Wednesday, December 7 Reims
This morning we take in the sites of Reims on a historic walking tour ending at the covered market hall. Enjoy the afternoon to explore the food and Christmas markets. Dinner on your own.
Day 6- Thursday, December 8 Reims-Colmar
We will drive from Reims to Colmar with a lunch stop en route. Arrive in Colmar in the afternoon, take a stroll to orient ourselves to town and the dazzling Christmas market in Colmar. Dinner together.
Day 7- Friday, December 9 Colmar
All over Alsace in many villages there is a huge celebration of Christmas, with decorations and markets everywhere. We will explore villages, taste the fruits of the vineyards and return to Colmar with time to enjoy the town this evening. Dinner on your own.
Day 8- Saturday, December 10 Colmar
Visit the historic Christmas market scene in Colmar today. Dinner on your own.
Day 9- Sunday, December 11 Colmar-Strasbourg
We travel to Germany today where we will explore wine villages and enjoy tasting the wines produced in the Baden wine region. Drive to Strasbourg, overnight in Strasbourg.
Day 10- Monday, December 12 Strasbourg
Today we explore the charming city of Strasbourg which has been holding Christkindelsmärik around its cathedral since 1570, making it one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe. Tonight is our last dinner together, we will toast each other happy holidays and safe travels!
Day 11- Tuesday, December 13 Bon voyage!
After breakfast we go our separate ways. If your return flight home is via Paris, there are quick and easy options including flights and the TGV bullet train.