A Traditional Alsace Christmas
5 days with SITA World Tours Rating:
Day 1 – Basel – Ungersheim – Eguisheim
After meeting the group in a festively decorated Basel, we’ll hit the road to France: where our five-day exploration of the Christmas traditions of Alsace will begin. Our first fairytale destination will be Ungersheim. This fascinating village is home to Alsace Ecomuseum – France’s largest open-air museum – and will be filled with beautiful trees and wreaths at this magical time of year. This storybook village is France’s largest open-air museum, and it will be filled with beautiful trees and wreaths at this special time of year. While we’re here, we’ll meet a local craftsman – who’ll reveal the secrets behind the perfect Christmas decorations at an included workshop. Then: it’s onwards to our hotel in Eguisheim, where a delicious welcome dinner awaits us. What a start to the trip! (D)
Day 2 – Eguisheim – Ostheim – Eguisheim
Today we’ll set our sights on the quaint village of Ostheim – where we’ll roll up our sleeves for a traditional French Christmas cooking class. Using fresh seasonal produce, a local chef will show us how to recreate some delectable dishes – and when we’re done, we’ll have the chance to eat our creations for lunch. Later on, the afternoon will be yours to spend exploring the medieval village of Eguisheim (and its enchanting Christmas market) as you please. Enjoy a cup of mulled wine, stock up on gifts to take home or simply browse the stalls – what you do this evening is up to you! (BL)
Day 3 – Eguisheim – Ribeauvillé – Riquewihr – Eguisheim
On this morning’s agenda: a stop at the ‘strolling fiddlers’ town’ of Ribeauvillé, where we’ll embark on a guided tour of the town’s medieval Christmas market. With three castles and scores of Christmas trees bedecked with coats of arms and banners (not to mention troubadours, storytellers and fire jugglers), this unique market is like something out of a fairytale! After taking some time to explore, we’ll switch our focus to another Christmas market in Riquewihr, where we’ll have some free time to wander through the quaint narrow streets and past half-timbered houses, moving from hut to fascinating hut. And then? We’ll come back together to visit a local wine cellar, where we’ll have the opportunity to indulge in a wine tasting session. À votre santé! (BL)
Day 4 – Eguisheim – Strasbourg – Colmar – Eguisheim
First today: we’ll hit the road to Strasbourg, where we’ll step off the tourist trail on an included visit to the Cave des Hospices wine cellars. After a tasting and guided tour led by a local wine producer, we’ll have time to take a look around the city before we climb back aboard the mini-coach and move on to lovely Colmar – where we’ll discover the town’s mesmerising coloured illuminations (known as the ‘Magic of Lights’). Later on, we’ll take our seats in St Matthieu Church for a heartwarming Christmas concert. With Christmas hymns ringing in our ears, we’ll return to Eguisheim for one last group dinner. (BD)
Day 5 – Eguisheim – Orschwiller – Basel
This morning we’ll bid farewell to Eguisheim and make tracks to Orschwiller, where we’ll visit the 12th-century Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle – taking the time to wander the courtyard, spiral staircase, beautifully refined rooms and artillery platform for a unique glimpse into the fortress’ history. Before we return to Basel, we’ve one more stop to make: a local brewery, where we’ll toast the end of our adventure with a beer tasting session. Then: time to go our separate ways. (B)
All This Included
When it comes to quaint medieval villages, atmospheric Christmas markets and traditional crafts and cuisine, there’s nowhere quite like Alsace. On this tour of the region’s most magical Christmas sights, we’ll stay in charming Eguisheim – the perfect base from which to explore all that this heart-stealing area of France has to offer. Expect delicious meals, twinkling lights and an abundance of Christmas cheer.
Eguisheim: La Ferme du Pape (or similar)
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