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Winter Wonderland (Winter Season)

10 Days from $2,250 per person

Style: Premium | Pace: Active

A wonderful tour, visiting the best of Europe's great highlights. At this time of year, nothing could be more enjoyable than rubbing shoulders with the locals, while you snack on homemade gingerbread and sip mulled wine in cozy cafés and colorful Christmas Markets.

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Overview

A wonderful tour, visiting the best of Europe's great highlights. At this time of year, nothing could be more enjoyable than rubbing shoulders with the locals, while you snack on homemade gingerbread and sip mulled wine in cozy cafés and colorful Christmas Markets.

  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).

  2. 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 9:30 am and 12:30 pm. Mainz has been a bustling and important town since the time of the Romans. Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at 6 pm 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.

    meal(s):Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Hilton Mainz
  3. 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.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:The Westin Grand Munich
  4. During your orientation you will see Victory Arch and the university, concluding in the Marienplatz with its soaring Gothic Town Hall and colorful Glockenspiel. 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. The rest of the day is at leisure. Why not try a foaming stein of beer at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus?

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:The Westin Grand Munich
  5. 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. 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.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Hotel Europa Salzburg
  6. A scenic journey takes you through snow-capped mountains to Innsbruck. A multitude of Rococo cherubs and angels will greet you when you venture inside the Wilten Basilica. See the Imperial Palace and magnificent Golden Roof in the Old Town, then lose 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. In the afternoon, meet your coachman and take in the delightful scenery and pure fresh air on a horse-drawn carriage ride, known as a Fiaker. At night, journey to the charming town of Hall in Tirol, which boasts one of Austria’s best-preserved historic town centers. Enjoy a medieval highlight banquet set in a 700-year old building.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:AC Hotel Innsbruck
  7. 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.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Hotel Astoria
  8. 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.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with WIne
    hotel:Hotel Astoria
  9. 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.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with WIne
    hotel:Crowne Plana Heidelberg City Center
  10. A transfer to Frankfurt airport’s Terminal 1 arrives at 9 am and Terminal 2 at 9:15 am.

    meal(s):Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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  • Definite Departure
  • Christmas Markets
  • Festive Celebrations
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
Christmas Markets
20 Dec 18 29 Dec 18 checkmark $2,650pp Call 1-877-622-9109
Festive Celebrations
29 Dec 18 7 Jan 19 checkmark $2,250pp Call 1-877-622-9109
  • Christmas Markets: This departure contains visits to select Christmas Markets
  • Festive Celebrations: Christmas and/or New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement up to $500 per person

Triple Room Discount: $10 per person

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $104 per person.

Airport Transfers: On arrival at Frankfurt airport, transfers operate at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm. A return transfer on the last travel day arrives at Frankfurt airport at 9 am (Terminal 1) and 9:15 am (Terminal 2).

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

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  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Included Quality Dining

8 Breakfasts, 4 Dinners with Wine, all with tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences:

  • Salzburg: Walk through the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace, where the 'Do, Re, Mi' scene was filmed for 'The Sound of Music.' Your Local Expert will also show you Mozart's birthplace on the Getreidegasse, the domed cathedral and the splendid Residenz Fountain.

Top Rated Highlights:

  • Christmas Markets: Lose yourself in the festive atmosphere on select departures.
  • Mainz: Witness half-timbered houses and Baroque buildings surrounding the magnificent Dom Cathedral.
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Fortified by ancient walls, picturesque and unspoiled, Rothenburg is a fairytale come true at any time of year. In December it dazzles with its 500-year-old Reiterlesmarkt, lending a festive air to the cobbled streets and buildings. See the animated town clock and explore the most well-preserved medieval town in Germany.
  • Munich: During your orientation of the city with your Travel Director, see the Victory Arch, Town Hall and Glockenspiel in Marienplatz.
  • Innsbruck: Visit Wilten Basilica.
  • Innsbruck: During your orientation, you will see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace in the Old Town.
  • Innsbruck: Meet your coachman and enjoy a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride, surrounded by the mountains and valleys of Tyrol.
  • Vaduz: Admire the Royal family's residence, Vaduz Castle, which overlooks the capital and is surrounded by year-round snow peaked mountains.
  • Lucerne: A spectacular journey by cable car to the summit of Mount Pilatus offers expansive mountain views over Lake Lucerne.
  • Lucerne: See the covered wooden bridges, Lion Monument, Jesuit Church and Chapel Bridge.
  • Rhine Falls: Visit these spectacular falls.
  • Heidelberg: See the red sandstone castle and explore the baroque Old Town with your Travel Director.
  • Scenic Drives: Venture along part of Germany's Romantic Road and past Lake Chiemsee, through the Arlberg region and the scenic Black Forest, past Walensee Lake in Switzerland.
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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Reviews

Monday, December 18, 2017
Julia Skiba
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : We were rushed to see to many things instead of being able to enjoy the beauty in front of us.
Vacation : Our tour director tried so hard to please everyone
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Michael Kononchik
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Nov 24Overall, excellent, outstanding & first-rate. Sara Tattersell, our tour director did an excellent job in keeping us all informed of the attractions. Our driver unquestionably did an excellent job taking us through the narrow streets in Austria and Switzerland. Hotel service was great. I would take this tour again.
Vacation : Our Winter Wonderland tour was very reasonable. We also had GET arrange air travel.
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering these countries.

  • The currency in Germany and Austria is the Euro (€).The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). Please note that Switzerland is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to convert to the Euro, however many prices are nonetheless indicated in euros to help travelers compare prices. Some Swiss merchants may accept euros but are not obliged to do so. Change given back will most likely be in Swiss francs.

    While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive in Europe, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • Traditional German cuisine is rich and delicious.  Try specialties including a variety of bratwurst with sauerkraut, cold cuts, spätzle and potato dumplings.  For dessert you cannot miss the world famous Black Forest Gateau.   Beer is a big part of German culture; sample a variety of German offerings including pilsner, Kölsch and sour beers.  In Frankfurt, try the local cider (Apfelwein).   Wine is also popular throughout Germany, and world-class whites are produced in the Rhine and Mosel regions. 

    Austrian cuisine is hearty and satisfying and reflects regional influences from Italy, Hungary, Germany and the Balkans. Try a variety of sausages including the popular Wiener Schnitzel and Viennese specialties such as goulash and apple strudel.

    Swiss cuisine is a flavorful blend of German, Italian, and French influences and a wide variety of regional offerings.  Specialty dishes include fondue and raclette (cheese dipping dishes), sausages and rösti (fried potato), bündnerfleisch (air-dried beef) and fondue bourguigon (cubes of steak with various sauces). Swiss pastries and desserts are excellent. There are also spirits made from fruit; the most popular are Kirsch, Pflümli and Williamine. And don’t miss out on the world-class selection of Swiss chocolate.

  • We recommend packing layers to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress.  It’s important to bring comfortable walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • A service charge is typically included in the price of food at restaurants in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  When leaving a tip, it is appropriate to simply round up or add up to 10 percent to your bill.   Rather than leaving your money on the table, be prepared to leave it with your waiter when you pay your bill.  If you are expecting change, simply tell them how much you will need back after gratuity.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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