France·December 12 - 18 2024

Christmas Markets, Castles and Hot Mulled Wine

" Noel en Alsace "

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Overview

If you're looking for a fairytale trip into the heart of Christmas, nowhere does it better than Alsace. Medieval castles, storybook villages, twinkly lights, and authentic artisan markets will inspire your Christmas spirit. Our trip starts in Strasbourg, the heart of Europe, which delightfully straddles modernity and antiquity. We'll spend time in the picture-perfect towns of Obernai and Colmar - so enchanting you won't believe they're real. We’ll plunge into this festive atmosphere in style, staying in beautiful hotels and tasting authentic cuisine off the beaten track. While Paris boasts brasseries and Provence cafes, Alsace has its winstubs - cozy wine bars with tiled stoves, carved chairs, and hearty fare. Along the way, we'll treat ourselves to a cutting-edge spa day. This is one of the best Christmas gifts you've ever received!

Highlights

Visiting a huge medieval castle all decorated for Christmas

Visiting a huge medieval castle all decorated for Christmas

Sipping on vin chaud (hot mulled wine) in the Christmas markets

Sipping on vin chaud (hot mulled wine) in the Christmas markets

Shopping for authentic artisanal stocking stuffers and gifts for YOU

Shopping for authentic artisanal stocking stuffers and gifts for YOU

Pampering in a gorgeous design spa

Pampering in a gorgeous design spa

Savoring a traditional tarte flambée, an Alsatian style pizza

Savoring a traditional tarte flambée, an Alsatian style pizza

Wandering through fairytale villages decorated in lights

Wandering through fairytale villages decorated in lights

Discovering the world-famous vineyards of Alsace

Discovering the world-famous vineyards of Alsace

Rediscovering the Christmas spirit you had when you were young

Rediscovering the Christmas spirit you had when you were young

Itinerary

Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip.

Previous

Next

day1xmas

Obernai

Day 1: Thursday, December 12th, 2024

Arrive in Strasbourg, via train (under two hours from Paris), where our driver will pick you up. Our concierge will arrange train tickets from Paris to Strasbourg. Our guide will meet you near the train station in Paris to assist with train logistics. 

Our first stay will be at the lovely 4-star Hotel Cour d’Alsace in the charming town of Obernai, just 20 minutes from Strasbourg. Depending on your arrival time, you could enjoy some quality spa time to settle in after your travels.

For our first evening, we’ll visit the local Christmas market. Then, enjoy a cozy, authentic dinner in the hotel’s winstub.

Included

Dinner

Train tickets from Paris to Strasbourg

Not Included

B-L

day2xmas

Riquewher and Ribeauville

Day 2: Friday, December 13th, 2024

What better place to start our day than at a medieval castle? We’ll visit Haut-Koenigsbourg on the top of a hill. It dates back to 1147. You can look out as far as the black forest from its turrets. Each room has some element dressed up for Christmas in an unusual yet authentic way. (Shh…it's a surprise!)

We’ll enjoy a satisfying lunch in the quirky and delightful Taverne du Château. The tables are always alight with candles, and the kitchen serves the best quiche we’ve ever tasted.

After lunch, we’ll visit the rural towns of Riquewher and Ribeauville, the inspiration for Beauty and the Beast. They both have markets and ambiance galore.

We’ll return to our hotel in the late afternoon to relax before heading out for dinner at Le Stub des Gourmets, a  more modern take on regional cuisine using fresh market ingredients. 

Included

All meals

day3xmas

Colmar

Day 3: Saturday, December 14th, 2024

We’ll check out of the hotel after breakfast and head to the mountains to visit one of the most picturesque villages in France, Kaysersberg. Here, we’ll stroll the winding streets lined with charming half-timbered buildings. Let's treat ourselves to a delightful lunch at one of the city's most scrumptious spots.

In the afternoon, we'll enjoy a wine tasting at the world-famous Domaine Weinback winery. You'll have plenty of time to shop in this fairytale spot.

On the way to our hotel, we’ll visit Eguisheim, a picture-perfect town oozing Christmas spirit. Then we’ll travel to Colmar to decamp at our gorgeous L’Esquisse Hotel & Spa Colmar, for the next two nights. The hotel is an 8-minute walk from the center of Colmar. You’ll have time for a dip in the indoor pool, rest in the sauna, or enjoy one of the many spa treatments available.

Tonight, we’ll dine in high style at JYS, a Michelin-star restaurant. 

Included

All meals

Spa treatment

day4xmas

Colmar

Day 4: Sunday, December 15th, 2024

We’ll tour Colmar with our guide in the morning. This town is filled with a fascinating history and is the birthplace of the sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, creator of the Statue of Liberty. You’ll find a smaller version here.

We’ll stop for lunch at Wistub Brenner, around the canals of Colmar, sometimes called little Venice. You may feel inclined to order the regional specialty, Choucroute. 

You’ll have plenty of free time to shop at the many Colmar Christmas markets after lunch. It's time to check off that gift list in this picture-perfect town. 

Tonight is yours to decide where you want to go and with whom. Perhaps room service and a quiet night in the hotel are all you need.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Not Included

Dinner

day5xmas

Colmar

Day 5: Monday, December 16th, 2024

After checking out of the hotel, we’ll hit the Eco-Museum an open-air museum/village consisting of typical Alsatian homes that are over 200 years old. 

Christmas comes to this open-air museum with gusto, as the houses are festooned with seasonal décor. We’ll enjoy a meal followed by a tour. You’ll smell vin chaud brewing in one of the many hands-on workshops. You’ll see crafters at work and enjoy beautiful, traditional Alsatian Christmas decor. You may even spot Pere Noel riding by on a horse-drawn sleigh. Witness, feel, and taste Alsace life as once it was. A stop in the terrific gift shop is de-rigeur.

This evening, we're headed into Strasbourg for our final two-night stay at our delightful hotel, Cour du Corbeau. After checking in and unpacking, we’ll grab a bite to eat at the 12 Apostles, a convivial and relaxed brasserie near the Cathedral.

Included

All meals

day6xmas

Strasbourg

Day 6: Tuesday, December 17th, 2024

Today starts with a boat tour of Strasbourg along the Ill River. You’ll learn a little bit of history about the area, from the Middle Ages to the Neustadt and modern European institutions.

Then, we’ll tour the famous Strasbourg Christmas market, called Christkindelsmärik. This market has operated close to the cathedral in Strasbourg for over 450 years, making it the oldest in Europe. Sip vin chaud (mulled wine) to warm your bones as you shop for loved ones (or yourself). If you get peckish, nosh on Alsatian specialties sold at the market. Think bretzels (pretzels) and tarte flambée.

It is customary to step into the enormous gothic cathedral of Strasbourg, dating back nearly 1,000 years, to light a candle. You'll have the option of climbing to the top of the church to enjoy the panoramic view or choose to watch the clock chime at 12:30 p.m. (there is a small extra charge). You’ll be amazed by this world-famous astrological clock's dancing figures created back in the 1500s. It’s a work of science and art.

We’ll show you another Christmas market and walk you to Petite France, the oldest quarter in town, to see the charming shops, Christmas decorations, and markets. You have to taste some of the famous spiced bread, akin to gingerbread. It's unique to Alsace.

Enjoy some free time to buy those final treasures.

To cap our journey, we’ll reminisce while enjoying the stylish cuisine at Les Haras Brasserie. Then, we'll go for a healthy, after-meal walk to view the lights on the 100 ft. Christmas tree in the Place Kléber. It's the perfect opportunity to take group shots before we head back to the hotel.

Included

All meals

day7xmas

Strasbourg

Day 7: Wednesday, December 18th, 2024

Sadly, it’s time to head home, or onwards. We will drive you to the station for your journey home, but first, we’ll have a hearty breakfast together.

Included

Breakfast

Train ticket to Paris

Not Included

L-D

You'll Be Staying Here

Cour d’Alsace Obernai

Cour d’Alsace Obernai

A 4-star hotel with a spa and two gourmet restaurants in Obernai Cour d’Alsace proudly wears the colors of medieval history. 

L’Esquisse Hotel & Spa Colmar

L’Esquisse Hotel & Spa Colmar

A 5-star resort and spa, set in the heart of the historic centre. Esquisse Hotel and Spa offers a unique and precious experience.

Cour du Corbeau

Cour du Corbeau

Situated in the heart of Strasbourg, a stone’s throw from the Cathedral, the Cour du Corbeau is one of the oldest hotels in Europe.

Hosts

Laurène Philippot

Laurène Philippot

Your guide will be Lauréne, author of the blog My Weekend in Alsace. Lauréne lives in Strasbourg and calls this region her home. She is young, fun and speaks perfect English. She is one of the best guides we know of in this locale. 

Price

Private Room

Private Room

Everyone gets their own fabulous room!

FROM$7,995

Shared Room

Shared Room

Share a room with a friend or family member

FROM$6,995

Add Ons

Arrive 1 day early in Obernai

Arrive 1 day early in Obernai

Includes train station pick up & 1 night at Hotel Cour d’Alsace with breakfast

PRICE$285.00

ADD THIS

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas in Alsace France

Alsace is one of the most beautiful regions in France. It is known for its Christmas markets, its castles and its wine road and its proximity to Germany. 

Christmas in Alsace France

What's Included

What's Included

Everything stated in itinerary above including all meals (unless mentions) plus wine or beer with dinner

All trip transportation including transfers to and from train station in Strasbourg

Round Trip Train tickets Paris to Strasbourg

Your stay at unique highly rated hotels

All Museum or other entry fees

Expert Guides and Trip Leaders

A small group experience

One Spa Treatment from our selected menu

Roundtrip airfare to France

Additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.

Travel and Medical Insurance (required)

All personal souvenirs

Laundry services

Airport transfers in Paris

Reviews

"If you dislike making new friends and love doing all the work involved in planning European vacations, do not book this trip. This trip is for women who love making new friends and enjoying the experience with minimal effort. I booked this trip, because I wanted to enjoy a trip without being the vacation planner. I also wanted a small group experience with women like me. I loved this experience. We traveled to multiple villages for Christmas markets and other Alsatian cultural experiences. I just had to show-up. Our incredible leader, Laurène led the way. Transportation, Check. Meal planning, check Fabulous accommodations, check. Amazing experiences, check. Laughing and crying with women I had just met, check check! I was hesitant booking my trip with GG2W after always planning my own travel experiences, but I have no regrets. I am also excited about future experiences with new friends. The only downside to the experience is I had to go back to work and don’t get to continue drinking mulled wine every afternoon until Christmas."

Allisson T., Memphis, TN, 2023 Trip Guest

FAQs

Arrive in Strasbourg, either via train (under two hours from Paris) or by plane (easy connections via Paris) where our driver will pick you up. 

The trip officially starts on the afternoon of December 12th, but if you are traveling across an ocean to get to France, consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and adjust to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we'll book you a room at the hotel in Obernai or help you find a hotel in Paris.

We will have a zoom call about 8-10 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.

In December, in Strasbourg, the average high-temperature is 5.5°C (41.9°F), and the average low-temperature is 0.8°C (33.4°F). 

Your guide will be Laurene Philippot. Lauréne, author of the blog My Weekend in Alsace. Lauréne lives in Strasbourg and calls this region her home. She is young, fun and speaks perfect English. She is one of the best guides we know of in this locale. 

Inquire about this trip

Christmas Markets, Castles and Hot Mulled Wine

France· December 12 - 18 2024· 6 nights

FROM$7,995/pp