Christmas Market Tour

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Christmas Markets Tour – 2010 and 2011



King Ludwig II's Castles and the Bavarian Christmas Markets




Bavarian Winter



Marvel at the fascinating Christmas markets of Germany and Austria, do as much or as little Christmas shopping as you wish, and still see many of the features of the Bavarian Castles tour.  Highlights include the Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, Linderhof, and Herrenchiemsee castles, Innsbruck, Fussen, Kempten, Oberammergau, Munich, Nymphenburg, Hofbrauhaus, and Wieskirche - the Church in the Meadow.


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Day 1

Board your flight from your home destination to Munich, Germany.

This itinerary assumes this to be an overnight flight. 

Air fare independently arranged.


Arrival in Munich, Germany.  Your flight should arrive at the Munich Airport by 11:15 a.m. at the latest for the complimentary transfer at noon.

When the group is complete we head south to your home away from home in HOPFEN AM SEE, on the lake near Fussen (Füssen or Fuessen in German).  Our home base here at the southern end of Germany's famous Romantic Road is within hiking distance of Neuschwanstein in the beautiful Bavarian Alps.

You are staying in a typical local "landhaus", where you are a friend, not a tourist.  Your rooms are very gemuetlich, decorated in Bavarian country style, all with cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, extra sitting area, balcony, and a great mountain view.

Your local expert, Astrid Baur, will take you out for a Bavarian dinner on the Lake Promenade tonight.

>  Your tour includes: Transfer from airport to hotel, three-course welcome dinner with menu choices, one beverage, and coffee or tea after, overnight at Landhaus Koessel in Hopfen am See

Landhaus Kossel (Landhaus Kössel / Koessel)


Today we focus on NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE (Schloss Neuschwanstein in German), Germany's most famous castle.

First we go to Marienbruecke (Mary's Bridge) sitting high above the Poellat Gorge, where we can take the best pictures of the castle.  (If Mary's Bridge is closed because of ice or snow on the path, you will be taken to another lookout where you can take wonderful pictures of Neuschwanstein.)

From there we walk downhill for our inside tour of Neuschwanstein.  Afterwards there's time for lunch and a stroll on Lake Alpsee, where young Ludwig learned to swim.

In the afternoon we visit SCHLOSS HOHENSCHWANGAU, the castle built by his father Maximilian, where Germany's fairy tale king spent much of his childhood, and where he dreamed about his future castles.  Local guides in both castles.

Tonight we will have a gourmet dinner in one of Bavaria's oldest restaurants.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrances and guided tours of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, horse carriage, three-course dinner, Landhaus Koessel




Our first stop today is the famous WIESKIRCHE, or Church in the Meadow, one of the few buildings in Bavaria that are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

On to SCHLOSS LINDERHOF, Ludwig's beautiful hiding Castle deep in the forest where he spent more time than in his other Castles.  There's time for lunch on the grounds before we visit the inside of the castle, and afterwards there's time to explore the beautiful gardens on your own, before we go on to ...

OBERAMMERGAU, a pretty village known for the Passion Play (every 10 years, next time in 2010!), a tradition which derives from a vow made by the inhabitants in 1633 that if God spared them from the effects of the bubonic plague then sweeping the region they would perform a passion play every ten years. Oberammergau is also known for its Lueftlmalerei (painted houses) and woodcarving. 

Best Christmas shopping!

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrance and guided tour of Linderhof, three-course dinner, Landhaus Koessel



Today we focus on King Ludwig II's largest castle, HERRENCHIEMSEE, which he built on an island in Lake Chiemsee after a visit to Versailles, and where he stayed only one week.

Boat and horse carriage rides to the castle and local guide for inside tour.

On the way back we stop in the beautiful town of BAD TOLZ (Bad Tölz or Bad Toelz in German).

There's time to relax before we join the locals tonight for great atmosphere and food at a local brewery.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, boat and carriage rides, Herrenchiemsee tour, dinner, Landhaus Koessel




We go to MUNICH (München or Muenchen in German, sometimes Munchen on the net)  and first visit SCHLOSS NYMPHENBURG (Nymphenburg Palace), the summer residence of the Wittelsbacher family, the place where Ludwig II was born, and the Martallmuseum, containing many of Ludwig's elaborate carriages.

An orientation Tour of Germany's Secret Capital features the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Tower, Leopoldstrasse, Schwabing, Ludwigstrasse, Odeonsplatz, Koenigsplatz, Karlsplatz and ends by the Residenz and the Opera, where we get off and continue the last few meters on foot to Marienplatz, the very heart of Munich, known for the carillon in the Town Hall.

It is here where you find one of the best Christmas markets in Germany. Enjoy the atmosphere, find your Christmas gifts and ornaments and have some Gluehwein and Gingerbread.  You have plenty of time on your own for shopping, more sightseeing (lots of suggestions) or enjoying the city from a rooftop cafe.

In the evening we have tickets for dinner and a show at the HOFBRAUHAUS (Hofbräuhaus), Munich's most famous beer hall.  You will see a traditional Bavarian dance show with alphorn blowing, yodelling and polka, while having dinner and a stein of beer.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, Munich Palace entrance, Munich orientation tour, Hofbrauhaus dinner and show, Landhaus Koessel



Today were are heading towards INNSBRUCK, the Capital of Tyrol in Austria.

First we visit the famous Swarovski Kristallwelten in Wattens, then we enjoy a walk through the quaint medieval lanes of Innsbruck, see the little Golden Roof in front of the Austrian Alps, the fine Baroque Church, and take a guided tour through the Hofburg, built by Empress Maria Theresia as a summer residence away from hot and stuffy Vienna.

Enjoy Innsbruck's famous Christmas Market, admire the setting of this beautiful town, and get more Christmas shopping done.

Dinner on your own tonight.  How about wiener schnitzel in a typical Tyrolean Restaurant?

>  Breakfast buffet, door-to-door transportation, Kristallwekten entrance, Hofburg guided tour, Landhaus Koessel

Market at the Golden Roof


Today we focus on FUSSEN (Füssen), an old Roman Town on the Lech River.  Walk its narrow streets and lanes and enjoy the details your local guide provides.

Afterwards enjoy a hot Gluehwein and homemade applestrudel in one of Fussen's cosy cafes.

This afternoon we take a short ride to KEMPTEN an old Roman City, about 20 miles away from Hopfen. Admire the baroque Residenz, free time for great shopping, and spend time on Kempten's gemuetliche Christmas Market followed by a great dinner in Kempten.

>  Breakfast buffet, door-to-door transportation, Fussen walking tour, three-course dinner, Landhaus Koessel

Kempten Christmas Market

Day 9

Time to say "Auf wiedersehen".

Transfer to Munich Airport for your return flight home.

>  Breakfast buffet, transfer to airport


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Tour Features 

bulletDoor-to-door transportation on a 47-seat coach
bullet7 breakfast buffets and 6 three-course dinners including one beverage and coffee or tea after dinner
bullet7 nights accommodation
bulletAll entrance fees and local guides
bulletNo hidden extras
bulletMaximum group size of 30 people
Complete printable itinerary in PDF format >

Good times

Tour Director

Astrid Baur is a German native who has successfully conducted over 200 tours throughout Europe and Germany for thousands of happy clients. Astrid will take you around Bavaria, which she knows by heart.

You will see not only the highlights but also the spots where only the locals go. The days are well planned to offer you many highlights, but you are not rushed. And there is no packing and unpacking, as we stay in the same place every night.

The tour language is English only.

Astrid organizes the tour personally, and you can contact her directly as explained in the Contact Information section below.



Castles Intro Video Astrid has posted a short video clip on YouTube introducing herself and her tours.
           >  Castles Intro Video

Astrid Baur

Hotel – The Landhaus Koessel

The Landhaus Koessel is located on Lake Hopfen, near Fussen, with beautiful scenery and mountain views of the Bavarian Alps.

You stay in Bavarian Country Style rooms, which are very spacious, with extra sitting areas, balconies, cable TV, direct-dial-telephones, coffeemakers, mini-bars, and hairdryers. You will feel at home immediately. High speed internet is available. For more information please see the Landhaus Koessel English-language page.

Find out for yourself what makes this particular place in the Alps so special that King Ludwig wanted to spend the rest of his life here.

The Landhaus Koessel




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Lake Alpsee


2008 Tour at Linderhof




Kempten Christmas Market


Marienplatz Market, Munich

Munich Christmas Market


There are more pictures in the In Depth section below.  The Gallery has larger images of tour destinations, and Groups has photos of participants in past tours.


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Christmas Markets Tour  In Depth

Larger Pictures of Castles, Communities and Regional Highlights
Images of Christmas Tour features, contributed by past guests and from public domain sources
Detailed Itinerary Destination Maps
3-page printer-friendly PDF including:
-  Christmas Markets Tour Destinations map from the top of this web page,
-  Detailed maps with Christmas Markets Tour destinations marked by day (2 pages), and
-  Fussen Area map, highlighting the locations of the castles.
Links to Sources of More Detailed Information
Clickable links to detailed articles on major Christmas Markets Tour itinerary features 
Pictures of Previous Tour Groups and Participants
Photos from recent year Christmas Markets Tours

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Four other website pages, shared with other tours, also provide in depth information and travel services.

Tours Characteristics
Notes on the distinguishing features of the various tours offered. 
What's so special about these tours?  How do they differ from each other?
Comments from participants in this and other Castles tours.
Travel Info
Clickable links to air and rail travel resources, currency and time conversion, etc.
Book Travel
Book Travel - Flights, Hotels, Packages, Cars, Cruises, Activities
Through a partnership with we are pleased to offer self-service travel search and booking services.


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Thank you for your wonderful tour.  It may well have been the finest trip I've ever made to Germany, and I've made a lot of trips there starting as a boy in 1931. The Landhaus Kössel was very comfortable, the breakfasts memorable.  Oh! that we could buy such Semmel in America! The pace of the tour was perfect - even for us octogenarians. The content of the tour was beautiful and varied, always fascinating…. In short, it was a wonderful time, and thank you for everything.
-  George & Pattie Betz, Maryland, December 2009
Truly a winter wonderland and a fairy tale come true. I could never have imagined being at Neuschwanstein and getting a picture worthy of a postcard. The snow made it perfect! Seeing each of the castles throughout Bavaria was an "Architect's Dream".  Astrid Baur made the tour perfect with her friendly personal nature and her caring manner. The itinerary was diverse, the tour size was ideal, and the price was just right.  There are certainly many tour companies throughout Europe, but Astrid made it a personal experience.
-  Greg Luczyk, Virginia, December 2008
We thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas Tour.  
We found the pace relaxing with plenty of free time to do our own sightseeing as well.  
We will never forget viewing some of the castles in the snow.  
The view from the trail to Mary’s Bridge was breathtaking.
-  Frank & Karen Rafalko, North Carolina,
 December 2008
Southern Bavaria is a beautiful region of Germany, and Ms. Baur provided an outstanding itinerary that captured a fulfilling coverage of the local history, lore, and charm of her native area....  Our tour became more like a "loose knit" group of friends than a herd of sheep being led about.  I attribute much of that to how proud Astrid is of her Bavarian heritage and traditions, and how she will welcome you to her corner of the world.  Treat yourself, enjoy Bavaria and the Castles.
-  Will Entriken, North Carolina
 December 2007 - Read more ...
Dear Astrid .... Your tour and the efforts that you made on our behalf met all of our expectations and exceeded them.  Visiting Hopfen, Fussen, Hohenschwangau etc. and especially Neuschwanstein, was just like stepping into the land of Fairy Tales and Wagner.   Thank you for a most wonderful experience and, to those out there who are interested in a tour of the Castles of Bavaria,  I would say to you – “TAKE THIS TOUR.”
- Archie and Rosie Smith, North Carolina December 2007 - Read more ...
Our tour was packed with all the best sights and food.  Every day included at least two major sites and dinner was always an adventure....
It was the perfect time of the year to be there.  We saw the same places without the huge crowds and although some shops were closed we were able to find plenty to do.  The real bonus was the beauty of everything frosted in white or wearing a little cap of snow.  Weather did not diminish out trip; in fact I think it added to the adventure.
-  Vickie and Ron Olson, Nebraska
December 2007 - Read more ...

Additional comments on this and other Castles Tours are provided on a separate  References Page .

Comments, experiences and recommendations from guests on the May and June 2009 Bavarian Castles and July 2009 Kids and Castles Tours are featured in the European Castles Tours  References Video .


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Cost and Date Information

Complete printable itinerary in PDF format >

The 2010 and 2011 Christmas Markets Tours listed below are offered on the following basis:

Tour prices are for the land segment only.  Air fare is not included.

Prices are per person, in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy.
Single Occupancy is available for a Single Supplement charge of US $ 200.
A child 8 to 16 years old sharing a room with two adults receives a 30% reduction on this tour.

Guaranteed Departure:  These 2010 and 2011 Christmas Markets Tours are guaranteed to operate as scheduled and will not be cancelled due to a low level of participation.

A deposit of US $ 300 per person is required to secure a reservation.


        Christmas Markets Tour – 2010


  Your overnight international flight leaves ... Status Double
Child 8-16
with 2 Adults
  December 4, 2010 Available - Book now US $ 2,050 US $ 2,250 US $ 1,435


        Christmas Markets Tour – 2011


  Your overnight international flight leaves ... Status Double
Child 8-16
with 2 Adults
  December 3, 2011 Available - Book now US $ 2,150 US $ 2,350 US $ 1,505


  Save 2011 Early Bird Special

Book the 2011 Christmas Tour by August 31, 2010 and save US $ 100 per person from the above prices.


Reservation details and materials >


The "Bavarian Castles Tour" (King Ludwig II's Castles and the Bavarian Lakes) shares much of the itinerary of the "Christmas Markets" Tour detailed here.  Full details are provided on the Bavarian Castles Tour page.


Dates for all current European Castles Tours >
Tour Dates


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Contact Information

Contact the Tour Director, Astrid Baur, in Germany (Eastern Time + 6 Hours)


U.S. Phone:  (202) 580 - 8732  /  German Phone:  011 - 49 - 171 - 546 68 39


































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