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The Alsace Region in France is on the border of Germany and is home to the French region of the Christmas Markets. So pack your Uggs and parkas as we will discover the different aspects of why French Christmas Markets are so popular, from illuminations, street performances and live manger scenes to the hot wine and the shops where we will search for Christmas treasures! Discover the charm of the region through its typical villages and snow covered landscapes. Our accommodations for this Adventure are in a Chalet above a typical Alsatian village.
Itinerary
Sunday
We will meet you at the Strasbourg rail station* from which you will be transported by private van to your Chalet “home for the week” in the Vosages Mountains of Alsace. After settling in, enjoy a meet-and-greet with homemade hors d’oeuvres and locally produced wines. Then relax, explore and enjoy the tranquil mountain-side chalet and the view of the Vosges Mountains until it is time for a gourmet welcome dinner. Dinner by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris alum Chef Walter Eagleton and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Chalet.
Monday
After breakfast at the Chalet, we will set out to discover the local town of Munster and its shops. The town is also reputed for the soft cheese of the same name that is produced in the verdant valley around the town and is one of the gastronomic delights of the Alsace. Also, you will see symbols everywhere of the sacred white stork. This bird is a good luck charm and a symbol of Alsace. Each year in August they leave, but migrate back to Alsace and Munster in late February. Their nests can be seen high on the rooftops. Lunch in Munster*.
Breakfast and Dinner provided by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris alum Chef Walter Eagleton and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Chalet.
Tuesday
After breakfast, the amazing fairy tale town of Colmar, the capital of the Land of Christmas Stars, will welcome us to its five markets for a sparkling Christmas! As we explore the market’s different rows and wooden huts, the succession of stalls, decorations and lights will all help get us into the magic of Christmas. Our discovery of the world of Christmas in Colmar begins in Place Jeanne d’Arc, where we will find no shortage of tradition and local produce. There, we can savor some of the finest products Alsatian gastronomy has to offer, waiting to be sampled and given as gifts. When we enter the Koïfhus, master glass makers, cabinet makers, woodcarvers, but also hat-makers and artistic jewelers propose a range of delightful craft goods.
Place des Dominicains and Place de l’Ancienne Douane are two charming showcases welcoming a host of huts where we will find jewelry, decorative items, organic products and other superb items to go in your Christmas basket. In a warm and happy atmosphere, the children’s Christmas market will certainly not disappoint for the children on your gift giving list. Located in the Petite Venise district, this mini paradise is home to fluffy toys, conventional toys, a mechanical Nativity scene and a merry-go-round with wooden horses! We’ll also find a giant letterbox here for writing to Pere Nœl. Lunch in Colmar*.
Breakfast and Dinner provided by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris alum Chef Walter Eagleton and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Chalet.
Wednesday
After a leisurely morning, we will head north to a local restaurant for lunch and then we are off to Koenigsbourg castle. The château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is a medieval castle located in the Vosges mountains. It is situated in a strategic location on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain; as a result it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years’ War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German emperor Wilhelm II. Weather permitting, we will enjoy a homemade picnic provided by chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures. Tonight we will enjoy dinner out in a family owned restaurant in Munster*.
Breakfast provided by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris alum Chef Walter Eagleton and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Chalet.
Thursday
After a filling breakfast at the Chalet, we will visit the two towns of Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr and their all day Christmas Markets. During the Advent period, the traditional, rich heritage and fairy-tale atmosphere of the most beautiful fortified wine-growing villages, Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr, glowing with golden lights and magical decorations, is delightful. We will enjoy an unforgettable experience at lively Christmas markets, with lights, entertainment and tasting sessions, between concerts, exhibitions and delicious food.
Situated on the ‘Route des Vins’ between vineyards and mountains, Ribeauvillé is a charming town. In the Middle Ages, the town was the seat of the Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre. who built 3 fortified castles, the ruins of which still majestically dominate the town and surrounding hills to this day. From its medieval fortifications, the town has preserved a part of its town walls and some of its defensive towers. The Grand Rue and its picturesque neighborhood, edged with buildings dating back to the 15th and 18th century, are lined with squares adorned with Renaissance style fountains.
For centuries the magnificent town of Riquewihr has managed to combine the quality of its architecture with the quality of its world-famous wines, from where it gets its nickname, The Gem of the Alsace Vineyards. It has managed to preserve its authentic character of half-timbered houses, dating back to the 15th – 18th centuries, behind its city walls, which are now besieged only by the vines. Lunch in a local restaurant*.
Breakfast and Dinner provided by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris alum Chef Walter Eagleton and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Chalet.
Friday
After Breakfast, our destination is one of the finest wine growing areas in Alsace. Kaysersberg was the birthplace of Albert Schweitzer and is charming with its many half-timbered houses, its beautiful historic center and its imperial castle (Kaysersberg means Mountain of the Emperor) in ruins overlooking the city. It is, therefore, a must in Alsace. The city is also famous for its Christmas market. During the Advent period, Kaysersberg hosts its traditional Christmas craft market on the town’s ramparts. As one of the oldest in the region, this Christmas market perfectly captures all the authenticity and magic of Christmas in Alsace. The watchtower, a vestige of Kaysersberg’s castle, looks out proudly over the wealth of craftsmen’s huts including the floral arts, pottery, decorative items and Christmas decorations produced from blown glass, wooden toys, fabrics, culinary treats and other Alsatian specialties shown to great effect in the perfect setting of the charming wooden stalls. Lunch in Kaysersberg*.
Breakfast and Dinner provided by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris alum Chef Walter Eagleton and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Chalet.
Saturday
Breakfast provided Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Chalet and then we transport you to the Strasbourg train station and on to your next destination!
* Meals marked with this symbol are not included in your Adventure price.
Itinerary subject to minor changes.
Accommodations
The Chalet is spacious and unique with a spa. This 5-star accommodation in Alsace is ideally located in the heart of the Ballons des Vosges Nature Park, and stands at a majestic 800 m (2624 feet), in a pristine mountain environment.
Designed for absolute comfort and authentic luxury, the Chalet’s exquisite furnishings and a warm atmosphere is both modern and authentic. The chalet mixes natural, high quality materials such as wood and stone with large panoramic views, within a resolutely modern architecture, full of genuine authenticity and close to nature.
The Chalet is a genuine mountain retreat, located only a few miles from Munster in France. It offers a secluded haven geared for relaxation and is warm and cosy during winter nights. The real luxury, however, is it’s unique and charming character and the unforgettable memories you will make in Alsace and the Vosges mountains.
The chalet offers 4 en-suite bedrooms for our Adventurers, a large living room with freestanding wood-burning stove, a wonderful spa and relaxation area surrounded by nature, complete with outdoor decks and balconies to help you take full advantage of the extraordinary panoramic views over the Vosges mountains.
The living room comes with luxuriously comfortable sofas facing the freestanding wood-burning stove and magnificent views over the mountain peaks. We will gather around the large wooden table and share moments of laughter and friendship, while tucking into one of many regional food specialties prepared by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris Alum Chef Walter Eagleton.
The spa and relaxation area, complete with sauna, hot tub, tearoom and deckchairs is the perfect spot to unwind and be pampered in a peaceful and serene atmosphere.
Lying on a deckchair on the outdoor deck, you can enjoy the pleasant warmth of the sun, the orchestra of local birds and the gentle sound of the water fountain.
At our Chalet, attention to detail is everything. Everything has been designed with elegance and sophistication in mind, so you can feel utterly pampered.
Price and What's Included
Tour cost is included. Ground transfers to “your home for the week” from the local rail station and back to the rail station, daily ground transportation by private van, all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and wine when dining at accommodations are included. Luxury accommodations with private bathroom are included.
Airfare is not included. (We can meet you at Charles de Gaulle Airport and escort you via TGV rail to the local rail station should you desire for a cost of $150 per person.)
Rail fare to and from local TGV station is not included and will be added to your balance.
Travel Insurance is required and can be bought on line from Travelguard.com/ or Allianz Travel Insurance.com.
$3450 pp single occupancy minus $500 = $2950
$3150 pp double occupancy minus $500 = $2650

Only until October 1, 2018 and paid in full