Christmas in France
6-day winter holiday special to Paris and Strasbourg
Day 1 – Arrival in Paris, cruise and illuminations tour
Private transfer from Paris airport to your downtown hotel. After a good rest, head out to see the magic of Christmas operate on Paris. The nickname City of Lights holds true especially at this time of year! After being transferred from your hotel to the pier, board one of the beautiful Bateaux-Mouches for a cruise on the River Seine. Next, see the most famous landmarks illuminated: the Louvre, Orsay Museum, Notre-Dame de Paris and the Iron Tower herself scintillating against the sky, the Eiffel Tower.
Day 2 – Christmas gourmet tour
Join a small group for a guided tour of one of Paris’ Christmas markets and discover the magic of Christmas with a special winter gourmet food tour. Feel the spirit of the festive season with a stroll around the Christmas market, tasting a variety of delicious regional specialities at the market stalls. Visit some wonderful gourmet shops and sample delicious nougat, gingerbread, log cake, candied fruit, hot wine, and special Christmas tea. Free time for the rest of the day.
Day 3 – Magical Vaux-le-Vicomte and Christmas spirit in Paris
This morning your driver will take you to Vaux-le-Vicomte. This 17th century grand estate is one of the most beautiful castles in France. In fact, Louis XIV loved it so much that he hired the same architect and artists to build his own palace at Versailles. At Christmas time, the château puts on a grand display of lights and entertainment: the fireplaces are lit, the gardens are illuminated with hundreds of lights, smells of pine trees and gingerbread invade every room and the decorations transform the palace into a magical Christmas fairytale.
Free time in the afternoon to explore Paris. At this time of year, shopping is more than a hobby, it becomes a sport! Where else than in Paris search for wonderful finds and gifts? Our favorite places are the department stores, such as Galeries Lafayette and Printemps Haussmann with their themed window displays. Christmas trees will be put up throughout the city, most notably a giant one on the Place de la Concorde.
If you'd like to try out your skating skills you can do that at one of the ice rinks set up especially for the season. You will find one in front of the City Hall (Hôtel de Ville), on the Champs Elysées and in the Trocadero gardens. Also check out some nativity scenes at iconic catholic landmarks such as Notre-Dame de Paris, or the churches of La Madeleine and Saint-Sulpice.
At night, be sure to take a walk on the Champs Elysées where you will be dazzled by the many decorations, garlands, and some 200 trees twinkling in a shower of lights.
Day 4 – Strasbourg, ‘The Capital of Christmas’
Take a taxi to the train station and board your train to Strasbourg. Enjoy the ride through the French countryside admiring the winter landscape from the comfort of your first class seat. Check in to the hotel located in the historic downtown of Strasbourg.
Strasbourg is not only the capital of Alsace, but also the capital of Christmas. The city has one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe dating to 1570. Nowadays, there are 12 markets you can visit throughout the month of December. The tradition of the Christmas tree also originates from this region. During the Middle Ages, people gathered around the churches to celebrate Christmas and they would decorate a fir with apples symbolizing the tree of paradise from the Bible. Today, a big Christmas tree, called Le Grand Sapin, stands on Place Kléber attracting many local and international visitors. You can also enjoy an extensive cultural program put together by city officials. In churches, chapels and the on main town square orchestras and gospel singers entertain the general public with Christmas shows and carols, exhibitions about the tradition of Christmas are open all around the city and the chefs showcase local delicacies, such as traditional Christmas cookies and foie gras.
Day 5 – Christmas in Alsace with villages and wine tasting
Today discover Alsace through the charming villages and Christmas markets of the region. Voted some of the most beautiful villages of France, they welcome you at the most pleasant time of year. Start your day by heading to Colmar, where the historic center is adorned with traditional Alsatian decorations. Discover the village and its markets, and enjoy some free time to wander around. Next, embark on the Alsace Wine Route through Eguisheim, Bergheim, Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé. Stop at a local winemaker and enjoy a tasting. Every year people travel across the world to experience the traditions, handicrafts, decorations, hot wine and gingerbread of Alsace. The aroma of cinnamon, cloves, almonds and cardamom will surge childhood Christmas memories in you and this day will hopefully leave you with new, unforgettable ones.
Day 6 – Return home
Transfer by train from Strasbourg directly to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Return home. Note that depending on your flight schedule, you may have to spend an extra night at an airport hotel.
$2,400.00 PER PERSON IN 4* HOTELS
Based on double room occupancy. Limited offer, valid only in December 2016. Different rates apply to packages that include public holidays (25, 26 and 31 December). Flexible departure dates.
- Private transfer from Paris CDG airport to hotel in Paris
- 3 nights in a centrally located boutique hotel in Paris
- River cruise on the Seine and Illuminations of Paris night tour
- 3-hour small group, Christmas gourmet tour
- Half day private tour of Vaux-le-Vicomte including entrance fees
- 1st class high-speed train tickets from Paris to Strasbourg
- 2 nights in a boutique hotel in the historic downtown of Strasbourg
- Christmas markets in Alsace and wine tasting small group full day tour
- 1st class high-speed train tickets from Strasbourg to Paris CDG airport
- Daily breakfasts
- Most taxes
- 24-hour emergency line
Package does not include:
- Personal expenses
- International airfare
- Mandatory city tax at each hotel (to be paid on site)
- Other meals aside from breakfast
- Travel insurance (highly recommended)
- Visa or passport processing
- Baggage handling
- Handicap or disability assistance
- Extended customer support