Christmas in Austria's Lake District

Description

Austria’s beautiful ‘Lake District’ is in the Salzkammergut region, a relaxing world of magnificent scenery which stretches eastwards from Salzburg city to the Dachstein Mountains. In this uncrowded paradise, time seems to have slowed down. Every way you turn there are stunning winter wonderland landscapes with crystal clear lakes, snow covered mountains and picture postcard villages. But this festive Christmas holiday offers much more than just the views - we have arranged a fabulous programme of included excursions and visits, ensuring you get the very most from this very special holiday.

Duration
8 days
Price
from £1399

Our first excursion, to Lake Wolfgang’s three Christmas Markets towns, is the perfect introduction to our festive holiday. We visit St Gilgen, Strobl and St Wolfgang
itself and also have a boat cruise on the lake. No holiday to the Salzkammergut would be complete without a visit to Salzburg. We have a guided walking tour of the Old Town followed by plenty of free time for shopping and sightseeing. On Christmas Eve we travel into nearby Germany and visit King Ludwig’s amazing castle which is a replica of the Palace of Versailles. On Christmas Day we have a horse drawn sleigh ride in the surrounding countryside and to complete our holiday we have a Winter Wonderland excursion to picturesque Hallstatt and the Imperial town of Bad Ischl.

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Included in price
  • 7 nights accommodation in Austrian twin bedrooms with private bathroom in the Salzkammergut region
  • Buffet continental breakfast and 3 course evening dinner each day
  • 4 course Austrian dinner on Christmas Eve
  • Roast turkey dinner on Christmas Day
  • Excursion to the Lake Wolfgang Christmas Markets and lake cruise
  • Excursion to Salzburg and guided tour
  • Excursion to King Ludwig’s castle in Bavaria
  • Christmas Day horse drawn Sleigh Ride
  • Winter Wonderland visit to Hallstatt and Bad Ischl
  • Return flights to Salzburg
  • One piece of hold luggage and one piece of hand luggage per person
  • Transfers between Salzburg airport and hotel
  • Services of a Mistral Representative in Austria
  • ATOL Protected

Accommodation

Panorama Hotel Traunstein, Altmunster

Altmunster is a delightful village perched on the western shore of the dramatic Lake Traunsee, which is the largest lake in the Salzkammergut. With a backdrop of the snowcovered Alpine foothills and a lovely lakeside promenade, together with a good selection of cafes and shops, Altmunster is a perfect choice for our festive holiday. The friendly service provided by Christian and Aleksandra Pumberger and their team make the 3 star Panorama Hotel Traunstein a very welcoming hotel. Quiet yet conveniently located, within a 10-minute walk you can reach the centre

of Altmunster and the lakeside promenade. The continental buffet breakfasts and evening dinners are served in the hotel’s restaurant and there is also a cosy bar lounge. The Austrian twin bedrooms are modern in style and have a private bathroom with a shower and Satellite TV. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel.

Hotel Der Abtenauer, Abtenau

Enchanting Abtenau is a winter sports resort situated in the picturesque Lammertal Valley in the Salzkammergut and is noted for its crystal clear air and the amazing views of the Austrian Alps which surround the resort. Being the main resort in the valley, you will find quite a good selection of cafes, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops in the village. Perfectly located right on the market square of Abtenau, the family owned 3 star Hotel Der Abtenauer retains a traditional character with a layout and decor that make for a homely feel. The buffet continental breakfasts and evening dinners are served in the hotel’s dining room. Facilities include a cosy bar lounge and a superb spa area featuring a sauna, a steam bath and an aromatic steam bath. Both

the modern and the traditionally furnished bedrooms have cable TV, radio, a safe and a bathroom with hairdryer. Wifi is available in the public areas of the hotel.

Book this tour today from £1399

Excursions

During our stay we have arranged a programme of included and optional excursions and visits, all taken at a leisurely pace.

Fly to Austria

Your Christmas holiday begins with the flight to Salzburg from your chosen UK airport. You will then be transferred to your chosen hotel.

Lake Wolfgang’s Three Christmas Markets and Lake Cruise

The Lake Wolfgang Christmas Markets are held each year in the three lakeside villages of St. Gilgen, Strobl and St. Wolfgang. Candles, torches and warming braziers lend a cosy atmosphere to the market in St. Wolfgang, where the rustically decorated market stalls weave a path from the Postplatz Square down to the lake shore. And make sure to visit the famous “White Horse Inn”, which was built in 1474. The idyllic village of Strobl is transformed into something very special at Christmastime with colourful displays in the shops and cafes as well as the Christmas Market. Meanwhile, in the Mozart village of St. Gilgen, there is a baroque backdrop to the Advent scene with its old frescoed houses. We’ve also arranged a boat cruise on the lake sailing past the ‘Floating Lantern’. This excursion really is a perfect introduction to our Christmas holiday!

Salzburg – The “Sound of Music” City

We spend the day in Salzburg and have included a 90 minute walking tour through the ‘Old Town’. We see Mozart’s birthplace on the Getreidegasse, which is the city’s main shopping street. Many of the scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed in Salzburg, and you’re sure to recognise the imposing Cathedral and the Hohensalzburg Fortress which towers over the city. The ‘Old Town’ is traffic free, so it really is easy to wander and explore.

King Ludwig’s Castle

Today we cross the nearby border into Germany and on to Lake Chiemsee, which lies in Bavaria and take a boat trip to Herreninsel, the largest island in the lake. Mostly covered by forest, the island was bought in 1873 by King Ludwig II, who saw it as the perfect location for his new castle, the stunning “Herrenchiemsee”. The Bavarian Monarch revered King Louis XIV of France and hence built the castle as an amazing replica of the Palace of Versailles. This evening a traditional Austrian Dinner will be served in our hotel. Later this evening you may wish to join the local congregation for the church service.

Sleigh Ride

Happy Christmas! After a hearty breakfast there will be plenty of time to open your presents. A little later today wrap up warm for an enjoyable horse drawn sleigh ride. This evening in the hotel we have our festive roast turkey dinner.

At Leisure

Today is at leisure. Perhaps take a chair lift or cable car up to the heights, explore the shops, have a drink in one of the cafes or bars or simply relax in the comfortable surroundings of the hotel.

Hallstatt & Bad Ischl

After breakfast we make our way along Alpine valleys, driving through a winter wonderland of snow covered mountains to visit Hallstatt, one of Austria’s most exquisite villages and a trademark scene of this beautiful country. Its 16th-century Alpine houses and alleyways are home to cafes and shops. After free time in the village we make our way to the delightful spa town of Bad Ischl. The town rose to fame in the late 1800’s when the Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph l established his summer residence here. You can visit the Kaiservilla, which is preserved almost exactly as it was in Franz Joseph’s time and perhaps enjoy a coffee and cake in one of Bad Ischl’s splendid coffee houses.

Return Flight

Today we leave the Salzkammergut at the appropriate time for the transfer to Salzburg airport and the return flight to the UK.

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