The Christmas Magic of France and Switzerland

December 11 -17, 2021


A fairytale trip into the heart of Christmas.  This 7-day trips starts and ends in Strasbourg, the heart of Europe, and includes two nights in Switzerland. Be transported and inspired by medieval castles, storybook villages, twinkly lights and hearty meals. Indulge in the stunning waters of a cutting-edge spa, and munch on delicious bites at the colorful markets full of amazing finds and ambience.


  • Experiencing the holiday spirit in the Alsace region of France and in Basel, Switzerland
  • Visiting a huge medieval castle all decorated for Christmas
  • Sipping on vin chaud (hot mulled wine) in the Christmas markets
  • Shopping for authentic artisanal stocking stuffers
  • Getting pampered in a gorgeous design spa
  • Enjoying a traditional swiss fondue
  • Wandering through old towns decorated in lights
  • Discovering the world-famous vineyards of Alsace and learning about Alsatian wines


Day 1


Arrive in Strasbourg, either via train or plane from Paris, and check into a stunning 4-star spa hotel in the charming town of Obernai, located just 20 minutes from Strasbourg. Depending on your arrival time, you will be able to enjoy some quality spa time to unwind after your travels.

In the evening, join the group to visit the local Christmas market for a little walk and shop, and then enjoy a cozy authentic dinner in the hotel’s traditional restaurant.

Day 2

Haut-Koenigsbourg, Riquewher and Ribeauville

What better place to start the day than with a medieval castle? You will visit Haut-Koenigsbourg, which dates back to 1147 and boasts turrets from which one can look out as far as the Black Forest. Each room has some element that is dressed up for Christmas, in a fairly unusual yet authentic way.

Then, you will enjoy a simple but satisfying lunch in the quirky and delightful Taverne du Château on the property, which also has a cute souvenir shop. After lunch, you will visit the bucolic towns of Riquewher and Ribeauville that inspired Beauty and the Beast. They both have markets and ambience galore.

Then, you will return to the hotel in the late afternoon – just in time to have another dip in the delightful pools, before a gourmet dinner at the hotel.

Day 3

Kaysersberg and Eco-Museum

After checking out of the hotel, you will head to the mountains to visit one of the most picturesque villages in France, Kaysersberg. Here, you will stroll through the paved winding streets lined with charming half-timbered buildings and enjoy a wine tasting at the world-famous Domaine Weinback winery. After, you will have a savory lunch at Flamme and Co., which has reinvented the traditional Alsatian pizzas with a modern twist.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Eco-museum, a museum/village made up of typical Alsatian homes that are 200 years old or more. Christmas comes to this open-air museum with gusto as the houses are decked out with seasonal décor. You’ll smell vin chaud brewing in one of their many hands-on workshops and you’ll see craftsman at work, and enjoy beautiful, rural, traditional Alsatian Christmas decor. You might even spot Pere Noel riding by on a horse-drawn sleigh. Witness, feel and taste what life used to be like in Alsace.

Then, you will cross the border into Switzerland and arrive at a lovely 4-star hotel on the banks of the Rhine. You will have time to wander the riverfront before having a delicious dinner with a view at the hotel’s prized restaurant.

Day 4


Today, you will explore this enchanting cosmopolitan city with its incredible chocolatiers, charming streets and world-famous museums.

In the morning, you will take a little boat to the other side of the river, amble up the streets to the glorious Cathedral and the impressive Christmas market in the square that surrounds it.

Basel is the museum city, with the highest concentration of museums of any city. The crown jewel is the Kunstmuseum, where you will have a gourmet lunch followed by a tour of its incredible collection of everything from old masters to Picasso and beyond. Later, you will have time for some prime shopping and a visit to the scrumptious Läderach Chocolatier.

There’s nothing more Swiss than fondue, so tonight you will be transported to a mountain chalet in the heart of the town to feast on this cheesy delight.

Day 5

Mulhouse and Colmar

This morning, you will check out and head back to France. The first stop will be Mulhouse, a former factory town that has been re-imagined by artists and artisans. Every year, a special Christmas fabric is made that is unique to that year. You will have a chance to view the new 2021 fabric and enjoy an opportunity to purchase items at their own Christmas market.

Later , you will head north to the town of Colmar and visit its little Venice, enjoying a lunch at Wistub Brenner.

Afterwards, you will head to Strasbourg where you will stay in the lovely design hotel, Hotel du Dragon. After dropping off your bags, you will visit the ancient wine cellar of Strasbourg Hospital, where you can see the oldest barrel-stored wine in the world and enjoy a tour and a tasting.

Tonight, you will get to enjoy a traditional Alsatian meal of choucroute at the cozy and authentic Maison des Tanneurs, which overlooks the river in an 16th century setting.

Day 7


Today, you will start your day with a two-hour boat trip of Strasbourg, where you will learn some of the city’s history, starting from the Middle Ages to the Neustadt to the modern European institutions.

After a hearty Alsatian lunch, you will tour the famous Strasbourg Christmas market, the Christkindelsmärik. This market has been operating near the cathedral in Strasbourg every year 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, you can nosh on Alsatian specialties found at the market, from bretzels (pretzels) to tarte flambée (Alsatian pizza). Whilst shopping, you can also sample some of the unique Alsatian specialties which can be found all over the central part of the city.

In Strasbourg, it is de rigueur to make a stop inside the enormous Gothic cathedral of Strasbourg, which dates back nearly 1000 years, and light a candle. You can also climb to the top of the church to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

As a final dinner, join the group to enjoy the stylish cuisine at Les Haras Brasserie, where you will reminisce about the magical week spent together. Afterwards, you will get to view the lights on the 100 ft. Christmas tree in the Place Kléber before heading back to the hotel for a relaxing rest.

Day 7


Sadly, after one last breakfast with your travel mates, it’s time to head home, or onwards, either by train or by plane!


Obernai - À La Cour D'Alsace - 4* hotel and spa

Hidden away on a cobblestone courtyard at the end of a narrow street in the centre of the medieval town of Obernai, the Hotel À la Tour d’Alsace was once the impressive home of the Barons de Gail.The rooms and the communal areas are split between ten town houses, built around two shady courtyards, forming their own mini neighbourhood next to the ramparts. The hotel also boasts a spa including a heated indoor swimming pool with massaging jets and counter-current swimming jets, a sauna and a hammam.

Basel - Hotel Krafft- 4* riverside property

This hotel, a fixture in Basel since the late nineteenth century, is located directly on the Rhine River and boasts incomparable views. The hotel extends over five floors, with the promenade along the Rhine and the nearby Rheingasse providing a lively backdrop.

Strasbourg - Hotel du Dragon - 4* boutique hotel

This luxury hotel, which is housed in a 17th century building, exudes a modern French Alsatian charm. Although the Hotel du Dragon is steps away from all the action, you will enjoy the tranquility of its charming garden oasis.


Katrin Hodapp

Katrin hails from both Freiburg, Germany and Bedford, NY, and knows the Alsace and Basel area like the back of her hand. Her perfect French and German doesn’t hurt, plus she’s a lot of fun. She is a former literary agent with superb taste and style, and has been a resident of Paris for over 20 years.



  • 6 nights at three unique and highly-rated hotels
  • All indicated activities and meals, including wine or beer with dinner
  • All guides and experts including a chocolate experience
  • All museum or other entry fees
  • All in-country transport including airport or train transfers in Strasbourg

Not Included

  • Roundtrip airfare to France
  • Train travel to and from Strasbourg
  • Spa treatments
  • Additional expenses and gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages beyond what is offered at meals
  • Travel insurance and medical coverage

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