Austrian Christmas Markets 2020 & Swarovski Crystal World
Explore the many Christmas markets of Innsbruck; discover the how the Tyrolean’s celebrate Advent in the candle and fire-lit streets of Rattenberg; visit the home of the Christmas song 'Silent Night'; marvel at the innovative brilliance of Swarovski crystal at Swarovski Crystal Worlds and enjoy a schnapps-tasting session in a 500 year-old cellar on this four day tour to Austria.
The tour price includes breakfast and dinner each night, as well as entrance to all sights and events.
Christmas Market lovers are spoiled for choice on this tour. We begin with an afternoon in the charming medieval old town of Hall, home to an Advent market specialising in traditional handcrafts and culinary delicacies. As well as offering ample opportunities for festive shopping, Hall also puts on a programme of seasonal events including musical evenings and street entertainment.
The region’s capital Innsbruck boasts six Christmas Markets, each with its own unique atmosphere. Maria-Theresien Strasse’s market, for example, is a sparkling sea of modern Christmas lights, while Nikolaus Market offers an authentic taste of traditional Tyrol.
Rattenberger Advent, in the tiny town of Rattenberg, is Tyrol’s most romantic market. Taking place on all four Sundays in Advent, it is a celebration both of the season and the region’s traditional culture and is filled with stalls selling local, seasonal foods and crafts. However, rather than being lit with fairy lights, the entire town is illuminated with fires and candles and, as you browse the stalls or enjoy a glass of mulled wine, you will be joined by a group of travelling players telling the story of the Nativity.
Swarovski Crystal World was built in 1995 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of this world famous crystal company. Consisting of a large landscaped park with a crystal cloud and mirror pool, plus 17 fantastical crystal-filled Chambers of Wonder designed by internationally acclaimed artists, designers and architects, it is a unique and magical museum.
The gift shop is a rather special experience too. Behind the glittering façade (made from over four million precision-cut crystals) lies one of the largest Swarovski stores in the world. Spread over three floors, the space is linked by a silvery Mirrored Wall made from some 16,000 tiny mirrors. The constant play of light this surface creates has earned it the nickname 'Lake of Shimmer'.
You will be treated to an extended guided tour of the museum, followed by an aperitif in the VIP lounge and a delicious two course seasonal lunch at Daniel’s restaurant. You will also be presented with a special Swarovski Crystal Worlds Gift Bag.
Discover more about this sparkling destination on our blog
Tyrol is home to many pretty Alpine towns and our tour takes you to three of the best. Hall boasts the region’s largest medieval centre which, come Advent, blazes with Christmas lights. Rattenberg, the smallest town in the Tyrol, also has a beautifully preserved medieval townscape. Tucked between a 10th Century hilltop fortress and the banks of the River Inn, Rattenberg is known as a centre of traditional glassblowing. Our tour takes in a visit to the 70 year-old Kisslinger Glassblowing shop where guests can watch craftsmen blow glass objects in the traditional way. (It may also be possible to take part in a workshop where you will be taught to blow your own Christmas bauble. Please note, this is subject to availability and carries an extra charge.)
Café-Konditorei Hacker, famous for its Apple Strudel, is another local institution and the owner’s strudel-making demonstration is not to be missed – not least because everyone is given a piece of freshly made strudel to taste at the end.
With its mix of historic and contemporary buildings, cosmopolitan culture and Alpine views, Innsbruck is an exciting and varied city. Our tour includes a two hour guided tour taking in the key sites from the imposing, 16th Century Imperial Palace and magnificent Golden Roof with its 2, 657 fire-gilded copper tiles, to Zaha Hadid’s iconic Bergisel ski jump.
No trip to this region would be complete with a glass of Schnapps. We will visit the Schnapps Museum, based in a 500 year-old vault beneath the Plankenhof Hotel, for a guided tour, talk and tasting.
The Alpine village of Axams is known as ‘one of the pearls of the mountain plateau’. We have arranged for a horse & carriage ride across this picturesque landscape. A warming glass of Glühwein awaits when you return approximately an hour and a half later.
Depart London Gatwick for Innsbruck
Transfer to 4* Plankehof Hotel, Pill (27/11-3/12 tour) or 4* Wohlfühlhotel Hotel Schiestl, Fügen (4/12-7/12 tour)
Guided tour of Heimatmuseum Fügen (4/12-7/12 tour only)
Guided tour of Schnapps Museum, Hotel Plankenhof, Pill (4/12-7/12 tour only - please note, the date and time are to be confirmed)
Dinner at the hotel
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Swarovski Crystal World
Lunch at Daniel's Restaurant, Swarovski Crystal World
Visit to Rattenberg for Christmas Bauble blowing demonstration, apple strudel demonstration and sightseeing
Dinner at the hotel
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Innsbruck for a two hour walking tour with a local guide
Free time to enjoy the Christmas markets
Schnapps tasting and tour at the hotel
Dinner at the hotel
Breakfast at the hotel and check out
Transfer to Axams for Horse and Carriage Ride and Gluh Wein experience
Depart Innsbruck for London Gatwick
This family run hotel occupies a fascinating Gothic building dating back to the 15th century. As well as comfortable, contemporary rooms, it boasts a sauna, an excellent restaurant and its own Schnapps museum.
Known for its friendly Tyrolian hospitality, this 4* hotel is owned and run by three generations of the same family. Breakfast is a continental buffet, while dinner includes a choice of three main courses, a salad buffet, desert and a cheese course. There is also a spa with a sauna, steam room and pool boasting stunning views of the nearby mountains.
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or, for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate, go to www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate.
Our ATOL number is ATOL 6545. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.
This tour requires a minimum of 20 passengers (refer to point 7 in our booking conditions). There is a maximum of 40 passengers.
Mobility: this tour is generally suitable for most people. If you are concerned, or have specific issues, please let us know ahead of booking
Please ensure you have a valid passport (at least six months from the date of travel) and visa (if travelling on a non-EU passport)
Travel insurance is required
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from £995 per person*
*Prices are based on two people sharing a twin or double room
Single room supplement £55 for 3 nights
- Return easyJet Economy Plus flights from London Gatwick to Innsbruck
- 3 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at 4* Hotel Plankenhof, Pill /4* Wohlfühlhotel Hotel Schiestl
- Services of an ECT tour manager
- All coach transfers mentioned in the tour programme
- Lunch at the hotel on arrival
- Guided tour of Heimatmuseum Fügenberg, home of 'Silent Night' /Schnapps experience at Hotel Plankenhof
- Visit to Hall for the Advent Market and musical performance
- Exclusive tour of Swarvoski Crystal Experience, including VIP lounge and aperitif
- Swarvoski lunch menu at Daniel's Restaurant
- Visit to Rattenburg for traditional Christmas experience
- Demonstration and talk at Kisslinger Glassblowing shop
- Strudel demonstration and tasting at Cafe Konditorei-Hacker
- Horse & carriage ride in Axams with glass of mulled wine
- Guided city tour of Innsbruck
- Travel disruption insurance