NEW: Christmas Markets of Alsace and Champagne
includes a visit to the European Parliament
Sunday 10th - Friday 15th December 2017
6 days, 5 night(s)Deposit: £75.00pp
Travel Insurance: £33.50pp
Single supplement: £79.00
This special new tour combines the beautiful scenery of the Alsace with some of the best Christmas Markets in France. It also provides an opportunity to take a fascinating tour of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg (see note below regarding subsidy).
IMPORTANT NOTE – EU SUBSIDY
At the present time the visit to the Parliament in Strasbourg is subsidised by the EU. The cash payment is received on the day of the visit (you must attend in order to receive the payment), and is intended to help towards the cost of travel, one meal and accommodation. The payment is approximately €200 per person. Since Roadmark Travel has reduced the cost of this tour to keep it at a reasonable level, Roadmark will retain €90pp, meaning that you would receive approximately €110 each. HOWEVER, AS A RESULT OF ‘BREXIT’ THIS SUBSIDY CAN NO LONGER BE GUARANTEED AND WE MAY RECEIVE NOTHING IF IT IS WITHDRAWN FOR UK VISITORS BY THE TIME OF OUR VISIT. All rather complicated, but hopefully Britain will still be an EU member when we visit and it will not affect our itinerary.
Your Holiday Hotel
The Grand Hotel Filippo offers modern rooms with an Art Deco style. Roadmark guests will be given spacious ‘Elegance’ rooms with hospitality tray, flat screen TV and Wi-Fi. All rooms are ensuite with a shower over bath.
(DAY 1) Sunday 10th December
A taxi will collect you from home and bring you to the Roadmark coach to join your drivers and fellow travellers. We cross the Channel with Eurotunnel and drive to the 4* Metz Mercure Centre Hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.
(DAY 2) Monday 11th December
After breakfast there will be free time to explore the historical old City of Metz. Highlights include the Gothic Saint-Stephen Cathedral with the largest expanse of stained glass windows in the world, the Basilica of Saint Pierre and the Imperial Station. Leaving at around lunchtime we drive into the Vosges region to visit the unique Lalique Museum, located in the village where glass designer René Lalique set up his factory after WWI. An introductory talk is included, before exploring the Museum which has a broad range of Lalique creations including jewellery, Art Deco glass and crystal glass. We continue to the Grand Hotel Filippoin Niederbronn-Les-Bains, where we stay for 3 nights in this Alsace spa town. Dinner is included at our Hotel this evening.
(DAY 3) Tuesday 12th December
This morning we visit Obernai. The town’s charm is built on its ramparts, traditional half-timbered houses, the Belfry and its town centre, which are all steeped in history. The Christmas Market is reputed for its gastronomic touch, with some of the best local produce on the Place du Beffroi. There are around 30 wooden chalets selling traditional crafts, ornaments and Christmas gifts. Later we travel to Colmar. This old town has cobbled streets lined with half timbered buildings. We include a tour by petit train to see the major landmarks, followed by time to explore the Christmas Markets and buy dinner before returning to our Hotel in Niederbronn.
(DAY 4) Wednesday 13th December
Today is dedicated to the city of Strasbourg, where we begin with an included cruise on the city’s canal to show you the historical centre, followed by free time to explore at your own pace. A must-see is the stunning Cathedral, which has a wealth of treasures including stained glass windows from the 12th-14th centuries. There is so much to see whilst here, not forgetting the pretty area known as La Petite France, and the entire city centre is listed as a World Heritage Site. It was in Strasbourg in 1570 that the very first Christmas Market in Europe took place, and the tradition has continued to the present day with around 300 stalls around the City Centre, making it one of the largest in Europe. This afternoon we transfer to the European Parliament where our visit starts with a welcome and introduction by an EP official. We will learn about the role and work of the Parliament and speak to an MEP before visiting the voting chamber where there may be a live debate in progress. Dinner is included at a local restaurant, Villa Schmidt, this evening.
(DAY 5) Thursday 14th December
After breakfast we will retrace our steps across France to Chalons-EnChampagne, where the ‘White Christmas’ Market will be in full flow. We spend the afternoon in this attractive city with its canals and wooden-framed houses, before enjoying the final night of the tour at the 3* Le Renard Hotel with dinner included.
(DAY 6) Friday 15th December
Check out after breakfast and drive to Reims, said to be where the first French Christmas celebrations took place in 496 BC. The Christmas Market has over 100 stalls, all lit with twinkling lights and offering gifts, festive decorations and local produce. You can take a ride on the giant Ferris wheel for a great view over the roofs of the old town. This afternoon we return to Calais for our Eurotunnel crossing back to the UK.