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Christmas in Europe – Our guide to the best Christmas Markets

Believe it or not, Christmas is around the corner, which means one thing it’s time to start thinking about the Christmas Market season.

Shearings Autumn Winter programme offers a magical collection of Christmas Market breaks with a chance to enjoy the festive sparkle in enchanting UK & European destinations for great-value. You can visit dazzling towns, experience memorable shopping trips to renowned cities, and take in the festive atmosphere in style – not to mention the seasonal food and drink that you can indulge in.

To help you choose, we’ve put a guide of the most remarkable destinations you could visit this year.

Destinations

Croatia

Zagreb Christmas Markets

Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, is increasingly becoming known for its festive wonderland and was voted the most popular Christmas Market destination in Europe for 2016, for the second year running, in the European Best Destinations website. During the Advent time, Zagreb offers a special festive atmosphere, with excellent entertainment and a selection of events and exhibitions all around the city, as well as an ice sculpture festival, brass band fanfares and a huge skating rink at Tomislav Square. Stalls represent many of the best restaurant and winery owners from Croatia, so you will find tasty local produce, as well as the traditional seasonal delights, including mulled wines and sausages.

Shearings Autumn Winter programme will have two New Christmas Markets tours in 2017 that include Zagreb Christmas Markets. There is a 7 day option, which travels by express overnight coach, with four nights in Ljubljana (Slovenia) – Capital Zagreb & Ljubljana available from £289pp. Customers will soak up the festive atmosphere in the cosmopolitan Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, and also enjoy a day visit to beautiful Zagreb, where the traditional Christmas fair takes place in the bustling streets surrounding the popular Jelacic Square, voted the best in Europe for two consecutive years. Departures are available on 26th November and 3rd December 2017. Price includes return travel by overnight express coach, four nights’ half board accommodation and one included full day excursion to Zagreb Markets

Or for a long experience, taking even more countries on the way, why not enjoy Shearings 12-day Austria, Slovenia & Croatia Markets available from £674pp. This exciting new touring holiday, ventures through the alpine scenery of Austria and across into Eastern Europe, visiting stunning cities, to enjoy the colourful Christmas markets. The main highlights include a stay in charming Ljubljana as it celebrates the advent season, a visit to Zagreb markets voted amongst of the best in Europe and time to explore the beautiful Austrian cities of Salzburg & Innsbruck. Price includes return coach travel, overnight stays on outbound and return journeys, 11 nights’ accommodation, daily breakfast and 10 dinners plus four included excursions to Zagreb Markets, – Ljubljana Markets, Salzburg Markets and Innsbruck Markets. Departures are available on 26th November 2017

Belgium

Bruges Christmas Markets

Belgium is a fantastic destination at any time of year, but at Christmas, it comes alive with bustling Christmas Markets that are filled with festive decorations and wonderful souvenirs. Visit Lille, Brussels & Bruges on a 5-day tour with Shearings from only £319pp. This holiday is based in the historic city of Bruges, which happens to be one of the oldest medieval cities in the whole of Europe. You will celebrate the festive season with trips to the fantastic Lille, Brussels and Bruges Christmas Markets and pick up Christmas gifts for loved ones in the winter wonderlands of these markets. The price includes four nights accommodation at the Velotel in Bruges, daily breakfast, two evening meals and one lunch, channel crossing and luxury return coach travel plus three included excursions based on departure on the 26th November 2017.

Or for a different experience, why not book a 5-day Ostend & Christmas Markets from only £284pp

This wonderful holiday explores the fantastic Ostend Christmas Markets, and also takes in festive markets in beautiful Belgian and French cities. Some of the main highlights include Ostend Christmas Markets and festive markets in Lille, Brussels and Bruges. Price includes four nights’ accommodation with daily breakfast and four evening meals at the Royal Astrid Hotel, three included excursions and luxury return coach travel with departures on 27th November and 4th December 201

Germany

Munich Christmas Markets

Germany is extremely popular in the run up to Christmas and the markets offer delights to the senses with traditional music, people celebrating together and some wonderful food. The country is renowned for its numerous markets, size nativity scene and tightly packed bars and restaurants.

Choose to explore Munich & It’s Fairytale Castles Christmas Markets on a 7-day tour from Shearings, available from £404pp. Munich’s Christmas Market is one of Germany’s oldest, attracting visitors from all over Europe who come to admire the 140 stalls. Highlights include a visit to Linderhof Castle, one of King Ludwig II’s fairytale castles, Christmas shopping at Ulm Christmas Market and a trip to Stuttgart, home to one of the largest Christmas Markets in Europe. This tour from Shearings includes six night’s half-board accommodation, overnight stays on outbound and inbound journeys, two included excursions, and two visits to Christmas markets en-route plus luxury return coach travel, based on departures in November & December 2017

Or you can choose to travel in premium style with the 7-day Alpine Bavaria’s Christmas Markets available from £549pp. You will discover the beautiful region of Bavaria, at this magical time of year when Germany’s towns and villages host their traditional Christmas markets. Highlights of this tour include Nuremberg’s beautiful old quarter, the markets in Rothenberg ob der Tauber, located on Bavaria’s ‘Romantic Road’, the markets in Koblenz and the historical Wurzburg and its markets.The price includes six nights’ accommodation; overnight stays on outbound and return journeys, two included excursions, and luxury return coach travel, with departures available in November and December 2017

Austria

Salzburg Christmas markets

Renowned for its fabulous festive splendour, Austria is one of the perfect places to enjoy a Christmas Market holiday. You’ll find romantic Christmas Markets with glossy lights, magical snow-covered roofs and plenty of tasty seasonal treats, making for a wonderful experience. Shearings offer a 7-day Salzburg & Innsbruck Markets tour from only £349pp. On this holiday you will enjoy a wonderful journey through Austria’s beautiful Tyrol region, and take time to experience the fantastic festive atmosphere in two of its most romantic cities: Salzburg and Innsbruck. While there, you can indulge in jolly Austrian treats like vanillekipferl (crescent-shaped Christmas biscuits) or mouth-watering “Kiachln” (piping hot doughnuts laced with Sauerkaut) while listening to beautiful carols and shopping for Christmas cookies or candles. Highlights of this tour include Salzburg’s wonderful festive atmosphere, historic Innsbruck, and popular Kirchberg. Price includes six nights accommodation, overnight stays on outbound and return journeys, daily breakfast and evening meals and luxury return coach travel based on departures in November 2017.

Christmas Markets River Cruises

River Cruise Christmas market

Taking a river cruise over the festive period, which includes the Christmas Markets and New Year, is a very different and special experience. Shearings offer a 7-day Christmas Markets on the Rhine cruise journey, from only £444pp. With free time spent at some of the best Christmas markets in the whole of Germany planned, this holiday is sure to get people in the festive spirit exploring the different point of calls, whilst enjoying a relaxing river cruise along the glorious Rhine. Highlights of the tour include visits to the traditional Christmas Markets in Rudesheim and the historical city of Bonn, as well as the opportunity to explore the town hall advent calendar in Koblenz and to enjoy Cologne’s festive markets. The price includes four nights full-board cruise, overnight stays on outbound and return journeys (coach only), captain’s dinner on the last evening of the cruise, two complimentary drinks with dinner, and luxury return coach travel (Rail and air options also available). Departures are available on 26th November and 3rd December 2017.

To book online visit shearings.com or call 0844 209 7143 quoting AAC701

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