SOMETHING TO CONSIDER: TravelMaven offers a special rate at Holiday Inn that includes one night's stay, free shuttle service and 10 days parking. Given that our return flight arrives in the evening, it might make sense for those from out of Toronto to leave their car and stay at the Holiday Inn upon their return.
This TravelMaven tour features Christmas markets, castles, churches and beautiful German countryside. In addition to charming hotels, walking tours and meals with the group, guests will also have lots of free time to explore five Christmas Markets, sampling tasty treats & beverages, and picking up Yuletide gifts & keepsakes.
German Christmas Markets is a ‘small group tour’ limited to 12 guests. This brings many advantages, including more flexibility and less time waiting for others. It is also designated a ‘walking tour’, meaning participants should be able to be on their feet several hours each day, climb some stairs, and manage their own baggage.
Another feature of TravelMaven tours is the flexibility that can only be found with very small groups and when the Tour Director owns the company. Barry can adjust the schedule based on weather, add a stop if someone has a special interest, or make unscheduled visits to cafés and restaurants. None of these things are possible when Tour Directors must keep a strict schedule with groups of 20 or 30 guests.
Come spend a long week with us exploring the quaint cities and towns of northern Bavaria. We’ll see historic sights, experience the regional culture, and hang out with the locals. Most importantly, we will visit Christmas markets in Bamberg, Wurzburg, Nuremberg, Coburg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Germans have a word for which there really isn’t any good translation to English. Gemuetlichkeit refers to a place or occasion that is cozy, comfortable and inviting. Imagine a party or meal so wonderful that nobody wants to leave. That’s gemuetlichkeit!
On this tour, our goal is to discover and experience gemuetlichkeit - to savour what we see, hear, eat and drink. We will stay in historic hotels and pretend we’ve gone back to the fairytale days we read about in childhood. No global fusion cuisine. No rushing around - just lots of old fashioned, slow paced warmth, charm and tasty treats.
While most TravelMaven trips depart and return on weekends, this one travels midweek. That's because we recognize the Christmas season is busy for everyone, and this schedule means we are only only away from home for one weekend.
Our recommended flight plan will depart Toronto November 30 and return December 8. After arriving at Frankfurt Airport, we will travel immediately to the beautiful small city of Bamberg, famous for its beer hops and 11 breweries, and home to a charming Christmas market. Bamberg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its abundance of medieval architecture. We'll stay at the perfectly located Hotel Brudermuhl for 5 nights and make day trips to Wurzburg, Nuremberg and Coburg.
Our final stop will be Rothenburg ob der Tauber, probably the most famous and photographed town in Germany. Over the years, Rothenburg has inspired the villages in Pinocchio, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Brothers Grimm, and Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. It is also home to the largest Christmas retailer in the world, Kathe Wohlfahrt.
On this trip, your biggest worry will probably be too much gingerbread, sausage, mulled wine or beer. After a week, we will return home ready to create our own amazing Christmas memories, armed with new ideas, decorations, treats and traditions from Bavaria, the most Christmasy place on earth! Hope you will join us.
GROUP: max 12 guests
Medieval Bamberg tour
Bamberg Christmas Market
Wurzburg Residenz tour
Wurzburg Christmas Market
Nuremberg Imperial Castle tour
Nuremberg Christmas Market
Coburg Ehrenburg Palace tour
Coburg Veste Castle tour
Coburg Christmas Market
Rothenburg Christmas Market
Rothenburg Nightwatchman Tour
Rothenburg Fortifications Tour
Hotel Brudermuhl (5 nights)
Hotel Reichkuchenmeister (2 nights)
Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 1 dinner
Fees for all group activities
All ground transportation
TravelMaven Concierge (Barry)
All taxes & fees
This tour is guaranteed to depart. The Land Package is based on double occupancy and quoted in Canadian dollars. Your spot and price are guaranteed once we receive your $250 deposit.
Pre Day (Tuesday) Depart Toronto
The recommended Air Canada flight departs Toronto's Pearson Airport at 16:55 for Frankfurt.
Day 1 (Wednesday) Frankfurt to Bamberg (L)
After arriving at 06:30. we will head directly to Bamberg. Upon arrival at our hotel, we will have lunch and check-in. Mid afternoon we will head out for a walking tour of medieval Bamberg, ending with our first German dinner treats in the Christmas Market.
Day 2 (Thursday) Wurzburg Day (B,L)
Our first day-trip is by train to nearby Wurzburg, in the heart of white wine country. We will begin our day with a guided tour of the spectacular Residenz palace. After a group lunch, we will explore the city centre and spend some time in the Christmas Market.
Bamberg Old City Hall
Day 3 (Friday) Nuremberg Day (B)
After a short train ride, we will enjoy a Walking Tour of the Nuremberg Old City and Imperial Castle. Afterwards, guests will have lots of time to explore the biggest Christmas Market in Germany. For those with an interest in trains, the Deutche Bahn Rail Museum is nearby.
Day 4 (Saturday) Coburg Day (B,L)
Famous as the hometown of Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s husband), Coburg is small and peaceful. Our first stop will be a guided tour of the Coburg Vests medieval castle. After a group lunch in the Munchner Hofbrau, will visit the Ehrenburg Palace. To end our afternoon, we will return to the city centre to see the charming Christmas Market, followed by a train ride back to Bamberg.
Day 5 (Sunday) FREE DAY (B)
This is a FREE DAY in Bamberg. Guests will be able to attend church, visit places seen on the Walking Tour, and explore the rest of this enchanting small city. Weekends are also a popular socializing time during the Christmas Market season, so the streets will be filled with locals out with their friends.
Coburg Town Square
Day 6 (Monday) Bamberg to Rothenburg ob der Tauber (B,L)
After breakfast and check out, we will board our private minibus to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. After lunch at our hotel, we will check-in and unpack. Afterwards, will explore the town, enjoy the Christmas Market, and take the famous Nightwatchman's tour.
Day 7 (Tuesday) Rothenburg ob der Tauber (B,D)
This is a FREE DAY in Rothenburg, the perfect place for last minute shopping and savouring the Christmas atmosphere. In the morning, guests are welcome to join Barry for an optional Walking Tour of the city's fortifications. In the evening, we will enjoy our Farewell Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Day 8 (Wednesday) Heading Home (B)
After breakfast and a leisurely morning to pack up, we will travel by private minibus to Frankfurt Airport to catch our 17:10 flight to Toronto, arriving at 19:50.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber