Thursday, December 8, 2011

Our 2012 Enchanted Christmas Market Tour to Germany and Austria

Incantato Dolce Vita Tours proudly present the second opportunity for individuals and small groups to join our unique journeys that are usually reserved to already existing groups only. However, with the lauch of our Dolce Vita lines, we are now welcoming past travelers from our tours as well as new guests that appreciate our approach to international travel. Enchanting Christmas Markets is a tour that will run with as little as 30 travelers at a great low price. Since people from all over the US and Canada are invited to join, this is a land-only package. 
Here is a quick summary of the package:
+ Experience some of the grandest and most historical, well-known Christmas Markets as well as unique celebrations in charming off-the-beaten path towns and villages. Soak up settings, ambience and atmosphere unmatched in the U.S. and bring home memories to last a lifetime. 

+ Ample opportunities to purchase one-of-a kind handmade Christmas decorations and unique presents at a fraction of the cost charged in the U.S.  
+ Plenty of free time for sightseeing or just relaxing, last but not least German spa treatments are divine, but very affordable.
"Enchanted Christmas Markets of Germany and Austria" is a festive journey for all senses - see, feel, taste, smell, and hear what makes the European Holidays so very special. As you travel with a local Incantato Tour Manager throughout Germany and Austria, you will soon make new friends and experience the joy of being a real traveler and not just a tourist. 
Taste traditional European Christmas specialities, warm up with mulled cider or traditional Gluehwein, grilled Bratwurst or crispy potato pancakes, learn how to make Stollen and other festive treats, meet local Artisans.     

This unique seven day journey to Germany and Austria is currently scheduled for arrival in Frankfurt on December 2 and departure from Munich on December 8, 2012. Additional dates may be offered after this date fills up and as always we can gladly offer special departure dates for already existing groups.

As always, Incantato will provide all the arrangements in Europe — comfortable 4 star hotels, transportation in a private deluxe bus with Incantato driver, buffet breakfast daily and three traditional dinners,and you will be accompanied by an expert Tourmanager from arrival to departure, plus get to meet local expert guides for four city tours. Again, all you need to do is book your own flights from your nearest international airport to Frankfurt and back from Munich once the tour is confirmed.

The tour cost for this very inclusive package is $1616 USD per person in a shared double room based on 30 participants. We can offer single rooms at a supplement, but recommend you find a friend or two or three to travel with as it saves you this hefty surcharge imposed by the hotels (and not us as Incantato Tours does not mark-up single rooms supplements) and you do have more fun with your friends joining for sure.

Now here comes the important fine print: The tour cost is based on 1 Euro = $1.50 USD. Any currency fluctuation over +/- 2% affects the overall tour price and result in an increase or decrease.

For more information, a detailed itineray and the registration form, please email us to

We offer a $50 early sign-up discount if you register and deposit for your tour before January 7, 2012 as that is the closing date for most 2011 Christmas Markets in Europe. Your deposit is fully refundable if the tour does not operate due to lack of participants.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

German Gemuetlichkeit at our traditional Christmasmarkets

Munich's famous Weihnachtsmarkt
Christmasmarkets aka Weihnachtsmaerkte are a centuries old tradition in Germany. The markets light up communities with fun, laughter, companionship, good food and drink during the advent season. Sparkling lights everywhere, Christmas music, choir and band performances. There is this special Christmas spirit in the air filled with the wonderful scent of gingerbread, roasted almonds, mulled wine and kids laughter.
Charming Christmas markets are a good antidote to holiday commercialism. Instead of mass-produced gifts, the markets feature unique, hand-crafted items, purchased from vendors who have often crafted the items themselves. During the Christmas season, there are Christkindlmarkets throughout Germany. Each Christkindlmarket has its own special charm, unique to the community and region. Visit a German Christmas Market to experience the sights, smells and sounds of an Old World Christmas. Not only Nuremberg, but Bayreuth, Munich, Coburg (picured), the Dresden "Striezelmarkt" (first mentioned in 1434) and numerous other cities and villages in Germany offer this unique experience. The Nuremberg Christmas Market is the most famous event in Nuremberg and is also famous well beyond the borders of Europe. The special charm of the most beautiful Christmas market in Germany lays in the historical backdrop of Nuremberg’s Main Market Square, the Church of Our Lady and the Schoenem Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain) with views of the gothic Old Town Churches of St. Lawrence and St. Sebald.
The traditional delicacies of Nuremberg include: Lebkuchen (Gingerbread), Früchtebrot (Fruit loaf), Nünberger Bratwürste (Nuremberg Grilled Sausages) and Glühwein (Mulled Wine). Above all, children will find what their heart desires in Nuremberg. The Sternenhaus (Star House) is awaiting the smaller visitor (4 years and older) and has a “Heavenly-Christmas” children’s cultural program with theater shows, puppet shows, fairy tales, ballet, as well as seasonal and classical music.
The city of Bayreuth, in the lovely Franconia region of Bavaria, is just 2 ½ hours north of Munich. Bayreuth is world-famous for the Bayreuth Festival, which celebrates Richard Wagner’s operas every summer. High-class and rich in culture, Bayreuth is particularly enchanting during the Christmas season. Shopping, sampling culinary delights, soaking in the festive atmosphere and enjoying the beauty of the holiday decorations - Bayreuth's Christmas market is truly an experience. The city has one of the longest chains of Christmas lights in Franconia. The market invites you to indulge with all your five senses. Come visit and be mesmerized by one of the most beautiful towns in Bavaria.

Or experience the Magic of Christmas in Coburg. During the Christmas season, the city of Coburg, just 3 hours north of Munich, develops a unique magic. The city’s market square transforms itself into a little city of Christmas boutiques. The Coburg Christmas Market (November 25 - December 23, 2011) is among the most atmospheric in the Franconia region of northern Bavaria. That’s not only because of the picturesque setting and the beautiful twinkling lights, but also because of the many special holiday activities around this festive time of year. In addition to the classic store booths at the Christmas Market, many artisans from the region are also present at the market. Visitors can watch basket weavers, glass blowers, porcelain painters and wood carvers - in a living workshop. For those who think that they’ve "been here, done that" when it comes to Christmas Markets in Germany, they haven't seen everything yet, if they haven’t been to Coburg. The performances and programs that are part of the Christmas Market change every year. If you'd like to "mingle" with the locals, the quickest way is by having a cup of Glühwein (mulled wine) beneath the starry skies - and next to Coburg’s large statue of Prince Albert. Visitors to the Christmas market can also experience a ride in a historical carriage - with real horsepower! - through the inner city, a truly romantic experience.