Christmas in a French Alpine Village Tour
11 Inspiring Days
- Enjoy 5 nights in the French Alps over Christmas
- Stay in authentic, character style hotels
- Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
- Guaranteed 'My Time'
- Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
- Personal group sizes up to 40
Imagine… celebrating Christmas in a classic chalet style hotel with astounding views over the beautiful French Alps and the mighty Mont Blanc massif. Now add Christmas shopping in the boutiques of Paris and Christmas Markets of lakeside Annecy, Chamonix, and chic Megève. Visit the exclusive ski resort of Courchevel 1850, travel by cable car up to the roof of Europe, take a train to the ‘Sea of Ice’, enjoy ice curling and a romantic horse drawn carriage ride.
- Celebrate Christmas over 5 nights in the French Alpine village of Cordon
- Spend 2 nights in vibrant Paris
- Savour the fabulous Christmas Markets in Paris, Lyon, Annecy, Chamonix and Megeve
- Stay 2 nights in the centre of beautiful Lyon
- Visit the fascinating Hospices de Beane in Burgundy
- Enjoy a Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day dinner and a Farewell dinner
- Visit the chic ski resort town of Courchevel 1850 and the gorgeous lakeside town of Annecy
- Explore world famous Chamonix, take the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi & the Glacier Train to the dramatic Mer du Glace
- Visit the fascinating Hospices de Beaune in Burgundy
- Take a romantic horse drawn carriage ride
- Stay in stylish Milan
- Shop in Milan's luxurious 'Golden Triangle' near the elaborate Duomo
Day 1: Paris
Your tour commences this evening in Paris. Dinner tonight is included, but first enjoy a welcome drink. This is an ideal opportunity to meet your fellow travellers.
Day 2: Paris sightseeing, ‘My Time’, Christmas Markets and Paris Illuminations drive
This morning we enjoy a guided panoramic tour which will bring alive the city from the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées and Arc de Triomphe, to the Louvre and Notre Dame. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore the broad boulevards and myriad of shops and museums. Make sure you wander through the some of the Christmas markets in Paris. This evening we have included a ‘Paris by Night’ illuminations drive. You will be enchanted by the grand monuments and boulevards, from the Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower, bathed in glorious light. In addition, department stores around the Opera boast gigantic Christmas trees and turn on their festive light shows in competition with the extravagant, festive street displays. C’est Magnifique!
Day 3: Hospices de Beaune and to Lyon
Travelling south we reach Beaune, capital of the Burgundy wine region. On arrival, enjoy lunchtime at leisure amongst the quaint medieval streets and squares. We have included a visit to the fascinating Hospices de Beaune (audio guide included). Covered with multi-coloured, glazed roof tiles the ‘Hotel Dieu’ was built over 550 years ago to help the town’s folk in a time of poverty and famine. Later we continue to France’s gastronomic capital, Lyon, where we stay two nights.
Day 4: Lyon sightseeing, ‘My Time’ and Christmas Markets
A wonderful day in Lyon! This morning we explore the historic Roman area, to visit the ancient amphitheatre, and the hilltop Basilica of Fourvière which dominates the whole town. The views from its terrace are splendid. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure. Perhaps stroll through the cobblestoned streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), stop at a riverside café for white wine and oysters, or shop along the pedestrianised shopping mall from Place de la Republique to Place des Terreaux. The Christmas markets on Place Carnot are excellent, and at night the hilltop Basilica is beautifully illuminated. Lyon is famous as a culinary capital, so this evening explore the old town and discover your own cosy ‘Bouchon’ – a typical, Lyonnais style restaurant.
Day 5: Annecy, Christmas Markets and Cordon in the Haute Savoie
After a leisurely start we enter the Haute Savoie region to enjoy lunchtime exploring the pretty lakeside town of Annecy. Here, cobblestoned streets, half-timbered and beautifully painted houses sit beside picturesque canals which are criss-crossed with stone bridges. With its Château d’Annecy, once castle home to the Counts of Geneva, and a back drop of mountains and the turquoise lake, the Vieille Ville (Old Town) is incredibly pretty and the Christmas Markets add to the picture.
Later this afternoon we continue deep into the heart of the mighty French Alps and arrive in the tiny village of Cordon where we stay the next five nights over Christmas. Set on the side of a mountain the views directly across to the Mont Blanc massif are incredible. This peaceful little village provides a picturesque setting and our charming chalet style hotel makes a perfect base for exploring the astounding nearby sights.
Day 6: Chamonix, the Aiguille du Midi, the historic Red Train, the ‘Sea of Ice’ and ‘My Time’
Today we visit the world famous resort of Chamonix. On arrival we enjoy an incredible mountain cable ride up to Aiguille du Midi, which translated means the ‘Needle of Midday’. At an altitude of 3842 metres (12605ft) you are seemingly within reach of Mont Blanc and the views across the French, Italian and Swiss Alps are astounding. At the top you will also find a café restaurant, mountaineering and alpine exhibition, plus a stomach clenching, glass bottomed observation platform! Your afternoon is at leisure in Chamonix town. Time to stroll amongst the cafés, restaurants, shops, boutiques and Christmas markets set under the shadow of the Mont Blanc massif.
For those who want ‘more mountain, less shopping’ we have also included a ticket on the historic ‘Red Train’ which winds its way up through the forests and valleys to Montenvers station. From the café terrace you have spectacular views up onto some of Chamonix’s highest and most dramatic peaks and down onto the largest glacier in France, the spectacular Mer du Glace – ‘Sea of Ice’. For the more energetic, your ticket also includes the cable car down to the top of the 430 steel steps that lead to the glacier (subject to opening times). Here you can enter the labyrinth of a man-made ice grotto, complete with ice sculptures, a throne room and beautifully illuminated, carved tunnels.
Day 7: ‘My Time’ in Megève and a horse drawn carriage ride
Today is dedicated to the nearby chic ski resort of Megève. Surrounded by a dozen world class ski resorts, and the enormous mountains of the Mont Blanc massif, Megève’s chalets and ancient rustic buildings date back as far as the 1300’s. To start the day we have included a game of Ice Curling. A local instructor will teach us the rules and then a game…. Watching will be as amusing as playing! The highlight of today will be a ride on a horse drawn carriage through the delightful old town and local countryside. The rest of the day and evening is completely at leisure. From Megève you have access to all the main peaks by cable cars and chair lifts. All over the mountains are large restaurants, cafés and rest facilities all with spectacular views over the mighty French Alps. Designer boutiques, restaurants and après ski bars makes this the perfect place to spend the afternoon. Of an evening the horse and carriages sitting in the pretty town square in front of the illuminated church and enormous Christmas tree, decorated with Swarovski crystals, create one of the most gorgeous festive settings you will ever see.
Day 8: ‘My Time’ in a winter paradise Christmas Eve! What a magnificent location to relax over Christmas!
Today is at leisure to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery which surrounds you, and do as much, or as little, as you want! Whether you are a ‘super active snow sports’ person or a ‘take it easy and relax’ person there are numerous activities you can enjoy, and your Tour Manager will be at hand to assist and advise you. You can try your hand at winter sports, maybe snow shoe walking, cross country skiing, or maybe take a winter walk from your hotel. Our coach will also be available for shuttles to and from nearby Megève. A famous walk called the ‘Calvary of Megève’ starts from near the ice skating rink. There are a series of 14 chapels along the way representing the Passion of Christ - the Way of the Cross. The warm glow will continue as we enjoy a traditional Christmas Eve Dinner in our hotel.
Day 9: Christmas Day – ‘My Time’ in chic Courchevel 1850
Christmas Day in the mountains! Time for a superb mountain drive – to visit Courchevel 1850. Whereas Megève is located in a valley, this superb ultra-chic, modern ski resort is set at 1850 metres altitude. Part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest linked ski area in the world, Courchevel 1850 is a massive ski complex with 8 lifts and gondolas running directly in and out of the central ski station surrounded by dozens of shops, bars and restaurants of all kinds, tastes and styles, with a constant bustle of colourful sport enthusiasts and elegant sightseers. The surrounding scenery is breathtaking and the wood cabin villages so picturesque. Intriguingly, elegant mountain restaurants have tables with wine lists, fine tableware and crisp white linen, whilst underneath you will see clunky, snow covered ski boots! A terrific experience! Time permitting, enroute home we will briefly stop in Megève to see the Christmas Day Nativity display. Dinner is in your hotel.
Day 10: The Mont Blanc Tunnel to stylish Milan
Boxing Day! Driving through the Mont Blanc Tunnel which passes under Europe’s highest mountains, we enter the Italian Alps near Courmayeur. We soon reach the stylish city of Milan where we enjoy a guided panoramic tour followed by time at leisure amongst the fashion shops of the luxurious ‘Golden Triangle’ and in the square by the elaborate Duomo. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner in a local Milanese restaurant.
Day 11: Milan
Your Christmas tour comes to a close and it is time to say farewell. For those of you joining one of our wonderful New Year Tours that begin in Luzern, the good news is, we have arranged a complimentary Group transfer on 28 December.
Incredible Value Inclusions
- All excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
- Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
- Travel in a first class air conditioned touring coach
- 10 nights authentic, specially selected hotel accommodation
- Hotel porterage (1 suitcase pp)
- Welcome drink in Paris
- 17 Meals – Buffet breakfast daily (B) and 7 evening dinners (D)
- A complimentary wine, beer or soft drink with all included dinners
- Tea and coffee with all included dinners
- Local guides as described
- Free WiFi on most coaches and at hotels
- End of tour tips to Tour Manager and Driver, tips for local guides
- Albatross Tours travel App
Crowne Plaza Paris République, Paris - 2 nights
This 4 star hotel, set in a 19th century building on Place de la République, is a perfect base to explore Paris from.
Mercure Lyon Centre Chateau Perrache, Lyon - 2 nights
Housed in a listed Art Nouveau building, the hotel is perfectly located, less than 200 metres from the Christmas Markets in Place Carnot. Renovated in 2015, the hotel blends old style elegance with stylish and contemporary furnishings.
Chalet Hotel Chamois d'Or, Cordon - 5 nights
This family run 4 star hotel has been in the Petit-Jean family for four generations. Located on the hillside above Cordon, this welcoming hotel prides itself on its rustic, alpine inspired design, decorated in wood and local stone with Savoie furniture and hand painted cupboards. The food is often local cuisine and the views from the restaurant and all the rooms sweep across the Mont-Blanc or the Aravis mountain range. Bedrooms feature that wonderful wooden decor and all have balconies with similar views. A perfect place to stay over
Great tour with an excellent Tour Manager and Driver.
This is a 'Must Do' tour and should be on eveyone's bucket list. The area of Cordon was superb! The hotel was brilliant as was the family who hosted us.
Dates and Prices
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No Additional 'On Tour' Costs
Over $100 value of extras per day are already included. There are no additional 'on tour' costs - even your end of tour tips are included!