Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday

With its picture perfect scenery and centuries old traditions, Switzerland is one of the best places to enjoy a white Christmas.  But where in particular should you visit to enjoy a traditional Swiss Christmas?

(Advertorial) Christmas is coming! We often use the term in response for repeated attempts to get something done. But really – Christmas IS coming – and where better to spend it than in Austria on your very own Austrian White Christmas holiday?

Many Australians dream of experiencing a white Christmas or a winter holiday in Europe but don’t know where to start when looking for options, particularly those who prefer to travel independently.  That’s where I can help.

The weeks leading up to Christmas are a really special time to be in Europe. From the end of November traditional markets set up in many towns and cities, shops and streets are decorated with twinkling lights and the festive season really starts to come to life. The smells of cinnamon, ginger and roasting chestnuts permeate the air and glühwein (a spicy red wine served hot) becomes the drink of choice.

 

Many Australians, and those from the southern hemisphere, dream of one day experiencing a white Christmas and there's no better place to do so than in Europe.  As well as its famous Christmas markets, the snowy scenes and festive atmosphere make a European Christmas something really special. With long-practised traditions and traditional festive foods to enjoy, Christmas in Europe is very different to Christmas in Australia and many other continents around the world.

The lead up to Christmas can be one of the best times to travel to Europe, not only to visit the amazing Christmas Markets that are held each year but also to sample the delicious food that plays a big part in the festivities.

From late November each year, Europe starts getting into Christmas mode. Decorations go up in shop windows, fairy lights adorn the streets and Christmas trees are erected. But nothing quite says 'Christmas' in Europe like the annual Christmas markets. Wooden huts appear in city squares and village streets - and even along Paris' famous Champs Elysees, where market stall holders set up to sell their Christmas wares.

 

Marissa Maslen of Albatross Travel shares her experiences of a White Christmas in Europe.

Christmas is a special time in Europe with Christmas markets taking pride of place in many cities, towns and villages. The first ever Christmas market, Dresden's 'Striezelmarkt' in Germany, was recorded as far back as 1434. In those days, Christmas markets lasted no more than a day or two and tended to confine themselves to the area around the main church. Nowadays, Christmas markets usually start before the first weekend of Advent (around the end of November) and go on until Christmas Eve or thereabouts. Many run until Epiphany on 6 January.