Marissa Maslen of Albatross Travel shares her experiences of a White Christmas in Europe.
Last Christmas my husband and I joined the Albatross Tours' Christmas in a Swiss Spa Resort tour. Being first time travellers to Europe, the tour was definitely the highlight of our European experience.
We had been travelling around Europe for a month prior to joining this escorted tour and although we had great fun, we found independent travel often exhausting and at times very testing. This was especially so when we hired a car with the driving on the other (wrong) side of the road, in snow and on ice, not knowing the way, and then having the hassle of finding hotels and, although an experience, it was occasionally almost tantamount to leading to divorce!!!
It all changed when we joined the escorted White Christmas Tour in Munich on December 18. Suddenly, everything was welcoming and relaxing. My husband was very dubious about joining an escorted coach tour, worried about “all the old people on coach tours” (we are both under 30), but we soon made friends with people of all ages. We both loved it, and would now definitely opt for an escorted coach tour over independent travel any day.
Once we joined the tour, we were able to relax. We were “looked after” so to speak, we had a tour manager who gave us all the information on the places we visited, no need to look at maps, read or research information, and at the end of a day of wonderful sightseeing, we were taken to our hotels, our bags were taken to our rooms and we could enjoy ourselves and the have the festive Christmas holiday we wanted, needed and let’s face it… deserved.
The four days over Christmas were spent in the mountain Spa village of Leukerbad – set high up in the Swiss Alps surrounded by huge towering, snow covered peaks. There was so much to see and do and we also had enough free time to enjoy the spa facilities of the hotel, and relax in the 38 degree outdoor thermal pools, while looking at the snow capped Swiss Alps – it was like being in heaven!!!
It was a truly different Christmas experience to what I have always experienced here at home in Australia. I was able to take time, relax and even dress up for the magical “gala” dinner on Christmas Eve, which replaced the “big Christmas lunch” that we are all so used to.
On Christmas day, as we ate breakfast, snow fell gently outside. It was truly magical and then the skies cleared to a spectacular day with cloudless blue skies. The sun on our faces and underfoot was deep white powdery snow.
For a truly different Christmas day activity we caught the cable car up the mountain and a group of us (some in their late 50’s) went tobogganing. This proved to be possibly the best fun I have ever had and I have never laughed and had so much fun in all my life. In the afternoon, I decided to pamper myself with a relaxing massage and body treatment in the hotel spa ….…… it was definitely a perfect white Christmas, with memories I will have forever.
Christmas will never be the same and now I have my eyes on the "Christmas in an Italian Castle" or the "Austrian White Christmas" tours.
Find out more about experiencing a white Christmas by visiting the Albatross Tours website.