Tour notes

The Magic of Christmas Markets

Tour notes

Enjoy the magic of Christmas in a tour that will take you to some of the best Christmas Markets of Europe. From Northern Italy to Germany, passing through Austria, you will be charmed by the colours, the lights, the singing choirs and the joyful atmosphere of Christmas. Admire the fine local handicraft, warm up with a hot glass of Glwein (mulled wine) and taste delicious ginger bread.

A small group of 10 people maximum and a professional local tour director will be the perfect companion for a special Christmas escape.

Start: Verona
End: Munich
Age: Min 12
All our tours are guaranteed to depart (GD)

What makes this tour a unique experience?

  • Explore Verona, Bolzano, Innsbruck and Munich Christmas Markets. Your tour director will take you on “Like a Local” walks where you’ll see the unmatched beauty and mystery of these cities from an authentic (local) point of view.
  • Day trip to Val Sarentino, one of the most picturesque and less touristy area of the Dolomites
  • Neuschwanstein Castle visit
  • Our accommodations are centrally located, high-quality and comfortable

All our LocalWonders Travel tours include a passionate expert tour director who will become your “local friend”, opening for you the most authentic side of the places visited. Our tour directors are professional, knowledgeable and take pride in providing hassle-free experiences for our guests.

 

Is this the tour I want?

Though no specific training or fitness level is required for this tour, there are a few things we suggest considering when choosing your LocalWonders Travel experience.
Train is one of the best and fastest means of transport in Europe (up to 300 km per hour!). Travelling by train gets you to where you’re going quickly, but allows you to relax, have fun, and socialize while you take in the beauty of the landscape. On this tour we’ll do lots of our travelling by train. Upon arrival in a new destination on this tour, a taxi will take you to the next hotel.
At LocalWonders Travel we pride ourselves on providing tours that allow our guests to explore cities by foot. Why? Because we believe that exploring by foot is the best way to get an authentic Italian experience. Sometimes we explore for up to two or three hours at a time. We do this at a relaxed and comfortable pace, stopping to rest once-in-a-while to enjoy an espresso or gelato, and promise that you’ll have a wonderful time, but guests should note that walking is a big part of our trips!
On our tours we stay in carefully-selected high-quality and comfortable accommodations. Accommodation arrangements for single travellers during our trips include an en-suite twin room, shared with a fellow single traveller of the same sex. However, if you’d prefer a single room to enjoy during your trip, you can purchase a “single supplement” (your own room).

If you are in pursuit of an authentic trip, planned and managed by local professionals with an informal and friendly style without foregoing professionalism and supreme quality, then you are in the right place.

 

Joining point

Hotel Milano&SPA or similar
Vicolo Tre Marchetti 11
37121   Verona (Italy)
+39 045 591692
How to get to your hotel
The Hotel Milano&SPA is centrally located and just few minutes’ walk from the Arena.

Reaching your hotel by public means
There is a shuttle service from Verona airport to Verona Porta Nuova train station. The shuttle leaves every 20 minutes and connects the airport to the city in 15 minutes. Once at Verona Porta Nuova train station we recommend to get a taxi to reach your hotel (take official white taxi only)!

Reaching your hotel by taxi.
Outside the airport arrival hall, there will be the official white taxi that you can take to reach your hotel.

 Private transfer with driver welcoming you
If you want us to arrange for a private transfer from the airport to your hotel you can choose the Airport Transfer Option while you’re booking and we’ll get back to you, to let you know our best rates and to arrange your airport transfer.

 

Finishing point

Hotel Blauer Bock or similar
Sebastiansplatz 9,
80331    Munchen (Germany)
+49 89 231780

Public means to Munich Airport

The S1 and S8 S-Bahn lines connect Marienplatz (centre of Munich) to the airport, with departures every 10 minutes. The Hotel Blauer Bock is 5 minutes walking distance from Marienplatz.

Public means to Munich Train Station

From Marienplatz take any suburban railway lines going towards Ostbahnhof.

Taxi to Munich airport
Approximately 1-hour trip. Price approx. €45-50 set price.

Private transfer with driver
If you want us to arrange for a private transfer from your hotel to the airport you can choose the Airport Transfer Option while you’re booking and we’ll get back to you, to let you know our best rates and to arrange your airport transfer.

Note on Taxi
Taxis in Europe are generally white or yellow or black cars with the word TAXI written on the top. At airports and train stations, they are parked at Taxi Stations right outside the building. For your own safety, do not take unauthorized “taxis”.

Cancellation Policy

Carefully read the cancellation policy in section 11 of the Terms&Conditions before booking.

 

Accommodation and Single Supplement

Accommodations on our tours include a double or twin room with en-suite bathroom for our guests. Single travellers are matched with a fellow traveller of the same sex to share a room. If you’d prefer a single room to enjoy during your tour, you can purchase a “single supplement” (your own room) for €580.
We are proud to offer our guests accommodation at some of Italy’s charming hotels. We have painstakingly chosen distinguished locally-run boutique hotels that are quality, comfortable and clean – full of character for an authentic Italy experience – but without the rigid formality that comes with “luxury”.

Note: We do our best to book your single room in the same hotel as the rest of our group; however, on the rare occasion that space is not available at that hotel, you will be booked into a different hotel of the same or higher class located within walking distance from where we’re staying.

Occasional alternative accommodation: on rare occasions, it might happen that we have to make a change to the hotel reservation or split the group between two different hotels. Please be assured that in all cases we book in replacement rooms at hotels of the same or higher calibre. Those new hotels will adhere to the same strict quality criteria we always use.

Daily City Tax: depending on the hotel and the city, sometimes there’s a city tax added to a room charge (between €1 and €10 per person per night). Our tour costs include this City Tax – no additional charge

Extra Nights: should you wish to add extra nights to your stay here in Italy, either before your LocalWonders tour begins or after your tour has ended, we can help to make those arrangements. Simply select “additional accommodation” when filling in your Booking Form and we’ll be in touch to finalize the details.

 

Travel Insurance

We want our guests to have a truly care-free experience on our tours, and safety and comfort are our main focus. In that sentiment, travel insurance is compulsory for all our tours and we require our guests to have travel insurance medical and repatriation coverage with a liability limit greater than €200,000 (or corresponding currency in your country of origin).
Further, while not compulsory, we also highly recommend that our guests’ insurance also covers damages against third parties, property and people, as well as damages stemming from any trip-related events (loss of luggage and personal effects, theft, physical harm or delay).

Need help? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the LocalWonders team at any time. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about our insurance policy and, while we don’t sell insurance, we can suggest a variety of good travel insurance providers should you need.

 

Passport and Visa

Non-European Union citizens are required to bring along a passport with an at least 6-month validity from the date of entry in Italy and – depending on nationality – travel visas. If you’re not sure about the documentation that you’ll need for your trip, we highly recommend contacting the Italian, Austrian and Germany Embassy or Consular Offices nearest to you for further information. LocalWonders Travel tour participants are responsible for having required travel documentation (see Section 17 of our  Terms&Conditions). LocalWonders Travel cannot assist you in getting the passport or visa required to travel to Europe.

Though in other countries might be different, in Italy for safety reason, at your arrival at the hotel, your passport will be required by the receptionist for the check-in and the registration procedure.

 

Professional liability insurance

LocalWonders Travel carries Professional Liability Insurance as well as Tour Operator’s Insolvency Insurance (required by European law). For more information see our Terms & Conditions.
None of these cover passenger’s medical and repatriation insurance.

 

Transport Means

On this tour we travel aboard comfortable high-speed trains and sometimes regional trains. Besides being fun, trains are an ecological means of transport and they are often the fastest and most comfortable means to get to destination. Other means of transport used during this trip also include buses, subways, boats and taxis.

 

Health Conditions

Please read the itinerary and tour notes carefully to see whether or not this tour is right for you. Though no specific training is required for this tour, all of our guests need to be in good physical health. In order to ensure the safety of all of our guests, those with certain medical conditions or limitations might not be able to join parts of our tour. As concerns vaccinations, please contact your personal doctor.

 

Cultural Heritage and Stairs

In a country like Europe of such rich heritage, there are many amazing buildings and structures to explore. To do so, there might be some stair-climbing involved.

 

Conduct Guidelines

When moving as a group and – especially – when traveling by train, timeliness is extremely important. In order to ensure that all of our guests are able to enjoy each of the activities planned for this tour, we ask that everyone makes sure to be on time. Should one of our group members be late on the day of departure from the hotel and therefore expose the group to risk of missing the train, the tour director and the rest of the group will go ahead without them. (Of course, that group member will be encouraged to join us again later, but will have to cover any associated expenses.)

The following activities and behaviours are strictly forbidden during our tours:

  • Use or possession of illegal substances or drugs (including marijuana)
  • Exploitation of prostitution
  • Any form of discrimination or verbal and physical violence towards anyone, including other group members, the tour director, and hotel personnel

Failure to follow these rules shall lead to direct dismissal from the tour with no right to any refund whatsoever.

 

Local Leader

A professional LocalWonders Travel local leader will accompany you on your trip. The tour director will plan trip details and logistics taking all of the hassle and worry out of organizing travel (from trains, tickets, restaurant recommendations, reservations and tips for how to make the most of your free time). Your local leader will be your trusted point of reference throughout the entire trip, making sure that everything goes smoothly.
The local leader will provide authenticity and fun introducing you to the authentic side of Italy, providing interesting (and entertaining) information about the places you are visiting and showing you the best spots, usually only discovered by the locals (including favourite local restaurants).

During “free time”, the tour director is not compelled to join the group; however he will always be available in case of need.

Note:  In Europe there is a difference between LOCAL LEADER and TOUR GUIDE. If you’re looking for an in-depth introduction to Italy history or art (like a guided museum visit, city tour, or similar), your tour director will be happy to help you to find a skilled and certified tour guide.

 

Safety

Europe is a very safe place, so long as common sense is used. In busy places like train, bus and metro stations pick-pocketing may be an issue, but following some simple rules will help to ensure you don’t lose your valuables:

  • Never leave your belongings unattended
  • Keep your documents and money in a neck wallet or money belt
  • Keep your purse or daily pack in front of you when traveling by train and bus
  • Do not accept help with your luggage by anyone not wearing a uniform

 

Luggage tips

What you bring is up to you however, we recommend that our guests travel light. We don’t have baggage restriction, but on our tours our guests are responsible for carrying their own luggage (including on and off of trains) so we suggest luggage that’s 15-18kg at the most. (That weight is a good compromise between having everything you’ll need and ease of movement.) Our guests comfortably use a variety of luggage types, including backpacks, suitcases, duffle bags and trolleys.

Remember that in winter temperature might be below 0 Celsius degree. We recommend to bring warm cloths and rain proof jackets.

Do not forget:
– Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, tour notes
– Photocopy of main passport pages, visa and travel insurance
– Money belt
– Personal medications/prescriptions and a small travel first aid kit
– Comfortable and good walking shoes (better if with non-slip soles)
– Small day-pack for daily excursions
– Electrical adapter plug (see below for electrical outlets information)
– Sunscreen (summers can be very hot, even more than 30° C)
– Swimsuit or warm cloths depending on the season you are travelling
– Sunhat and Sunglasses
– A shawl (in churches exposed shoulders and arms are not permitted)
– Clothes and personal effects as you prefer (evening attire not required on our evenings out)
– Attire in case of rain and wind (i.e. a folded and lightweight poncho with a hood)
– A lightweight sweater in case of chilly evenings if travelling from April to October
– A warm sweater and a jacket if travelling from late October to April
– A warm hat and gloves if travelling from late October to April

 

General Useful Information

Electrical Outlets: in Italy electrical current is 220-230 volts at 50 hertz. Italy uses a round, 2-prong plug, type C or F.
Italy Country Code for international calls: the country code for Italy is 39. When calling Italy from abroad dial +39 followed by the area code and the phone number you desire to call. Alternatively you can replace the + with the National Exit Code of the country from where you are calling.

 

Weather

Italy’s climate varies based on season and location. Italy has got hot summers and cold winters, with the southern areas of the country experiencing milder winters and hotter summers. Italy has got four seasons, winter (21 December – 20 March), spring (21 March – 20 June), summer (21 June-20 September) and autumn (21 September – 20 December). Winter is generally cold and rainy (average temperature in the northern areas between -5 and + 6°C and 10-14 °C in the southern areas), spring and autumn are mild and dry (average temperature in the northern areas 13-20°C and  15-20°C in the southern areas) and summer is hot and generally without rain (average temperature in the northern areas 20-23°C and  22-27°C in the southern areas). For more information check The Climate in Italy.

Austria and Germany can be colder in winter and temperature can easily drop a few degree below 0 Celsius. We do recommend bringing along proper winter attire.

 

Currency and Budget

The Euro is the official currency in Italy, Austria and Germany. There will be ATMs in almost all the places we visit. Your tour with LocalWonders Travel includes transportation and activities as per itinerary, several meals, and accommodation. It does not include tips/gratuities, additional meals, attractions, or personal expenses. For the meals not included on this tour, we suggest budgeting a daily amount, and while that will vary for everyone, €30-40 per day is considered a reasonable amount.

 

Tipping Guideline

Should you wish to tip for excellent and professional service, you should feel welcome (though not required). Tips are not compulsory in Europe (as they are in other parts of the world) though they are becoming more common and they can be significant for the people who have taken care of you during the tour. Here are a few guidelines:

Local leaders: €4-6 per person per day

Local guides: €1-3 per person

Restaurant €1-2 per person (or 10% of the service in case of high class restaurant)

Hotel porters (if present) €1-2 per person

Please feel free to tip higher, lower or not tip at all depending on your judgement on the service and what you deem right.

 

Free Time and Optional Activities

We’ve incorporated free time throughout all of our tours so that our guests can relax or explore at their own pace, indulging in their own special interests – museums, shopping, dining, concerts, wandering and more. Your tour director will be able to provide lots of suggestions.
We’ve included some of the most popular activities in the list below:

 

VERONA

  • Arena of Verona (Roman Amphitheatre) – €10
  • Juliette’s house – €6
  • Torre de’ Lamberti – €8
  • Funicular of Castello San Pietro – €2

 

BOLZANO

  • South Tyrol Museum of Archeology (Otzy the Iceman) – €9
  • Runkelstein Castle – €8

 

INNSBRUCK

  • Nordketten bahnen and Hungerburg Funiculare – €30
  • Imperial Palace – €9
  • Audioversum Science Center – €9

 

MUNICH

  • Nordketten bahnen and Hungerburg Funiculare – €30
  • Alte Pinakothek /Art Gallery – €12
  • Bavarian Royal Palace- combined ticket 3 sights – €13
  • Deutsches Museum – €11
  • Bavarian National Museum – €7
  • BMW World – Free
  • BMW Museum – €10

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Verona
Benvenuto in Italia! Verona is a beautiful and elegant city, the perfect start for a Christmas adventure. Your tour starts at 6:00pm with a Welcome Meeting where you’ll meet your tour director and fellow travelers. (Upon arrival at the hotel you’ll find a note telling you where this welcome meeting will take place.) Following the meeting, you’ll discover one of Italy’s most famous wonders – the food! The group will enjoy a special welcome dinner at a divine local restaurant.
What’s included?
– Accommodation: Hotel Milano&SPA or similar
– Verona daily city tax
– Meal: Dinner

Day 2: Verona
After a good breakfast and a real Italian coffee, we’ll set out in the crispy and magical Christmas air. Your tour director will guide you exploring Verona – so many wonders to see – and you will finish the walk at the Verona Christmas Markets. Wander among the stalls, taste chocolate and the local Christmas sweet and find the perfect present among the fine production of the local artisans. The afternoon will be at your leisure and you can decide whether to visit the worldwide famous Arena, the balcony of Juliet who inspired Shakespeare or simply relax. Your tour director will give you plenty of suggestions for organizing your afternoon.

 What’s included?
– Accommodation: Hotel Milano&SPA or similar
– Verona daily city tax
– “Like a Local” walk of Verona including Verona Christmas Markets visit
– Meal: Breakfast

Day 3: Bolzano
Today we will travel on board a comfortable modern train to Bolzano, the capital city of the Italian province of South-Tirol (this trip is approximately 1.5 hour). This Alpine Town is a fascinating place who won the price as Best Quality life in Italy for several years and it is the melting-pot between the Italian and German-Austrian culture. After the check-in, your tour director will take you on a “like a local” walk of Bolzano ending in the picturesque Christmas markets. The evening will be at your leisure.

What’s included?
– Accommodation: Mondschein Hotel Luna or similar
– Bolzano daily city tax
– “Like a Local” walk of Bolzano including Bolzano Christmas Markets visit
– Train from Verona to Bolzano
– Meals: Breakfast

How long is the trip today?
Approx. 1.5 hours train ride from Verona to Bolzano

Day 4: Val Sarentino (night in Bolzano)
Think to the breathtaking mountain landscape of the Dolomites, think to picturesque villages where the time stopped, and century old traditions still survive and think to a layer of soft snow decorating the scene. This is Val Sarentino, a valley where most tourists do not go and where the best artisans of the South Tirol work and live. Val Sarentino is a mountain heaven just 30 minutes public bus ride from Bolzano. In the morning your tour director will escort you here and you will have the chance to walk in the snow – weather permitting – visit unique Christmas Market and see the local artisans working in their workshops. In case you want to relax there will be the chance to reach Merano and indulge in a Spa Thermal experience. You’ll be back to Bolzano in the afternoon and you will have some time at your leisure to keep on hunting for Christmas presents or visiting the Museum of Archaeology, where there is an exhibition on the world-wide famous Ӧtzi, a mummy 5300 year old found together with his clothing and equipment.

What’s included?
– Accommodation: Mondschein Hotel Luna or similar
– Bolzano daily city tax
– Day trip to Val Sarentino, including bus return ticket
– Meals: Breakfast

Day 5: Innsbruck
Say goodbye to Italy and get ready to travel to Austria: the next stop of our Christmas adventure will be Innsbruck. This town is over 800 years old and home to many sights reflecting its colorful history, like the fascinating Golden Roof – Emperor Maximilian’s alcove balcony – and the Imperial Palace. You will arrive in Innsbruck at approximately lunch time and after some free time, your tour director will take you for a like a local walk, where you will explore Innsbruck picturesque center and its lively Christmas markets. The rest of the evening will be at your leisure.

What’s included?
– Accommodation: Hotel Zach or similar
– Innsbruck daily city taxi
– “Like a Local” walk of Innsbruck including Innsbruck Christmas Markets visit
– Train from Bolzano to Innsbruck
– Meals: Breakfast

 How long is the trip today?
Approx. 2 hours train ride from Bolzano to Innsbruck

Day 6: Munich
After Northern Italy and Austria, it is time to reach the country where the tradition of Christmas markets had origin: Germany. Today we will board a train connecting Innsbruck to Munich, where there are some of the biggest and most beautiful Christmas Markets of Europe. After the check-in, your tour director will take you on like a local walk of Munich that will reach soon Marienplatz where you will have plenty of time for exploring the markets and hunt for the perfect Christmas present.

What’s included?
– Accommodation:  Hotel Blauer Block or similar
– “Like a Local” walk of Munich including Munich Christmas Markets visit
– Train from Innsbruck to Munich
– Meals: Breakfast

How long is the trip today?
Approx. 2 hours train ride from Innsbruck to Munich

Day 7: Neuschwanstein Castle (night in Munich)
Have you ever dreamt of being in a fairytale castle? Today we will take you to the Neuschwanstein Castle, an unbelievable 19-th century Romanesque palace, commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria and that inspired Walt Disney in designing the castles for his fairytales. With the castle perched on the mountain and covered with snow, the scenery you will see will be simply unreal. The name of this castle means “New Swan Castle” and this construction has got the elegance and the beauty of a swan. After the visit to the castle you’ll be back to Munich in the afternoon and, after some time at your leisure, you’ll enjoy a special farewell dinner offered by LocalWonders Travel.

What’s included?
– Accommodation:  Hotel Blauer Block or similar
– Train and transport from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle and return
– Neuschwanstein Castle visit
– Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Departure Day
Our tour has come to the end. We hope you’ll have had the time of your life! Arrivederci!

What’s included?
– Meal: Breakfast

Important notes for Day 8
Our tour ends with breakfast. There are no activities planned for today. If you need help in organizing your airport transfer or purchasing train tickets, just ask. Your tour director will be happy to help you in making these arrangements. Note: If possible, plan for and purchase transportation to the airport a few days in advance – organizing same-day travel can be difficult.

What is included?

  • The assistance of a professional tour director for the entire trip
  • Accommodation: comfortable and high-quality “3-Star Superior” boutique hotels
  • “Like a Local” walk of Verona, Bolzano, Innsbruck, Munich including Christmas Markets’ visit
  • Day trip to Val Sarentino
  • Neuschwanstein Castle visit
  • Several meals, including:
    – 7 breakfasts
    – 2 dinners
  • All trains and busses between cities
  • All hotel daily city taxes

What’s extra?

The following items are not included in the tour cost:
– Flights
– Single Supplement” (but you can add this!)
– Anything that is not specified to be included