There’s really nothing better to get you into the Christmas spirit than a visit to the famous Christmas markets in Alsace. With their magical atmosphere, distinctive architecture and delicious seasonal food and drink, they offer a chance to find unique and interesting festive gifts for family and friends, whilst revelling in the seasonal cheer that this area of eastern France delivers so well. Soak up the seasonal atmosphere with a fabulous day tour of the Christmas markets of Alsace, including the authentic villages that you can’t reach easily by public transport.
Visit the Alsace Christmas markets from Strasbourg
If you’re planning to explore the Christmas markets in Alsace, and want to make the most of a local expert to guide your visit, family-run Ophorus offer a fabulous small group day trip from Strasbourg to Colmar and the authentic countryside villages which you can’t reach by public transport. Most of the English-speaking guides are native to Alsace and they love to share with you the story of Christmas as it relates to local festivities, as well as sharing their knowledge of the towns and villages that you visit during the day. They can even teach you some words in the Alsatian language – perfect for dropping into conversation with the craftspeople and restauranteurs that you meet along the way. (And there are guided tours in other languages on request). The seven-hour itinerary includes free time to explore the Christmas markets you visit . It also includes time for lunch in Colmar, either at a local market stall or one of the town’s many restaurants before you head off to one of Alsace’s fairytale pretty village markets.
From Strasbourg to Colmar
Originally known as the Christkindelsmärik, or the market of the infant Jesus, there has been a Christmas market in Strasbourg since 1570. Now the whole region of Alsace plays host to these markets in late November and December, with each one having its own unique feel and distinct atmosphere.
Colmar is famous for its Christmas markets, and with good reason. The beautiful buildings in the town centre range in date from the medieval period to the nineteenth century, and they glow with seasonal illuminations. There are five different markets in the historic town and your guide will take you on a morning walking tour, plus free time to explore your favourite markets. Breathe in the scent of mulled wine and spiced biscuits and enjoy hearty winter fare at one of the street stalls or restaurants before rejoining your guide for an afternoon exploring further afield and discovering the beautiful historic villages for which this area is renowned.
Autentic village Christmas
Many of the villages in Alsace are transformed into winter wonderlands as Christmas approaches. There’s very little public transport to the villages but, this afternoon’s itinerary takes you along the Alsace wine routes to one of five different villages depending on the day of your tour. In the picturesque village of Riquewihr, the well-preserved traditional architecture is illuminated, transforming it into a magical fairyland filled with festive market stalls.
In Ribeauvillé, villagers return to their medieval roots with a themed market that evokes a bygone era, while still offering modern hand-crafted gifts and traditional seasonal fare. Obernai’s enchanting Christmas market threads through its pretty streets and visitors can sample an unusual mulled white wine peculiar to this village, as well as buying local produce and hand-made crafts.
With tiny winding streets and wine growers’ houses dating from the 15th to the 17th centuries, the fortified town of Bergheim makes a stunning backdrop for the village’s Christmas market, with its warm traditional atmosphere. In Kaysersberg the beautiful Alsatian buildings twinkle with lights and colourful Christmas decorations, creating the perfect setting for its market.
After your visit, you’ll return to Strasbourg in time to plunge straight into the atmosphere of the city’s own Christmas festivities and prepare for an evening of relaxation and delicious tastes.
Book the tour – use FALLSEASON23 to get a 10% discount: ophorus.com/christmasmarketsalacetour
Other Christmas market tours
Ophorus also offer private group trips of the Alsace Christmas markets with a local, English-speaking guide, which can be customised to suit your needs including Strasbourg and the German Christmas markets in Freiburg and the nearby village of Gengenbach, where the town hall is transformed into a huge advent calendar, with a new window opened each day in the run up to Christmas. If you want to explore the city of Strasbourg there are two-hour walking tours in the morning, or at nightfall, offer a chance to explore the market. With over 300 stalls in 12 locations, your guide will help you discover what’s on offer, as well as explaining local Christmas customs and family traditions. See all Christmas in Alsace tours
How to get to Strasbourg
There are regular flights from various UK airports to Strasbourg and, if you’ve organised a group tour with Ophorus, they can organise transfers and hotel accommodation for you or your group. If you prefer to travel by train, there’s a direct service that takes less than two hours from Paris Est to the heart of the city of Strasbourg. If you’re coming by car, the journey takes about six hours from Calais.
Find out more
Visit www.ophorus.com for year round tours all over France.
Ophorus is a fully licensed tour operator member of Atout France and registered ETOA (European Tourism Association) member, giving you peace of mind as you make your travel plans.