The first Christmas markets date back to 14th century Germany and the Alsace region of France where they were called “Marché de Saint Nicolas,” named after the patron saint of children. In fact, the first written trace of these Christmas markets dates back to 1434. Continuing in this tradition, from the end of November, Alsace is like a dream come true. In Alsace, Christmas season seems to blend with fairytales as gingerbread men and candy cane sweets abound while benevolent mountaintop castles watch over the peace and joy of their subjects.
A visit to the Alsace region is like turning back the clock to simpler times, or stepping into a Department 56 Christmas village (only French). Imagine entire towns where cobblestone streets meet colourful timber framed houses beneath steeply pitched roofs.
Located in the North-East of France, Alsace is a region is set within the heart of Europe, bordering Germany and Switzerland. It is divided into two departments: the Bas-Rhin (67) in the North and the Haut-Rhin in the South (68). Alsace became part of the Grand Est region (the new Alsace / Champagne-Ardenne / Lorraine region) on January 1, 2016.
Exploring Alsace with Finding France
Finding France provides fabulous tailor-made private tours in Alsace (and it is not too late for christmas 2022). Travellers get to experience the best of both worlds: a one-of-a-kind experience and responsible tourism. With tours planned from 2 to 15 days, Finding France organizes the travel with and for you to make sure your custom travel experience fills your memories with joy for decades.
Understanding your Desires
First of all, we’d like you to share with us the things you’d really like to do and see during your trip to Alsace: places, accommodations, tours, transportation, food… We will strive to design a personalized journey that will live up to your expectations and beyond!
Sample itinerary for a trip in Alsace during Christmas markets
Day 1: Arrival at CDG: Meet and greet at the Airport and shuttle to Alsace region
Day 2: Visit a Medieval Christmas Market and Kaysersberg
– Meet craftsmen at the medieval Christmas market in Ribeauvillé.
– Visit the village of Kaysersberg, which was voted “most beautiful village in France” in 2017, and its typical Christmas market made up of local artisans and producers.
Day 3: Strasbourg – Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle
– Visit the city of Strasbourg and its amazing Cathedral.
– Stroll through the Strasbourg Christmas market
– Enjoy a crepe at the foot of the Cathedral.
– Gertwiller is the hometown of gingerbread. Taste the magic of Christmas in a museum that will, for sure, bring back childhood memories. Michel, the owner, will let you peek around the workshop where he bakes and makes his creations.
– Reach the towering Haut-Koenigsbourg medieval fort, built at an altitude of 757 meters (nearly 2,500 feet). Marvel at the landscape and scenery as you take in all of the Alsace plains.
Day 4: Riquewihr Christmas Market and Turckheim
– Walking tour of Riquewihr, one of the most beautiful villages of France.
– Visit Santa’s store in this town.
– Meet a night watchman from Turckheim and stroll through the cobblestone streets of the town.
Day 5: Eguisheim and Munster
– In Eguisheim, you’ll find one of the most authentic Alsace Christmas markets set in one of the most beautiful villages of France! Meet its artisans and local producers.
– Meet a glass carver in Eguisheim and carve your own Christmas glass ornament.
– Follow the 5-Castle-Road and reach Munster, a tiny Alsace village nestled at the heart of the Vosges mountain range.
– Willy, master pastry chef, will teach you to weave and bake your very own pretzels!
Day 6: Mittelbergheim and Ungersheim
– Meet a family of winegrowers in Mittelbergheim.
– Visit their medieval cellars and taste their best wines.
– Learn about tradition life in Alsace in France’s largest open-air museum. Meet talented smithies and visit their workshops: blacksmith, barrel maker, wickerworker, cobbler, barber, baker, wheelwright, potter, saddler.
Day 7: Departure
How to prepare for your stay?
In order to design your dream trip, we rely on our team’s approved and tested itineraries. We have created an extensive travel log where you’ll be able to find a selection of memorable accommodations (charming boutique hotels, castles, private chateau…), restaurants and table d’hôtes (Traditional or gourmet cuisine), tours of historical, little-known and exceptional places, and meetings with local artisans and producers.
Welcome to France
On the day of your arrival from Toronto, one or several members of the Finding France team welcome you personally in front of the gate at Charles de Gaulle Airport. They are your personal travellers for the entire duration of your trip.
They lead you to your chosen excursions and visits in a high-quality air-conditioned vehicle and they are at your service all along your trip.
They take good care of you and make sure you have everything you need. They also entertain you and tell you anecdotes about the history of France and the French.
About Finding France
Finding France is an incoming travel agency based in France that offers tailor-made private tours throughout France.
Finding France is an immersive experience where you will uncover the real France… the people, the architecture, the passion for making and sharing food, and of course its rich and fascinating history.
Their exclusive private tours are tailored to your interests, needs, and rhythm to create a completely unique and lasting experience…
Why Finding France
- Tailor-made Private Travels & Events From 2 to +100 pers
- Immersive Experiences Authentic encounters to uncover the real France
- Personal Traveler / Host at your service to assist you throughout your stay
- Incoming Travel Agency based in France A multilingual team: French / English / Spanish
Finding France clients reviews after Christmas market trips to Alsace:
I have been to Europe many times to visit Christmas Markets and my recent trip with Finding France (to the Alsace Region) was easily the best. With one village more beautiful than the next, you will lose yourself in a Christmas wonderland!
But more important than the great scenery was the guidance of Clement Decre, our guide. Our tailor-made holiday experience was borne of Clement’s careful consideration of our requests and interests as well as an openness to a dash of spontaneous experiences along the way. Those highlights include specially arranged personal sessions with French pastry chefs, glass artisans, wine makers, and so much more.
Do yourself a favor and connect with Finding France so that you can do France right. I can assure you we will have much more of the country to discover in the future under the able guidance of Finding France and Clement Decre!
Paul, December 2021
Unforgettable and magical trip through Alsace region, Paris, Fountainblue, and Chantilly!
We just came back from a 10-day vacation through Alsace’s Christmas markets (Colmar, Strasbourg, Eguisheim, Ribeauvillé, Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, and other beautiful towns), Paris, Fountainblue, & Chantilly. Clément was our tourist guide for this dream trip! It exceeded our expectations in every aspect. Clément was like our big brother who took care of everything during the journey from findind right accommodations, wonderful places to eat, and attractions to visit, to having fun in all of them. All the food was delicious! We visited three castles, learned to engrave glass, made chantilly cream, visited a bakery where ginger bread is baked, sang at Paris’s oldest cabaret, baked our own [b]retzels in Munster, walked up the plus-200 steps of Strasbourg’s Notre Dame Cathedral, had dinner on a boat along the Seine River, and much more! I am thankful that Clément listened carefully to all our requests, helped us get our Covid tests before traveling back home, and took us through the quick lines at the very busy CDG airport. And we learned a lot about French’s culture and history since he has more than 10 years of training and experience traveling, organizing events, and being a tourist guide. And he’s fluent in French, English, and Spanish! Now we have a new friend whom we recommend 120%!
Jorge, December 2021
Sponsored guest post by Clément Decré