Three Countries and Four Christmas Markets by Rail

4 Days

7th Dec 2018 - £549 pp

XM12

All Info

Overview


Maastricht Christmas Market

Brussels Christmas Market



Valkenburg in Holland, with its unique Christmas Caves and cosy cafés and bars, overlooked by gothic castle ruins serves up a fairy tale festive treat like no other. Nearby are Christmas markets in ‘Magical Maastricht’, Holland, Aachen in Germany with its popular Lindt chocolate factory outlet, plus Belgium’s famous markets in Brussels. With escorted travel by Eurostar from London and Ebbsfleet there’s no easier way to enjoy a multinational festive extravaganza.

Valkenburg’s Christmas Caves are surely home to Europe’s most unusual (and weather proof) Christmas markets, with dozens of stalls, cavernous bars and dazzling Christmas scenes. Outside, the town sparkles with decorations and the cosy cafés entice with heated alfresco seating, blankets and festive tipples.

Maastricht, capital of the Dutch province of Limburg, with a pretty riverside setting, cobbled market squares, shopping centres and Christmas Market village in famous Vrijthof square – setting for Andre Rieu’s summer concerts - is great for shopping and dining, and easy to explore on foot, or relax on a river Maas boat trip.

In the German town of Aachen the squares and streets around the Town Hall are transformed into a paradise of lights and colours, festive sounds and seductive smells. Aachen is also home of the Lindt Chocolate Factory outlet - a chocolate lover’s paradise with a huge selection of festive and seasonal treats at factory prices.

Brussels, the Belgian capital, has Christmas Markets at the Grand Place and the Place St Catherine’s area. 240 wooden Christmas line the streets of Bourse, Marché aux Poissons and Place St Catherines. These stalls look like gingerbread houses, twinkling with fairy lights and covered with ‘snow-top’ roofs. Try and buy Belgian chocolates, beers and waffles, and lookout for the oyster and shellfish restaurants, a speciality in Brussels.

Itinerary


Aachen Christmas Market

Valkenburg Christmas Market Caves



Day 1: London to Lanaken
Morning departure by Eurostar from London St Pancras (from Ebbsfleet on request) to Brussels Midi. Here we will board our coach for the short transfer to Brussels centre where you can visit the Grand Place and Christmas markets. Late afternoon we rejoin the coach and drive to our hotel at Lanaken, near Maastricht. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Maastricht & Valkenburg
Today we travel into the centre of Maastricht where you can visit the Christmas market - known as Magical Maastricht, it will appeal to those who do not enjoy an overly large sprawling markets experience but want something spectacular and memorable. There is a cosy Christmas market feel to the town with some lovely sights and experiences. It is convenient for visitors to explore on foot, to eat locally-made treats and find an array of reasonably priced, good restaurants to enjoy the local cuisine. From here we continue to Valkenburg where you can explore the Christmas Markets in the caves and the delightful town. Dinner in the hotel.

Day 3: Aachen
This morning we drive to Aachen in Germany - less than 1 hour away. The Christmas markets are a 10-15 minute stroll from the coach park. Alternatively, there is a transfer bus to the town centre (approx 4 Euros, payable locally). One local speciality you really must try is the Aachen Printen, a kind of gingerbread. Also near the coach park is the Lindt chocolate factory outlet store and another large store specialising in Christmas decorations. We depart mid-to-late afternoon for the return to our hotel. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 4: Lanaken to London
After breakfast we depart the hotel and return to Brussels Midi station to join Eurostar for the return journey to London St Pancras (to Ebbsfleet on request).

Hotel




Hotel Eurotel - 4-star - Lanaken
Located in Lanaken, near Maastricht, facilities include a restaurant, lounge bar and a small indoor pool and gym. All bedrooms are en-suite, with free wifi and cable TV. A pay minibar is supplied. The private bathroom has a bath or shower with a handheld showerhead, as well as complimentary toiletries and a hairdryer. A safe, iron and ironing board are available on request.

Included


  • Escorted throughout

  • Return rail travel from London St Pancras to Brussels (from Ebbsfleet on request)

  • 3 nights sharing a twin/double standard comfort room at the Eurotel Hotel

  • 3 buffet breakfasts

  • 2 three-course dinners

  • Use of the hotel swimming pool and gym

  • Visits to Brussels, Maastricht, Valkenburg and Aachen

  • All transfers abroad



ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS:
  • Single room supplement £84

Rail Travel

Eurostar – from London & *Ebbsfleet
On board, you will have a reserved, semi-reclining aircraft-style seat. You’ll also find a buffer car serving tea, coffee, hot chocolate, beer, wine, spirits, sandwiches, crisps and a few hot snacks. Sterling, Euros and cards accepted. You can eat and drink in the bar area (standing space only, there are no seats) or take your purchases back to your seat. You can also take your own food and drink on board.

Travel & Luggage
Train travel is a relaxing and enjoyable feature of our holidays. However, at times it can be physically demanding as you will be required to walk and move your luggage on and off trains and between platforms and transfer vehicles. Many train stations and platforms are big and long, sometimes with stairs or escalators, so please be prepared for this when walking with your luggage. Most stations have lifts, but using them can involve a longer walk, so be prepared for this when walking with your luggage. Where overnight or main hotels are less than 150 metres (approx) from the station, no transportation or luggage assistance will be provided.

There are no actual luggage weight restrictions imposed by the rail companies. However, for your comfort and convenience we recommend you limit your luggage to the following: ONE main suitcase⁄holdall with built in wheels weighing no more than 15 to 20kgs per person – Plus ONE small shoulder bag⁄holdall per person. Restricting the bulk of your luggage to manageable sizes will make the journey more enjoyable. Our Tour Manager⁄Escort will not be able to provide you and⁄or your luggage with physical assistance at anytime.

Please Help us to Help You
In our experience, clients who discuss with us their concerns over mobility limitations and⁄or health issues (including visibility, hearing etc) when booking, are far more satisfied with the level of service we provide and enjoy a more relaxed and fun holiday, compared to those who attempt to cope without the benefit of our expert advice.

We must stress that these holidays are not suitable for users of mobility scooters, wheelchairs or walking aids (frames, sticks, etc).

OPTIONS:
• Pre/post departure overnight hotel near London St Pancras - 2 to 4-star options - call for availability and prices