SAVE £50pp - BOOK BY 31st MAY WITH PROMO CODE: XMAS **
Exuding alpine charm from every pore, surrounded by the Dolomite Mountains dotted with slumbering vineyards, and with its festive market deservedly earning it a reputation for Christmas cheer, delightful Merano is the perfect base for a memorable holiday, completed by some wonderful included and optional excursions.
Fly to Venice, meet your Tour Manager and head north across the Veneto. En route you'll pass historic Trento and journey into the Alto-Adige, where the villages become increasingly Austrian and, despite this being Italy, German is widely spoken. Settle into your hotel in Merano, and enjoy dinner this evening.
Today brings opportunities to rest and relax at your hotel, or perhaps to take a stroll into the centre of Merano, a celebrated spa town that was once the favoured refuge of Austrian Empress 'Sissi'. Enjoy a morning visit to the town's wonderful Christmas market, where the aromas of gluhwein and delicious apfel strudel, and the sound of Christmas music waft through the air. Wander from stall to stall, each laden with traditional handicrafts or regional delicacies, and perhaps taste smoked raw pork, local cheeses or a slice of schlossbeck a traditional country-style bread.
Day Two (Christmas Eve)
An optional excursion today heads north across the Brenner Pass to Tyrolean capital Innsbruck, where highlights will include elegant Marie-Theresien-Strasse and the city's historic Altstadt.
Return to the hotel to begin your Christmas celebrations.
A memorable day includes a morning visit to Bolzano, known as the 'Italian Capital of Christmas' for its picture-postcard streets and alleyways, and famed as an important wine-producing town.
Day Three (Christmas Day)
There may be the chance for a morning coffee and slice of traditional apfel strudel in a cafe, before you return to the hotel, to enjoy a traditional Christmas Turkey lunch. In the evening, enjoy a celebration gala with music to round off a perfect Christmas Day.
Today, enjoy your second included excursion, spent amongst the majestic Dolomites, cloaked in their winter raiment. As well as the chance to enjoy some of Europe's most dramatic scenery, there'll be a chance to soak up the warmth of some of the Alto-Adige towns and villages along the way.
Day Four (Boxing Day)
A final optional excursion is to Romeo and Juliet's fair Verona, on the banks of the River Adige. Wander the maze of medieval streets and the marbled Piazza Bra that sits in the shadow of the vast Roman amphitheatre, before you return to the hotel for a last evening.
Bid farewell to your hosts, and transfer back to airport for the return flight.