Tag Archives: christmas travel

Christmas in Europe

Christmas is a magical time in Europe, when cities bloom in soft lights and decorations abound along windows and roads. And it’s never too early to think about spending holidays with your loved ones  abroad. These three capitals know how to do Christmas right.

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Christmas Market at Schonbrunn Palace, flickr CC Otto Schlappack

VIENNA

The weeks from late November to the end of the year transform Austria into a special wonderland. Charming Christmas Markets pop up in historic town centers, the smells of Glühwein (mulled wine) float through the air, and young and old taste their way through roasted chestnuts to yummy Christmas sweets. Be enchanted by the Kunstkammer, Vienna’s realm of overwhelming gold, bronze and ivory pieces—and don’t forget to stop by the Christmas Market just in front. Need inspiration for gifts? In Vienna’s city center, the elegant store Österreichische Werkstätten offers a wide selection of handmade products such as jewelry, glass design, furniture and accessories. The Museums Quartier in Vienna becomes synonymous with a different kind of Christmas atmosphere. Just think ice pavilions, artistic light installations, DJ sounds, ice curling rink, and fun Punch variations!

Two hours south of Vienna, the city of Graz also turns into one giant Christmas spectacular. Glowing decorations, a massive ice crib, and a gigantic Advent calendar projection are just the beginning. Did you know the carol Silent Night originated in the small village of Oberndorf near Salzburg. Visit the humble and most charming chapel where the story began.

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Zagreb’s Ilica Street, flickr CC rom@nski photo

ZAGREB

Christmas in Zagreb, Croatia, is a time of festivities and food. Stands crop up everywhere in the city, selling goodies and delicacies certain to delight. Wrap your fingers around a steaming cup of mulled wine, grab seasonal candies and take home some special wooden toys and ornaments as souvenirs. Often bands will set up to play a few traditional tunes under the frosty lights. In recent years, Croatia has seen a reemergence of open-air ice skating, and in December rinks are installed near the main train station and King Tomislav’s Square. It’s truly a magical time in Zagreb!

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Christmas Market in Bratislava, Flickr CC fortysix_vie

BRATISLAVA

The Slovakian capital of Bratislava’s many historic buildings are testaments to the country’s intriguing history. Travelers can tour the Old Town, with landmarks such as Roland Fountain and the Old Town Hall, and stop by an outdoor market to sample traditional dishes, such as grilled sheep cheese, dumplings and the Bratislavsky rozok, or sweet roll.

Chat with us about spending your holidays abroad. Call 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com. 

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Book Winter and Spring Travel Now

Call now for winter and spring travel! Make sure your vacation doesn’t get overlooked because of late notice! Generally, fees are lower and availability higher the earlier you book—waiting for a chance fare drop will not help when flying over these peak periods.

Sunny destinations are usually quiet the first 2 weeks in November and the first 10 days of December (sandwiched between the holidays). If you are flexible and want an early winter escape to the sunshine, consider these periods for best pricing and availability.

Airlines typically reduce the number of flights in the winter, except during the periods below when you can expect to pay high fares. Flights have been filling up for the last 6 months—don’t miss out!

Willamette Intl Travel agents are already booking:

  1. Kids flying home for Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks
  2. Christmas/New Year Travel: Key dates are already sold out for lower airfares, so prepare to be flexible on dates!
  3. Spring Break/Easter Break: These periods are already heavily booked—so call us immediately!
  4. Sunny getaway week, February 13-24, 2013; between Valentine’s and President’s Day

 And Alaska: September and early October are terrific times to start planning for Alaska’s 2013 season. Want a cruise? Early birds are rewarded with lowest pricing, best promotions, and variety of inventory. Don’t want a cruise? Our agents design custom itineraries throughout Alaska, with lodges, car rentals, small boat explorations, trains, day trips, etc.

Craving the sun in the gray winters? Head to the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s summer from December to March! Bask in 65-80 degrees F while you:

–          Gaze at the Southern Cross in the Galapagos, Cook Islands, and on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea
–          Wander in the flea markets of Melbourne; Australia is more affordable now than it has been in the last 18 months
–          Go trekking in a natural park in South Africa
–          Feast on fresh empanadas from a café in Buenos Aires

Call us now to book: 503.224.0180 OR email info@wittravel.com.

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