Swipe right and left to view details
A mountain range full of myths, legends and fairytales
The great number of castles and fortresses is one of the reasons why there are so many ghost stories and myths rooted into the mindsets of the people living in the Rhineland. The Siebengebirge (“Seven Mountains”) is a mysterious place that is the home of many myths and fairytales. Even its peaks tend to carry names that are shrouded in mystery such as Drachenfels (“Dragon’s Rock”), Löwenburg (“Lion’s Castle”) or Wolkenburg (“Cloud Castle”). Famous fairytales of the Brothers Grimm are, often enough, based on more or less real occurrences of a bygone time. This includes the tale of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” a story with it's origins in the Siebengebirge.
Steeped in history and breathtakingly beautiful, Königswinter's fairytale castle - Drachenburg, the former German capital of Bonn and the Ahr Valley are the magical highlights on this wonderful four day break. Join us as we immerse ourselves in the festive spirit by taking a trip to visit three traditional German Christmas markets. You will have plenty of time to browse the wide selection of festive goods and gifts, while at the same time enjoying the aromas of hot chestnuts, grilled sausage and fresh gingerbread biscuits. Our hotel is the superbly appointed Maritim Hotel Königswinter, situated directly on the Rhine promenade and close to the Sea Life Centre with wonderful views of the passing ships and the Drachenfels mountain behind.
Friday – We collect you from your local pick up point to join your tour coach as we make our way for our Channel Crossing. We then continue via the auto-routes of France, Belgium and Germany to arrive at our hotel in Königswinter early evening for a three night stay. Dinner is included in the hotel this evening.
Saturday – Following a leisurely breakfast we take a short drive to Bonn, the former German capital and the birthplace of Beethoven. Approximately 180 vendors set up their huts and stalls in Bonn’s city centre for the annual Christmas market, framed by the historic Minster and the Bottlerplatz. The culinary treats here range from all-time classics such as Glühwein, roast chestnuts and battered cod, to more exotic foods and drinks including honey mead and Hungarian pastries. The handcrafted gifts, souvenirs and decor are just as varied – glass and timber Christmas tree ornaments, beeswax candles, alpaca knitwear, handmade jewellery and lanterns, leather purses and wooden kids’ toys are just the tip of what’s to be discovered. Mid-afternoon we return to Königswinter and the rest of the day is at leisure to explore. We have included tickets for the Drachenfelsbahn, the oldest cog railway in Germany that will transport you up to the Drachenburg Castle. No other Christmas market in the region can quite compete with this setting. On Saturdays and Sundays during the advent season, the 19th-century Drachenburg Castle twinkles with fairy lights as visitors are transported back in time by storytellers and actors who reenact Christmas tales. Approximately 40 vendors set up within the castle grouds to offer their goods and culinary treats here – you can shop for handmade gifts and souvenirs, indulge in local foods and warm up with mulled wine and hot chocolate. We include the entrance ticket that covers entrance to both the interior and the grounds of the castle. The castle is best visited after dark when it will be beautifully illuminated, therefore, we have not included dinner at the hotel this evening leaving you free to choose where and when you wish to eat.
Sunday – This morning we travel to the red wine region of the Ahr Valley for a visit to the Ahrweiler Christmas Market. Not so well known as the markets in the large cities, Ahrweiler has a truly romantic atmosphere. This really is picturebook Germany, an attractive medieval town encircled by a wall and criss-crossed by pedestrianised lanes lined with half-timbered houses, restaurants and shops. Dinner is included in the hotel this evening.
Monday – We depart after breakfast and retrace our steps back to Calais and our Channel Crossing and onward journey home.
★★★★+ Maritim Hotel, Königswinter
Set at the foot of the Siebengebirge low mountain range, this four-star superior hotel offers elegant accommodation and modern wellness services in the wine town of Königswinter, on the banks of the River Rhine.
The Maritim Hotel Königswinter boasts stylish, generously equipped rooms and suites with free WiFi access.
Relax with a drink on the Maritim’s spacious terrace, and admire the panoramic views of the River Rhine.
Work out in the modern fitness studio, go for a swim in the indoor pool, or spoil yourself in the wellness and beauty area.
The Rheinterrassen restaurant and piano bar cater to all tastes. Visit the hotel website
3 nights accomodation
2 x evening meals in the hotel
3 x Maritim lavish breakfasts
Platinum coach travel
Excursions and visits
Ticket for the Drachenfels Cog Railway
Entrance to Drachenburg Castle
Local pick up points
Hostess on board