Friday 25 July 2014

Spend a white Christmas in Europe with Intrepid Travel

Leading small group adventure tour operator Intrepid Travel has launched three new winter trips in Europe, giving travellers the chance to explore magical Christmas markets, stay at an Ice Hotel and experience the Northern Lights.

The eight-day Christmas Markets of Central Europe (from $1,840) gives travellers the chance to sample local festive food and soak up the festive atmosphere in Munich, Salzberg, and Budapest.

Highlights include:
  • The delights of the Christmas markets in Munich, including Kripperlmarkt for the perfect nativity scene and the city’s alpine Christmas market where festive tunes are sung.
  • Wondering Salzburg’s atmospheric market in front of the city’s impressive cathedral amid aromas of spicy Glühwein, roasted chestnuts, toasted almonds and cinnamon-brushed baked apples.
  • The delicious festive food of Vienna, including savoury Kartoffelpuffer (potato cakes) or spicy kirsch-gingerbread.
  • Sipping on a glass of mulled wine while browsing Budapest’s brightly lit Christmas market in Vörösmarty Square.
Departure dates on 30 November and 7, 14, and 20 December 2014.
The five-day Ice Hotel Experience (from $1,245) in Romania focuses on spooky Transylvania and includes a visit to Bran (Dracula’s) Castle, the chance to explore medieval villages and experience a unique stay at an Ice Hotel.

Highlights include:
  • A surprisingly cosy night’s stay in the famous Ice Hotel. While inside temperatures hover around the zero degree centigrade mark, reindeer fur-lined chairs, specialist sleeping bags – and possibly a few cocktails – will keep anyone warm and snug.
  • Romania’s rapidly modernising capital, Bucharest.
  • The picturesque Prahova Valley en route to Peles Castle in Sinaia.
  • An evening in Brasov, a charmingly atmospheric city nestled in the Carpathian Mountains.
  • A tour of Bran Castle, rumoured one-time residence of Count Dracula and arguably Romania’s most famous landmark.
Ice_Hotel_02Departure dates throughout January to March 2015.
The six-day Northern Lights Escape (from $1,295) showcases the raw beauty of Iceland with waterfalls, glaciers, geysers, volcanoes and the beautiful Northern Lights.
Highlights include:
  • The magical spectacle of the Northern Lights (dependent on clear skies).
  • The world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavik.
  • Natural hot springs in the Geysir geothermal area, where the Strokkur geyser shoots water 30 metres in the air.
  • The Gulfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, the latter being one of Iceland’s biggest.
  • The black sandy beaches of the South Shore.
  • A walk on Europe’s biggest glacier, Vatnajakull, with crampons and axes.
Departure dates on 12 and 19 February, 19 March and 12 November 2015.

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