Arrive on site from midday onwards and meet your Club Tour Escorts and fellow tourers. Enjoy an evening three-course welcome meal and drink in the campsite restaurant.
6 nights at Valkenburg campsite.
Leave the site by coach late morning for an excursion to the German city of Aachen. There will be a map of the city provided so that you can make the most of your visit and enjoy the brightly lit stalls of the Christmas market, which is centred around the stunning UNESCO listed cathedral and the town hall. Aachen is known for its ‘Printen’ gingerbread so make sure you sample some and purchase more to take with you as well as keeping warm with a mug of
glühwein! Lunch will be payable locally and there are plenty of places to choose from with a wide variety of international cuisine as well as traditional German menus. Return to the campsite early evening.
Today we take the local bus, which is a ten-minute walk from the campsite, to Valkenburg. The ticket will allow you to use the bus route whenever you wish on this day for an unlimited amount of journeys. Entry is included to the Velvet Cave and the Municipal Cave. The Velvet Cave is a treasure trove of impressive mural paintings, sculptures and a unique 18th century chapel. The Christmas market stalls bring a cosy feel to the caves and offer a wide variety of souvenirs to buy. The municipal Christmas market is situated at the bottom of the well-known Cauberg hill, and is the largest and oldest underground Christmas market in Europe. Explore the labyrinth of passages and Christmas goods galore! In the evening you can enjoy the Christmas parade, which starts at 1930. Beautifully decorated floats and dancers parade through the centre of Valkenburg and locals and tourists gather to watch as it travels on its route. Return to the site by public bus.
Depart late morning for an excursion to Cologne. There are seven individual markets here, each with its own theme and festive feel, from the Rudolfplatz, which features the brothers’ Grimm fairy tales, to the Neumarkt Christmas market which is Cologne’s oldest Christmas market and found in the city’s principal shopping area. The central Christmas market is found at Cologne Cathedral, which is nearly 160 metres high and provides a perfect backdrop for the Christmas stalls – you’ll also find the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland here! Lunch is payable locally and you’ll have plenty of time to make the most of Cologne before we depart early evening to return to the campsite.
Depart the site late morning for an excursion to Maastricht. Here you’ll find a Ferris Wheel and an ice rink in Vrijthof square where the Christmas stalls are located. There is also a general market held on Fridays so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to shop for Dutch souvenirs and other items. Local delicacies to try here are braadworsten sausage and poffertjes which are small, sweet pancakes. Lunch is payable locally and you can enjoy it al fresco as many restaurants offer patio heating and blankets to enable guests to eat outdoors.
A day at leisure. You can revisit the markets in Valkenburg (payable locally) or other places of interest such as Valkenburg castle, which is the Netherlands’ only hilltop castle. You may wish to venture further afield and travel to Liège (30 miles) for more Christmas markets or perhaps visit one of the largest and most beautiful castles in Holland at Hoensbroek (8 miles). Meet up again in the evening for a three-course farewell meal and drink on site.
End of tour arrangements. Your Tour Specialist can book extra nights if you wish to extend your stay or recommend and book other sites for your return journey.
Approximate tour mileage: One campsite only, no tour mileage.
Driving rating: GREEN. There is no tour mileage and the campsite is approximately 210 miles from Calais or 150 miles from Hook of Holland ports.
Mobility rating: MODERATE. The tour includes sections of walking on uneven terrain such as cobblestones, walking up some slopes, getting on and off coaches.