Monday, November 1, 2010

European Travel This Holiday Season

The holiday period is right around the corner, which means vacation planning is in full swing. Europe is a great place to consider for holiday travel, as airline prices are typically at their lowest and main cities are a lot less crowded compared to the summer months. Here are some tips from Gate 1 Travel on how to make the most of a European vacation.

Explore holiday traditions on a different continent: Countries all across Europe have their own special way of celebrating the holiday time. In Norway, December 13 is the feast day of Santa Lucia. Throughout the day, a parade of girls wear a crown of lights, carry baskets and hand out saffron buns. In France, the Christmas Eve feast is known as Le Reveillon de Noel, lasting a lot of hours and serving up cuisine unique to each city.

Visit Europe's famous Christmas markets: Christmas markets are a tradition in more than a dozen cities throughout Europe. These unique destinations feature handmade crafts, unique foods, live nativity scenes, concerts and special celebrations. In Copenhagen, visit the Christmas market at Tivoli Gardens to see more than four miles of Christmas lights. In France, the Strasbourg Cathedral is the oldest Christmas Market in the country.

Ring in the New Year on a River: River cruising is a unique way to visit multiple European cities during the holidays. Cruise the Danube, Rhine or Main River to see cities like Amsterdam, Cologne, Vienna, Frankfurt and Nuremberg. "River cruises are unique in that they are smaller than traditional ocean cruise ships and usually less than 100 suites," said Marty Seslow, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Gate 1 Travel. "They are also unique in that they typically stop at a new city everyday, instead of spending an entire day cruising."

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