Head to Germany for Christmas market holidays

A visit to the German markets has become the latest British tradition to announce the beginning of Christmas Holidays and short breaks are available from the end of November and start of December.

German Christmas markets are characterised by their old-fashioned atmosphere, by their seasonal cakes and biscuits, the smell of mulled wine and grilled sausages, and the stalls full of traditional wooden toys and tree decorations. Check your baggage allowances before you get carried away with the Yuletide spirit.

If you want to arrange your own flights, go to www.germany-christmas-market.org.uk to find out the locations of the best markets, in beautiful old towns like Baden-Baden or Bernkastel-Kues. They can also organise a tailor-made break for you with flights and accommodation, from Aachen to Wurzburg and most places in-between.

For package tours to the Christmas markets, Door 2 Door (www.door2door.com) has departures from all over the UK. For example a 4 day trip with Newmarket Tours to the Christmas markets in Munich costs £299 per person, including flights from London Stansted, all transfers, 3 nights in a Munich hotel and the services of a tour guide.

Thomas Cook (www.thomascook.com) offers 2-night breaks to Cologne, which has a choice of 6 different Christmas markets. Flights and accommodation packages start at £152 per person.

If you prefer to take your Christmas market holidays by train, Railbookers (www.railbookers.com) offers breaks to 11 German cities, with a trip to Aachen costing £21 per person. Aachen is famous for its Christmas gingerbread shapes, called printen.

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