If you're looking for any romantic and luxurious Christmas holiday, I'll share a well-kept secret along with you: Check out Schwangau and discover the Neuschwanstein Castle village on the border of Germany and Austria.
Having lived in Dubai throughout the boom years, and seeing new buildings emerge like mushrooms, I can not believe how unspoiled the Neuschwanstein Castle area is. Despite over 1 million tourists visiting Neuschwanstein annually (about three more castles in the 3 mile radius), there isn't any high-risers, no ugly modern buildings (a tribute into a great city who puts tradition over financial gains). Instead you'll feel like the years have stood still: old farms and mountain chalet style houses abound but you just see farmers on their own bicycles leading their small herds down the path to the pasture - a wonderful heart-warming sight inside a first world country. So here are my best causes of spending your winter and xmas Vacation in Schwangau along with the Neuschwanstein Castle area.
1. Magic Neuschwanstein Castle & The King Ludwig Story
Neuschwanstein Castle is among the most well-known and arguably the most amazing castle on the globe. It attracts over A million visitors each year throughout the globe and even inspired Walt disney world to come up with the Magic Kingdom/ Cinderella castle. Through Hollywood Orlando Kingdom and Cinderella Castle, however, could possibly be best of all known than the stunning original in the Alpine mountains of Bavaria. Neuschwanstein Castle was built by King Ludwig II in Bavaria. His mysterious death in a nearby lake continues to be the substance for rumours even today.
2. Great Skiing and Winter Sport Opportunities (downhill, nordic, skateboarding)
In just a 5-30 minutes drive you should have a minimum of 5 ski resorts and 140km of slopes for downhill skiing / snowboarding / ski touring for your use. You will find slopes for those abilities and ski schools along with ski/snowboard rental opportunities in virtually every resort. Virtually all resorts provide a snow-garantuee providing additional powder snow if your weather not comply. With mountain huts scattered throughout the Alpine mountains, there are plenty of good reasons to stop for sunbathing on the terraces sipping a classy drink or enjoying a plate of rustic mountain hut food, like "K�sspatzen" (small local noodles tossed in mountain cheese) or "Kaiserschmarrn" (torn pancake with raisins and almonds topped with apple or cherry sauce). You may even go night-skiing right under Neuschwanstein castle. Schwangau also provides 30 km of nordic skiing tracks, 2km ones may also be flood-lit during the night. Finally, there are tobogganing slopes from many mountain huts plus most ski resorts and ice skating opportunities using one from the 6 lakes from the immediate neigbhourbood.
3. Romantic German Christmas Markets
German Christmas Markets ("Weihnachstmarkt") are famous for their cosy and romantic Christmas atmosphere. You wouldn't want to overlook them. Schwangau runs a culinary Christmas Market in November and F�ssen, the medieval cobble-stoned town 3 miles away runs a magic Christmas Market almost all of December. Imagine strolling by way of a maze of stalls displaying treasures from wood-carved figures, "nutcrackers", little pottery things to a myriad of Xmas decorations while the air is filled with the sweet smell of mulled wine and freshly baked waffles.
4. Wellness The opportunity to Relax & Treat Yourself
There are plenty of wellness offers in your community including massages, sauna, light therapy etc. Of special interest would be the hot pools in the royal spa thermal bath ("K�nigliche Kristalltherme"). Connected outdoor and indoor pools let you enjoy the warm steaming water while raising your brain in the ice-cold air - consider the sensation of snow flakes falling all over the place melting instantly because they hit the nice and cozy water. Through the fields the truth is the nordic skiers sliding by and up against the mountain behind them emerges Neuschwanstein Castle. An event to not be missed !
5. Breath-taking Horse-sledge Rides with the Winter Wonderland to determine Wild Deer Being Fed
You'll be able to rent your own horse-drawn sledge or join one of many regularly scheduled excursions for the castles, the mountain huts or even the deer feeding area inside the woods. Wrapped up in warm blankets you'll savor the clean outdoors along with the breath-taking panoramic views of snow covered mountains and white valleys. Certainly one of the favourites is seeing nature deer being fed so close to you you could nearly touch them. To prevent them rushing away, you'll hardly dare to breathe wanting to stay silent as you see the majestic male deer slowly approaching the rest of the herd: a magic encounter using the wild !
6. Dramatic New Year's Eve Fireworks Wherever You appear
In Germany New Year's Eve is definitely celebrated with fireworks wherever you look. Everyone with this country can purchase and launch their particular and many families do. Try it yourself when you are here? Imagine watching the fireworks more than one from the castles holding your spouse(s) and making a wish for 2012 ahead. It can make with an unforgettable moment. After midnight many families embark on a practice called "Bleigie�en" (lead pouring) to predict everyone's chance for your year. Little items of lead are melted in little pans within the flame of the candle. As soon as the lead is liquid you pour it in to a bowl of cold water where it instantly forms a shape. Everyone then has fun interpreting the meaning of the contour around predict the pourer's fortune for your coming year. You can purchase the full "lead pouring" kit at supermarkets in Germany. Good luck J !
7. Delicious Local Food Specialities
The neighborhood meals is delicious and you may find lots of restaurants from which to choose. Pork dishes like "Schweinshaxe" (pork knuckle) are frequent but game and fish will also be local specialities as they are the famous "Apfelstrudel" with vanilla sauce or ice cream. An area speciality may be the "Brotzeit" which can be big platters with cold cut meat and cheese served with fresh German bread, freshly baked "Brezen" (big soft pretzels) and bread rolls. Finally, there is certainly number of local beers to try to why not look at the local brewery or cheesemaker to get a tour about how those delicacies are set up?
8. Luxury & Rustic Hotels and Overnight accommodation
There are several cosy holiday apartments and opulent hotels to pick from. Lately a growing number of luxury holiday apartments focus on the growing demand for a really relaxing and opulent holiday. Most architecture is held in the typical "Allgaeu" style, a variation from the mountain chalet using plenty of wood for the facade and displaying wooden balconies on several sides of the property. There are also many working farms that offer accommodation coupled with an experience of true farm life. For a first world country as well as the village in the King's Castles Schwangau comes with an astonishing amount of dairy farms. You will want able to hear the gentle ring with the cow bells wherever you stay :-)
9.Welcoming and Friendly People that Celebrate Their Traditions
From the time we arrived in this region, everyone has been extraordinarily friendly and forthcoming. They're helpful, authentic and genuine. Everyone takes great pride in their traditions and heritage and all sorts of through the year you'll find festivals displaying local dance, music, clothing ("Lederhosen" and "Dirndl") and of course beer. Most people in Schwangau speak enough English to carry a discussion and lots of do this readily with astonishing fluency. There's also a growing international community in the region and naturally tourists throughout the planet. As a result Schwangau a genuine "international village". When you come drop me a message and I will assist you with insider knowledge about this dream location.
With so much natural beauty, high Alpine mountains and superior mountain lakes all inside the same small region, it really is hardly surprising that this bishops and German Kings built their castles here. Perhaps the Romans and Celts had made a decision to settle here. Actually, the Via Claudia Augusta, one of several big Roman trading roads leads all the way through Schwangau joining the province of Germania through Austria to Rome. You will discover Roman pillars and search for a whole Roman villa on your magic vacation to this exceptional place.