If you're looking for any romantic and splendid Christmas holiday, Let me share a well-kept secret together with you: Check out Schwangau to see the Neuschwanstein Castle village with the border of Germany and Austria.
Having lived in Dubai in the boom years, and seeing new buildings emerge like mushrooms, I cannot believe how unspoiled the Neuschwanstein Castle area is. Despite a lot more than 2million tourists visiting Neuschwanstein every year (about three more castles inside a 3 mile radius), there aren't any high-risers, no ugly modern buildings (a tribute into a great local government who puts tradition over financial gains). Instead you are going to feel as if the years have stood still: old farms and mountain chalet style houses abound and you still see farmers on their bicycles leading their small herds down the road to the pasture - a marvelous heart-warming sight within a first world country. So here are my top causes of spending your winter and Christmas Visit to Schwangau and also the Neuschwanstein Castle area.
1. Magic Neuschwanstein Castle & The King Ludwig Story
Neuschwanstein Castle is amongst the most famous and arguably the prettiest castle on earth. It attracts greater than 2million visitors annually throughout the world and in many cases inspired Disney world to generate the Magic Kingdom/ Cinderella castle. Through Hollywood Orlando Kingdom and Cinderella Castle, however, might be best of all known compared to the stunning original in the Alpine mountains of Bavaria. Neuschwanstein Castle was built by King Ludwig II in Bavaria. His mysterious death inside a nearby lake continues to be substance for rumours even today.
2. Great Skiing and Winter Sport Opportunities (downhill, nordic, roller skating)
Inside a 5-30 minutes drive you will have a minimum of 5 ski resorts and 140km of slopes for downhill skiing / snowboarding / ski touring to use. You can find slopes for many abilities and ski schools in addition to ski/snowboard rental opportunities in nearly all resort. Virtually all resorts supply a snow-garantuee providing additional powder snow when the weather not comply. With mountain huts scattered throughout the Alpine mountains, there are tons of good reasons to stop for sunbathing about the terraces sipping a hot drink or going for 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 can even go night-skiing right under Neuschwanstein castle. Schwangau offers 30 km of nordic skiing tracks, 2km that can also be flood-lit during the night. Finally, you will find tobogganing slopes from many mountain huts plus most ski resorts and skate boarding opportunities on one in the 6 lakes from the immediate neigbhourbood.
3. Romantic German Christmas Markets
German Christmas Markets ("Weihnachstmarkt") are renowned 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 nearly all of December. Imagine strolling through a maze of stalls displaying treasures from wood-carved figures, "nutcrackers", little pottery things to a myriad of Excersize equipment whilst the air is stuffed with the sweet smell of mulled wine and freshly baked waffles.
4. Wellness The opportunity to Relax & Give yourself a break
There are many wellness offers in the area like massages, sauna, light therapy etc. Of special interest would be the hot pools with the royal spa thermal bath ("K�nigliche Kristalltherme"). Connected inside and outside pools permit you to benefit from the warm steaming water while raising your mind in the ice-cold air - think of the impression of snow flakes falling everywhere melting instantly as they hit and comfortable water. Through the fields you see the nordic skiers sliding by and from the mountain to their rear emerges Neuschwanstein Castle. An event not to be missed !
5. Breath-taking Horse-sledge Rides from the Winter Wonderland to view Wild Deer Being Fed
You are able to rent your own personal horse-drawn sledge or join one of the regularly scheduled excursions on the castles, the mountain huts or deer feeding area within the woods. Wrapped up in warm blankets you'll savor the clean outdoors and the breath-taking panoramic views of snow covered mountains and white valleys. Among my own favourites is seeing the wild deer being fed so close to you that you could nearly touch them. To avoid them rushing away, you'll hardly dare to breathe trying to stay silent as you see the majestic male deer slowly approaching the rest of the herd: a magic encounter with all the wild !
6. Dramatic New Year's Eve Fireworks Wherever You appear
In Germany New Year's Eve is obviously celebrated with fireworks wherever you appear. Everyone in this country can purchase and launch their unique and most families do. Try it yourself if you are here? Imagine watching the fireworks over one in the castles holding your loved one(s) and building a wish for the new year ahead. Commemorate on an unforgettable moment. After midnight many families embark on a tradition called "Bleigie�en" (lead pouring) to predict everyone's fortune for that new year. Little bits of lead are melted in little pans in the flame of an candle. After 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 this is of this contour around predict the pourer's fortune for the coming year. You can buy the complete "lead pouring" kit at supermarkets in Germany. Best of luck J !
7. Delicious Local Food Specialities
The area meals are delicious and you will probably find lots of restaurants to choose from. Pork dishes like "Schweinshaxe" (pork knuckle) are frequent but game and fish are also local specialities as they are the famous "Apfelstrudel" with vanilla sauce or ice cream. A nearby speciality may be the "Brotzeit" that are big platters with cold cut meat and cheese served with fresh German bread, freshly baked "Brezen" (big soft pretzels) and bread rolls. Finally, there exists variety of local beers to try and you will want to go to the local brewery or even the cheesemaker for a tour on how those delicacies are created?
8. Luxury & Rustic Hotels and Overnight accommodation
There are various cosy holiday apartments and splendid rooms in hotels to select from. Lately increasingly more luxury holiday apartments serve the growing need for a totally relaxing and opulent holiday. Most architecture is kept in the standard "Allgaeu" style, an alternative with the mountain chalet using plenty of wood for the facade and including wooden balconies on several sides of the house. There are also many working farms which provide accommodation combined with an experience of true farm life. For a first world country and also the village of the King's Castles Schwangau comes with an astonishing level of dairy farms. You will want able to hear the gentle ring from the cow bells wherever you remain :-)
9.Welcoming and Friendly People Who Celebrate Their Traditions
From the minute we arrived in this region, people have been extraordinarily friendly and forthcoming. They're helpful, authentic and genuine. Everyone takes great pride inside their traditions and heritage and all over the year you can find festivals displaying local dance, music, clothing ("Lederhosen" and "Dirndl") and naturally beer. A lot of people in Schwangau speak enough English to keep a conversation and lots of do so readily with astonishing fluency. There is also a growing international community in the area and of course tourists throughout the globe. This may cause Schwangau an authentic "international village". When you come drop me an email and I will aid insider know-how about this dream location.
With so much organic beauty, high Alpine mountains and magnificent mountain lakes all from the same small region, it can be hardly surprising the bishops and German Kings built their castles here. Even the Romans and Celts had decided to settle here. In reality, the Via Claudia Augusta, one of several big Roman trading roads leads through Schwangau joining the province of Germania through Austria to Rome. You can find Roman pillars and visit a whole Roman villa in your magic visit to this exceptional place.