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13 Best Europe Winter Tours: Europe Winter 2023 – 2024 Guide

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Are you looking for the best Europe winter tours? We have the answer. With a ton of European travel experience (with and without guided tours), we have curated this list for you. The tour operators mentioned here are some of the best in the travel niche, and you can read further reviews and book online in the comfort of your house. 

13 Best Europe Winter Tours (Snowy Trips, Christmas Vacations & More)

Glimpses of Europe Winter Tours
Europe winter tours

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In a hurry? These are the top European winter tours to book

Winter ToursHighlightsLearn More
Switzerland in 5 daysDuration – 5 days
Place – Cities in Switzerland
Type– Cities, culture, and nature
Book Here
Iceland Northern LightsDuration – 6 days
Place – Iceland
Type– Nature, Northern Lights
Book Here
Christmas MarketsDuration – 8 days
Places – 3 countries – Germany, Austria, Hungary
Type – Christmas Markets, Festive
Book Here
Central EuropeDuration – 9 days
Places – 3 countries – Germany, Czech Republic, Austria
Type – Christmas Markets, Festive, old town
Book Here
Balkans & BeyondDuration – 28 days
Places – Balkans & Eastern Europe
Type – City, culture, offbeat places
Book Here
Italy WinterDuration – 8 days
Places – Italy
Type – City, Culture
Book Here
London WinterDuration – 7 days
Places – London
Type – Winter sightseeing, City & culture
Book Here
Finland WinterDuration – 8 days
Places – Finland
Type – Winter wonderland
Book Here
Trans Siberian WinterDuration – 15 days
Places – Russia – Moscow & Russian Far East
Type – Train, winter adventure
Book Here
Turkey WinterDuration – 15 days
Places – Turkey
Type – City & Culture
Book Here
Taste of ScandinaviaDuration – 7 days
Places – Danmark, Norway, Sweden
Type – City & Culture
Book Here
Spain and PortugalDuration – 15 days
Places – Spain & Portugal
Type – Warm, coastal sites, winter sun
Book Here
Europe TasterDuration – 7 days
Places – UK, France & beyond
Type – Iconic cities in the winter
Book Here

Winter is an incredible time to travel Europe. Some countries become a winter wonderland, with frozen lakes, snowy days, and hot drinks. Other destinations are still warm and evergreen. 

There is also lots going on around the Christmas season! You’re truly spoilt for choice on this historic continent. 

One of the best ways to see it all and learn about the destinations you’re interested in is to go on a small group guided tour. We’ve found all the best European winter tours, from the southern coast to the tip of Iceland.

Europe in Winter – What to Expect

Europe in winter is a very different experience to summer on the continent. One of the best things about the season is the crowds – or lack thereof. 

In most of Europe, winter is far quieter than summer, and even the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. This means that prices are lower, lines are shorter, and you’re a lot more likely to book that hotel or the tour you’re interested in. 

Why Choose a European Tour Experience

Europe is so fantastically rich in history and culture. Often, if you’re not able to spend weeks in every city, you won’t be able to take everything in. Tours are a great way to learn about the area while being shown all the best it has to offer. 

Slovenia Winter
Europe Winter

Whether you just take a half-day food tour or a multi-day experience, you’ll leave Europe with a greater understanding. And fun experiences to boot.

So – while we fully support going out on your own and discovering Europe – if you’re pressed for time, or want to learn more about the places you’re exploring, try out these beautiful European tours.

💡 Looking to save money? You can find last minute deals from GAdventures

Top Winter European Tours

Europe can be truly phenomenal in winter. You just need to find the right place and the best experience. We found the top European tours in winter so that you can have an incredible European holiday, without spending too much time and effort planning.

1. Switzerland in 5 days: Zurich, Interlaken and Lucerne

Switzerland is a country of breathtaking landscapes, stunning views, and charming cities. While many people believe that Switzerland is an expensive destination, it can actually be visited on a budget with careful planning. 

Wetterhorn of Grindelwald in Winter
The small village under the Wetterhorn (3692m) near Grindelwald on the Bern Highland of Switzerland

On this 5-day tour, you will get to cover the highlights of Zurich, Interlaken, and Lucerne, giving you a taste of all this beautiful country has to offer. It also includes stops and views of the Eiger and Jungfrau Glacier Panorama Tour via Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, and Grindelwald!

Highlights:

The tours start and end in Zurich, embarking on a culture and nature trip with accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport, and more.

Important notes:

  • Airport transfer on the first day is included
  • 4 nights stay in a hotel is included, plus 4 breakfasts

With multiple departures to choose from you will enjoy this Switzerland group tour!

Click to view the trip here and make a booking

2. Northern Lights Experience in Iceland

Europe is so brilliantly festive around December. Christmas tours in Europe are one of the most unique ways to experience the festive season.

Northern Lights Iceland Winter Tour
Northern Lights Iceland Winter Tour

Iceland is also a really beautiful place, with unusual geography and sometimes harsh conditions you need to be well-prepared for. It’s certainly best experienced on a guided tour.

This tour is perfect for those who want a little adventure and nature on their vacations. Very different from city exploring, you’ll be hiking fjords, chasing waterfalls, and melting in geothermal hot springs. It is definitely one of the best winter destinations in Europe.

Highlights

The tours start and end in Reykjavik, embarking on a small-group minibus in search of adventure. Visit volcanoes, and learn about local culture and customs. And of course, taking in the exquisite beauty of the Northern Lights.

Important Notes

  • The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are a natural phenomenon. So while it’s likely that you’ll see the incredible display from these altitudes, it cannot be guaranteed
  • Bring very snug clothing, and be aware that a few long drives are involved – which just offer a great opportunity to get to know your small tour group

Learn more about Iceland – Northern Lights tours from Intrepid Travel

You might also like this tour from G Adventures: Northern Lights Tour by G Adventures

3. Christmas Markets Tour – Munich to Budapest

Europe is so brilliantly festive around December. Christmas tours in Europe are one of the most unique ways to experience the festive season. 

Christmas Markets
Christmas Markets

This 8-day tour takes you from Germany to Hungary, stopping at the best Christmas markets and other attractions in three countries. 

Highlights

Visit markets in Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, and Budapest. Stroll through brightly lit streets, sipping on mulled wine and trying all the local specialties. You’ll find hand-crafted toys and decorations, delicious food, and one-of-a-kind gifts.

In addition, visit castles and fortresses, admire the architecture, and contrast the Christmas traditions and culture in every unique city. This captivating Europe tour in December is an unforgettable, extended Christmas experience.

Important Notes

  • Be prepared for crowds within the markets
  • Pack for different kinds of weather, as much of your time will be spent outdoors
  • Most of the traveling is by train, so you’ll be able to watch the countryside pass by without sparing a thought for traffic jams

Click to check out this 8 day Christmas Markets in Europe

4. Best of Central Europe Tours – Iconic Medieval Cities

Experience the charm and vibrant visual history of Central Europe. With medieval towns and epic historic cities, there is so much to see here. 

Prague's Christmas Markets
Old Town Square Prague’s Christmas Markets

The 9-day tour will take you through the very best of Central Europe, including Vienna, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, and Budapest

Highlights

Explore Prague’s historic Old Town in the Czech Republic, the Berlin Wall in Germany, and Vienna’s bustling 16th-century market, and the Schönbrunn Palace. You’ll also have plenty of free time in some of the most impactful cities in history. 

Or relish in cozy cafe culture in the winter!

Pass through gorgeous countryside, and learn all about the area’s historical and cultural significance. This is a truly spectacular tour, made only better by the snowy chill of winter.

Important Note

  • Pack lightly, as there will be times when you have to carry your luggage upstairs
  • A trip to Vienna will be memorable in the winter (best Christmas Market to explore)

Click to view departure dates for the Central Europe tour

5. Eastern Europe, Croatia and the Balkans Tour

This is one of the epic tours that includes multiple countries on a month-long trip! It is no ordinary journey through cobweb-covered history; it’s an immersive experience that invites you to connect with village life, explore vibrant urban or city centers, and indulge in amazing sights in Montenegro and beyond. 

Dolac Markets Zagreb Croatia itinerary
Dolac Markets Zagreb Croatia itinerary

With a generous 28 days dedicated to this adventure, you have the opportunity to uncover a hidden gem that still retains its allure.

Tour type and highlights:

  • The trip starts in Berlin (Germany) and wraps up in Split (Croatia)
  • 27 nights of accommodation, and 27 breakfasts included in the tour price
  • Countries visited Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia

Important Notes

  • Good value for the countries/cities covered. The tour package also includes guided sightseeing excursions and you can also add extras for a more immersive experience! 
  • Lower costs: A majority of the countries are in the Balkans and they are some of the affordable destinations to visit in Europe – giving you more bang for your buck!

Click to book this tour here

6. Best of Italy – Rome to Venice

This is an incredible tour to embark on in winter. You’ll see the best and biggest cities in Italy, enjoying plenty of free time to discover everything on your wishlist. You’ll even enjoy a traditional pasta-making class.

Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican at Winter Christmas night: Vatican and Rome winters

Italy tours in winter are ideal, as you can explore the most famous landmarks without the summer crowds. There’s a lot to tick off the bucket list, including the Colosseum, Vatican City, Venice canals, and a myriad of charming churches.

Highlights

Wander around Rome, stopping at all the magical landmarks of the ancient city such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the iconic Trevi Fountain. Spend time in romantic Venice – far more romantic for its lack of crowding and the pollution that often comes with it. And learn to make pasta in Bologna.

Important Notes

  • Be sure to pack both for warm weather and cold, as Italy’s winters include both
  • Pack light, as you’ll have to carry your bag upstairs and off of trains

Click to learn more about the Best of Italy tour

7. A week in London United Kingdom

Explore England’s greatest city on this exciting 6-day tour. You’ll see all the top attractions, including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and Stonehenge.

Christmas-lights-in-London-Regent-Street
London

You’ll be guided by enthusiastic and knowledgeable local guides, learning all the fascinating details of your various stops. This is the perfect winter sightseeing tour. 

The city is a lot less active than in summer but becomes vibrant as Christmas and New Year nears. 

Highlights

Get a full tour of London from your local host. You’ll see all the famous architectural masterpieces and learn some fascinating history while you tour. 

Then, enjoy four days of self-guided sightseeing, taking everything at your own pace. Catch a show at the West End and try England’s famous fish and chips. 

Important Notes

  • Accommodation and buffet breakfasts are included
  • You’ll have plenty of free time, so find out what you’re keen to see in London

Click to view this London winter tour

8. Finnish Lapland in Winter

A relatively unknown destination, Lapland is a magical place. Snowy woodlands and vast wilderness, dog-sleds, and extreme temperatures set this adventure apart from anything else. If you’ve ever dreamed of pristine white nature, this is where you’ll find it.

European winters - Lapland
European winters – Lapland

Highlights

Experience an actual dog-sled, and hike across the snow-covered countryside. Get to know the locals over hot dishes and unusual drinks. 

You’ll tour Santa’s workshop, stop in Helsinki, and explore remote villages you’d be hard-pressed to find without a tour guide. You will even visit a Finnish family, and try out a little reindeer-herding!

Important Notes

  • Lapland is extremely cold in winter, so pack appropriately
  • Be sure to look outside at night – the Northern Lights can often be found lighting up the sky

Click to view this Lapland winter tour

9. Winter Trans-Siberian Adventure

The great Trans-Siberian Railway is the best way to experience Russia’s winter. You’ll pass vast landscapes, often covered in snow while sipping on hot cocoa. 

Trans Siberian winter

Discover the beauty of Russia and its difficult past. Embrace local tradition with a local family on New Years’ – there’s usually a lot of vodkas involved. This is one of those bucket list experiences that come alive in winter.

Highlights

Explore Moscow, Russia’s famous capital. Celebrate New Year on the edge of the giant Lake Baikal. And experience a way of life that is nearly unchanged since the 18th century at the Old Believers Village.

Important Notes

  • The weather in Siberia can get extremely cold, dropping below -30℃ outdoors
  • This is a proper (and iconic) train journey, with many of your days and nights spent on the train – it’s not just a way to get around, it is the experience itself

Click to learn more about the Trans Siberian winter tour

10. Turkey – Winter Europe Tour

Not a lot of people think of Turkey when planning a winter vacation in Europe. But this is often a mistake.

European winter tours
European winter tours

The historic country has a lot to offer, from ancient cities to bustling bazaars and magical palaces. The weather is usually mild during Turkey’s winter, making it ideal for those looking to escape rather than embrace Europe’s icy winters.

Highlights

This two-week tour includes a lot. Enjoy a traditional dinner with a local family in Cappadocia and a cooking class in Selçuk. Tour ancient battlefields and underground cities. Embark on a walking tour of Istanbul. 

Important Notes

  • At times, Turkey experiences political unrest – keep an eye on current events if you book your trip far in advance
  • Breakfasts are included, and two dinners, but for the rest of your meals you can explore the area and try what catches your eye

Check the Turkey Winter Tour here

11. A taste of Scandinavia

Scandinavia is the perfect place to visit in winter, picturesque and full of history and culture. This week-long trip will take you from Copenhagen to Oslo.

Copenhagen One week in Europe Itinerary
Copenhagen

Taste the local delicacies and admire the architecture and wilderness along the way. And be sure to bring your camera!

Highlights

Explore Scandinavia’s top cities across four different countries. Embark on a bike tour of Copenhagen with a local tour guide. Learn all about the contemporary culture and fascinating history as you cruise along. Visit markets, museums, and churches in Gothenburg and Oslo.

Important Notes

  • Keep in mind that Scandinavia can be pricey, particularly for meals. Breakfasts are provided, and you can get tips from your guide on where to get the best prices
  • You’ll be spending a lot of time on your feet, so pack good walking shoes
  • As the tour is relatively fast-paced, we recommend adding an extra day in your start and ending cities to maximize your trip

Click to learn more about this fantastic Scandinavian tour

12. Explore Spain and Portugal

This primarily coastal tour is the perfect opportunity to soak up some sun in the winter months. You can expect warmer weather as compared to other parts of Western Europe.

Granada Views
Granada Views

The route is phenomenally scenic and relaxing, with beaches, rolling hills, and cuisines that will melt winter away. These vibrant countries make for one of our favorite tours, no matter the time of year.

Highlights

Visit Moorish fortresses like the Alhambra in Granada Spain. Immerse yourselves into the vibrant cultures – and the wine and food that accompany them. Take a boat trip off the coast of the Algarve Portugal, relax on beaches, and explore the quirky art of Barcelona

Important Notes

  • Crowds in Spain’s winter months are minimal – but the weather can be chilly and rainy, so pack accordingly
  • Your rooms will be small but central

Click to learn more about Spain & Portugal winter tour

13. Europe Taster – 7 Days in France, UK, Netherlands, & beyond

Embark on an unforgettable journey starting and ending in the vibrant city of London!

Parisian Winter
Parisian Winter

This Explorer tour is a comprehensive 7-day package that will take you through London, Paris, and 8 other captivating destinations across Europe. This exceptional experience includes comfortable hotel accommodations, a knowledgeable guide, delectable meals, seamless transportation, and much more. 

Highlights

  • Explore the bustling streets of Paris, indulge in mouth-watering cuisine in Rome, and marvel at the iconic landmarks in cities like Amsterdam and Bruges on a short break
  • 6 nights’ accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. You can opt to pay extra for a single hotel room
  • Meals: 6 Breakfasts, 4 dinners (Vegetarian options available for all meals on request)

Important Notes

  • 11 experiences with a local guide are included. Plus trip to Burgundy, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a scenic mountain drive to Switzerland, soak in views of the Swiss Alps, a cruise along the Rhine River, a farewell dinner in Amsterdam, and more
  • Coach buses are used for transportation (and unfortunately they are not wheelchair friendly)

Click to view tour availability and book here

How to choose a group tour in Europe based on trip types and tour reviews

Europe is one of the most popular destinations for guided group tours. With an incredibly diverse landscape and deep history, there’s something for everyone on this continent. However, with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to select a tour that fits your interests and budget. 

Winter landscape in the Bavarian Alps with the famous Parish Church of St. Sebastian in the village of Ramsau, Nationalpark Berchtesgadener Land
Panoramic view of scenic winter landscape in the Bavarian Alps with the famous Parish Church of St. Sebastian in the village of Ramsau, Nationalpark Berchtesgadener Land, Upper Bavaria, Germany

In this section, we’ll discuss how you can narrow down your choices by considering trip types and tour reviews.

Winter Trip Styles

There are several types of group tours available in Europe, catering to different travel styles and preferences. Some popular trip types include:

  • Cultural Tours: These tours focus on immersing travelers in the local culture, cuisine, and rich history of a particular destination. They often include visits to famous landmarks and museums.
  • Adventure Tours: For travelers seeking a more active and adrenaline-filled experience, adventure tours offer activities such as hiking, kayaking, and skiing in scenic locations.
  • Food Tours: As the name suggests, these tours revolve around sampling local food and drinks. They’re perfect for foodies and offer a unique way to explore a new destination. Note that most tours will include farewell dinners that are a great way to engage with other travelers and try cuisine!
  • Multi-Country Tours: If you want to cover multiple countries in one trip, these tours are perfect for you. They allow you to experience the diverse cultures and landscapes of different European countries in a shorter time frame.

Europe Tour Reviews

Reading tour reviews from previous travelers can give you valuable insights into the quality and experience of a particular tour. Here are some tips to keep in mind while going through tour reviews:

  • Look for recent reviews: Pay attention to reviews from the past year or two, as they are more likely to reflect the current state of the tour.
  • Consider overall ratings: While individual comments can be subjective, a high overall rating can indicate a positive experience for most travelers.
  • Look for specific feedback: Reading specific comments about accommodations, the pace of the tour, and activities can help you determine if a tour is suitable for you.

With these factors in mind, you can choose a group tour in Europe that aligns with your interests and expectations. And remember, no matter which tour you choose, be open to new experiences and enjoy every moment of your European adventure. 

Which Winter European Tour Is Best For You?

So, now you know all the most amazing tours you can embark on in Europe over the winter season. Now all you need to do is decide which one is best for you – or which one. And then get packing!

Magical icy escapes with castles, lakes, and Northern Lights. City-hopping tours with Christmas markets and delicious local cuisines. Beach holidays and street bazaars. Europe truly is a diverse destination, made only better by the small crowds, lower prices, and the strange beauty of winter. 

Which of these European winter vacation packages is perfect for you? 

ESSENTIAL TRAVEL TIPS FOR EUROPE IN WINTER 

Planning your trip to Europe – If this is your first-ever trip to Europe, consider reading our Europe 101 guide.

Schengen Visa – If you require a visa to travel to Europe, most likely it is the Schengen Visa (for those belonging to the Euro Zone or EU, doesn’t include the UK). Read our guide to applying for Schengen Visa.

Travel Insurance – Don’t forget to insure your trip. Get Travel Insurance quotes from Safety Wing here

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