Angels playing music, jugglers in Medieval costume, ice skating beneath an illuminated Heidelberg Castle, torch-lit paths, a town hall made into a giant Advent calendar - Europe’s Christmas markets are as varied as the towns and cities that host them. You can plan entire trips based on Christmas markets, with breaks for sightseeing and seasonal activities, such as concerts and performances.
These Christmas markets aren’t just for shoppers. They are as much about the experience and sharing local traditions of food, drink, music, costumes, folk art and festivities that are part of a long history beginning in the late Middle Ages. They give today’s December visitors a chance to see some of Europe’s prettiest villages decorated for the season, and business travelers a chance to do some after-hours shopping.
Whether clients want to squeeze a few days on the slopes into a business trip or plan a family winter getaway, you’ll have no trouble finding them ski resorts in the northeast. After all, New Hampshire and Vermont are where modern skiing was born -- and it’s still going strong.
Getting your clients to the slopes may be the greatest challenge, as eastern resorts are not close to major airport hubs and there is little public transportation to them. With a few exceptions you will need to add car rental to the package, or at least arrange for limo transfer. The latter works well for skiers who choose full-service resorts, where shuttles carry skiers between hotels and base lodges.
Another challenge is helping clients choose the right resort for their - and their group’s - skiing skills. Look for resorts with multiple slopes and trails for all levels (green-designated trails are for beginners, blue for intermediates and black for experts). All resorts mentioned offer expert ski instruction for all ages and levels, and have full equipment rentals. Most also offer child care, and all have snowmaking and excellent grooming.