Christmas Markets & Northern Lights In Iceland

Tour Leader: Icelandic Master Quilter Gudrun Erla

Day 1
United States - Iceland - Munich

Icelandair Plane

Tour participants travel to the nearest airport/gateway to Germany and check in for a flight by United Airlines or Lufthansa German Airlines to Munich Germany. These are direct overnight flights which arrive in Munich the following morning.

Day 2
Munich

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Morning Arrival in Munich. You will be met by your illustrious Bavarian tour guide Maximilian Bukszpan. Transfer to the traditional 4-star Hotel Platzl, located in the heart of the city. Hotel Platzl is located in the historic old town between famous Hofbrauhaus the Viktualienmarkt and Marienplatz, where the Christkindlmarkt takes place.

Spend time this afternoon with Max exploring the Christkindlmarkt. The traditional Christmas Market at Marienplatz dates back to the 14th century and is considered the most original and authentic in Munich, where about 40 such markets take place annually.

Rest and relax at your hotel before a “Welcome to Germany” dinner at Hofbräuhaus, “The World‘s most famous Tavern” – built in 1589 and accommodates up to 5,000 revelers. Have fun! (D)

YOUR TOUR MANAGER:
Gudrun Erla Gisladottir, the expert quilt designer, has her business in Minnesota. She is originally from Iceland and has lead several successful groups from the United States to Iceland and other European countries. You will find Gudrun a well organized and a fun girl to travel with.

GERMAN TOUR GUIDE:
Maximilian Bukszpan is the Bavarian expert tour guide who will meet the group on arrival in Munich and stay with the group until you leave Munich for Iceland. “Max” is a native “Münchner” who has traveled the world. For the last 20 years he has offered his services as private tour guide throughout Bavaria, – including Munich, Rothenburg and Nuremberg.

Day 3
Munich-Neuschwanstein Castle & Linderhof Palace day tour

Christmas Market

Today visit the fairy tale castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof, created by Germany’s 19th-century King Ludwig II. Admire Bavaria’s magnificent scenery as you journey to Linderhof, Ludwig’s rococo-style hunting lodge and last home. Take the interior tour of Linderhof before continuing to Neuschwanstein. Upon arrival at Neuschwanstein you will see a picture book castle of turrets and chambers that inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Maximilian will be in his element during this tour where his local knowledge will be of great value. Lunch at Alpenstuben then return to Munich and the Hotel Platzl.

You are on your own for dinner. (B, L)

Day 4
Munich – Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Munich

Proceed from Munich along the Romantic Road for further adventures. Visit Nordlingen a charming town with half timbered buildings within its city walls. Your next stop is historic Dinkelsbuhl. Tour Dinkelsbuhl then enjoy lunch at the Deutsches Haus, known as one of the most beautiful hotels in southern Germany. The final phase of today’s journey takes you to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Check in at Hotel Goldener Hirsch< which has been receiving guests since 1588 for a two night stay. Dinner at nearby Restaurant Glocke – one of the best in town. (B,L,D)

Day 5
Rothenburg

Rothenberg”

You will be enjoying an early Christmas in Bavaria and all the wonderful festivities that are described on these pages. It is a fact, however, that you will be traveling in the middle of winter, when mother nature may not always accommodate.

The day is free, and you may decide to take off on your own to explore this lovely city – described by many as the most beautiful in Germany. You also could join Maximillian for a walking of this medieval city. Quilters may join Gudrun in the afternoon to visit “Der Patchwork Engel,” a local quilt store where a quilting workshop will be offered.

Rothenburg’s Christmas Market is located within easy walking distance of your hotel. Your breakfast is included today but lunch and dinner are on your own today. (B)

Day 6
Rothenburg – Nuremberg

Nuremberg

Depart Rothenburg for a short drive to Nuremberg Bavaria/s 2nd largest city. Take a tour of Nuremberg – Max is in charge. Discover what a beautiful and prosperous walled city. Nuremberg has been the center of the Holy Roman Empire, the temple of the Third Reich and home to both the Nuremberg Nazi rallies and Nuremberg trials.

Check in at charming Burghotel Nurberg. The hotel is located in a central yet quiet location and close to the famous Christmas Market where we will spend the afternoon. Dinner at Restaurant Sebald this will be the perfect finale to your Germany visit. (B,D)

Day 7
Nuremberg – Munich – Iceland Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Depart Nuremberg for Munich Riem Airport. Say your goodbyes to Maximilian. Checkin for your flight to Iceland by Icelandair.  You will arrive in the afternoon at Keflavik Airport, Iceland – this is your tour manager- Gudrun Erla’s homeland. Your Iceland guide, Eythor Bjorgvinsson will meet you upon arrival at Keflavik. Eythor will be your guide for your entire stay in Iceland. Drive 2 hours to Southern Iceland and arrive at cozy Hotel Laekur. Your hotel is located in the perfect place to observe the Northern Lights – away from all city lights.  Enjoy a hearty “Welcome to Iceland Dinner”. Before turning in after an eventful day you have a choice between a seat at the bar, sauna or outdoors hot tub – a perfect place to gaze at the spectacular Northern Lights. (B,D)

Day 8
Geysir Geothermal Area – Gullfoss – Reykjavik

Icelandic Horses

Drive to Geysir Geothermal area, where you will see any number of bubbling, spouting and boiling hot springs in eerie moonlike landscapes. Visit Geysir, the first geyser for which all geysers are named. See Strokkur geysir erupting every 4-8 minutes. Drive on to nearby Gullfoss, the majestic waterfall, one of the world´s most scenic.  Lunch at Friðheimar Farm an amazing greenhouse complex, followed by a horse show that provides an insight into the story of the remarkable Icelandic horse breed.  Enjoy a “Meeting with the Horses.”  Continue to the Thingborg Wool Center where you can buy beautiful Icelandic sweaters, scarfs, mittens, etc.

The final drive will take you to Reykavik, Iceland’s lively and colorful capital. Check-in to the Center Hotel Plaza on Main Street, within walking distance to shopping and attractions. Dinner at Geysir Bistro located around the corner from your hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 9
Reykjavik

Renowned Icelandic Quilting Master Gudrun Erla

Breakafast at Hotel Plaza and be off with Eythor for a tour of Reykjavik and see all the major city attractions. The afternoon is free without a program.  You might wish to try an Icelandic hot dog for lunch; a treat with a difference. Ask for a hot dog with everything – absolutely superb and a must do while in Reykjavik.

Your “Farewell to Iceland” dinner will be served at “Matur & Drykkur”, a restaurant located in a old salt fish factory in the harbor area. The building has been retrofitted as a restaurant and serves the very best that Icelandic cuisine has to offer. (B,D)

Day 10
Reykjavik – Blue Lagoon – Return Home

Blue Lagoon Hot Springs

Breakfast at the Center Hotel Plaza and then depart Reykjavik for Reykjanes Peninsula, where both the Blue Lagoon and Keflavik Airport are located. Arrive at the Blue Lagoon for a optional visit and dip (2 hours) in this spectacular outdoor spa oasis. Tour members who opt not to visit the Blue Lagoon will proceed to Keflavik Airport and early check-in for their flight to the United States.

There is lots of interesting shopping as well as a wide choice of restaurants for lunch to enjoy prior to your afternoon flight to the various destinations in the U.S. and Canada. (B)

Gone With The Quilt

DID YOU KNOW THERE IS A SHORTER VERSION OF THIS TOUR?
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"Autumn in the South"

Day 1
Atlanta GA - Marietta, GA

State Capitol Building in Atlanta
State Capitol Building in Atlanta

Your Tour starts at the Country Inn & Suites in Atlanta Ga., just a few miles from Marietta, Ga. your home for the next two nights. Arrival transfer is on your own by taxi or shuttle. We can arrange a private transfer for you if requested.

Relax in your room after check-in or explore your surroundings before meeting your tour escort and fellow travelers in the hotel lobby to provide a opportunity for tour members to get acquainted with each other.

Dinner is suggested at “Folks Southern Kitchen”…located near hotel in Windy Hill.

Day 2
Marietta, GA

Historic Ebenezer Church
Historic Ebenezer Church

Credit: Historic Ebenezer Church

Breakfast Buffet at the hotel. Today’s excursion is a Sunday service at the “Ebenezer Baptist Church” where Martin Luther King once was the Pastor. Depart church service for Marietta, Ga and lunch at the “Marietta Diner”.

After lunch visit “Tiny Stitches” a unique quilt shop where quilters come to find the best selection and highest quality of fabric in the southeast. Find a wide variety of fabric choices – batiks, seasonal, bright florals, flannels, wovens and novelties. This large 5000 sq. ft. store further features the latest in quilting patterns, books and notions in a warm and welcoming environment.

If time allows go to Stone Mountain Georgia Park named for the vast monolith at its center. Etched into the rock’s side, the Confederate Memorial Carving depicts Civil War generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, plus President Jefferson Davis.

Return to hotel to refresh and relax before departing for dinner at “Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen” for a welcome dinner. Joining you this evening is Marti Michell, a internationally acclaimed quilt expert. Marti will give a “trunk show” for you after dinner. (B, D)

Day 3
Atlanta GA-Griffin GA

Amish Quilt
Amish Quilt

Credit: Amish Country Quilts

Buffet breakfast at the hotel then checkout. Depart for Griffin, Georgia for a full day workshop at “Shades Textiles” (Shades Textiles is a exhibitor at major international quilt shows in both Tokyo and Houston). Stacey Michell, the pioneer in developing the “Hawaiian Quilt” will conduct two private workshops – “2 for 1 Hula Lesson” – learn how to trace, cut and fuse a Hawaiian design quilt. After lunch have a” fabric dying class” that produces designs perfect for a Hawaiian style applique quilt. All working kits and materials will be furnished.

Overnight in Grffin at the Country Inn and Suites. Checkin and relax before departing for “J. Henrys Steakhouse” for dinner. (B,L)

Day 4
Griffin GA-McDonough Ga-Carrollton GA

Quilt Shop
A Scarlett Thread

Credit: All People Quilt

Breakfast at hotel then take the short drive to McDonough, for a visit to “A Scarlett Thread” the largest sewing and quilt shop in Georgia. The owner, Karen Taylor will greet you with her warm southern hospitality. The displays in this store are built vertically and lit by natural light through the many windows that shows off the vast inventory of more than 7,500 fabrics. Enjoy lunch at McDonoughs local “Cracker Barrell” restaurant.

Depart for a Carrollton, Georgia, home of the “Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum.” The museum is the only museum in Georgia singularly dedicated to quilting and textiles.  Check in at the Best Western Plus. Transfer to Adamson Square in Carrolltons historic district, where you have time to visit the shops and have dinner.

Just a short walk from Adamson Square is the Quilt and Textile Museum where you will have a tour of the quilts they have on display. Next just a few short blocks away you will meet with the South Georgia Quilt Guild and participate in their monthly meeting. The Guild members will shower you with some southern hospitality and QUILTS!!! (B)

Day 5
Carrollton GA – Montgomery, AL - Selma, Al

African American Quilt
African American Quilts

Checkout of  hotel after breakfast for the short drive to Carrollton.   Meet our local guide for a two hour tour of this historic area. Depart from Carrollton then continue the journey south, along Interstate Route 85, until we cross the Chattahoochee River into the State of Alabama.  The “Deep South” doesn’t get any deeper than Alabama. This is where cotton was king and where the Confederacy was born.

Arrive in the Alabama capital, Montgomery, and head directly to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Have a delicious lunch in the Museum Cafe overlooking the lake. After lunch meet your docent for a private showing of African American Quilts. Proceed to Selma and check in at the Holiday Inn Express Selma –  then meet with Jo Taylor in the lobby for a guided tour of Selma.(B)

Day 6
Selma AL-Camden AL-Mobile AL

Gee's Bend Quilters
Gee’s Bend Quilters

US Embassy Canadavia Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Full breakfast in the hotel. Travel today to Camden and Gee’s Bend just 40 miles south of Selma. Cross the Alabama River to the Boykin side of the river for a visit with the famous “Gee’s Bend Quilters”. Gees Bend is a isolated African American hamlet where the quilting tradition goes back to the 19th century when it was a cotton plantation owned by Joseph Gees. In the post-bellum years and into the 20th century the Gees Bend women made quilts to keep themselves and their children warm in the unheated shacks where they lived. View their quilts, listen to their stories. Cross the Alabama River on the 12 p.m. Gees Bend Ferry to Camden. Proceed to the Gaines Ridge Dinner Club for a lunch full of southern hospitality – a la “Gone With the Wind.” After your meal the owner/manager, Betty Kennedy, an avid quilter invites you to her log cabin house for a view of her magnificent and unique collection of quilts.

Proceed to “Black Belt Treasures.” Enjoy a hands-on print-making workshop with quilting designs. by using a simple print-making technique to take home for a memory quilt, all supplies are provided. After workshop browse the beautiful arts center.

Continue to Mobile Alabama and overnight in Mobiles historic district at the charming boutique hotel The Malaga Inn – located just a few blocks from Dauphin Street referred to by some as “Mini Bourbon Street” with its many bars and restaurants. (B)

Day 7
Mobile AL - New Orleans, LA

Quilt Design
Malaga Inn

Breakfast and checkout of the hotel then meet your local tour guide in the lobby for a tour of one of America’s oldest cities. Mobile has two of the oldest churches in the South: The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, actually proclaimed a Minor Basilica by Rome, of which there are only 64 on Earth, and Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral, which houses the finest collection of antique stained glass windows in the nation. See 600 square blocks of historic districts containing over 6,000 listings on the National Register of Historic Places and five antebellum museum homes.

Travel along the scenic coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. Pass the towns of Pascagoula, Biloxi and Gulfport before stopping for lunch at “Shaggy’s” a popular beachside Gulfport eatery.

Drive along Lake Pontchartrain in the direction of New Orleans. Arrive in New Orleans one of America’s favorite cities. Proceed to the famous French Quarter and check in at Hotel Maison DuPuy ***1/2 located just a few blocks from Bourbon Street and Jackson Square. The hotel features the distinctive tropical French Quarter courtyard. Evening at your leisure to enjoy all that the French Quarter has to offer.(B)

**For an evening of fun we suggest Mulate’s for dinner. Mulate’s serves genuine Cajun food, Cajun music and dancing. This is the place to go – Mulate’s serves as the ideal introduction to Cajun Country. (B)

Day 8
New Orleans LA

French Quarter New Orleans
New Orleans

Breakfast at “Vacherie” located close to the hotel and then depart on a walking tour of the French Quarter with your guide. Lunch aboard the “Natchez” for a steamboat cruise on the mighty Mississippi with a live jazz band. Afternoon at leisure. New Orleans, the home of the Francophone Creole and the Anglophone American has over 85 square blocks designated as a National Historic District. Much to see, Jackson Square to Bourbon Street world famous restaurants such as Paul Prudhomme’s, Emeril LaGasse or Arnaud’s..take your pick! Exploring the French Quarter by night is a must, visit a jazz or blues club for the best local music or listen to a street musician who plays for tips . (B, L)

Day 9
New Orleans LA - White Castle, LA

Steamboat
Natchez Steamboat Cruise

This is your last morning in New Orleans, breakfast at Vacherie then checkout. Depart from New Orleans then drive along the banks of the “Ole Miss” passing the “Great River Road Plantation Parade”. Today’s visit is the “Oak Alley Plantation” – “The Grand Dame of the Great River Road.” Imagine Scarlet O’Hara having barbecue at Twelve Oaks Plantation and charming the red headed Tarleton boys – Oak Alley fulfills that visual image. What a beautiful way to spend a fall day than at one of the most spectacular settings in the old south. Tour the mansion, the slave quarters and the civil war encampment. Enjoy a luncheon buffet and then explore on your own. Depart in the afternoon for Nottaway Plantation located in White Castle for your overnight accommodation. (B)

Day 10
White Castle LA - Henderson - Lafayette, LA

White Castle, Louisiana
Oak Alley Plantation

Enjoy a plantation style breakfast then depart for the heart of Cajun Country. Travel the back-road’s of Louisiana through swamp lands and tall cypresses trailing Spanish moss, vast expanses of sugarcane and small communities with old cajun style cabins. Your destination this morning is Henderson Louisiana for a truly unique adventure into the Atchafalaya Swamp Wilderness. You are accompanied by a naturalist expert where you will see birds, alligators and other animals in this unique environment with its beautiful nature. A peaceful and beautiful tour by boat in one of the worlds natural wonders. Truly a tour for your “bucket list”.

Lunch in Henderson at Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant. Continue on to Lafayette and check in to your hotel the Drury Inn and Suites your home for the next two nights. Afternoon at leisure.

After you have freshened up we will depart for dinner at Prejean’s Cajun Restaurant with live Cajun Music and delicious authentic Cajun/Creole food. (B)

“laissez les bons temps rouler” – “Let the Good Times Roll”.

Day 11
Lafayette LA

Evangeline Oak
The Evangeline Oak

After breakfast meet your “Cajun” guide, Danny Bonaventure who is of Cajun descent and has over 35 years experience. Danny is well qualified to help you appreciate some of the treasures that this region has to offer.

Visit Vermillionville a heritage and folk-life park that brings to life the early days of Cajun and creole settlers in Louisiana (mid-1700-late 1800s).
Costumed crafts people and artisans conduct demonstrations of their talent. Several historic homes and numerous artifacts from the time period are laid out as they would have been if someone were living there.

Your last stop today is to J & B Quilting Fabric located in Sunset a few miles north of Lafayette. Dinner tonight at the “Cracker Barrel Country Store” located right next door to your hotel. (B)

Day 12
Lafayette LA - Houston, TX

Atchafalaya River
The Beautiful Atchafalaya Wilderness

Morning departure from Lafayette after for the two hour drive to Houston, Texas. Upon arrival in Houston you will check into the Springhill Suites Hotel (just a few blocks from the quilt show). Your day is at leisure until this evening where you will attend “Preview Night” of the International Quilt Festival. You have been registered for the show and will have your tickets in hand – Preview night is from 7pm to 10 pm. You can eat at one of the many food courts at the convention center if you have not already had dinner. (B)

Day 13
Houston TX (International Quilt Festival)

FULL DAY AT THE QUILT FESTIVAL

Enjoy breakfast then take the short walk from your hotel to the convention center for a full day at the “International Quilt Festival”.

The International Quilt Festival Houston is one of the premier quilting trade events in America with over 60,000 visitors each year.
Talented quilt artists are present in huge numbers at this convention. There are over 500 varieties of quilts. (B)

Freshen up and then transfer to “Maggianos” a top rated Italian Restaurant for a farewell dinner. (B)

Houston International Quilt Festival
Houston International Quilt Festival

Credit: Texas Tripper

Day 14
Houston TX - Home

Full American Breakfast at the hotel. If time allows take a cab from the hotel to The Galleria for shopping or relax at the hotel. Group transfer provided to George Bush Intercontinental Airport for your return flight home. (B)

We offer additional days at both the beginning of tour and at end for clients that wish more time at quilt show. Also can arrange your arrival transfer in Atlanta. Ask for details.

European Patchwork Quilter’s Tour

A Quilter's Tour through Iceland and Europe

Day 1
U.S.A. to Iceland

Begin in Iceland
Begin in Iceland

Departures from various airports in the U.S.A. including:

Boston, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Newark, New York, Orlando, Seattle, Washington, DC, Montreal, Toronto & Vancouver for your nonstop/overnight flights to Keflavik Airport via Icelandair. The airline will be adding more departure cities and we will update this list as they come on board.

A tour with Mary Kerr to Iceland-Germany and France. Mary is an American Quilt Society certified appraiser. She is a quilt historian who lectures and does workshops focusing on quilt history. On arrival in Iceland meet Eythor Bjorgvinnson, your local tour guide. Eythor will be proud to show off his homeland Iceland, featuring many of the attractions of this unique country – majestic waterfalls, boiling hot springs, volcanos and glaciers.

After your Iceland visit continue tour to Heidelberg, Germany // St. Marie aux Mines (Alsace-Lorraine, France) // & European Patchwork Meeting // Paris, France

Day 2
Reykjavik, Iceland

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik
Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Early morning arrival at Keflavik Airport. Clear customs and then take a short drive to Viking World, a museum that features exhibitions about the time of the Vikings. Breakfast is served at the museum. Depart from the museum for Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, located just 32 miles from the airport. Once in Reykjavik, head directly for Hallgrimskirkja, the tallest and largest church in Iceland. You’ll get a great view of the city, the ocean, and the surrounding mountains from the top of the water tanks that supply the city with hot water.

After tour check-in at the Center Hotel Plaza, located on the main square in the heart of the old city, The hotel is perfectly situated to enjoy all that the Reykjavik city center has to offer. Enjoy a “Welcome Dinner” at Restaurant Apotek. (B,D)

Day 3
Reykjavik, Iceland

Downtown Reykjavik
Downtown Reykjavik

Today is free to enjoy on your own without regimentation to pursue your own interests. Reykjavik is a lively, colorful city with plenty to do to keep you busy. Many options are available to you such as: (B)

*A Horse Riding Excursion on an Icelandic Horse
*The Whale Museum and a Whale Watching Tour
*Visit the National Museum of Iceland or the Harpa Concert Hall
*The Saga Museum
*The National Gallery + many other art museums to choose from
*The famous geothermal spa “The Blue Lagoon”
*A horse riding excursion on an Icelandic horse

Day 4
Thingvellir - Geysir - Gullfoss - The "Golden Circle"

Gulfoss
Gullfoss

Depart Reykjavik after breakfast for todays tour of the “Golden Circle” which includes:

* Thingvellir National Park – this national shrine of Iceland has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thingvellir is the location of the oldest Parliament in the world, first assembled here in 930 AD.
*Geysir Geothermal Area – the hot springs area famous for the first geyser ever mentioned in text: the one for which all geysers are named. The Strokkur Geyser erupts every 4 to 8 minutes.
*Gullfoss – the roaring and magnificent waterfall “Gullfoss”, a major highlight on the tour

Check in at Country Hotel Laekur for dinner and overnight stay. Time to hit the outside hot tub to round off a busy day. (B,L,D)

Day 5
Thorsmork

Heydalur Activities”
Thorsmork

Depart for Eyjafjallajokull, the 6th largest glacier in Iceland. Beneath the glaciers cap hides the volcano that erupted in 2010 and disrupted air traffic throughout the northern hemisphere. Today you will visit Thorsmork, a hidden valley between three glaciers. You reach this verdant nature reserve by crossing lava fields and glacial rivers in a modified “Monster” truck – a exhilarating but safe experience, an adventure of a lifetime. Thorsmork is a popular place for hikers. The “Ring of Basar” is a easy 1.5m walk. Buffet lunch is served at Volcano Huts in Husadalur. On your return visit Gigjokull glacier with its giant icicle ravines – a good introduction to the “Land of Fire and Ice.” Continue to Thingborg Wool Center where high quality Icelandic sweaters and other wool products can be found. Drive by shortest route to Keflavik. Check in at Hotel Keflavik****. Dinner at KEF Restaurant. Dinner at KEF Restaurant. Wake up calls for Northern Lights if appropriate. (B,L,D)

Day 6 & 7
Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg, Germany

Day 6
Early morning flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Clear customs and meet your guide, Angela, who lives in Heidelberg. Angela will tell you about the Rhine Valley, the mighty river, the Lorelei and the wine industry in Germany. Arrive in Heidelberg, the oldest university town in Germany and proceed to the Hotel Weisser Rock****. Dinner in the Alstadt at the Red Ox Inn, built in 1703 and still owned/operated by the same family for 170 years. Enjoy good German food and music…visitors who have raised a glass here includes Mark Twain, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe…an eclectic mix! (B,D)

Day 7
Visit Max Beck Textile Museum to view an extensive collection of antique quilts. P.M. free. (B)

Day 8
Kaysersberg, France

Kaysersberg, France
Kaysersberg, France

After breakfast at the hotel depart for a 2 hour walking tour through Heidelberg with Angela. Visit the Church of the Holy Spirit as well as Germany’s oldest university. Say goodbye to Heidelberg and drive south on the “German Wine Route” passing through the heart of the Palatinate (Pfalz).

Cross the border into France in the direction of Strasbourg, the capital and seat of the European Parliament. Continue west to the “Gateway to Alsace’s Wine Route”…lunch in the picture postcard town of Obernai. Afternoon arrival in St. Marie aux Mines, the venue of the Patchwork Meet (Quilt Show), the largest event in Europe that is devoted to quilting. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at the show. Transfer to the small village of Kaysersberg located on the Alsace wine route and check-in to the charming Le Chambard Hotel & Spa a traditional French manor house located in the heart of the Alsatian wine growing area, your home for the next two nights. (B,L,D)

Day 9
St. Marie aux Mines, France

Marie aux Mines, France
St. Marie aux Mines, France

After breakfast at your hotel transfer to the show in St. Marie aux Mines. The entire day is devoted to the Patchwork Meet. Spend a full day at the Quilt Show and then transfer to your hotel in Kaysersberg. Dinner own your own in town.

24th EUROPEAN PATCHWORK MEETING
This important quilting event was launched 25 years ago to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Jacob Amman’s founding of the Amish community in St. Marie aux Mines. Quilting has played an important role in Amish life ever since, making St. Marie the perfect location to celebrate the best that contemporary patchwork quilting has to offer. The event has developed to become the largest festival in Europe attracting over 22,000 visitors. (B)

Day 10
Paris, France

Alsace Countryside Paris, France
Alsace Countryside Paris, France

Breakfast at hotel then take a walking tour of Kaysersberg followed by a visit to the castle ruins that tower above. Depart Kaysersberg and visit the historic village of Riquewihr, the most authentic and beautiful of France’s storybook towns. Proceed in the direction of Paris. Arrive in Paris and check in at Hotel d’Angleterre. This boutique style hotel is located on the famous “left bank” of the River Seine, close to shopping and entertainment.
Dinner is suggested at famous Cafe’Les Deux Magots. (B)

Day 11
Paris, France

Paris, France
Paris, France

Breakfast then depart for a 4 hour city tour of Paris that includes the old Marais district, the Latin Quarter with the Sorbonne University, the Luxembourg Gardens and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The afternoon is free without a set program. If Paris is new to you just sitting in a sidewalk cafe sipping an aperitif or simple people watching in the splendid atmosphere of this remarkable city is a good choice. For the more ambitious a visit to the famous Louvre would easily fill the afternoon. Beneath the Louvre is a major shopping center.

Afternoon at leisure. (B)

Day 12
Paris, France

Paris, France
The Palace of Versailles

Today is the last day of your tour and is at your leisure to spend as you wish. For those in Paris for the first time and would like to see more of the many wonderful attractions that Paris has to offer – we offer optional tours to “The Palace of Versailles” and the “Moulin Rouge Dinner Show”.

Option 1) The Palace of Versailles – One of the most famous monuments in the world, the residence of the kings of France, Louis XIV, XV and XVI and their courts from 1682 to 1789. The Palace is over 721,000 square feet – for a comparison the White House is 55,000 square feet. The Coronation Room, the Queen’s bedroom, once occupied by Marie Antoinette, the Hall of Mirrors and the Gardens of Versailles are yours to explore on this tour.

Option 2} Moulin Rouge Dinner Show – A 10 minute drive from your hotel. Experience the most famous cabaret in the world in this atmospheric theater with a dazzling spectacle of drama, dance and music. Enjoy a fine french meal and champagne for a truly indulgent experience. (B)

Day 13
Paris to Home

A leisurely breakfast in your hotel then time to pack and say bye-bye to your new friends. Transfer from the Hotel d’Angleterre to Charles de Gaulle Airport. (B)

Late afternoon arrival in the United States and Canada.

European Patchwork Quilter’s Tour

Tour Lead By Mary W. Kerr AQS certified appraiser, author of 7 books and award winning quilter

Day 1
U.S.A. to Iceland

Begin in Iceland
Begin in Iceland

Departures from various airports in the U.S.A. including:

Boston, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Newark, New York, Orlando, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver Airports for your nonstop/overnight flight to Keflavik Airport via Icelandair, or Delta Airlines. Both airlines will be adding more departure cities and we will update this list as they come on board.

A tour with Mary Kerr to Iceland-Germany and France. Mary is an American Quilt Society certified appraiser. She is a quilt historian who lectures and does workshops focusing on quilt history. On arrival in Iceland meet Eythor Bjorgvinnson, your local tour guide. Eythor will be proud to show off his homeland Iceland, featuring many of the attractions of this unique country – majestic waterfalls, boiling hot springs, volcanos and glaciers.After your Iceland visit continue tour to Heidelberg, Germany // St. Marie aux Mines (Alsace-Lorraine, France) // & European Patchwork Meeting // Paris, France

Day 2
Reykjavik, Iceland

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik
Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Early morning arrival at Keflavik Airport. Clear customs and then take a short drive to Viking World, a museum that features exhibitions about the times of the Vikings – Breakfast is served at the museum. Depart from the museum for Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, located just 32 miles from the airport. Once in Reykjavik, head directly for Hallgrimskirkja, the tallest and largest church in Iceland. You’ll get a great view of the city, the ocean and the surrounding mountains from top of the water tanks that supply the city with hot water.

After tour check-in at the Center Hotel Plaza, located on the main square in the heart of the old city, The hotel is perfectly situated to enjoy all that the Reykjavik city center has to offer.Enjoy a “Welcome To Iceland Dinner”at Geysir Bistro. (B,L,D)

Day 3
Reykjavik, Iceland

Downtown Reykjavik
Downtown Reykjavik

Today is free to enjoy without regimentation to pursue your own interests. Reykjavik is a lively, colorful city with plenty to do to keep you busy. Many options are available to you such as: (B)

* A Horse Riding excursion on an Icelandic horse
* The Whale Museum and a Whale Watching Tour
* Visit the National Museum of Iceland or the Harpa Concert Hall
* The Saga Museum
* The National Gallery + many other art museums to choose from
* The famous geothermal spa “The Blue Lagoon”

Day 4
Thingvellir - Geysir - Gullfoss - The "Golden Circle"

Gulfoss
Gulfoss

Depart Reykjavik after breakfast for todays tour of the “Golden Circle” which includes:

* Thingvellir National Park – this national shrine of Iceland has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thingvellir is the location of the oldest Parliament in the world, first a ssembled here in 930 AD.
* Geysir Geothermal Area – the hot springs area famous for the first geyser ever mentioned in text: the one for which all geysers are named. The Strokkur Geyser erupts every 4 to 8 minutes.
* Gullfoss – the roaring and magnificent waterfall “Gullfoss”, a major highlight on the tour

Check in at Country Hotel Laekur for dinner and overnight stay. Time to hit the outside hot tub to round off a busy day. (B,D)

Day 5
Thorsmork - Njals Saga Tapestry

Heydalur Activities”
Thorsmork

Depart for Eyjafjallajokull, the 6th largest glacier in Iceland. Beneath its cap hides the volcano that erupted in 2010 and disrupted air traffic throughout the northern hemisphere. Today you will visit Thorsmork, a hidden valley between three glaciers. You reach this verdant nature reserve by crossing lava fields and glacial rivers in a modified “Monster” truck – a exhilarating but safe experience, an adventure of an lifetime. Thorsmork is a popular place for hikers. The “Ring of Basar” is with this hike but you can opt out if you wish. Buffet lunch is served at Volcano Huts in Husadalur. On your return visit Gigjokull glacier with its giant icicle ravines – a good introduction to the “Land of Fire and Ice.” Continue to Thingborg Wool Center where high quality Icelandic sweaters and other wool products can be found. Drive by shortest route to Keflavik and checkin at Hotel Keflavik **** – dinner at KEF restaurant. Wake up calls for Northern Lights if appropriate. (B,D)

Day 6 & 7
Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg, Germany

Day 6
Early morning flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Clear customs and meet your guide, Angela, who lives in Heidelberg. Angela will tell you about the Rhine Valley, the mighty river, the Lorelei and the wine industry in Germany. Arrive in Heidelberg, the oldest university town in Germany and proceed to the new Hotel Weisser Bock****. Dinner in the Alstadt at the Red Ox Inn, built in 1703 and still owned/operated by the same family for 170 years. Enjoy good German food and music..visitors who have raised a glass here includes Mark Twain, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe..an eclectic mix! (B,L,D)

Day 7
Visit Max Berk Textile Museum to view an extensive collection of antique quilts. Pm free. (B)

Day 8
Kaysersberg, France

Kaysersberg, France
Kaysersberg, France

After breakfast at the hotel depart for a 2 hour walking tour through Heidelberg with Angela. Visit the Church of the Holy Spirit as well as Germany’s oldest university. Say goodbye to Heidelberg and drive south on the “German Wine Route” passing through the heart of the Palatinate (Pfalz) region.then checkout. Cross the border into France in the direction of Strasbourg, the capital and seat of the European Parliament. Continue west to the “Gateway to Alsace’s Wine Route”…lunch in the picture postcard town of Obernai. Afternoon arrival in St. Marie aux Mines, the venue of the Patchwork Meet (Quilt Show), the largest event in Europe that is devoted to quilting. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at the show. Transfer to the small village of Kaysersberg located on the Alsace wine route and check-in to the charming Le Chambard Hotel & Spa a traditional French manor house located in the heart of the Alsatian wine growing area, your home for the next two nights. (B,L,D)

Day 9
St. Marie aux Mines, France

Marie aux Mines, France
St. Marie aux Mines, France

After breakfast at your hotel transfer to the show in St. Marie aux Mines. The entire day is devoted to the Patchwork Meet. Spend a full day at the Quilt Show and then transfer to your hotel in Kaysersberg. Dinner own your own in town.

24th EUROPEAN PATCHWORK MEETING
This important quilting event was launched 25 years ago to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Jacob Amman’s founding of the Amish community in St. Marie aux Mines. Quilting has played an important role in Amish life ever since, making St. Marie the perfect location to celebrate the best that contemporary patchwork quilting has to offer. The event has developed to become the largest festival in Europe attracting over 22,000 visitors. (B)

Day 10
Paris, France

Alsace Countryside Paris, France
Alsace Countryside Paris, France

Breakfast at hotel then take a walking tour of Kaysersberg followed by a visit to the castle ruins that tower above. Depart Kaysersberg and visit the historic village of Riquewihr, the most authentic and beautiful of France’s storybook towns. Proceed in the direction of Paris. Arrive in Paris and check in at Hotel d’Angleterre, an elegant boutique hotel, supremely located on the famous “left bank” of the River Seine, close to many of the main attractions, shopping and entertainment. Dinner is suggested at famous Cafe Les Deux Magots. (B)

Day 11
Paris, France

Paris, France
Paris, France

Breakfast then depart for a 4 hour city tour of Paris that includes the old Marais district, the Latin Quarter with the Sorbonne University and the Luxembourg Gardens.

The afternoon is free without a set program. If Paris is new to you just sitting in a sidewalk cafe sipping an aperitif or simple people watching in the splendid atmosphere of this remarkable city is a good choice. For the more ambitious a visit to the famous Louvre would easily fill the afternoon. Beneath the Louvre is a major shopping center. (B)

Day 12
Paris, France

Paris, France
The Palace of Versailles

Today is the last day of your tour and is at your leisure to spend as you wish. For those in Paris for the first time and would like to see more of the many wonderful attractions that Paris has to offer – we offer optional tours to “The Palace of Versailles” and the “Moulin Rouge Dinner Show”.

Option 1) The Palace of Versailles – One of the most famous monuments in the world, the residence of the kings of France, Louis XIV, XV and XVI and their courts from 1682 to 1789. The Palace is over 721,000 square feet – for a comparison the White House is 55,000 square feet. The Coronation Room, the Queen’s bedroom, once occupied by Marie Antoinette, the Hall of Mirrors and the Gardens of Versailles are yours to explore on this tour.

Option 2} Moulin Rouge Dinner Show – A 10 minute drive from your hotel. Experience the most famous cabaret in the world in this atmospheric theater with a dazzling spectacle of drama, dance and music. Enjoy a fine french meal and champagne for a truly indulgent experience. (B)

Day 13
Paris to Home

A leisurely breakfast in your hotel then time to pack and say bye-bye to your new friends. Transfer from the Monsieur Cadet Hotel to Charles de Gaulle Airport. (B)

Late afternoon arrival in the United States and Canada.

Festival of Quilts in Britain

Tour Leader: Master Quilter Gudrun Erla

Day 1
Fly to London, England

Icelandair Plane

Tour members check in for flights by ICELANDAIR in the late afternoon and evening for an overnight flight. 

Departures are from about 20 US and Canadian cities, including Boston, New York, Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington, DC, Portland, WA, Seattle, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. These are overnight flights that arrive in Iceland the following morning. This is where tour members meet and travel together to London after a short stop.

Day 2
London

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

The Strand Palace is surrounded by the best that London has to offer. Set in the heart of London, the hotel is mere moments from Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and the river Thames, making it the perfect location for discovering cultural icons, entertainment or shopping. 

The hotel is home to 785 bedrooms and offers a concierge service and gym for guest use. The hotel has recently launched its brand new in house restaurant and bar. Haxells Restaurant & Bar is the perfect place to enjoy great food, cocktails and more in the heart of London. Guests can enjoy British inspired cuisine with modern art deco décor throughout the restaurant, bar, afternoon tearoom and private dining room. With so much to do right on the hotel´s doorstep, the Strand Palace puts you at the center of the action. With that in mind, all rooms are fully furnished to ensure your downtime is as comfortable as possible. You will be staying 2 nights at this hotel. 

Day 3
London

Christmas Market

Breakfast is served in your hotel. 

Today‘s excursion takes you to London‘s famous Victoria & Albert Museum, one of the world‘s largest museums of decorative arts and design. Here you‘ll enjoy the special Textile, Quilting Embroidery and Fashions tour, led by one of the museum‘s curators.

The visit to Victoria & Albert Museum will be one of the highlights of your tour. The V&A is the world‘s leading museum of Art and Design. It houses an amazing collection of antique quilts, including some of the earliest examples of European quilting, dating back to the late 14th century. From luxurious courtly robes to a quilt stitched by 21st-century prison inmates, the V&A holds a rich variety of objects created through quilting and patchwork.

Your second visit is to Buckingham Palace State Rooms, the London residence and headquarters of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

There will be time for lunch during the day and a visit to Liberty of London, one of the capital‘s iconic stores. In a beautiful Tudor-revival building you‘ll find high-end fashion, luxury homeware and Liberty‘s own fabric line.

Day 4
London

Munich

Free Day in London

Enjoy this free day of endless possibilities in one of the greatest cities in the world!

Day 5
London - Windor - Bath

Rothenberg”

Breakfast is served in your hotel.

Check out of the hotel and head for Windsor, a drive of about 1 hour (24 m).

Arrive at Windsor Castle, one of the oldest and largest occupied castles in the world. Since it was founded in the 11th century it has been home to 39 monarchs. Queen Elizabeth II spends most of her private weekends at the Castle.

Here a multi-media tour will take you through the State Apartments and Semi-State rooms, sharing the history and highlights of Windsor Castle.

A visit to the fabulous Windsor Castle is a royal treat! Since William the Conqueror built a wooden fortress here over 900 years ago, this has been a royal palace and residence.

After a lunch break we continue the journey through the English countryside, to arrive in Bath after a 2-hour (96 m) drive. Check in at the Apex City of Bath Hotel  for a 2-night stay.

Bath – the original wellbeing destination

Built for pleasure and relaxation, beautiful Bath has been a wellbeing destination since Roman times. The waters are still a big draw, both at the ancient Roman Baths and the thoroughly modern Thermal Bath Spa, which houses the only natural thermal hot springs in Britain you can bathe in.

Bath is one of England‘s most beautiful, elegant and historic cities, full of spectacular architecture and Georgian streets. It is actually classed as a World Heritage City. Bath‘s compact, visitor-friendly center, where your hotel is located, is overflowing with places to eat and drink, plus some of the finest independent shops in Britain.

Day 6
Bath

Nuremberg

Breakfast is served in your hotel.

Today you‘ll explore the beautiful city of Bath on foot. You‘ll visit the Fashion Museum, which is housed in the former Assembly rooms. The collection was started by Doris Langley Moore, who gave her collection to the City of Bath in 1963. Today the museum houses iconic attire from the 18th century to the modern day.

The Roman Baths at the heart of the City of Bath are the remarkably preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas in the ancients world. Using the audio guide you‘ll explore this fascinating Roman Bath complex recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. It will be interesting to visit these Roman Baths after having enjoyed the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.

The final visit of the day is to Bath‘s Victoria Art Gallery. Housed in a Grade II listed building, the museum was opened in 1900 to commemorate Queen Victoria‘s diamond jubilee. The collection has over 1500 objects of art including a collection of oil paintings from British artists dating from 1700 onwards.

There will be time for lunch during the day and the evening is at leisure.

The Apex City of Bath Hotel

Your hotel, one of the best in Bath, is located in the very heart of the city, on the corner of James Street West – close to the Thermal Baths. All the contemporary, spacious bedrooms include comfortable king-size beds, large TVs, tea and coffee makers, iron and board, hair dryer, mini fridge and en suite bathrooms with walk-in showers and baths.

The hotel offers impressive spa facilities with a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna and a state-of-the-art gym. The stylish restaurant serves up classic British cuisine with a twist, and the chic and contemporary bar is the perfect place to unwind and let the expert team of bartenders pour you a drink.

Day 7
Bath - The Cotswolds - Blenheim - Birmingham

Northern Lights

Breakfast is served in your hotel.

After checking out of the hotel you‘ll join the tour bus for a short drive to the only Museum of American Decorative and Folk Art outside the United States – The American Museum and Gardens at Claverton Manor. It is located just a 3 mile drive from your hotel, a matter of about 15 minutes. Here your visit will focus on the museum‘s collection of Quilts and Textiles. Quilts range from the 18th to the mid-20th century and at least 50 of the 250 quilts at the museum are always on display. In the textile room you‘ll also see a selection of Navajo weavings, hooked rugs and woven coverlets.

Your tour then continues through the Cotswolds, one of the most charming and uniquely picturesque regions of England. Famous for its gentle hillsides and a delightful tangle of golden villages, evocative churches and honey colored mansions.

It is a drive of about 100 miles and will take 2 hours.

Arrive at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Here your tour will take you through the Palace State Rooms with their priceless collection of portraits, furniture and tapestries.

There will be free time for lunch and after the visit to Blenheim Palace the tour continues to the City of Birmingham – another 60 miles / 1 hour +.

Arrive at The Crown Plaza Hotel at the NEC Convention Center and check in for a 3 night stay.

Day 8
Birmingham - The Festival of Quilts Show

Icelandic Horses

The Festival of Quilts is Europe‘s leading patchwork and quilting event attracting over 25,000 visitors annually from around the world. The show is a celebration of quilting in all its forms, with over 300 exhibitors offering essential suppliers, galleries of quilts from leading international makers, workshops, talks and demos, plus a magnificent display of over 800 competition quilts.

In the evening you are invited to a “Farewell Dinner” at the hotel.

 

 

 

 

Day 9
Birmingham - London - Home

Renowned Icelandic Quilting Master Gudrun Erla

Breakfast is served at your hotel.

Check out of your hotel.

Depart for London Heathrow Airport – a drive of 117 miles – about 2 hours.

Arrive at London Heathrow Airport for check in for your flight to the United States.

Most clients will fly by ICELANDAIR via Iceland.

Depending on the US destination other airlines may be offered.

Arrive home in the late afternoon or evening.

Blue Lagoon Hot Springs