back to Austria


A Traditional Austrian Christmas

A warm welcome at the family-run Gasthof Bad Hochmoos

This Christmas stay in a truly stunning region to celebrate and take back what this time of year is about. Time for sharing, caring and friendship, all with new-found friends, welcoming hosts and meaningful special worship with carols, stories and readings along with fun social gatherings, included scenic excursions and a range of extra special touches with included meals and drinks. Horse drawn sleigh rides, torchlit walks, congregating with our hosts for hot cinnamon spiced gluhwein and punch to wash down traditional Stollen and cookies and wonderful camaraderie is what this week is about.

We include visits to Salzburg with a private tour of the baroque cathedral and an organ recital as well as plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere of the Christmas market. The region gifted the world the carol ‘Silent Night’ and we learn of the history of the composer and how the carol became famous across the world. We even have optional worship in the chapel where it was first played. On Christmas Eve we attend a traditional Austrian mass with local choir and musicians and on Christmas Day worship at Maria Kirchental, a spectacular church hidden in a clearing in the forest in a stunning mountain location, with its precious votive images from the 17th century. Your hosts at the hotel have a precious, private family chapel which we are privileged to have private use of on some occasions.


  1. Travel to Austria (D, DR)

    Morning: meet your Tour Leader and Christmas travellers at Heathrow Airport and check-in for your direct flight to Munich.

    Afternoon: on arrival in Munich, you will be met by your local Tour Manager who will show you to your coach for the drive to St. Martin bei Lofer and assist you with check-in for your seven-night stay with the friendly Schlechter family.

    Evening: get to know your fellow companions over a welcome drink followed by dinner in the hotel with a drink and tea/coffee included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink 

  2. Salzburg Cathedral and Christmas Market (B, D, DR)

    Morning: Salzburg - the birthplace of Mozart, home to The Sound of Music and one of Europe’s finest baroque citiesyour visit includes a guided city tour including a tour inside with an organ recital in the cathedral.

    Afternoon: wander the Christmas markets set in the so-called ‘Rome of the North’ due to its stunning baroque architecture. Try a visit to the Mozart’s Birth-house Museum or take the funicular (at own cost) to the fortress for views across the city and surrounding mountains.

    Evening: gather together for dinner in the hotel with a drink and tea/coffee included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  3. Lofer Alpine Snow Experience (B, D, AT, DR)

    Morning: a chance to explore the beautiful surroundings of your hotel and St. Martin bei Lofer. Join your Tour Manager and take the hotel shuttle to the nearby gondola station to ascend to a winter wonderland of the ski area where you can relax, take in the view hopefully and watch the skiers from one of the local alpine huts or restaurants.

    Afternoon: return to the hotel to be greeted by the owners for an included warming gluhwein and traditional homemade Stollen.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel with a drink and tea/coffee included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  4. Oberndorf – The Silent Night village (B, L, D, DR)

    Morning: it was Christmas Eve of 1818 when, in Oberndorf, the carol “Silent Night” was originally performed. We visit the place of its origin, museum and memorial chapel, surrounded by its Christmas market. See how this carol travelled the world to become the most famous Christmas tune of all time.

    Afternoon: enjoy an included lunch at a local inn in nearby Arnsdorf, where the composer Franz Xaver Gruber worked as a school teacher. Just next door is the pilgrimage church ‘Maria in Mosl’ where we join for worship before a mid-afternoon return to the hotel to relax and enjoy the hotels facilities.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel with a drink and tea/coffee included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  5. Christmas Eve – Sleigh ride and social gatherings (B, L, D, DR)

    Morning: join together to witness the lighting of the fourth candle on the Advent Crown followed by optional worship in the family chapel next to the hotel. Later, enjoy a horse and sleigh ride through this lovely landscape and take in the scenery as you go ‘dashing through the snow’. On return to the hotel enjoy an included lunch together.

    Late afternoon: gather with the hotel family for a traditional outdoor drink to socialise with fellow guests and new-found friends.

    Evening: gala festive Christmas dinner in the hotel with a drink included. Later, there is the opportunity to attend worship in the local church (at 11pm) for a traditional Austrian midnight mass with local musicians and choir.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  6. Christmas Day – the stunning Maria Kirchental (B, L, D, DR)

    Morning: a relaxed morning in the hotel to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and make use of the hotels indoor pool, sauna, fitness room and bowling alley.

    Afternoon: we take a short scenic drive in special vehicles up the narrow road to worship in the pilgrimage church of Maria Kirchental, hidden in the forest in a stunning location, with its precious votive images from the 17th century. We enjoy an included lunch, at the churches neighbouring inn, in this stunning setting before the short drive back to the hotel.

    Evening: meet for a torchlit walk with gluhwein followed by a hearty dinner in the hotel with a drink included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  7. Boxing Day – Cross of St. James & picturesque Leogang (B, L, D, DR)

    Morning: a short drive to the chairlift today will take you up to the Cross of St. James, the largest accessible cross in the world, and we include the lift to its viewing platform and entrance to the St. Antonius Chapel for optional worship. This sits on the St. James (Jakobsweg) Way, a thousand-year-old trail through the foothills of the alps, passing a lovely landscape of gentle hills, little farmhouses and small villages.

    Afternoon: an included lunch at the cross lunch before continuing to the picturesque village of Leogang. Visit the miner’s museum in Leogang with its collection of rural treasures and gothic art and the St. Anna’s Chapel built especially for the miners.

    Evening: farewell drinks followed by dinner with an icluded drink and tea/coffee.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  8. DAY 8 – Farewell to the hosts and depart for the UK (B)

    Morning: enjoy a leisurely breakfast and time to enjoy the hotel facilities or take in some final views before bidding farewell to your hosts the Schlechter family.

    Afternoon: drive to Munich Airport for the return flight to the UK.

    Evening: time to bid farewell to your Tour Manager and fellow pilgrims after a wonderful traditional Christmas.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

Essential Information

Included excursions & visits

  • Salzburg with guided tour
  • Private tour of Salzburg Cathedral with organ recital
  • Oberndorf – Silent Night Village, Chapel and Museum
  • Arnsdorf – Optional worship in the church of the Silent Night Composer Franz Xaver Gruber
  • Horse drawn sleigh ride on Christmas Eve
  • Pilgrimage Church of Maria Kirchental with private worship
  • Return chairlift ride to the Jakobskreuz (St. James Cross)
  • Visit to the Jakobskreuz the largest accessible cross in the world
  • Mining and Rural Art Museum in Leogang
  • Live music on one evening

Optional excursions

None! All excursions and extras listed above and below are included. On December 22nd if you decide to join your Tour Manager for a walk then the gondola ride will be an additional €22 (payable locally).

Included extras

  • Hotel porterage
  • Personal audio guiding system
  • All hotel, restaurant, guide and driver gratuities
  • Services of a resident knowledgeable Tour Manager
  • Optional worship with our travelling Tour Leader

Included meals & drinks

Meals: all breakfasts, four lunches and all evening meals are included. Breakfasts will be an extensive buffet in your hotel. Dinners will be three-course, with menu choices, and a festive gala menu on Christmas Eve.

Drinks: welcome and farewell drinks, as well as a beer, wine or soft drink and tea or coffee with all evening meals and four included lunches. Additional glühwein one day in the hotel and you will be invited for festive drinks by the hotel owners on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Our team in Austria

You will be looked after by our caring and knowledgeable Tour Manager who lives in the area and will offer local advice, hints and tips for you to get maximum enjoyment of your time with us. Also, our dedicated McCabe Faith leader is there solely for our guests and will arrange optional worship in some very special locations. They will escort all excursions and be available for any queries.

Your journey

The flight is direct to Munich with Lufthansa. Regional flights to Heathrow from some UK airports and flight seat upgrades, for that extra comfort and ease through the airport, can be arranged at a supplement. An overnight stop at Heathrow may be required which we can assist you with. Please enquire at time of booking.

Outbound flight LH 2471 departs Heathrow: 08:45    arrives Munich: 11:35

Inbound flight LH 2480 departs Munich:   17:30     arrives Heathrow: 18:35

Length of flight to Munich: 2 hours

Flight times can be subject to change and will be confirmed with your final paperwork.

Your hotel: Gasthof Bad Hochmoos (4*)

The Schlechter family offer McCabe guests a warm welcome at this special time of year to their hotel situated close to the village of St. Martin bei Lofer. Set amidst the stunning Lofer Steingebirge Mountains at the border of the Austrian provinces of the Tyrol and the Salzburgerland. As well as the hotels facilities the family grant McCabe guests use of the picturesque private family chapel in the grounds for our worship opportunities.

Hotel facilities: indoor swimming pool, sauna, solarium and a fitness studio/gym. Massage and beauty treatments are available (at extra cost). There is also a two-lane bowling alley, cosy bar and lounge as well as the heated conservatory.

Your room: double or Austrian twin-bedded with balcony and cosy seating area, flat screen TV, hairdryer and safe. The hotel has complimentary WiFi in all rooms and public areas.

Your bathroom: all are equipped with over the bath-tub and come with complimentary soap, shampoo and shower gel. Bathrobes and ample towels are provided for your use for the spa facilities.

A note about twin Austrian beds:  the distinction between double bedded and twin-bedded rooms in Austria is sometimes not clear. A traditional twin-bedded room consists of one bed frame with two separate mattresses and separate duvets and the beds will not necessarily be separated.

Single rooms available (limited availability)

Double rooms for single use for a supplement of £299




Practical information

Entry requirements

British Citizen and EU Citizen Passport holders can currently enter Austria freely with no restrictions or other documentation required. Stays within the EU can be up to 90 days (can be spread over multiple visits) within any 180-day period.

Please note your passport must be valid for six months after your return from Austria.

Full details of entry requirements and any required vaccinations will be detailed in your final paperwork 14 days before departure.

For the latest and most up to date travel advice including entry requirements please consult the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office travel advice website.

Health & wellbeing

For travel within the EU you should ensure that you have the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which is free of charge.  You can apply for the GHIC card by calling 0191 218 1999 or applying on line at…

The level of cover offered by the GHIC card varies by country visited and is only applicable in state-run health facilities. In some countries coverage may just be a partial contribution.

Adequate insurance cover will be required for all hospital emergencies and doctors’ visits.


In Austria the average temperature during your stay should be around -5 to +4 degrees centigrade. It is advisable to bring some warm clothes and layers for the days as well as a winter hat, gloves and a scarf. In the mountains weather can change rapidly for worse or better and a misty start often leads to a glorious afternoon. We never can see what is the other side of the mountain and the weather is often difficult to predict so please be prepared.


Dress is casual throughout the holiday. You may wish to take one or two smarter items for the evenings. Warm casual clothing is recommended in the day time with evenings being smart/casual. As the sightseeing visits require a certain amount of walking, we suggest you take a pair of warm lined shoes or boots with decent grip to walk in the snow or the occasional icy surface are a must. Austrians often wear real fur which are family heirlooms handed down from generation to generation and not seen as taboo as they are in the U.K.

Please bring a hat, scarf and gloves to keep warm as well as a pair of sunglasses as the glare of sunshine (hopefully) on snow can be quite strong.


There is a certain amount of walking (and stairs) involved on a daily basis on this holiday so please make sure you pack comfy footwear for this so that you are prepared. Your Tour Manager will keep you updated on a daily basis with what to expect the following day. If you are finding it difficult to keep up then please make sure you tell your Tour Manager who can help you to find places to rest and relax and then you can re-join the group at a later stage.

Some streets in towns and villages that you will visit will be cobbled. We suggest you take a pair of comfortable shoes with good grips or trainers. For your guided walking tours in Salzburg and Oberndorf you must be prepared to be on your feet for up to 90 minutes.

The McCabe Educational Trust

The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on some of our pilgrimages. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.

McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £20 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.

Travel insurance

Ensuring that your holidays are appropriately protected is one of our main priorities. That’s why we have specifically chosen Holiday Extras as our *preferred travel insurance provider to ensure that you are protected before and whilst you are travelling. Holiday Extras offer McCabe Travel guests favourable rates for single trip, multi-trip and annual policies.

For more information or to obtain a quote click below for their website

Or call them on 0800 083 3551 to speak to a friendly advisor.

Please quote AG628 upon calling to receive the best rates

Full financial security

All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.

AITO Quality Statement

McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.

You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website here


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