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Holland Christmas Markets

Winter Wonderland in Valkenburg

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Our Three Countries Markets tour allows you to experience a wider variety of Christmas markets with each country having its own unique qualities. This particular tour is the only one that takes you to an extra special Christmas Market in Holland. Situated beneath the picturesque hill town of Valkenburg, this subterranean market lays claim to being the oldest and largest in Europe. Back in the 11th century, the people of Valkenburg quarried for Marlstone to construct a hilltop castle and other buildings around the town.

The excavated series of underground caves and passages that were left beneath the castle were not only used as an escape route during times of siege, but also as a hideout for the citizens of Valkenburg and American troops during World War Two. Nowadays, the underground labyrinth is home to the most enchanting Christmas Market in Holland.

The Dutch Christmas Market runs from the end of November to late December and each year there is a different theme. Numerous stalls and grottos with twinkling fairy lights are set up in niches along the maze of tunnels. With its location being below ground you are protected from the elements outside, making for a warm and cosy atmosphere. Resembling a scene from a fairytale, this Christmas Market in Holland is especially popular and buzzes with over 125,000 visitors each year.

As you wander around the series of tunnels you will eventually come across the Velvet Cave, or Fluweelengrot as it is known to the locals. Here you will see fascinating wall murals, sculptures and inscriptions carved into the soft Marlstone walls. Amid the sound of seasonal music you will find many stalls selling various Christmas decorations and gifts such as ornaments, handmade crafts, children's toys, candles and confectionary - you won't struggle to find presents for loved ones back home! Sampling some of the traditional Dutch food is a definite must whilst looking around this Christmas Market in Holland. Try Dutch oliebollen, similar to doughnuts or poffertjes which are tasty sweet pancakes. Then there's the delicious Dutch pea soup and mouth-watering braadworsten (fried sausage). Take time to stop at the Winter Wonderland Tavern to try out these delectable delicacies and treat yourself to a heart-warming glass of Glühwein while you're there.

Visiting this popular Christmas Market in Holland will take you to the oldest railway station in the Netherlands. All the proceeds from the market are put back into conserving the town's heritage by facilitating repair and restoration works on Valkenburg Castle and its surroundings.

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