Handy Holiday Guide to Luxembourg
Nov 27, 2012
Guest Post by Phoebe Yates
An often overlooked European holiday destination, Luxembourg comes alive with autumn color and is the perfect place to head for a post-autumn break. It is really easy to get to, with regular flights from Gatwick Airport, which can be reached by train from London to Gatwick.
This compact country, nestled between France and Germany, has just had a royal wedding between Prince Guillaume and Stephanie de Lannoy from Belgium. With thousands of Luxembourgish well-wishers and supporters it was a grand event and highlighted the beauty and tranquillity of Luxembourg.That’s why it is undoubtedly the perfect place for some rest and rejuvenation amongst some flawless winter landscapes.
Particularly beautiful in the beautiful autumn leaves in The Ardennes. A large forest and national park area that spreads into not only Luxembourg but also Belgium and France. The section of the Ardennes in Luxembourg has been split into two parts to preserve the cultural and natural heritage of the place. There is much to do and see, including many medieval castles and forts, built because the Ardennes was an ideal place to become hidden and safe from any possible attacks!
The area also has a plethora of outdoors activities, ones that are perfect for chillier autumnal climes are horseriding, rambling and mountain biking. There are also a number of more relaxing activities on offer, such as strolling through the beautiful historic village of Clervaux. This hidden gem houses a 15th century castle, a stunning Roman church and a large monastery of the Saint-Maurice and Saint-Maur Benedictines. Another favourite past time of the locals and tourists alike, is the regular medieval festivals where they have battle re-enactments and traditional bands. With flag-throwing and dancing as well you really do feel submerged in this fascinating time period of knights and lords.
If you are looking for some fall fashions and perhaps some new winter boots then you should look towards the capital city of Luxembourg, which is handily also called Luxembourg! There are plenty of European fashion shops familiar to those in the UK or around the rest of Europe, such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and H&M. You can also cruise along the Avenue Marie-Therese in a horse-drawn carriage with amber leaves falling all around.
Also in the capital city, a third of which is covered in lush green parks, is the resplendent Cathedral, Notre-Dame Luxembourg. It has a breathtakingly cavernous inside with huge columns and awe-inspiring stained glass windows, much like its Parisian counterpart.
An alternate historic site is the striking ‘Gallo-Roman’ remains of a large palace next to an artificial lake at Echternach. They are very well-preserved and intact, but only after pain-staking excavation and restoration. Visitors can find a fascinating scale model of what the palace was believed to have looked like during the late Roman empire. The site is on the mid-eastern side of Luxembourg’s border with Germany and is a stunning place to wander around on a crisp autumn morning.
These historic landmarks are indicative of Luxembourg’s long and illustrious history, and it is rare to have so many still standing and available for locals and tourists to see. It really is a great place to go on a winter break and somewhere to get lost in the intricate and interesting history of this amazing grand duchy.