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Sardinia with kids, Italy

Visit Sardinia with kids – Best place to stay in Sardinia for families

Sardinia is a dream family destination: It offers the best beaches for toddlers, beautiful nature, delicious food and amazing family resorts. After visiting Sardinia I was impressed with it’s welcoming Italian hospitality with a love for children. Be prepared that your little one will not only swim in the crystal clear water but also in a lot of attention, hugs and kisses. Moreover Sardinia is considered to be not only a place for an amazing Mediterranean family holiday but also you will spend a short time on a flight from almost any location in Europe.

Best place to stay in Sardinia for families
Best place to stay in Sardinia for families

I personally can say that Sardinia is great for kids of all ages. Babies and toddlers are welcome everywhere, while older children can get rid of their unstoppable energy with various outdoor activities – horse riding, climbing, kayaking or just a simple playground will do. Furthermore discounts are available for kids on public transport and for admissions to sights.

Best time to visit Sardinia

I always try to travel during the off season to avoid holiday crowds. Sardinia is ideal for that because the best time to visit the island is the months of April to May and September to October. The temperatures are not too high so it is possible to enjoy activities like biking and hiking. Besides the sea is still warm enough to swim in. Last but not least there are less tourists. We visited Sardinia in the end of September and beginning of October and it was perfect!

Important to mention to take sunscreen and also bug spray to protect you from mosquitos.

Top things to do in Cagliari

Top things to do in Cagliari
Top things to do in Cagliari

There are 2 airports in Sardinia and one of them is located in Sardinia’s southeasterly capital city, Cagliari. It’s not only the capital of the island but also a historical treasure with various beautiful sights. I would suggest to stay here for at least one day to explore the surroundings and taste delicious pizza.

How to get to Cagliari from airport

It’s very easy to reach Cagliari from the airport. There is a direct train that starts at 5am and ends after 9pm with 20 minutes average frequency. The duration of the journey is just 5-7 minutes and costs only €1.30.

You can also take a Taxis which are queuing outside the Arrivals Hall of the airport. A one-way taxi journey from Cagliari Airport to the city centre will take 10-15 minutes. The one way ride will cost around €15-25.

Where to stay in Cagliari

Where to stay in Cagliari
Where to stay in Cagliari

There are numerous places to stay in Cagliari. And as we know with choices come difficulties to decide which one is the best. We were staying at BUDGET ROOMS CARBONAZZI 17 and found it to be really good! Rooms are spacious, clean, with funky design and equipped with all necessities for the price of 50€ per night. There is free Wi-Fi, TV and a private bathroom. The location is also ideal, it’s very central and just next a car-free street littered with lovely restaurants and bars.

One day in Cagliari

Cagliari, Sardinia
Cagliari, Sardinia

One day is enough to visit major sights of Cagliari on foot. Nevertheless there are also many beautiful things to see around the city. So if you have one more spare day that would be ideal. You should definitely start your visit at Cagliari’s tourist office to get a map of the must-see attractions. You can find it in the Palazzo Civico, Via Roma. 

Start your day at the San Benedetto Market, located on Via Coccu Ortu. It’s the largest food market in Cagliari. Here you can taste local products including cheeses and cold cuts.

Afterwards discover the Castello district, located on a hill, it gathers the main sights of Cagliari. You can climb the stairs or simply take the lift behind Piazza Yenne to reach the top. Wander through the narrow streets and enjoy the architecture of the nobles and wealthy people. There you can also find cute restaurants where you can enjoy 1-2€ coffee.

Saint Remy Bastion, Cagliari
Saint Remy Bastion, Cagliari

Then go to the Saint Remy Bastion and enjoy the view over Cagliari. This spectacular place has been built to connect the lower and upper part of the city at the beginning of the 20th century. It quickly became the symbol of the old town and one of the most popular place in Cagliari.

Cathedral di Santa Maria, Cagliari
Cathedral di Santa Maria, Cagliari

Visit the monument built in the 13th century, Cathedral di Santa Maria.The entrance is gratis and it offers frescos and sculptures in Baroque style.

Then head to the Palazzo di Citta, it’s on the same square as the Cathedral di Santa Maria. Nowadays it’s a small museum but in the 14th century it served as the town hall. There you can find the permanent exhibition which presents a collection of Sardinian objects, textiles and paintings. There are also the temporary exhibitions which are usually dedicated to contemporary art or photography. The entrance fee is around 5 €.

Visit the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari to learn more about the history of Sardinia over centuries. It’s recently restored and offers explanations in English and Italian.

One day in Cagliari, Sardinia
One day in Cagliari, Sardinia

End your day at one of the longest beaches in Sardinia, the Poetto beach. Just take a bus from Piazza Matteotti and in few minutes you will be there. There you will find bars and restaurants. Additionally your kids can swim in the shallow waters.

Where to eat in Cagliari

Sardinian local beer, Ichnusa
Sardinian local beer, Ichnusa

Cagliari offers numerous amounts of great restaurants. The best way to immerse into the local atmosphere and enjoy vivid evenings of Sardinia’s capital is to visit Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and just choose any of the restaurants’ terraces. Food is good anywhere you would go in Cagliari. And definitely try a local beer, Ichnusa.

Where to stay on a Sardinia Family Holiday

As I mentioned before the colourful island of Sardinia is doubtlessly a perfect place if you want to have luxury family holidays. It’s kid friendly and has breathtaking beaches with turquoise water and most importantly shallow waters for kids and toddlers. And maybe for those who wants to learn how to swim.

Why visit hotels in southern Sardinia

Le Spiagge di San Pietro Resort
Le Spiagge di San Pietro Resort

Southern Sardinia is an ideal family destination for those who want to escape crowds and immerse into tranquility. Even during the high season the Southern part of the island stays calm and less occupied than the Northern. The simplicity and quietness of this part of Sardinia reflects splendid isolation.

This area is mainly dominated by a vast green plain Campidano which offers incredible views with olive groves, mountains, waterfalls and forests. Furthermore the shoreline is more heterogeneous with crystal clear water resembling those of the Caribbean islands.

Family resort in Sardinia

Family resort in Sardinia
Family resort in Sardinia

I’ve discovered a beautiful family resort in Sardinia which features a private beach area, rooms with balcony and garden, outdoor pools and even a playground for kids. Le Spiagge di San Pietro Resort is a 4 star hotel that I would definitely recommend to everyone who is searching for luxury family holidays.

It’s very easy to reach the resort from Cagliari by car or public transport. Nevertheless if you hire a shuttle from the hotel it will cost you 90€ and it takes approx. 1,5 hours to get to your destination. There is also a bus 101 from the train station (Bus stop ARST) that costs 5€ one way and will bring you to the closest bus stop within 2 hours. After that it will take you around 15 minutes to walk to the resort. But be prepared for the adventurous ride with winding roads going through the mountains.

hotels in Southern Sardinia
hotels in Southern Sardinia

The best way to enjoy your holidays at Le Spiagge di San Pietro Resort is just to have all inclusive. Because there are no particular restaurants nearby and you also need to pay extra for the cutlery if you want to eat in the other hotels. Furthermore the buffet in the resort is very delicious. Every day there is something different served. Our little one is almost 2 years old and could eat for free with us. He doubtlessly enjoyed it too! Especially the phenomenal pasta.

best beaches for toddlers in Sardinia
best beaches for toddlers in Sardinia

The highlight of this resort is not only the two big pools but also the private beach. Shallow crystal clear waters are just perfect especially in the windless mornings. The sandy beach is ideal to play beach tennis or volleyball. But also kids could run around fearlessly. The whole atmosphere is just idyllic and despite of many families with kids it is surprisingly peaceful. All in one it’s a fabulous family resort to experience memorable vacation!

A perfect day trip to Lille

A perfect day trip to Lille – Things to do in Northern France

Lille in the Northern part of France, which is close to the Belgian border is an ideal day trip city. It’s very easy and inexpensive to travel to Lille – around 80 minutes by one of the European bus lines from London or less than 2hours from Bruges or Brussels. There is also an opportunity to visit Lille by train.

Lille, Northern France
Lille, Northern France

Lille is not at the top of most European bucket lists but it’s fifth largest urban area in France with a rich history. It’s the centre of French Flanders with crucial influence of Belgian and Flemish culture. It has a compact size so you easily reach everything by feet, you can also rent a bike. You can also enjoy a bus tour through Lille which introduces you to the main sightseeings. All in one 1 day in Lille is enough to discover the best of it.

Lille, France
Lille, France

There are some interesting facts about Lille like it was Cultural Capital of Europe in 2004. Moreover the name “Lille” evolved from “L’Île”, meaning “island”. The French city originated on a tiny island in the river Deûle.

Where to stay in Lille

Hotel Ambassadeur, Lille
Hotel Ambassadeur, Lille

There is a different price range of hotels and B&B places in Lille, France. You can definitely find a budget staying but also very fancy accommodations. I would definitely recommend Hotel Ambassadeur. This hotel located in the centre of Lille just next to the Hospice Gantois and less than 1km from Grand Place Lille. Rooms are small but tidy and cozy. Ah and of course the price is unbeatable!

One day in Lille – Top things to do

The Place du Théâtre, Lille
The Place du Théâtre, Lille

Start with the Place du Théâtre

When arriving at Lille Flanders Station the first beautiful sightseeing of Lille that you will discover will be the Place du Theatre. This is where you can start to absorb some of the Lille’s main sights.

To recharge your batteries in the beginning of your day have a delightful breakfast at one of the cafés at the Place du Theatre. All of them look very charming and serve delightful croissants and coffee. We stopped by We are ARA, which is not very traditional but still worth of visiting.

Try some beers in Lille
Try some beers in Lille

Opera De Lille

Take a quick look around at the Place du Theatre and you will discover Lille’s grand Neo-classical Opera House, officially inaugurated in 1923. The architecture and opera’s facade are pretty impressive, which has been designed originally by Lille architect Michael Joseph Lequeux but because of a fire accident in 1903 Opera de Lille has been redesigned by multiple architects.

The best view of the city from Beffroi de Lille

Beffroi de Lille
Beffroi de Lille

The symbol of Lille and also a must-do attraction is definitely the 104 metres high Beffroi de Lille or Belfry. You can climb over 100 steps to cherish the 360 degree view from the top of the UNESCO heritage site. On a clear day you can observe Mountains Flanders and the valley of the Lys. Try to buy ticket online and you will save 1,50€!

The Place Charles de Gaulle

One of Lille’s first attractions that you are going to see is the Place Charles de Gaulle, named after the French general and later president De Gaulle. It’s the central square in Lille Old Town surrounded by charming bars and restaurants. Ideal spot to immerse into the vibes of the city. From here you can also easily explore the entry city of French Flanders.

Unfortunately the view of Lille might be obstructed by the amount of homeless people with dogs and also beggars. Looks like it’s a significant issue that the city struggles with. Nevertheless locals are very kind to the minorities by giving them food and water.

Sweets in Lille
Sweets in Lille

 Palais Rihour

Palais Rihour is a flamboyant example of gothic buildings in Lille, built in 1453. On the ground floor you will find Lille’s tourist centre in the Salle des Gardens. Upstairs the Sacisity are venues for various public events and also exhibitions. If you travel to Lille in the winter then don’t hesitate to visit the Christmas Market on the square in front of the Palais Rihour.

Book Market on Vieille Bourse

The Vieille Bourse or also known as “Old Stock Exchange” is the building of the 17th century which consists of 24 identical houses built around an inner square. It’s considered to be one of the most beautiful architectures in the square, and probably in Lille.

Notre Dame de la Treille Cathedral

Notre Dame de la Treille Cathedral
Notre Dame de la Treille Cathedral, Lille

On your day trip to Lille you should doubtlessly visit the beautiful Notre Dame de la Treille Cathedral. Located in the heart of Lille you can step into the extraordinary scenery of gothic architecture without paying any entrance fee. Don’t be foolished by the underwhelming exterior made from concrete and stone and lacking on aesthetical appeal. Inside is a completely different story: colourful stained-glass windows and amazing interior artwork.

Where to eat in Lille

Place aux Oignins, Lille
Place aux Oignins, Lille

There are plenty of nice places where you can have a bite or try something sweet. And yes, because Lille is located on the border of two countries Belgium and France it combines the best of both. It means you will discover various delicious chocolate creations and amazing dessert stores.

If you’re on the hunt for something savoury I would recommend to visit the Place aux Oignins just next to the beautiful Notre Dame de la Treille Cathedral. It’s a hidden square with charming cafés where you can enjoy your lunch or dinner.

Musee de l’Hospice Comtesse

If you are curious to get to know more about local architecture then don’t miss Musee de l’Hospice Comtesse. It’s hidden behind the shops and small streets but worth visiting. It was founded by the Countess of Flanders in 1237 as a charitable gesture to poor people but now it has been transformed into an interesting museum with many Flemish paintings and Lille tapestries.

Architecture in Lille, France
Architecture in Lille, France

The Palais des Beaux Arts 

If you have an affinity for the fine arts then don’t hesitate to visit famous the Palais des Beaux Arts. The permanent collection, taking in 22,000m², implements mainly art works from the 17th until the 19th century.

Because of its magnitude, this museum is often called the Second Museum of France, with the Louvre being the first. Nevertheless you will need quite some time to cherish the collection of paintings. The building is also a distance away from the Old Lille that’s why I would recommend to take a city bike to save some time.

Walk through the Porte de Paris

Porte de Paris, Lille
Porte de Paris, Lille

Not far from the Palais des Beaux Arts you will find another Lille’s impressive tourist attraction: The Porte de Paris (“Gate of Paris”). It’s an Arc de Triomphe which was build in the 17th century to commemorate Louis XIV conquering the city. Great spot to take Instagram pictures!

Lille Citadelle

To be honest, you won’t make it to see everything in one day but you can decide whether you explore the last two sights or Lille’s beautiful Citadel.

The Citadel is a French military base. You can’t enter it but you can admire the various gates and outer walls on a ramble in the canal-side park, in Esquermes. The star-shaped citadel was built in just 3 years after Louis XIV conquered Lille in 1667. Not only the speed of the project was incredible but also a fact that three million stone blocks, 70,000 lumps of sandstone and 60 million bricks were needed to build this construction.

Pinterest: perfect day trip to Lille, France
Pinterest: perfect day trip to Lille, France
Wu Wei, Sauna in Kortrijk

Amazing Wellness & Spa Hotel in Belgium, Wu Wei in Kortrijk

Wu Wei Wellness Hotel, Kortrijk

Belgium offers numerous amounts of wellness hotels, spa experiences and outdoor saunas. Nevertheless to find one which would satisfy all your wishes, let you have the ideal relaxed weekend getaway and also won’t cost you a fortune is definitely not so easy. Believe me, I’ve been there. Sometimes renting some private sauna in Belgium cost so much just for few hours that it’s cheaper to have holidays abroad. My exaggeration is not far from reality but let me introduce you to the amazing wellness hotel in Kortrijk, Wu Wei.

Room at Spa Wellness Hotel, Wu Wei
Room at Spa Wellness Hotel, Wu Wei

We wanted to have a romantic getaway in Belgium and got the chance to stay at the modern 4-star wellness hotel Wu Wei. “Wu Wei” means the art of non-doing and life to the rhythm of things by the way. And this is definitely a little paradise oasis where time stops and you feel like you are not in Belgium anymore. Isn’t it something that we all want to have sometimes? Just to escape from reality and be far from our daily routine.

Wu Wei is a day Spa and wellness hotel which is located just 10 minute walk away from the train station in Kortkrijk. There is also a free parking spot in case you’d decide to come by car. The architecture of the old industrial building is based on the idea of the simple, the clear with calm colours and plenty of light. It reminds me of Scandinavian modesty and basic design with wooden elements. The rooms in the hotel are spacious with oak parquet floors and equipped with all necessities, free Wi-Fi and toiletries. In the beginning it might feel a bit empty but after some time you start to appreciate these minimalistic elements because your mind doesn’t get distracted and you can fully relax.

Wu Wei Hotel Room, Belgium
Wu Wei Hotel Room, Belgium

The best part of Wu Wei hotel is it’s impressive spa area with outdoor swimming pool at 32 degrees, Canadian sauna at 80 degrees, outdoor Finnish sauna at 89 degrees and traditional 3 room Hammam. Just bring your towels, slippers and swimsuit to be able to access the area. You can also rent it at the hotel for a small price. We we’re staying over night at Wu Wei hotel that’s why we could find all essentials in our room.

Cafeteria at Wu Wei Hotel, Kortrijk
Cafeteria at Wu Wei Hotel, Kortrijk

In my opinion Wu Wei wellness hotel is a perfect combination of tranquillity, water and greenery. The various relaxing rooms with wood fires and dimmed light let you experience relaxation to it’s purest. There is also an interesting shower that will bring you to life in 4 different ways: With warm, cold, hard and soft water streams. Great experience! There is also salt scrub in the showers that everyone can use.

Wu Wei, Kortrijk, Canadian Sauan relax area
Wu Wei, Kortrijk, Canadian Sauna relax area

On the rooftop terrace it is possible to book a private spa with plunge pool, hot water bath, another sauna and relaxing room. In case it’s not booked you can also access and use it from the public spa. This is what we did because we were visiting during the weekdays. The wellness hotel was pretty empty, lucky us!

Last but not least there is a cafeteria with essential drinkable water which is gratis. This is very important to stay hydrated after all the healthy sweating in the saunas. It is also possible to order delicious snacks and soup which are served on beautiful wooden plates. In the evening after 6pm we were able to order a delicious and healthy dinner from the restaurant.

Wu Wei Wellness Hotel, Kortrijk
Wu Wei Wellness Hotel, Kortrijk

We wanted to accomplish our magical spa break with one of the treatments that Wu Wei offers. There is an extensive range of massages but we decided to book duo treatment of the back to relax our muscle tissues. Did you know that massage therapy has health benefits like reduction of pain caused by tight muscles, it can improve sleep and even increase endorphins levels. The duo treatment was performed by one person. I would prefer to be massaged separately so there wouldn’t be any waiting time in between but of course I was covered in scrub for some time. It was a good experience though!

Breakfast at Wu Wei Hotel, Belgium
Breakfast at Wu Wei Hotel, Belgium

All in one I can say that we found our perfect spa wellness in Belgium, Wu Wei in Kortrijk. Everything is just lovely there, tranquil atmosphere and cozy surroundings. In the morning we had a simple breakfast and could enjoy another day in the idyllic and peaceful spa.

Planning to explore surroundings of Belgium? Find out more about other wonderful hotels and hidden gems in a wonderful Belgium.

Hidden Gems of Belgium: Weekend in Durbuy, Ardennes

Holidays in the Belgian Ardennes

Durbuy is a hidden gem of Belgium, located in the French-speaking community of Wallonia. You can find this beautiful region in the Ardennes, south of Belgium. It’s not only famous for it’s magnificent old charm and tranquil atmosphere but also for being the “smallest city in the world” with it’s population of 11.ooo inhabitants.

Weekend in Durbuy, Ardennes
Weekend in Durbuy, Ardennes

It’s very easy to fall in love with the medieval city of Durbuy, filled with cobbled streets, authentic ancient stone houses and a beautiful castle at the centre. The city is surrounded by impressive hills that used to be one whole structure. But overtime the river carved a path through them by eroding the strong stones. After some time the river changed it’s direction and people built the impressive little town that welcomes around 2 million tourists every year.

Top Things to do in Durbuy

Explore the Old Town

Hidden Gems of Belgium, Durbuy
Hidden Gems of Belgium, Durbuy

The magnificent Old Town of Durbuy enchants only 50 inhabitants, the majority live in the surroundings of the Durbuy region. Nevertheless the historic centre has plenty of interesting things to discover. There are a few lovely shops with local goods such as Durbuy’s dandelion jam, artisanally brewed beer and of course famous Belgian chocolate. The most prominent one you will find at Rue Alphonse Eloy.

Durbuy, Ardennes
Durbuy, Ardennes

Furthermore mesmerising Durbuy is the perfect place for photography lovers. Every corner is a great spot and opportunity for an impressive picture. Especially if you visit it during late spring or summer time.

Dine in a nice restaurant

Durbuy has a great reputation for hosting high quality food. You will be surprised how many restaurants and cafés this tiny town accommodates. You will be spoiled for choice, wherever you choose will be a good choice. We enjoyed our lunch at Saint Amour. It offers a relatively simple and old-fashion ambience but don’t judge book by it’s cover. Their lunch menu was voluptuous and sumptuous including a delicious variety of starters with paté and quiche. Furthermore there were unexpected refreshing surprises between the dishes. I would recommend to visit this restaurant and be prepared to spend at least 2 hours of happy feasting there.

La Bru'sserie, Durbuy, Belgium
La Bru’sserie, Durbuy, Belgium

If you are searching for a more over the top fancy dining experience then reserve a table at La Bru’sserie. You won’t be disappointed with the modern beauty of the interior and the quality of dishes.

Enjoy Wellness & Spa at Azur en Ardenne

Wellness & Spa at Azur en Ardenne
Wellness & Spa at Azur en Ardenne

The Ardennes are an ideal region to get away from chaos and immerse into tranquil nature surrounded by greenery. It’s perfect to unwind in one of the spas and recharge your batteries. We were staying at Azur en Ardenne, the wellness oasis surrounded by a beautiful forest. It’s also perfectly situated close to Durbuy’s Old Town and various activities, which you can easily reach on foot.

Comfort Room at Azur en Ardenne
Comfort Room at Azur en Ardenne

We booked the Comfort Room for 2 nights to disconnect from the outside world. The room was simple but well equipped. We received bathrobes and a welcome chocolate bar from the local chocolatery. I really liked the spacious white bathroom with a nice shower and a big bath. There was also tea, instant coffee, kettle and paper cups. I would definitely recommend to take some body cream with you after visiting sauna because hotel provides only with soap.

http://www.azurenardenne.be
http://www.azurenardenne.be

The best part of the Azur en Ardenne is the wellness area with a lovely indoor swimming pool. Furthermore there are 2 saunas, jacuzzi, hydrogen massage and a great panoramic view. The atmosphere is very relaxing and peaceful, accompanied with soft background music.

Breakfast at Azur en Ardenne
Breakfast at Azur en Ardenne

Wait until you see the breakfast that is served at Azur en Ardenne! It’s an epitome for the perfect start of the day. You can find everything what your foodie soul can crave for: muesli, fruits, warm waffles and pancakes, eggs, proper bacon, cheese, all kinds of teas and soft drink and even almond milk. It’s wonderful to wake up with beautiful views and voluptuous choice of treats.

There is also a restaurant that unfortunately didn’t approved my expectations but I got an insider tip: Just down the road there is place where all the chefs of Durbuy go to dine: Gastropub Gaspard . If you plan to visit this restaurant definitely reserve a table in advance because it’s small and always full!

Radhadesh Retreat Centre

You will be surprised to discover that in the middle of the Belgian Ardennes, in a fairytale castle you can find the spiritual community and one of the most important Hindu centres in Northern Europe. The beautiful castle Château de Petit Somme is home to the largest community of Hare Krishna, a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu organisation in Belgium. It’s an interesting experience to see the contrast between the grey cold stones of the huge castle and colourful interior and sculptures held in Indian tradition.

Radhadesh Retreat Centre
Radhadesh Retreat Centre

Radhadesh is a non-profit organization administered by a democratic general council and is the main center for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in the Benelux. Additionally it’s also a retreat where you can join various courses and even cultural festivals like popular Holi Festival. I personally enjoyed visiting the Museum of Sacred Art where you can observe Indian art traditions and enjoy various exhibitions. Also worth visiting the vegetarian restaurant and cafeteria.

Mystical Megaliths: Menhirs and Dolmens of Weris

There is a lot of mysticism around the Durbuy area and one of them is the 8 km rows of megaliths made of huge conglomerate, nature’s version of concrete stones. These stones are well anchored into the ground and date back to the Neolithic era, that means they are over 5.000 years old. Scientists are still asking themselves how people could put these massive stones in alignment with almost no tools?

Mystical Megaliths: Menhirs and Dolmens of Weris
Mystical Megaliths: Menhirs and Dolmens of Weris

There are two main sites which are categorised as Weris 1 and Weris 2. The purpose of the menhirs is still not clear but there are some conclusions that it once was a spacious megalithic center for religious ceremonies, astronomical observations, healing of people and manipulation of the Earth’s energies. Nowadays people are still coming to immerse into the strong field of energies.

Interesting building: La Maison de Hary Cot

La Maison de Hary Cot, Durbuy
La Maison de Hary Cot, Durbuy

Close to the mystical megaliths you will discover La Maison de Hary Cot. A house that resembles Tim Burton’s crazy and intriguing creations. I was surprised to find out that it’s actually one of the finest restaurants in the region of Durbuy. Unfortunately it was not open when we were passing by but I would doubtlessly recommend to try to reserve a table at this admirable establishment which by the way belongs to the young couple Gael Colinet and Fanny Perreaux.

Visit Durbuy’s local brewery

Every town in Belgium is famous for their local beers. That’s why it’s a must to taste Durbuy’s own locally brewed beer, La Ferme au Chene. The brewery was established in 1560 by Philippe Marckloff and it’s located along the river Ourthe. Here you can also dine in the the local cuisine restaurant.

Sensation seekers should visit Adventure Valley

Adventure Valley in Durbuy is an amazing and challenging park with various activities for young and old. You can choose between climbing the side of the mountain with different difficulties, free fall from 32m high, going through the 3D labyrinth or enjoying the tumbling slide. There is also a possibility to crawl and climb between trees at different heights but also experience mega zipline.

Adventure Park, Durbuy, Blegium
Adventure Park, Durbuy, Blegium

Additionally all this fun is very safe, everyone receives a professional explanation in addition to helmets, security belts etc. You can see little children of age 5 and 6 being much braver than their parents and fearlessly climbing the various heights. It’s definitely memorable fun for the whole family! There is also a huge and gratis playground next to the café in case you don’t feel like spending money on an adventure.

Admire the World Largest Topiary Park

Have you ever heard of Topiary? It’s a beautiful practice of shaping or better to say clipping trees into ornamental figures. Since 1997, Durbuy Topiary Park has numerous amounts of tree figures, 250 masterpieces to be exact, on a 1-hectare garden. Moreover there are 39 flower bed and a breathtaking view over the river Ourthe and Durbuy castle. It’s truly a highlight and a must visit in Durbuy so plan to spend a few hours admiring the green art!

Outdoor activities

Ardenne, Belgium
Ardenne, Belgium

Nature and sport lovers will be surprised about the amount of outdoor activities that Durbuy can offer. You can enjoy the river with canoeing, rafting and kayaking. Moreover there is a possibility for horse riding and mountain biking. Last but not least Durbuy has incredible hiking trails with beautiful views. Just get more information at the tourist info point in the Old Town or at hotel Azur en Ardenne.

Best places to visit in Belgium

If you are spending a week or maybe even longer in Belgium then definitely visit the following cities:

Bruges, the fairy tale town of Belgium. The romantic atmosphere, smell of waffles and chocolate, mesmerising houses, bridges and swans on the canals will doubtlessly let you escape reality.

Brussels, as the capital of Belgium, attracts it’s visitors with beautiful historical monuments and world-class museums.

Ghent is a student city with beautiful and impressive medieval architecture and surprisingly un-touristy atmosphere.

Belgium Vacation Ideas Visit Terhills Hotel in Maasmechelen

Belgium Vacation Ideas: Visit Terhills Hotel in Maasmechelen

Terhills Hotel, Belgium
Terhills Hotel, Belgium

If you are planning your vacation in Belgium then I would definitely recommend to visit Maasmechelen for a weekend. This is one of the hidden places in Belgium that not everyone knows about. Nevertheless it has a lot to offer for a romantic and lovely getaway for couples, friends and families. You can easily reach Maasmechelen village by public transport but it’s even more comfortable and faster by car. Less than an hour drive away from Brussels, Antwerp or Düsseldorf, Maasmechelen Village is located on the Meuse river in the Belgian province of Limburg. There are plenty of opportunities to park your car for example at Terhills Hotel in case you decide to spend the night there.

Where to Stay in Maasmechelen

Terhills Hotel

If you decide to stay in Maasmechelen then you should experience your stay at the historic building of Terhills Hotel. It’s a beautiful 4-star hotel with a modern interior which used to be a the main building of the Eisden mine. Already the arrival at this place will leave you speechless: An amazing green garden that reminds a little like Versailles and an imposing historic building at the end of it. This location is very popular for wedding photography.

Wellcome Drink at Terhills Hotel
Welcome Drink at Terhills Hotel

Terhills Hotel is not only unique but it’s also an architectural icon. Everywhere you can see hidden elements of the mining pre-history of the building well combined with a modern makeover: There is a half a meter difference in level between both sides of the building and the front stairs seem to look crooked. The building was built in 1932 but it had remained empty for around 25 years.The cooperation with Dôme Deco from Limburg turned the hotel into an impressive ambiance with elegant and stylish interior design.

Rooms at Terhills Hotel

I loved every moment of my stay at this hotel. From the very beginning you feel very comfortable: Welcome drinks and beautiful decorative elements, all these create the perfect atmosphere. After a fast and easy check-in the ultra-modern lift brought us to the second level with spacious corridors where our room could be found. Terhills Hotel offers 5 different types of rooms. We were staying in the Superior Room with Garden View.

Rooms at Terhills Hotel
Rooms at Terhills Hotel

Our room was outstanding: comfortable king-sized bed, flat-screen TV and an awesome big freestanding shower with bath robes and free toiletries. A sweet message from the hotel manager accompanied by Neuhaus pralines, tea, coffee and bottle of bubbles made us feel like home immediately. The beautiful view from the room and cozy vibes let you feel so good, you don’t want to leave this little oasis.

Breakfast at Terhills Hotel

Breakfast at Terhills Hotel, Maasmechelen
Breakfast at Terhills Hotel, Maasmechelen

I am very critical regarding breakfast because I’ve noticed nowadays it’s really hard to find a place that offers a delicious variety of food at the beginning of the day. Most of the time it’s just simple boring eggs and croissants. But at Terhills Hotel I was positively surprised and definitely satisfied with the quality and diversity of the dishes. They serve everything that can please your breakfast wishes: From scrambled eggs, proper bacon, American pancakes to fresh yoghurt with fruits, granola, chia and nuts. Different juices and hot drinks like coffee and tea accompany the sumptuous breakfast.

What to do in Maasmechelen Village

Designer Outlet Shopping – Shopping in Belgium

Almost everyone who lives in Belgium has at least once visited the famous designer outlet shops at Maasmechelen Village to stroll through luxury fashion and homeware stores and enjoy great discounts of up to 60%. Many famous brands present their products at significant reduced prices that you rarely can find in the cities.

Designer Outlet Shopping - Shopping in Belgium
Designer Outlet Shopping – Shopping in Belgium

The Designer Outlet is located just behind Terhills Hotel and it looks very modern and clean. There are various interesting sculptures worth of taking a picture for Instagram and comfortable benches to relax on the way from one shop to another. Families with kids will be happy to discover a big playground where they can let their toddlers have fun so the grown-ups can be focused on spending money.

Shopping at Maasmechelen Village
Shopping at Maasmechelen Village

You can easily combine smart shopping with nice dining. There are some lovely options to get food on the way or enjoy your meal in one of the three main restaurants. All in one Maasmechelen Village doubtlessly provides a relaxed and pleasant shopping experience. The best way to enjoy your shopping to maximum is to stay at Terhills Hotel and get an additional 10% discount on every purchase like I did. Sounds awesome, right?

Hiking in Belgium: Visit Connecterra

Limburg has a lot of stunning nature and picturesque views. One of them is the popular panoramic getaway in the National Park Hoge Kempen. It’s located just next to Terhills Hotel and is definitely a must visit. This place used to be used for coal mining until it was closed in 1987. You can still view the impressive shafts of the former Eisden mine which mainly have a decorative value nowadays.

Hiking in Belgium: Visit Connecterra
Hiking in Belgium: Visit Connecterra

For 3€ you can explore the park on foot. There are three well marked out hiking trails that will lead you to the best spots of Connecterra. You can also decide if you would prefer to have a short 45-minute walk or more extended 2 or 3-hour hikes, which goes around a lake and through the woods. I would suggest to go for the longer hiking trail as we did. Either way you will be rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view over the Belgian forest and lake. Some spots can be a bit steep but all in one it’s a very easy hike that everyone from young until old can enjoy.

There is visitors lounge with a little café and a great playground at the main entrance of Connecterra. So by the end or beginning of your walk you can enjoy your drink surrounded by nature. Families can let their little rebels climb around and have some fun at the modern playground.

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