After what feels like eternity, we’re allowed to travel again. And the whole of Europe is happy about it. A few travel tips:
The range of holidays on offer is huge. The most popular travel destinations for German holidaymakers in 2021 are the Baltic Sea, followed by Austria, Allgäu, South Tyrol, Croatia, Italy, Spain, the North Sea, Greece, Denmark, France and the Netherlands. Camping is growing in popularity (there are already ten million aficionados in Germany) and farm holidays are also very popular.
Although many countries are now reopening to tourists, many holidaymakers are still unsettled after months of pandemic restrictions.
Before going on holiday, you should find out about the current coronavirus restrictions in your destination of choice, as almost every country has different rules. Then you can start making plans.
Camping is trendy
In Germany, 10 million people now take their holidays on two or four wheels, and we wanted to take this into account here. Hiking to mountain huts, Alpine meadow tours – you can enjoy all of this from Lechtal Camping Vorderhornbach. This holiday resort in the Lech valley in Tyrol, Austria provides the ideal base for exploring the unique natural park region in the Lech valley and Allgäu Alps.
In addition to a huge tent field, visitors can choose from over 40 private pitches ranging from 30 to 128 square metres. The resort has also recently added rustic huts and mobile homes for 2 to 4 people to its offering. The highlight of the resort is its Badino natural adventure pool. The entire facility was built exclusively using natural building materials. Adjoining the spacious grassy area around the natural adventure pool is the “Almwiesngaudi” bistro. Guests can sit on the terrace, bask in the sun and enjoy delicious food while the mountain scenery provides a unique backdrop.
Located on the edge of the Berchtesgaden/Upper Bavaria National Park, the Allweglehen camping resort is laid out in an array of terraces. In addition to 28 luxurious, spacious mobile home pitches with panoramic views, the family-friendly 5-star resort also offers visitors a glamping experience in the form of cosy chalets and wood lodges.
Both the chalets and the lodges can house several people, offering holidaymakers unique views of the Berchtesgaden mountain peaks. The heated outdoor pool is open to all ages in both summer and winter. If you’re looking for added relaxation after your swim, you can take advantage of the extensive spa facilities, including a steam bath, Finnish sauna and various cosmetic treatments. The restaurant has a daily changing menu, offering a range of culinary delights and many specialities from the region. In the summer, there is also a beer garden.
Camping on Lake Maggiore
Ticino is the number one camping destination in Switzerland. It offers almost 40 pitches located next to rivers and lakes, in valleys and on mountains at altitudes of up to 1,750 metres above sea level. In Tenero, on the sun-drenched northeastern shore of Lake Maggiore, you will find the 5-star Campofelice Camping Village, which among other thing has won the “ADAC Superplatz 2021” and “DCC Europe Prize Winner” awards for superior campsites. Over 15 hectares, guests have access to more than 700 pitches, state-of-the-art sanitary facilities, restaurants, a private boat harbour and a sandy beach.
And that’s not all: there is also a new spa area with 3 pools, sauna, steam bath and fitness room, as well as extensive sports facilities including tennis courts, kayak tours, beach volleyball and a BMX track. If you want to try out the trend for glamping, you can choose from 56 colourful bungalows, 17 river lodges or 5 igloo tubes. Or why not try out the new swing from Swing the World which was recently added to the Campofelice site – let your legs and your soul dangle right on the shores of Lake Maggiore.
Thanks to the “Ticino Ticket”, guests in Ticino can use public transport free of charge during their stay, as well as enjoying discounts on tickets for the leisure facilities, gondolas and boat cruises.
Camping on France’s Atlantic coast
More than any other holiday, a road trip in a camper van is synonymous with unlimited freedom. The 1200-kilometre stretch of the Atlantic coast between La Baule in the north and Hendaye in the French Basque Country offers sandy beaches, a rugged coastline, charming towns and numerous campsites, making it the perfect place for a holiday behind the wheel.
Overlooking the sea and unspoilt coastline, it’s easy to imagine that the beaches in Loire-Atlantique were once home to a hoard of smugglers. In 1791, a path was built down the steep cliffs to try to control the coastline: customs officers patrolled and caught smugglers red-handed.
To this day, customs posts, watchtowers and guard houses still bear witness to the past. The Zöllnerpfad (“custom officers’ path”) – otherwise known as the GR®34 long-distance hiking trail – stretches over a total of over 2000 kilometres. One particularly beautiful section of the French Atlantic coast is the 16-kilometre section from Saint-Nazaire to Pornichet.
Nearby parking tip: the Clos Mer et Nature campsite is just 400 metres from the sandy beach of Tharon and close to Saint-Nazaire. Campers will find the Flower Camping Les Paludiers campsite in Batz-sur-Mer an ideal starting point for a hike on the Zöllnerpfad.
A must on every Atlantic coast road trip: surf the waves of the Atlantic. Lacanau is one of the region’s most important surf spots. The coastal town in Gironde occupies a special place in European surfing history: Europe’s first ever international surfing competition took place here in 1979. A little further north – on Le Gurp beach – the Atlantic shows off the variety of its waves. The Le Gurp Surf School has been offering surf courses for beginners and advanced surfers since 1999.
Nearby parking tip: the Camping Municipal du Gurp is located in the middle of a pine forest, in close proximity to the surf school and the beach.
A relaxing holiday on Mallorca
If you’re looking for peace and quiet, a yoga retreat is just the thing. The Son Manera Retreat Finca on Mallorca, for example, offers a range of yoga programmes. Sonja Miko describes her delight at hearing that she is allowed to reopen the gates of her 77,000 square-metre facility 30 minutes’ drive east of Palma as being “like a ray of sunshine after continuous rain”. Offering everything from courses with two yoga classes per day to regular hikes and power Pilates holidays, Sonja has something for everyone.
Yoga in Upper Austria
If you’re looking for space and tranquillity in nature after months of lockdown and coronavirus restrictions, then the historic Vierkanthof in Altenfelden/Mühlviertel should provide everything you need: the property includes 23 hectares of forest and meadows as well as a swimming pond. Located practically on the doorstep are numerous hiking trails in varying degrees of difficulty, including the granite pilgrimage route and stages of the Way of St. James.
In addition to yoga, meditation and activity trips, there is a year-round, open programme: you can book stays at the Kleebauer Hof with two yoga classes per day and mainly vegetarian or vegan full-board (minimum four nights). A range of other stays with different activities are also available. For example, the Japanese performance artist Junko Baba conveys the fascination of calligraphy.
Holidays in Greece
Greece offers picturesque beaches and exquisite bays. One insider tip is Navagio Bay on the island of Zakynthos. Surrounded by steep cliffs, the beach can only be reached from the water. Once the ship has circumnavigated the high sandstone massifs, the view opens up like a painting: radiant turquoise waters and a white sand beach. An old shipwreck completes the view; it almost seems to have been put there on purpose.
Whether in the company of family members, a partner or friends: at the moment, we are more in need than ever of a holiday surrounded by nature. Far away from traffic, children play in the pure Alpine air, feeling the soft grass under their feet, and if they’re lucky they can even have their own natural swimming pond all to themselves.
Active holiday lovers are a mere stone’s throw away from countless mountain adventures, with the farm providing the perfect starting point. Afterwards, you can take a dip in the pool or natural swimming pond – a welcome refreshment, especially after a strenuous tour of the mountains.
There is also a wide range of holiday destinations for animal lovers. With your fingers buried deep in soft fur and fresh mountain air in your nostrils, you will soon forget your everyday worries. It doesn’t matter whether you’re stroking rabbits, chicks, kittens, horses or sheep – the calming effect that animals have on us has been scientifically proven. Just touching them causes our brain to release happiness hormones and shut down the areas for stress and activity.
If you fancy something a little more active, you can give the farmer a hand in the stables, explore the nearby forest on horseback or go on a delightful discovery tour with llamas and alpacas against an Alpine backdrop. You can learn how the family feeds itself with the farm’s own produce, and even lend a hand if you wish. For example, if you go to the Mudlerhof certified teaching farm in the Gsieser valley/Dolomites, farmer Peter will show you how to milk cows in the morning, while in the afternoon farmer Agatha will welcome you into the kitchen and show you how to make butter and cheese from the fresh milk.
Heart-warming hiking? Llamas and alpacas have been a fixture on South Tyrolean farms for several years. Some of the farms organise guided trekking tours with their cloven-hoofed South American companions. The animals’ relaxed pace forces hikers to shift down a gear themselves and enjoy the beauty of nature in peace. The Kaserhof am Ritten adventure farm in the southernmost tip of South Tyrol offers excursions of this type with specially trained stallions. The docile animals allow themselves to be led by hand while carrying rucksacks and food on their backs. The path leads over an ancient Roman road.
Spa holidays for men
Men are often neglected in our blog, which is why we are including an attractive offer for the modern man. For many men these days, taking pride in presenting a well-groomed appearance is a matter of course. The Upper Bavarian city of Bad Reichenhall offers a comprehensive all-round spa service, including haircut, facial, head and neck massage and manicure.
For tailored style advice, head to the Juhasz department store. Then it’s time for a Laist treatment with clay minerals or a salt rub in the Rupertus thermal baths sauna complex – just as it should be in a town known for its saltworks. Not only do both of these treatments ensure a clear complexion, they also ensure relaxation and relieve the symptoms of stress.
Men should make time for preventative healthcare
Seventy-five percent of men regularly avoid going to the doctor. In addition, from the age of 35 onwards, it is important that we monitor many aspects of our health on a regular basis. Also, did you know? Statutory health insurance in Germany provides free screening for the early detection of cardiovascular problems, cancer and diseases such as diabetes. So, men, if you’re due for a check-up, get in touch with Bad Reichenhall’s health concierges.
They are on hand to provide advice and make appointments with specialists in the Upper Bavarian Alpine town. On top of this, they will also organise a range of leisure activities, for example beer tastings, hikes or paragliding flights.
Long-distance travel is still not on most people’s radar for the moment. Even if you’re thinking of travelling, you’re probably considering somewhere close to home or at least within national borders. For this reason, we have refrained from discussing overseas travel here. Our focus has been on family, relaxation and good health.
No matter where you go, we wish you a wonderfully relaxing holiday!