Guest Author - Julie Fredrick
As one of the smallest countries in Europe, in the world, in fact, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has much to offer the traveler.
This tiny landlocked country lays tucked in between Germany, France and Belgium. At less than 1000 square miles (2586 sq. kilometers), the constitutional monarchy is home to a half-million residents. Luxemburg was one of the original European Union member states.
Most visitors come to Luxembourg for a quick visit during their vacations to other countries in Western Europe. But don’t let the size of this country fool you, Luxembourg has plenty to offer the traveler.
Public transportation in Luxembourg is easy, reliable and plentiful. It is possible to reach any destination of this compact country within an hour of the capital city of Luxembourg. Within the central railway station, you can find a traveler’s office that will help to plan your trip by bus and train. If you want an up-close and personal tour of the city of Luxembourg, use your feet as most locals do. Bicycles are also a popular method of getting around.
Luxembourgish is the national language, although French, German and English are also widely spoken.
According to a 2005 Quality of Life survey, Luxembourg ranked as the world’s safest city. It is also one of the top three richest countries in the world. The country has a moderate climate, and tourist season runs from mid-April to mid-October. High season, as with much of Western Europe, is July-August, and if you wait to visit in mid-September, you will be in time to sample some of the country’s finest at the Grevenmacher Wine and Grape Festival. Dry white wines are the draw to the Moselle Valley, and guided tours to the numerous wineries are available.
If you enjoy being pampered, a visit to Europe’s most famous and expansive spa, Mondorf le Domaine Thermal, is a must. Along with healing thermal baths, saunas and whirlpools, you can hire your own private fitness coach or join in one of countless exercise classes. There is also a climbing wall, squash courts and the country’s only casino here. Come for the day or a week, there are numerous residential programs tailored to fit every need.
Do you appreciate fine cuisine? Look no further. Luxemburg has more Michelin-star (13 star) rated restaurants than any other country in the world! The food is often described as a combination of French-inspired and Germanic heartiness. Enjoy your meal with a local wine or beer.
If you are looking for a physically active vacation, head to Luxemburg’s “Little Switzerland” region. Here you will find marked trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging climbs, all offering beautiful scenery with waterfalls and unique rock formations.
Bicycle riding is popular in the Ardennes region, with a myriad of well-marked trails appropriate for family rides or challenging mountain bikers.
Tiny in size, maybe, but big with opportunities, Luxemburg has a bit of something for everyone.