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Ask most people outside of Europe about Luxembourg, and more often than not, they’ll give you a blank stare. Chances are they’ve never heard of it. Ask people in Europe, and most will know it’s a really small country. True to form, my knowledge of Luxembourg was very limited.
Curious to learn more, I spent four days in Luxembourg last May and came to realize it’s possibly the most underrated country in Europe. With incredible hiking and biking trails, Luxembourg is a fantastic adventure destination. Here are 6 reasons you should consider Luxembourg for a European getaway.
Hiking trails in Luxembourg are pretty much everywhere and can be accessed via a short walk from the lovely villages scattered around the country. When driving around the Mullerthal region, I spotted what looked like well-hidden staircases. Once I began hiking parts of the Mullerthal Trail, I realized those stairs led to the trails.
Named one of the best trails in Europe, the Mullerthal Trail runs for 112 km. It traverses one of Europe’s thickest, greenest and unspoiled forests and passes interesting rock formations, abandoned mills (or muller); and the beautiful Schiessentumpel bridge and waterfalls, one of the most iconic sites in the country (pictured above).
Luxembourg’s trails also lead to picturesque castles. It sounds cliché, but as a girl I dreamt of being a princess and having my own castle. I’m not a little girl anymore and I don’t care about owning a castle, but I certainly don’t mind visiting them during my travels.
Beaufourt Castle sits right along the Mullerthal Trail. There are actually two castles, right next to each other. The medieval fortress was built between the 11th and 17th centuries, and the Renaissance château was constructed in the 17th century. The château was inhabited until 2012, but both castles are open to visitors now.
The Naturepark Mëllerdall, as well as the rest of the Mullerthal Trail, is packed with interesting rock formations that create the most intricate labyrinths. They make fabulous playgrounds for children of all ages. I had a good time finding my way through the incredibly narrow passageways.
I’m not an expert rider, but I do enjoy cycling when I have the opportunity. I love feeling close to nature, and biking takes this to the next level. I cover more ground than hiking, so I get to see and experience even more.
I biked through the Red Rock region, and it was an incredible experience. I don’t think we met more than a handful of people on the trails. We stopped at several lovely countryside spots to take in the spring flowers and incredible scenery.
Most of the ride was quite easy – a slight uphill or gentle downhill, with only two really steep climbs and a few technical, steep downhills.
Luxembourg City is a real gem. I walked around the Old City on the Wenzel circular walk, soaked in the atmosphere, and enjoyed coffee in a lovely cafe.
Echternach is the oldest city in the country. It has a beautiful city centre and a very easygoing vibe. It’s the kind of place where people enjoy a Sunday morning stroll, and any time the sun is out, they sit outside to chat with friends.
If beautiful cities aren’t enough for you, colorful, peaceful villages dot the countryside.
Quite possibly, the thing I enjoyed most in Luxembourg was its relaxed vibe and the incredibly friendly, welcoming and kind people. From the girl at the coffee shop to the shop assistant in the city centre, from the hostel receptionist to the guide at the castle, everyone greeted me with a smile.
Luxembourg’s multicultural composition made the country even more welcoming. As one of the EU headquarters, people from all over Europe live in Luxembourg. There are three official languages – Luxembourgese, French and German. Everyone speaks a little English, too.
No matter where you’re from, it’s very easy to communicate. Being able to speak so many languages and exposed to so many cultures has made the people incredibly open. It makes traveling in Luxembourg incredibly easy and enjoyable.
I’m not a foodie, really. I don’t travel for food: if I want to have the best food in the world, I can stay comfortably at home in Italy. But let’s face it, good food is an added value you travel, and it’s nice to know after a long day spent exploring a new place, there’s a delicious meal waiting. Food in Luxembourg was delicious and reflected its multiculturality. Whether traditional, fusion or international cuisine, everything I had was incredibly tasty, fresh and beautiful.
I generally prefer red wines, but I like a good a sparkling white – like spumante, prosecco, or cava. Luxembourg produces its own sparkling white, called Cremant, and I sure did enjoy it!
I visited Luxembourg in May and spent most of my time hiking and biking. I wasn’t very lucky with the weather. It rained for most of my stay, but at least it wasn’t cold. Dress in layers for flexibility.
I didn’t just hike in Luxembourg: I went out each night to lovely restaurants. The country is truly laidback, so my KÜHL apparel easily transitioned from trail to town. A pair of MØVA Skinny women’s leggings or a nice skirt with a colorful short sleeve shirt made me look fashionable, yet comfortable.
Claudia is a former human rights lawyer who changed careers to follow her true calling. She’s now traveling around the world in search of adventures and unique hiking experiences. Follow her travels at My Adventures Across the World.