City Break from a Holiday Park!
This might sound like an oxymoron, but it truly isn't, you can and absolutely should turn your holiday park adventure into a city break and vice versa. It is actually the perfect cocktail: you relax in a vacation park then at the optimal moment you get in your car and visit a nearby city for a splash of culture. After spending a perfect day drinking in history, you can go back to nature and the calm surroundings your cozy bungalow has to offer.
At Vallée les Etoiles, you can do this in a lot of different ways: You can choose to get on a boat right from the park and visit the nearby Dinant, a cute little historical town full of music, laughter, and a lot to see and learn.
- Disvover the Dinant Citadel Once you arrive to Dinant, it’s pretty hard to miss the huge cliff enclosing the town to the east. The river Meuse flows just below, giving the entire structure an otherworldly aspect, beckoning you to go and explore. Inside, you will see a well-preserved bakery, kitchens, barracks and even dungeons. You can get up there in two ways – by foot, which is a great way to exercise and by cable-car which is great fun.
- Notre-Dame de Dinant We all like old churches, don’t we? And when that church is a gothic one, reflected in the waters below, chills go down our spines. The Notre-Dame de Dinant is a gorgeous specimen, dating back to the 16th century, dominating its surroundings and beckoning visitors to simply stand in awe. It is one of the notable features of a town, a building spurting out of the rocks behind, enchanting, and magnificent.
- Rocher Bayard Dinant is such a small town with such a large history. On the right bank of the river, you can visit the iconic 40-meter-high needle rock, called the Rocher Bayard. You can take the road of history and drive between the epic rocks and the rest of ridge, stepping into the shoes of folklore heroes. But the town has so many other sides. Get a place on a small terrace and enjoy the vibe, while tasting a great Belgian beer. Go on a walk and learn about its connections to jazz music, because this is the birthplace of the saxophone after all! A mix of culture and great scenery - the perfect town for an Easter city break.
Bruges is a 2-hour car ride away and is absolutely worth the visit! Get up early, arrive in Bruges before midday and spend an unforgettable day at this famously beautiful city, craved by many but visited by few!
- Rozenhoedkaai (Quay of the Rosary) Once you arrive to Bruges, this is probably the first place you should visit. Step into a postcard and marvel at the most photographed site of the city, offering a view of the canals speckled with those classic buildings which make this area so unique. The light here is perfect for photos all day long and memories made here will surely be the crown jewels of every curated family album.
- The Belfry of Bruges If you are up for a little climb, you should see the medieval bell tower. After taking the 350 steps in this historical building (built in 1240), you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the city. This is kind of a “must” for people visiting for the first time, as for movie enthusiasts!
- Minnewater Lake This city hides so many treasures for different kinds of visitors. Minnewater Lake is a dream come true for every tourist with a soft spot for nature. This lake is home to a picturesque castle, beautiful greenery, and a calming atmosphere. You can buy waffles or any other type of food in the historical center and have a small picnic here, enjoying your food in the fresh air. While in Bruges, don’t miss out on the chance of having a coffee or a fresh lemonade, relaxing in the fresh air and taking things slowly. This town is also bustling with life and a true love for great food, so the brunch scene is very important and there is an accent as well on quality ingredients the smaller restaurants are using.
Domaine La Sapinière in Luxemburg is another awesome park to use as an island of calm while spending a few days sightseeing in general. It is only 30 minutes away from the city of Luxemburg, where there are so many options to explore:
- Take a walk on the Corniche: Taking a stroll here is one of the best things you can do in this marvelous city. It is basically a high balcony which offers you the best possible view of the landscape, houses, sky and even stars depending on the time of day you will choose to visit. A great place to take breathtaking photos and deep breaths – a must see upon your trip.
- Visit the Casemates: these underground tunnels date back to the XVII. century and were part of the city’s defenses. A winding conglomerate of tunnels, you and your family can take a walk-through history and marvel at what could be achieved back then with much less machinery and means we have today. The Casemates are huge, at times of need, tens of thousands of people could be housed here with food, horses, workshops, and kitchens at their disposal.
- One of the things you should not miss out on is the Grand Ducal Palace. It is possibly the most beautiful building in the city, built in the Flemish Renaissance style. If you choose to visit between July and August, you can even catch a guided tour and visit the interior, learning more about the city and the palace itself.
- Don’t forget to visit a museum while there: National Museums of History and Art, Lëtzebuerg City Museum, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean and many more. But it’s important to mention that the park is also surrounded by famous, must-see castles such as Vianden, Bourscheid, Beufort and so much more just waiting there to be discovered and enjoyed. Castle breaks should absolutely exist and mixing it in with your city break will be fabulous.
Bergvliet Villa's in The Netherlands is very close to many important cities, which are great for these kinds of short and sweet visits. Breda is only a 20–30-minute drive away and hides so many possibilities waiting to be discovered. It is not only a cultural center but also a great tourist destination, due to its historic city center which offers many attractive old buildings and moats. One of the top ideas to do here is visiting the Ginneken Market (Ginnekenmarkt) a truly pleasant public square with cafés, shops, and wonderful galleries. So basically, the perfect place for a pleasant stroll in the afternoon.
- Breda Castle The Breda Castle (Kasteel van Breda) is one of the most important UNESCO sites in the country, where you can get guided tours, peeking behind the scenes and discovering the gallery and the large collection of artworks, the huge library and even the Royal Military Academy which currently takes up a large chunk of the property.
- Old Town Breda These wonderful historical places always have a distinct old town and so does Breda. This is such a wonderful place to see, at any given time of the day. It has such a distinct atmosphere do the the ring of canals surrounding it and Grote Markt, where you can easily find the Grote Kerk and the Town Hall.
- Eindhoven is only a 1-hour drive away from the park and offers everything a large city can with a mix of history, culture and fun.
- The Van Abbemuseum Do you appreciate modern arts? Well, the Van Abbemuseum is one the most important galleries in the entire country, with more than 2700 artworks with works of March Chagall, Pablo Picasso and El Lissitzky. Definitely worth the visit!
- Van Gogh Village, Nuenen Not exactly Eindhoven, but pretty close! Just 8 kilometers from the city, you can step into the picturesque village of Neunen, which has famously inspired many artworks of Vincent Van Gogh, who actually spent 2 years living there and creating beauty for the world. You and your family can even visit the house he was living at during that time, which has been restored to its original shape and style. All of these places are great for a wonderful city break. Living in a holiday park while you do so will offer you the comfort and space you need with the freedom to go anywhere!
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