Easter break suggestions

Easter is just around the corner and with it comes some days off for you to enjoy anywhere you want! So have you already thought where is the special place you will spend your Easter break? Here are my top suggestions!

1.Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is beautiful city and it gets even prettier when Spring comes because it is the time when all the tulips fields gain their colors. Along with a beautiful landscape there is a lot to visit in Amsterdam during Easter time such as Paaspop festival in Schijndel and Zieuwent festival in Gelderland. It is also common to see their traditional camp fire which they light up during Easter time. There is also their fantastic and diverse Easter market to shop! There is a lot of things to get entertained!

The easier way to get there is by airplane. Amsterdam has an airport (Amsterdam Airport Schiphol) which is only 20 minutes way from the city centre by train.

tulipas amesterdao

 

2.Madeira, Portugal

Madeira is one of the two Portuguese islands located in the Atlantic ocean. Just like Amsterdam the island gets especially pretty when spring comes because all nature gets greener and the flowers gain bright colors.

If you are religious Madeira is definitely a great choice! During Easter there is religious parades to watch in the streets such as the recreation of Jesus suffering in the streets and where people can participate. For example one person from the audience  carries the Cross and enacts the crucifixion. On the Good Friday there is also a special mass in the church dedicated to Easter. On Sunday, Easter day, there are many religious parades and some small stalls selling local pastries and sweet breads. Make sure to try the honey cake and also the caco cake!

To get to Madeira you can take an airplane to their airport (Santa Cruz Airport) and then from there a taxi which takes around 20 minutes to Funchal.

madeira

3.Berlin, Germany

During the Easter week the capital of Germany has a lot of cultural activities to do and also specific events dedicated to Easter such as the big fire camp of Britz Garden and the Easter Market in Breitscheidplat. For the little ones there are thematic activities in Tierpark, one of Berlin zoos. If you have some free time from the Easter activities ther is also many monuments in Berlin to visit such as the Parlament or the Wall of Berlin.

To get to Berlin you can take a flight to Berlin airport (Berlin-Schönefeld Airport) which is about an hour way by train from the centre.

berlim

4. Disneyland Paris, France

Easter also means family time and what better way to spend some family time than in Disneyland? The Disney themed park is a fantasy world for everyone, from kids to adults everyone will be surrender to its magic once you pass the main gates!

“From the 28th March to the 12th April 2016 Disney will welcome you with magical Spring parades, friendly smiles and fairytale fun.” – Disney website

Disneyland has a variety of Disney hotels with different themes where you can stay at. If you go on a longer vacation you can also take some time to visit the capital of France which is about 40 minutes from Disneyland.

Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport is the closest to Disney so I would recommend flying there and from the airport take shuttle or taxi which will arrive at Disney land in about 30 minutes. The shuttle stops at every Disney hotel making it very easy for you if you have chosen to stay at one of them.

disney

5. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is considered by many one of Spain prettiest cities! If you have never been there Easter is a great time to do so. With the Spring coming the weather will warm up in the city which will make it look even prettier!

Plus just like Madeira, Barcelona is a very religious city and there is many Christian celebrations and parades also. They have the “Semana Santa” (Holy Week) which goes from 20th of March until the 27th of March (Easter Sunday) and it marks the end of Lent and commemorates the death and rise of Jesus. Barcelona, as part of Catalunya, is traditionally less religious than other parts of Spain. However, it still has its fair share of celebrations during this period. Holy week begins on Palm Sunday, when a procession traditionally takes place around the cathedral with people holding palms. A week of religious ceremonies follows, ending on Easter Sunday. Barcelona looks beautiful during this period. The sun is beginning to return to the city and chocolate and cake shop windows are filled with every sculpture imaginable made out of chocolate.

Barcelona airport the only 25 minutes by train or taxi from the center making it the quickest and easier way to visit Barcelona.

barcelona

Discovering the natural beauty of Ålesund, Norway

This week post is about  a young couple’s trip to the natural beauty of Norway. For four days Vanessa and Alex, went on a Easter break to discover Ålesund in Norway, place that both agreed as being the most beautiful they have ever seen. They have chosen Alesund, knowing that it is a quiet fishermen town, as they were hoping to see some northern lights (even though April is too late) and the Fjords!So here are their suggestions!

Middle of Geiranger Fjord 2

We did not work on a plan in advance, and were not aware that during Easter time everything is closed in Norway… So, we arrived on Friday afternoon and we were surprised that even the tourism office was closed (the whole weekend). This made the beginning of our journey  a bit more difficult, as we did not have information about where to go and how to move around the area. We had to rely on the internet to plan our trip.

We checked at the hotel “Radisson Blue” and we were very happy with our choice. We had an amazing view from the window of our bedroom as you can see below.This was not very expensive and everything was nice and clean. Downstairs where the lounge was and the living space, everything was very charming and the big windows to the mountains and the sea view were stunning.

View from the hotel

Our aim was to go on a boat in the middle of the famous Norwegian Fjords! Yet, this was not possible during this weekend. We quickly realise that we had no way to move around as the bus were not working or very few, boats very conditioned and not going to all the usual locations available. We found ourselves stuck in the bedroom without options! However, we managed to rent the last car from AVIS, 5 min before the store closes and that was our lucky!

Ferry at Magerholm

We stayed there from 3rd of April and we left on the 6th of April, just a long weekend.

It is an amazing place if you want to be closer to nature, breath pure air and enjoy sceneries that you cannot see anywhere else.

The actual centre of the city is very beautiful and calm. When you walk close to the sea, you see the fisher’s man on their boats with all the catch of the day to sell. They are very friendly and approachable and talk about their lives a little bit.

First day

  • Checked in Radisson, sea view, really good location to walk in town centre;

Hotel Terrasse

  • Go for a walk in the town, Alesund beautiful and quiet, surrounded by water and majestic mountains.

Alesund town center

  • Shop a little bit, but they do not have too many products… and it is expensive

Alesund houses

Alesund street

  • First restaurant, “Egon Alesund”, large choice, Menu/speak any languages, best value, large portion, very good typical fish soup, nice quiet and wood decoration: Our favourite!

Egon restaurant

Fresh fish and chips

Second Day

  • Amazing breakfast at the hotel! They had everything!! Every day we had available some of the best fresh fish in town. Special attention for the amazing smoked salmon!
  • Quick walk through the town centre, Fishers’ boat arrival with fresh fish and sea food

Alesund port

  • 1pm we picked the car and started the road trip.
  • In the fjord area, the main transport is boat, so there are not too many bridges or tunnels. So when you are driving, you need to take Ferry boats to cross fjords. They are not too expensive and there is a lot to take during a day trip. This really adds something to the adventure! (Ferry boats operate from early in the morning until 11pm all year)

Ferry station at Linge

  • With the car during a one long afternoon we managed to go down the south, drive along the fjords, going up and down mountains and valleys, sometimes full of snow which was amazing. Landscapes varied from very white, bright, ice to a mix between blue, white, green when the road opens on the fjords.

Between Stranda and Hellesylt

End of Geiranger Fjord

  • Maybe the benefit of all tourist activities being close during Easter weekend is that we could enjoy any places alone, quiet. And be alone on the road.
  • Our aim was to do a loop around the Geiranger Fjord and pass by the bottom of it.
  • We drove on the tourist mountain road which was really challenging and once you passed the top of the mountain, the view opens on the end of Geiranger Fjord… Breathtaking….

Middle of Geiranger Fjord

  • Here is the map for the itinerary!

Map

  • We finished our trip and were back at night in Alesund(around 10pm)

View From Alesund

  • Last restaurant serving food –» Egon !! Fish soup and chips!

Third day

  • Going to the island that we can see from our hotel room, on the west of Alesund: Godoya.

From Godoya hike-Alnes village

  • Driving through Hovland, Valderoya until the bottom of Godoya. Passing on long and amazingly designed bridges or under water tunnel, which makes the trip really amusing.
  • Park the car and walk along the north coast of the island and until the top of the mountain Godoya to find snow and a lake!
  • Then going down in direction to Alnes!
  • Do not cross someone’s garden even though it looks all open and seems alright… Norwegian do not like at all (believe me, we have tried!)
  • Be careful closing the gates behind you to make sur the sheep do not escape.

Close the Gate

  • Alnes is a really quiet and nice remote place, houses have different colours…

Alnes village

  • Back to Alesund and expensive restaurant, Norwegian dish… Fish basically.

Fourth day

  • The Hotel can book a shuttle for you to go to the airport (same price as the bus from town centre)
  • The last morning, we decided to go to the top of Alesud to have an amazing panoramic view.
  • We rushed it a little bit to make it to the top and be back on time at the hotel for the shuttle, but it was worth it! The hike was not too hard (Norwegians do it running…)

Alesund from the top

 

 

I hope you like it! J

Vanessa & Alex