A different kind of winter adventure – Off the beaten path

Don’t feel like skiing? These winter activities are a good alternative. For example, a walk across Belgium’s most beautiful beach in De Haan, snowshoeing in the South Tyrolean mountains by Welschnofen, or taking a city stroll under the arcades in Bern.

De Haan: Trudging through the sand in rubber boots

One of the most beautiful beaches on the Flemish coast is located in the small municipality of De Haan in northern Belgium. Twelve kilometers long and up to ninety meters wide, this finely sanded beach extends between Blankenberge and Bredene-aan-Zee. It can get busy here in the summer but is never too full. In winter, one is almost alone.
Especially during the cold season, a walk along the coast is a special experience. A cap and a scarf protect from the often biting wind. The view of the horizon, accompanied by the calls of seagulls, keep you going.

Whether at a relaxed pace along the water or more briskly along the dune trails – a couple of hours of exercise in the salty, fresh ocean air is not only good for your health but can make you hungry as well. A great place to enjoy a glass of punch or a snack, located right in the dunes, is Chalet Westhinder. The beach chalet isn’t always open in winter. But there are many other cafes and restaurants along the wide beach promenade that offer a welcome respite. Delicious Belgium waffles or scrumptious moules-frites are a fortifying treat.

More about the Hotels:

Romantik Hotel Manoir Carpe Diem, De Haan (BE)

Welschnofen: Snowshoeing in the South Tyrolean mountains

Snowshoeing in the South Tyrolean mountains

In many parts of South Tyrol, one still finds a slow pace and peaceful quiet in winter. Contact with nature is what matters. Snowshoeing fulfills all of these wishes – the only sound is the crunch of snow under your feet.

The Frin Tour is a good trail for those snowshoeing for the first time. It isn’t too challenging, there is no danger of avalanches, and it offers a magnificent view of the Dolomite mountain range. This wonderful panoramic hike starts at an altitude of 1,570 m to the north of Lake Carezza with an already breathtaking view of the “Rotwand.” Witz the gaze resting on the “Rose Garden,” the snowshoe hike continues on trail no. 16 across the Frin and onward across one-of-a-kind Alpine pastures. The hike is easy with no major inclines.

Another worthwhile snowshoe hike goes through the Carezza forest with a view of the Latemar. The hike starts at the idyllic Lake Carezza. Along the Agatha Christie Trail, the hike goes along path no. 11 to the Radura di mezzo outlook. Trails no. 21 and 13 lead back to the starting point.


More about the Hotels:

Romantik Hotel Post Weisses Rössl, Welschnofen (IT)


Bern: Shopping under the arcades

Shopping under the arcades

The founders of Bern providently took the well-being of the city’s inhabitants and visitors into consideration and gave the buildings in the center protective arcades that extend through the city like sheltered sidewalks. The roughly six-kilometer-long stretch of arches lines the entire Old Town, which still looks the same as it did five hundred years ago and which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.

Strolling under the arcades not only has advantages when it rains or snows, but also in summer when any shade is welcome. Galleries, studios, boutiques and quaint shops – under Bern’s arcades and in the typical vaulted cellars, unique treasures await visitors that make a shopping trip in the Old Town a truly special experience. The shopping promenade is enlivened by ornate fountains; the Fountain of Justice from 1543 is the oldest one. At the end of this typically Helvetian boulevard, one finds the Zytglogge, a clock tower from the Middle Ages with an astronomical clock and chimes.


More about the Hotels:

Romantik Hotel Landhaus Liebefeld, Liebefeld/Bern (CH)

Romantik Hotel Stadthaus Burgdorf, Burgdorf (CH)