It takes just under three hours from Cologne to Bloemendaal aan Zee. We have driven this route far too seldom up to now and have not appreciated it enough!
That’s why after our first tour to Ouddorp we now went to the corner of Haarlem and Zandvoort.
Here you can easily combine a city and beach trip!
Our apartment with sea view at Poort Beach Hotel
I haven’t been in Bloemendaal aan Zee for a long time. So, we were looking forward to the super stylish Poort Beach Hotel Apartments. The tasteful accommodations have so much to offer!
We had planned to spend 2 days on the beach, but when we came to the apartment, we immediately knew that all our time would be spent on the spacious terrace. From here, we could also watch the whole happenings on the beach along with the surfers. In the evening, you can enjoy the beautiful sunset with a delicious glass of wine.
The apartments are equipped with a lot of love for details. As always, you should think of bringing salt, pepper and oil, in case you do your own cooking. Otherwise, everything is on the spot! Even a Nespresso machine! I always bring my own milk frother for a delicious cappuccino in the morning.
In our apartment, 6 persons could have stayed overnight, and it costs about 250€ a night. You should book the apartments well in advance as they are almost always fully booked.
Things To Do
You’ll never be bored in Bloemendaal aan Zee as there are countless things to do!
– Beach Walk – Every evening, we took a drink from our apartment and walked along the beach with Chuck. Dogs are allowed to run around freely without a leash from 19 o’clock in the evening.
– Water Sports – You only have to walk down the stairs to go to the beach and rent the surf equipment for surfing. Of course there are more water sports available right outside your front door!
– City Trip – It’s only about 10 minutes by car to Haarlem. For a day trip, I would always prefer to go there. The beautiful city of Haarlem has its own charm with its small streets and canals. The place is also known as the “little sister of Amsterdam”. However, I would rather walk all the way to Haarlem because the parking spaces are very expensive. Anyway, the footpath to Haarlem has a lot to offer! You will pass the Kemmerland National Park and some great housing estates. Walking there is an absolute breeze!
– Beach Club, Republiek – Right in front of the apartment door, you have the Beach Club, Republiek. If you prefer to have breakfast in the morning, I recommend you to visit the trendy and new Beach Club. I could have spent the whole day in the lounge chairs in the sand.
– Zandvoort – Do you feel like a walk on the beach? Then you should consider going to Zandvoort! There are also a lot of modern beach clubs here! In the centre of Zandvoort, there is also a small shopping street to stay in. We made a stopover at the photogenic beach club “Ubuntu Beach”; a must-visit for Instagram lovers!
If you want to see more videos of my stay, have a look at the highlights on my Instagram account.
In the middle of the nature reserve “De Punt” on the Grevelingenmeer is the modern Oasis Parcs Punt-West Hotel & Beachresort, which we reached after a good 3-hour drive from Cologne.
The only five-year-old facility in Ouddorp in the south of Holland (near Renesse) is located directly on the Grevelingenmeer inland waterway.
The sea may not be as clear as the crystal blue water in the Maldives, but the villas and studios are located directly on the water! Most of them even have their own beach.
Instead of the Mediterranean palm trees, you look out over the bright green dune grass from the terrace or the panoramic windows.
Oasis Parcs Punt-West Hotel & Beachresort
We were able to enjoy the wonderful view of the place directly upon arrival in our modern “Hotelstudio Waterfront” for 2-persons. On the ground floor, there is a small kitchenette and living room. From the couch, you can always watch the sea drifting through the wide, panoramic windows.
On the first floor, you reach the bedroom and bathroom, where well-scented Rituals products await you! My personal highlight was, of course, the terrace directly above the sea and the quietness in the resort that makes one really relax.
Also, during breakfast and/or in the restaurant, one always has a direct view of the wide sea!
At the reception, in the restaurant building, you can also rent a SUP or bike.
For your information:
The stairs to the first floor are a bit steep. We always carried Chuck, our Frenchie, upstairs, as he could not walk up them alone. Even for older people who find it difficult to climb the stairs, it is better to choose another type of accommodation in the resort.
The fitted kitchen has a microwave but no stove. You should bring your own salt, pepper, oil etc. if you want to prepare something.
There is no partition wall between the terraces of the studios. If both studios are occupied, you end up sitting very close together on the terrace. Dogs, for example, can run over to the neighbours quickly.
We absolutely enjoyed the peace and quiet and the location. Our Hotelstudio is offered on the website for about 350€/night, including breakfast, which is, of course, an exclusive price.
Therefore, the price-performance ratio did not fit 100% for me, as the equipment of the hotel studio is very ordinary. However, I did look at some villas from the outside, which were very ornate! Especially as a big family or a group of friends, one can have a great time here!
Things to do
Not far from the resort (about 15 minutes walk) is the 18km long coastal beach. Even during Corpus Christi, there was hardly anything going on here, and we could really enjoy the absolute silence! I definitely recommend a walk to the lighthouse and a romantic picnic at sunset. If during the day the weather is halfway ok, you can expect a beautiful sunset!
An absolute must in Holland is of course to explore the area by bike. You have a great landscape all around, which you can explore by bike.
Whoever arrives early in the morning by car or camper has a great first-row seat at the sea to watch the kite surfers. Unfortunately, you don’t get breakfast here, but there are plenty of public houses on the Dam!
If you do not want to spend a day at the sea, you can be in Rotterdam or The Hague in less than an hour.
The Moselle, also known as one of the most impressive river landscapes in Europe, is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Germany. It’s a site that both the younger and older generations can enjoy!
Idyllic wine villages, a multitude of hiking trails with a view of the stunning vineyards, wineries and countless rustic restaurants with a great selection of wines, as well as the tasty home-style cooking and the varied sports programme make for an unforgettable short trip to the Moselle! Of course, I have summarized exactly what you can do on a weekend or a long weekend like Whitsun or Corpus Christi, so you don’t miss out on anything.
Where to stay?
The Landal GreenPark Mont Royal really lives up to its motto “My holiday in the countryside”. The holiday park surrounded by forest with its contemporary-style architecture really did it for us! We, obviously, went to the open holiday park Landal GreenPark Mont Royal over Whitsuntide, but we didn’t have any great expectations, as holiday parks often get old.
When entering our modern 6-bed house, I had to pause for a while and think about our Tiny House in Estonia, our apartment in Australia, and the Nordic interior decoration! The stylish furnishing with sophisticated interior design is simply impressive. Also, the houses in the park are very much the “Insta Houses.” Extremely photogenic!
The accommodations are not just a pretty sight, they have almost everything that you‘ll need! Many even have a Nespresso machine. You can find out more about this before your arrival. Think about the kitchen basics like salt, pepper, oil, and an outdoor grill!
If you are missing anything, you can always ask at the reception desk. The friendly, courteous staff will be happy to help you! A walk to the reception is always worthwhile, as there are goats, a restaurant, a miniature golf course, and a playground to look out for.
We spent a lot of time at our house. In the mornings, we had big breakfasts on the terrace, sometimes indoors, and in the evenings we saw beautiful sunsets with a glass of wine and a round of wizard.
But there are a lot of leisure activities in the surroundings that you can go for!
What to do?
Kröv -Traben – Trarbach
On our first day on the Moselle, we set off with the dogs from our house in the Landal Mont Royal Park in Kröv to Traben-Trarbach.
The approx. 4.5km long hike offers great views and promises some exciting surprises along the way!
It takes only 5 minutes to cross the former fortress of Mont Royal and through the walls of the fortress to the forest paths that lead you directly to the gliding airfield “Mont Royal”. Here, one can watch how several gliders take off! It was a real highlight of the trip for me, as I‘ve never seen how it works. Those who want can also have something to eat or drink in the appendant inn.
From here, we continue to Traben-Trarbach. After another 15 minutes through the forest, you will be surprised with a wonderful view over a Moselle valley, followed by numerous vineyards and a great view of the village of Traben-Trarbach.
After the approx. one-hour hike, we treated ourselves to a delicious wine spritzer right on the Moselle.
The Calmont Klettersteig was one of my most adventurous experiences; not only because I flew my drone into a tree, but also because of its narrow paths.
Don’t worry! It is not really dangerous. Height may be an issue because the path next to the hiking trail dips into a steep slope. However, after the 3 kilometers and 400 meters of altitude difference, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view over the Mosel loop! If you don’t like to go that far, you can stop after 5-10 minutes and enjoy the view from there.
By the way, the Calmont is known as the steepest vineyard in Europe! So, do not forget to put on non-slip hiking boots.
In the many stories that I read, Bernkastel-Kues was named the most beautiful town on the Moselle. I can only confirm this! Especially breathtaking were the historic market place and the beautiful half-timbered facades that the romantic old town boasts. Here, you will find many cafés, restaurants and shops.
A little tip: Try to come here on a Friday or during the week. On weekends and public holidays, it can get quite crowded.
The Moselle Adventure Forest is only 5 minutes walk from the Landal GreenPark Mont Royal. Unfortunately, it was closed during our visit, but it impressed me so much that I have to tell you about it! I have seen some climbing parks in the past, but I have never seen anything like it!
Hanging Rope Bridge Geierlay
Have your ever had the chance to go over a hanging rope bridge? So if you are around, don’t forget to check it out! The 360m long bridge is for nobody with fear of heights! Crossing the bridge is a real adventure! But for now, check the website to see when you can cross it and from which direction. Due to corona measures you cannot cross it at any time as usual.
Maybe it would be nice to see snow again this winter after
all? Or I could enjoy a tasty Kaiserschmarrn (pancake with raisins) instead of
being exposed to the dreary weather at home, right?
How’d you feel if I tell that you can go snowshoeing,
snowboarding, and skiing in a matter of minutes? But it gets even better with a
1530m high gondola right in front of the door. Lazing around and being pampered
is the dream that gets fulfilled here.
If it weren’t for the Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Carinzia with all its great offers, nothing would’ve been possible. The four-star hotel in Tröpolach is only a good 50 minutes’ drive from Klagenfurt airport at an altitude of 600 metres.
As soon as you arrive at the hotel, you have to admire the
modern and spacious reception hall. We were accommodated in a junior suite with
a view of the village. The room had the usual sleeping area and bathroom, but there
was also a spacious lounge and a walk-in closet.
From the first floor we could go directly to the ski and
snowboard rental, which is located in the hotel, and also had direct access to
the wellness area.
The wellness area is an exciting experience from both exterior
and interior with its floor to ceiling windows and a breathtaking panoramic
view of the mountains. In addition, you can enjoy the heated indoor and outdoor
pool and a variety of saunas with a separate pool area. Twice a day there is
even a free sauna infusion, to let the long ski day come to a relaxing end. And
if that’s not enough, you can also relax completely with a body massage.
For those who want to get even more exercise, the modern
cardio-fitness centre with yoga and workout room is a must.
I am a big fan of Austrian cuisine. With it, you could start
the day at a breakfast buffet! Everything that one could desire for a snack was
there along with a variety of egg dishes, porridge, fruits, muesli, and so much
more with it.
At dinner, you can look forward to a fusion of Carinzian
specialities: South Tyrolean delicacies and Mediterranean influences.
A Kaiserschmarrn is of course not missing from the buffet!
Outside of the hotel, you shouldn’t be without Ulli and Marco from the Sportfabrik! Together with the hotel, they‘d created a unique program for us. Whether it was ski trips, snow yoga, snowmobile driving, helicopter flying or snowshoe hiking, everything was included.
The ski slopes are less than a minutes‘ walk from the hotel,
as well as the gondola.
From there, you have numerous downhill runs for every level
of experience. Ski passes and ski equipment are available at the hotel, of
For the romantics among us, a carriage ride was also offered.
On this trip, I have experienced so much fun & action in 2 ½ days as I
haven’t for a long time.
Good to know
Try the Kaiserschmarrn on the Kofel Alm.
Dine at the “Bärenwirt” in Hermagor.
Après-Ski is a great way to celebrate at the Kristallalm!
You can celebrate until late at night in the bar “Zum Alois” right next to the hotel
The Klagenfurt airport is small and fine, but flies directly to Cologne, for example.
In the meantime, you can also travel to Villach by train from Bonn or Frankfurt at low cost, sometimes even for 29,90€!
I never thought that I could experience the beauty of two
unique cities in one place. 48 hours in Budapest felt like Paris and Berlin at
the same time. Majestic buildings like in Paris and hip pubs, vintage shops and
street art like in Berlin are no rarity in Budapest. Honestly, some European
capitals should beware of this modern Hungarian capital. The wide avenues, the
coffee house culture and the wonderful Danube entices one to take a city trip!
I’ve compiled, just for you, the best tips when in Budapest:
– Visit Fisherman’s
Fisherman’s Bastion is located in the older part of Budapest,
also known as Buda. On one side of the Danube is Buda, and on the other side is
Pest. The Fisherman’s Bastion, however, cannot be overlooked by the sights of Pest!
From the seven fabulous white towers, you can take a
panoramic view of the whole city. This historical monument was my personal
highlight of the trip, as the place is simply picturesque. For unique pictures,
you should be there before the first tourist buses arrive at 9 am. Otherwise,
you can visit Fisherman’s Bastion 24 hours except for the towers, which close
at the 21st hour.
Many ways lead to the Fisherman’s Bastion, of course, but I recommend you to walk from the city to the castle hill if the weather is good.
– Cross Széchenyi
On the way to the Fisherman’s Bastion, you’ll definitely cross the Chain Bridge. On foot, you have the opportunity to make several stops, take a deep breath, and simply enjoy the view over the Danube.
– Danube River Cruise
Another highlight was the evening cruise over the Danube. A
boat trip there is best done in the evening after dusk. The illuminated
panorama can be especially enjoyed with a romantic glass of wine or even beer.
Usually, the 48h ticket costs between 8€ and 10€ per person. So, you could also take a day trip the next day with the same ticket.
– Discover the Third Biggest
Parliament Building in the World
The impressive parliament building in Budapest is definitely a must-watch. The gargantuan structure can be seen from far away. You can see it particularly well from the Fisherman’s Bastion or while on a tour of the Danube. Of course, you can also take a tour inside the third largest parliament in the world.
– On the Top of St.
From the highest church of Budapest, 96 meters above, you can get a scenic, bird’s-eye view of the city for just 200 HUF. The domes inside the St. Stephen’s Basilica reminded me a little bit of the Vatican City in Rome.
– Watch the Sunset at
a Rooftop Bar
A very special and unique rooftop bar can be found on the
luxurious shopping street, Andrássy út, in the middle of the city centre. From
a transparent igloo, you can watch the sunset with a delicious drink in hand or
Swiss cheese fondue.
The 360 Bar really offers a 360-degree view of Budapest.
– Vintage Shopping in
Almost everywhere in Budapest, you can find vintage design and second-hand shops. Many are located in the Jewish quarter. Be sure to check out Retrock and Szputnyik D20. Don’t forget (!) the shops are also open on Sundays.
– Explore the Jewish
Speaking of the Jewish quarter, don’t just explore the vintage shops, but also the street art, trendy cafes, and delicious restaurants. It’s the place to be in for hipsters! The restaurant Mazel Tov or Twenty Six is remarkably delectable.
– Eat Local Food
I still remember eating the mouth-watering goulash dishes with pleasure. The hearty Hungarian cuisine is a MUST during your time in Budapest. Langos with garlic cream and cheese can be found on almost every corner. For the sweet hunger, I recommend Kürtőskalács – a chimney cake made from sweet yeast and then spun around a truncated cone-shaped baking material.
– Stay at Radisson Blu in Budapest
Right in the middle of it all, you’ll be staying at the newly renovated and modern Radisson Blu Béke Hotel. The main train station is only 300m away, and only 500m away is the famous Boulevard Andrássy with all the famous shops!
In the spacious rooms, we could relax wonderfully after a
long day in the city. The beds are super comfortable.
The Nespresso machine in the room and the extensive breakfast buffet are not the only things we can eat in the morning. My tip? An omelette with everything and cheese!
How to Get Around?
In Budapest, you can reach all the tourist hot spots on foot. So, you can see more, of course! If you need to go faster, I recommend the taxi app “Bolt” or the app “Lime” for the e-scooters.
The Steigenberger Grandhotel & Spa on the Petersberg has been known for years as the former guest house of the Federal Government. In the middle of the Siebengebirge, not only celebrities like Bill Clinton or Nelson Mandela were once guests here, but recently the successful blogger Ana Johnson too! Last weekend we were able to get an impression of the exclusive hotel on the Petersberg, which only recently reopened after two years of renovation.
Before I tell you about the 103 stylishly furnished rooms and the 9 spacious suites, I don’t want to miss out on depicting the idyllic scenery on our approach to the Petersberg. Already from here you have an enormous view of nature and the Rhine Valley.
Once you arrive at the top, you can feel the peculiarity of the hotel at first hand. You don’t just drive along the entrance to an exclusive five-star hotel, but a castle-like building that receives you accordingly.
Under a bright blue sky, we could check-in directly in our Rheinblick Suite. By the way, here, the name stands for its true meaning. For me, the view was particularly so special, because I could also see my home from up there.
In our spacious room, we missed out on nothing. Also, our French Bulldog, Chuck, enjoyed the spacious area very much.
Pure relaxation is offered by the very comfortable box springboard and the pillow menu. But if you need even more relaxation, you can visit the modern spa area. My absolute favourite was the fitness room with the latest Technogym equipment.
All sports fans can, of course, relax directly in the sauna, the indoor pool, or simply in the relaxation room with a view of the Rhine.
Absolute relaxation, can, of course, never be complete without a special kitchen. Already in the morning, you get everything your heart desires with a great view on the Rhine. In summer, you can sit on a beautiful outdoor terrace and savour the fresh delicacies.
At least once you should try the kitchen of the star chef Anthony Sarpong. We were not only impressed by the unique and remarkably delicious dishes, but also by the local wine accompaniment. If you like, you can even visit the winegrowers at the nearby winery the next day, and take back a souvenir with you.
The extremely attractive cuisine is also offered at festivities in the hotel, especially in summer, the hotel hosts a large number of weddings in the beautiful banqueting halls. Here, every bride gets 100%, a fairytale wedding!
Only recently, the Lonely Planet ranked the city of Bonn 5th, among the best travel cities in the year 2020. So, if you are planning a city trip to Bonn, you can enjoy the proximity to the centre of Bonn and nature in the Hotel Steigenberger on the Petersberg.
However, it is not a must to leave the Petersberg on a short weekend trip. The Petersberg offers a variety of hiking trails right in front of the door! But if you still want to explore the Siebengebirge, I’d recommend to drive to the parking lot of the Drachenfels and hike from there to the Drachenburg.
On the 30-minute way to the top, you will pass some rustic restaurants, the castle Drachenburg and some donkeys, which make the ascent easier for some.
From Cologne Bonn Airport, it takes only 25 – 35 minutes (depending on the traffic situation) to get to the hotel.
Do you want to visit this fabulous hotel?
Then have a look at our website. Even if you don’t live far from the Steigenberger Hotel Petersberg like me, it’s still worth escaping everyday life and just relaxing. It was certainly not my last time at the Steigenberger Grandhotel & Spa Petersberg!