Surprise break for special birthday
SpecialBreak · 10/08/2021 18:58
It’s a milestone birthday for my husband during May half term 2022, and I’d like to book a few days away. Doesn’t have to be during half term- could be anytime next year (during school hols). We will have a 12 year old (who is easy going with food/ culture/ walking lots!). Budget around £500-£700 per person for flights and accommodation. We LOVE Copenhagen, Rome, Florence, London. We enjoyed Tuscany (though this was because we did lots of exploring- we are not “sit on the beach” people). We love history, good food (we eat out lots and are quite “foody”). Love a city break exploring museums and culture, but also love stunning scenery and the outdoors. We are fairly active and would try “moderate” sports (along the lines of kayaking, but not white water rafting if that makes sense). Please hit me with your best short breaks, I’m guessing with the budget it’s going to be Europe. I’m eyeing up Iceland, Norway, Croatia and Montenegro so far, but no idea where to start!
lurker101 · 10/08/2021 19:08
Have you been to Lisbon? It’s a beautiful city, with stunning buildings, miradouras all around the city, great food, fantastic wine (reasonably priced!) and being coastal has a very active lifestyle - there’s a lovely path between Lisbon and the suburban beaches for running/cycling. Lots of great museums too exploring Portugal’s maritime history
SpecialBreak · 11/08/2021 11:09
Thank you both for your input. Norway has been on our to do list, and as we normally do road trips I’d discounted that one due to not having enough time, but I’ve now looked briefly into Oslo and it looks superb- right up our street! Could possibly take a train further north too as an excursion.
I’m going to have a look at Lisbon today, Portugal is on my DC’s bucket list and it’s nice to hear someone else recommend it.
NordicBerry · 11/08/2021 19:59
I'm booked for a girls weekend in Lisbon in October, though no idea yet whether we will be able to go, but looking forward to it. We went to Oslo in the winter - just before the lockdown. Went to the viking ship museum and the neighbouring Norsk Folk village. The scary ski jump and the Mathallen and fortress at Aker Brygge. There was a good Northern Lights exhibition too. In warmer weather I would have been keen for a cruise on the fjord. Museums were free for under 18s and the transport pass - we bought a 24 hour one - was also quite cheap for kids. Food was not SO expensive, but drink prices were quite eyewatering.
NordicBerry · 11/08/2021 20:03
We stayed in the Park Inn by Radisson which was really central and did a nice breakfast. It was quite reasonable as I recall.
Silkiecats · 11/08/2021 20:26
We have been to Norway (as well as Sweden and Finland) mainly the area between Alesund and Bergen, which had the most amazing scenery. We went in August and the weather wasn't great, I think July maybe best chance of good weather but its like holidaying in UK for weather, you have to be prepared for rain. Accommodation prices in hotels were very pricey but AirBNB had some good value accomodation which was nice. Food was very average and astronomical - around 3 times UK prices, never seen prices like it - in Sweden and Finland prices were similar to UK ones.
Culture wise and walking are both excellent and also fair amount of wildlife. Some excellent train journeys and boat trips on fjords. We went on a moose safari, to a viking village where could through axes, white water rafting, a wildlife boat trip in Alesund, fjord trips and a lovely train ride. Oslo to Bergen is a well known train route. Flights were very cheap to Norway and Sweden.
Finland we went once to Lapland in winter (amazing) and in summer which we also loved - saw brown bears in the wild (Arola bears) there we had homemade Finnish cooking and juices from all the berries and the food and juices were amazing and was included in the price which was very good. Flights to Finland were more and need to go Finnair. Did white water rafting there, loads of reindeer white and brown around, other wildlife like moose. Went on summer toboggan and beach - lovely sunny day and beach to ourselves. Scenery there is mainly forest and a bit repetitive. Prices for accomodation and food were similar to in UK. We had some lovely meals out and excellent vegetarian food and Finnish dishes when went in summer. Winter food wasn't as good and pricer but think its difficult to get food in then.
I also love Venice, quite unique, we had good food there esp fish, flights very cheap. Accomodation is a bit pricey but evens out with flights. We always stay on the Venice Lido (note there are other lidos and the one in Venice is the Venice lido). Sicily we found excellent for stuffed swordfish kebabs / fish. Liked Taormina the best there which has lots of culture though we went in September and think it can be very busy in main school holidays.
cocktailclub · 14/08/2021 07:12
I would say Dubrovnik and stay just outside the city walls. We stayed for 7 nights but it could easily be done in a long weekend. We loved it: lots to explore and good choice of restaurants. Being on the sea you can also hire a little boat and explore nearby islands or do some Kayacking
rookiemere · 14/08/2021 07:25
I'd echo either Dubrovnik or Budapest. I was blown over by Budapest - it's a 20 minute taxi ride from the airport and so many things to see and do including the spa experiences. Also cost of restaurants etc. is cheap. If it's still in business go to Faust wine tasting beside the castle ( prebook).
triplechoc · 14/08/2021 07:27
We went to Kiev in 2019 for a landmark birthday, it was fabulous and we’d love to go back.
We went specifically to do the Chernobyl tour, which is for 18+yrs only, so that wouldn’t be possible for your trip with your son, but the city itself was beautiful and so interesting - we barely scratched the surface in a long weekend.
Lots of amazing architecture and history, a good range of cuisines, and just completely different to anywhere we’d ever been before.
Flight time is about 3hr30, and you could do something amazing with your budget - we went Fri-Mon in August and for the two of us it cost about £800 for flights and accommodation in one of the most expensive hotels.
Chemenger · 14/08/2021 07:30
Stockholm is great and a bit less expensive than Oslo. The Vasa museum is probably the best I’ve ever been to. It’s very easy to get around on public transport, including ferries around the archipelago.
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