Our favorite places in Euro

An emerald-green lake accessible by lift. A city full of Nordic delicacies. An inn as grandmother’s time: our favorite places in Europe.

Norway: skerries luck in the south

Sleeping in a ton like Huckleberry Finn, the buddy from “Tom Sawyer’s Adventures”? Well, the huge oil barrel, which has been converted into a bridal suite on Ny-Hellesund, is significantly more luxurious, with lots of wood, beautiful fabrics and a classy bathroom. In front of the big bed lies the archipelago of the Norwegian south coast at your feet and it is only a few steps to the swimming area. The architect Hanne Bentsen has realized her dream on the site of her father’s former shipyard: a bar, design apartments and a restaurant with fine cuisine from Oslo – all this is “tucked away” on a tiny archipelago. The scheduled boat reaches Ny-Hellesund daily from Høllen on the mainland. If you throw your cell phone into the sea and decide to continue traveling until the end of the summer, you can spend the night in another lighthouse. Another dream …

Apartments “Verftet” on Ny-Hellesund (Søgne, Norway, Tel. 0047/97 54 60 16, www.nyhellesund.com ).

Information for Southern Norway: www.visitsorlandet.com

Spain: the song of the monks

Even the monks built wine here in the 18th century: the “Abadía Retuerta”.

As you walk through the cloister of the 12th-century former cloister, you may hear the steps of the monks who used to hurry to the refectory. Where the abbey’s dining hall was until the 19th century, today the restaurant has preserved original frescoes, old books and deep red carpets. The “Le Domaine” hotel in the restored abbey walls in the middle of the “Abadía Retuerta” winery has, besides the insignia of a five-star hotel, above all, the seclusion and expanse of the northern Spanish province of Castilla y León. The abbey is located in the vineyards of Sardón del Duero, about two hours drive north of Madrid. Even the monks have grown wine here, of course, primarily for the fair. But also for their own use, because such a monk managed up to four liters a day. Today, the award-winning Tempranillo serves traditional tapas in the on-site wine cellar.

The estate belongs to the municipality of Sardón de Duero and lies between Tudela de Duero and Peñafiel in the province of Valladolid. Valladolid can be reached by the AVE high-speed train from Madrid in 56 minutes. The overnight rates at LeDomaine Abadía Retuerta start at 230 euros per person with breakfast (Sardón de Duero, Valladolid, Spain, tel. 00 34/983/68031, www.ledomaine.es ).

Information for northern Spain: www.spain.info

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Tyrol: a lake, black as the night

Naturkleinod in the Tyrolean Oberland: The Black Lake.

A hidden treasure, best reached on foot: The Black Lake near Nauders in the Tyrolean Oberland is a surprise in the middle of the forest. About one third of the 2.3 hectare water surface is covered with bright water lilies – the highest of its kind in the Alps. Because of its deep black shimmer, the bog lake has something mystical.

If you want to take it easy, start from Nauders with the chairlift on the Kleinmutzkopf and begin the hike to 1800 meters altitude. Blueberries and mushrooms lure in the forest – the locals keep an eye out, as long as you do not take more than a basket full for your own use. From the Black Lake, the path climbs relatively steeply to the slightly higher situated Green Lake, a wonderful stop to get the swimsuit out of the backpack. Then continue the hike to the Großer Mutzkopf (1990 meters). After the summit you walk on beautiful paths back to the valley.

Stop: “Rissschhof snack station” (Nauders Nr. 211, Austria, Tel .: 0043/5473/87389, www.riatschhof-nauders.at ).

Stay overnight: A 600-year-old Tyrolean farmhouse invites guests in Nauders am Reschenpass in modernized, homelike-historic apartments. The special feature of the “Hof Alpenjuwel”: the fully glazed view of the sheepfold. Apartments from 125 Euro (Manfred Wolf, Oberdorf 133, Nauders, Tel. 0043/650 6378462 or 0043/5473/86110, www.alpen-juwel.at ).

Information for Nauders am Reschenpass: www.nauders.com

Switzerland: emerald-green bathing paradise

Lake Cauma is a mountain lake in Graubünden

With Fotoshop you get almost everything, but the color of this lake in Grisons is real: Depending on the sunlight, it shines due to various minerals from emerald green to turquoise like a bay on the coast of Sardinia. The Swiss Lake Cauma remains pleasantly cool even in summer. Meadows, bushes and shady places – here everyone will find their favorite place for the picnic blanket and the basket. And who is the first to swim around the island in the middle or jump into the water from one of the rocks? Practical: You can reach the lake – instead of after a half-hour hike from the village of Flims – also with the “elevator” (a stationary cable car).

Stay: “Hotel Adula” with Grisons charm in the original part of the small town Flims-Waldhaus. Double room from € 157 including spa use (Via Sorts Sut 3, Flims, Switzerland, Tel. 00 41/81 928 28 28, www.adula.ch ).

Information for Grisons: www.myswitzerland.com

Copenhagen: Nordic Gourmet Festival

The port also serves delicacies during the festival.

Nature in the middle of the city? Can be experienced from 22 to 31 August in Copenhagen. Then, at the “Copenhagen Cooking Festival” delicacies are on the plates that thrive or grow only in Scandinavia, such as cloudberries and certain types of fish. An absolute favorite spot for foodies is the market hall “Torvehallerne”, where some stalls will also be set up outside ( www.torvehallernekbh.dk ).

More than 100 culinary events are on the program of the Gourmet Festival. Under the motto “Taste of Emotions”, it is celebrated for ten days in restaurants, on squares and streets. Among other things, fine appetizers of the New Nordic cuisine are offered for tasting. Numerous restaurants offer international fare for a reasonable price – even in unusual locations, such as the pop-up restaurant at Copenhagen’s airport ( www.copenhagencooking.com ).

Stay: “Hotel Alexandra” with retro furniture by Danish designer Hans J. Wegner and Arne Jacobsen. DZ / F from 160 Euro (HC Andersens Boulevard 8, Kobenhavn V, Denmark, Tel. 0045/33 74 44 44, www.hotelalexandra.dk ).

Information for Denmark: www.visitdenmark.de

Poland: Paddling on Krutynia in Masuria

The inn “Gałkowo” in Masuria serves traditional cuisine

Where is the summer most beautiful? On the water. And where is the summer the longest? In Masuria. The paddle boat route on the Polish Krutynia is one of the most beautiful in Europe . The Krutynia route consists of 20 lakes and 10 large and small rivers in the northern part of the Piska jungle. The most breathtaking stage is on the Krutynia: the branches are hanging over the river, circling waterfowl and butterflies, swan pairs are lazily floating on the shore. There is a convenient entry point in the village Krutyn, various boat rentals help with the insertion of boats and pick up paddlers at the desired location again.

After the boat tour, you can taste the grand Polish home-style cooking in the guest house “Ga? Kowo”, before you go through the vegetable garden and think about what can be expected on the changing menu today. Between the salad beds is an old wooden swing, from here you can look over the meadow towards the forest or on the small houses with cozy apartments and rooms. Above the restaurant, a library has been set up for guests, which is also used as a cinema room. Double / F from 40 Euro. (Aleksander Potocki, Ga? Kowo 46, Ruciane-Nida, Tel. 0048/87 42 57 073, www.galkowo.pl ).

Information for Masuria: www.polen.travel

Even the monks built wine here in the 18th century: the “Abadía Retuerta”.

Naturkleinod in the Tyrolean Oberland: The Black Lake.

Lake Cauma is a mountain lake in Graubünden

The port also serves delicacies during the festival.

The inn “Gałkowo” in Masuria serves traditional cuisine

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