You’ve already visited Amsterdam, Paris, and Prague. You’ve seen the London Eye, the Brandenburg Gate, and the Parthenon. What next? Europe has lots of odd sights, and interesting, and unknown. There are plenty of things to do around, and some of them are unique. Here’s a list of 6 ideas you might use to spend some very unusual weekend breaks in Europe.
Unusual weekend breaks; two days of homelessness
Unusual weekend breaks can’t be more unusual than this: the Swedish Faktum Hotels offer its guests a possibility to be homeless. There are ten rooms located in the city of Gothenburg. You can choose to spend a night in the abandoned Mölndal mill, surrounded by wildlife in the Slottsskogen Park, at the New Shipyard with great views of the Göta River or under one of the city’s bridges. A bench, a mattress or a piece of soft green grass – you choose. What makes these hotels even more original is the fact most guests never show up after booking the rooms.
As you might have guessed by now, the whole idea doesn’t have much to do with actual tourism. The hotel rooms were chosen with the help of homeless people who slept there. You can make a reservation, you can show up if you want to, but the main goal is raising awareness about homelessness in Gothenburg. All the profit goes to the Gothenburg’s street newspaper, Faktum, which provides homeless people with an occupation and works to arouse discussions on this challenging subject.
A night on the ice
What about spending the night in an igloo? All around Europe, you can find several hotels offering such an exceptional accommodation. Kakslauttanen Hotel and Igloo Village in Finland is one of the most famous ice hotels. There’s a variety of luxurious cabins and igloos in Kakslauttanen, not all of them in the traditional style. Some igloo-like cabins are consist of glass so that you can watch northern lights from your bed.
In the Slovenian ski resort Krvavec there’s a charming Eskimo Village is featuring an igloo bar, restaurant, saunas and igloo suites. The igloo suites have polar sleeping bags and beds made of ice. If Germany suites you more as an unusual weekend break destination, head to the town of Mauth. Inside of a magical Bavarian forest, you’ll find the Igloo Village Bayerwald. During the day you can play in the snow as much as you like and at night, if you’re still not sleepy, join torch-lit walks.
The quirky Portuguese village
Filled with gigantic granite boulders, the Monsanto Village is as strange as captivating. It’s stunning; actually, the stone houses are beautiful, cobbled streets too, yet the huge boulders add some quirkiness to this otherwise classic loveliness. In Portugal most locals know Monsanto is as “the most Portuguese village of Portugal,” but it isn’t. The houses would be typically Portuguese if they weren’t made around the ancient boulders. Or even of the boulders; they’re sometimes also used as walls or ceilings of the buildings. The streets would be typical Portuguese streets if you didn’t have the huge rocks above your head while you casually walk around the town. With its very particular nature and architecture, Monsanto isn’t just a typical village.
Being inside of a musical
Yes, you can spend time inside of a film. Or a movie set, to be more specific. Popeye Village in Malta is a place where the musical production Popeye was shot in 1980. The film was a production by Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions. So you can easily understand the setting must have looked like a fairy-tale. Scenically located at the Anchor Bay, the village is now a popular tourist attraction. Shows, boat trips, museums, and playhouses will keep both children and adults entertained.
For those who don’t just need unusual weekend breaks, but something much more than that, Popeye can serve as a wedding location. If you’re planning your wedding and want to make this day even more special, that’s your spot. A marriage party among the rustic wooden houses, with magnificent views of the sea, on the beach or inside of the enchanted village, doesn’t it sound like a romantic dream?
Fantastic black vineyards and equally excellent wines
Among many other natural treasures, Lanzarote has unique black vineyards. Small black lava stones that look like ash cover the soil in which the vines are growing. The lovely greenness of the plants contrasts with the darkness of the earth creating an incredible impression. Cresent stone walls protect the plants and make the vineyard look even more peculiarly and colorful. It’s a truly cosmic view. What grows out of the black soil is cosmic as well, Lanzarote’s wines are exceptional.
The magical island
Even though it’s quite a favorite place in Scotland, the Isle of Skye can still be the right destination for unusual weekend breaks, especially its less touristy parts. What’s unique about the island is the stunning landscape and particularly shaped rocks. In many places around the island, you also can find these weird formations sticking out of the land like some unique sculptures. There are also spectacular cliffs, misty hills, jagged mountains and tons of greenery. When the Scottish weather becomes unbearable (it tends to do so), you can visit cozy traditional pubs, fascinating museums and art galleries. In case you fall in love with this atmospheric island (it’s highly possible), you may stay and learn Scottish Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the famous Gaelic college.