21st Jul 2012 5:16pm | By Editor
I recently got engaged and I’m about to plan the hen-do. I love adventures and so do many of my girlfriends. Where to go and what to do? Ann, via email
Congratulations, Ann! I’m going to work on the assumption that hen dos tend to be short haul, so that most of the invitees can join in without being burdened with a huge cost. I would suggest considering Iceland as a possibility as you can have an action-packed break with lots of variety.
Reykjavik is a great base for your trip as the cosmopolitan capital is renowned for its nightlife. To cure the hangover, head to the thermal baths of the Blue Lagoon (entry £27-£31).
Explore the natural wonders of the impressive waterfall at Gullfoss and the regularly erupting Strokkur geyser, which will take your breath away. It currently erupts around every six minutes.
EasyJet, Iceland Express and Iceland Air fly reasonably priced routes to Iceland from London (between £100-£200 return depending on departure date).
There is good budget accommodation available if you know where to look. Airbnb has some great flats to rent in the city or consider the centrally located campsite (from £pppn).
If you prefer something warmer, consider Morocco, where you can head out into the desert to try some camel trekking or 4WD adventures. Arrange this independently or go through a tour group, such as mountain-voyage.com.
I have heard that Bruges is nice for a weekend break so I was thinking of taking my girlfriend. Do you have any top tips for while we’re there? Josh, via email
With more charm than Brussels or Antwerp, historic Bruges is one of Belgium’s biggest drawcards, and it’s easy to see why. Historic streets lined with Gothic architecture and market-filled squares, all in a canalside setting, make it a quaint and romantic weekend.
Virtually a living museum, this tiny city has worked hard to maintain its historic charm while creating a pleasant atmosphere of arty, café culture.
Top sights include Belfort, the Unesco-listed 13th-century belfry in the main square (also home to some great markets) and Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk, the 13th-century church containing Michelangelo’s Madonna Of Bruges.
To escape the crowds, take a wander around the northeastern side of the city where you will find Bruges’ four remaining windmills, two of which now house museums.
Once you’ve had your fill of architecture, indulge in some great Belgian traditions – chocolate and beer. The Old Chocolate House stocks every chocolate product imaginable, from pralines to gingerbread.
Working brewery Brouwerij de Halve Maan offers 45-minute tours (£5), which take you through the intricacies of the brewing process and finish up with a tasting session and views over the city. A perfect weekend!
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