With all the projects, tests, and lectures piling up, Les Roches students are looking forward to their weeklong escape at the end of March. Many have already bought their plane tickets and booked their accommodation, but some are still thinking about where to go. Switzerland’s central location in Europe makes it easy to fly anywhere in Europe in just a few hours and at relatively affordable prices. It is often easier to travel to a place that you might be more familiar with, or where you can at least speak the language. But Les Roches students are always up for a challenge and open to experiencing new cultures. Below are five locations Les Roches students are considering booking their midterm break!
London is always an excellent year-round destination for those interested in museums, shopping, and basking in the cosmopolitan atmosphere. But the city also has excellent parks to explore. Brexit has meant good news for tourists wanting to see Great Britain outside of its capital. Take advantage of the favorable exchange between the Swiss franc and the British pound and discover Edinburgh. This Scottish city has a charming old town and castle, or you can hike up to Arthur’s Seat, a mountain that gives an extraordinary view of the city and countryside. Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast, has also become a popular destination for its thriving food scene and world-famous Titanic Museum.
This Iberian country is without a doubt one of the most popular destinations for midterm break, but also where many students complete at least one of their internships. Barcelona seems to have it all: favorable climate, beach, great nightlife, rich culture, and excellent dining options. But don’t skip Spain’s capital and most populous city: Madrid. The world-renowned Prado Museum and Retiro Park are definite musts, as well as a night out in the young and lively Malasaña neighborhood. A little off the radar, yet still easily accessible is the Basque country of Spain. Fly into Bilbao and spend a day at the iconic Guggenheim museum before munching on pintxos, delicacies served in many restaurants and cafés usually skewered on a toothpick (just don’t call them tapas!). Make your way over to San Sebastián for a beach day and more dining options, or visit the quaint coastal town of Zarautz to try your hand at surfing.
Champs-Elysee, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, there are plenty of world-famous sights to see in Paris. The “city of light” is on everyone’s bucket lists, whether they want to walk the famous streets, shop, explore, or spend time with that special someone. There’s plenty to see and experience on both banks of the Seine River.
Bordeaux in south-western France is a mecca for wine lovers, though one can also visit monuments, museums, and historical buildings that rival those of its capital counterpart. The surrounding countryside is home to many vineyards where you can arrange a tasting tour, whether it be red, white, or even brandy in Cognac! Don’t skip France’s southern coast. The gorgeous Côte d’Azur is a more popular in the summer, but you can still enjoy the rocky beaches and charming mountain villages such as Èze in March. Walk through Nice’s old city, pretend to be a movie star in Cannes, or tick off another country off the list when spending a day in the tiny principality of Monaco.
You’ve probably heard great things about Portugal: affordable, great food, and friendly people. Lisbon has all that and more. The capital has plenty of attractions: the iconic Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, and the São Jorge Castle just to name a few. Take a day trip to Sintra to visit different palaces, including the picturesque Pena Palace. Or venture down to Cascais, a picturesque coastal town. Wine lovers should invest in a trip north to Porto, Portugal’s second-biggest city and recently elected as Best European Destination of 2017. Port wine was made famous here; you can visit the cellars and enjoy a tasting surrounded by thousands of oak barrels and bottles of the sweet wine. Other destinations to check out in Portugal include Guimarães, a medieval city considered the birthplace of Portuguese civilization, Aveiro, dubbed the “Venice of Portugal” due to its canals, and Coimbra, the site of one of Europe’s oldest universities.
The capital, Rabat, is home to old forts, mosques, and markets you can spend hours exploring. Nearby Casablanca is more than just a famous movie; it is one of Africa’s largest economic hubs. The city has changed owners several times over its long history, and to this day you can see the cultural influence this has had on the architecture and people. You can always arrange a camel ride in the desert from any of Morocco’s larger cities. But check out the Atlas Mountain Range, home to great hiking paths and villages like Chefchaouen, better known as “The Blue City” because of its blue-colored alleyways.
Essaouira might not be the most famous destination in Morocco, but that is bound to change in the next few years. Since the days of Jimi Hendrix, artists and musicians have retreated to this coastal town. While that continues to this day, the city is known for water sports and being the backdrop for many scenes in the popular show Game of Thrones. Travel guides today cannot stop raving about Marrakesh, otherwise known as the “Jewel of the South”. You can get lost in a maze of medinas filled with art, gardens, cafés, and markets.
Where are you going for Midterm Break? Let us know, or tell us some of your favorite tips on the places mentioned above!