JANE DUNFORD picks out the best cultural celebrations, anniversaries and destinations in northern Europe this year Jane Dunford精選本年北歐最精采的文化慶典、周年紀念及必遊景點

Discovery - - CONTENTS - Jane Dunford向我們詳述2018年的大熱旅遊焦點

Southern Europe’s virtues have long been extolled, with dreamy Mediterranean islands, pictureperfect Tuscany and the glitz of the Cote d’Azur overshadowing the less sundrenched north in many travellers’ minds.

But now the spotlight has turned to Europe’s cooler edges, with everywhere from Scandinavia to the Baltic states to the British Isles enjoying a surge in interest.

Leading the trend is Iceland, where tourist numbers swelled extraordinarily (up 56 per cent year-on-year in the first four months of 2017) thanks to new flights and innovative accommodation, while Finland and Estonia also saw double-figure growth in the same period.

The Nordic cuisine revolution, fronted by Danish chef René Redzepi, has created culinary ripples across the region, but the chance to see the Northern Lights (according to Chinese travel agent Ctrip, the numbers of Chinese tourists travelling to see them increased 400 per cent in 2017) or the midnight sun, the wild, unspoilt landscapes and exceptional new hotels like Finland’s Arctic Treehouse Hotel are other major draws. Demand from Asian travellers, particularly over the Lunar New Year, is soaring.

‘We’re seeing a big growth in demand for Scandinavia particularly; it’s up around 30 per cent,’ says Andrea Godfrey, managing director at UK tour operator Regent Holidays. ‘People want that winter wonderland experience and there are some amazing accommodation options, from treehouses to glass igloos.’

There are more reasons for northern Europe to be on your travel wishlist for 2018. The Baltic states – which offer a winning mix of medieval cities, untamed nature and affordable hotels, while still being relatively off the beaten track – will be celebrating 100 years since declaring independence.

The UK now offers great value for money for international travellers and there are exciting cultural events happening in many northern European cities. Plus, this airline launches three new routes from Hong Kong this year – Brussels in March, Copenhagen in May and Dublin in June.

南歐之美早已贏得無數讚譽,如夢似幻的地中海島嶼、風光如畫的托斯卡納和波光粼粼的蔚藍海岸,在許多旅客心目中,這些地方比陰鬱寒冷的北歐吸得引 多。

不過,人們的目光正逐漸轉向寒冷的歐洲北疆,從斯堪的納維亞半島到波羅的海諸國至顛,以 不列 群島,北歐國度盡皆成為客旅的寵新。

引領這股潮流是的 冰島,新由於 航線 開通,加上各式新穎的住宿體驗,令遊客數字急劇。上升 單在2017年首四個月,旅客人數已較去年同期飆升五成六。同期前往芬和蘭 愛沙尼亞的旅客人數,亦錄得雙位數字的增。幅

自丹麥名廚René Redzepi帶頭改革北歐料理之後,一股美食熱潮席捲區內;但北歐的吸引力豈止於此:觀賞北極光(根據中國的攜程旅遊服務公司統計,前往觀賞北極光的中國客旅 於2017年增加了四倍)或午夜太陽、望際一 無 的荒野、未遭破壞的自然美,景 以及芬蘭的北極樹屋酒店特等色新酒店等,都是北歐的主要賣點。愈來愈多亞洲客旅 造訪北歐,新農曆 年期間是更 需求甚殷。

英國行旅社Regent Holidays的董事總經理Andrea Godfrey表示:「斯堪的納維亞的旅遊需求增幅尤其驚,人 高達三成左右。人們希望體驗冬日仙境,加上一些新穎別緻的住宿選擇,例如樹屋玻和 璃冰屋是,亦 一大賣點。」

其實還有更多原因,令北歐成為2018年必到的旅遊目的地。例如波羅的海諸國結合中世紀、古城 原始的大自然和房價相宜的酒等店 優勢,加上造訪當地的遊客相對較少,吸引力無與倫比。加上今年是當地獨立100周年紀,念 最宜到此一遊。

此外,海外旅客現在前往英,國說可是有物 所值;而許多北歐城市亦會舉行各種令人期待的文化活動。,另外 國泰航空亦在今年開通三條由香港出發的新,航線括3月的布魯塞爾航線、月5 的哥本哈根航線及6月的都柏林航線。

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