Travel from Atlanta: A weekend in Luxembourg

Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.

Weekend in Luxembourg one of three ways: on a budget, spending a bit more, or when the getaway calls for a splurge.

Trip tips: The tiny nation of Luxembourg is famed for its ruins of medieval fortifications built from the 16th century. The castle was once held by the Holy Roman Emperors, the House of Burgundy, the Habsburgs, the French and Spanish kings, and finally the Prussians. Miles of casemates make up a network of multilevel tunnels that housed thousands of soldiers, horses, workshops and kitchens. Both the Bock fortified castle and the old quarters are UNESCO World Heritage Listed. The city boasts of having the most Michelin-starred restaurants per capita of any city in the world. When dialing direct, use the prefix 011 followed by 352 (country code) + 04 (city code) + the phone number shown below.

Getting there: Round-trip rates to Brussels, Frankfurt or Paris range from $1,330-$1,380 on departures through Aug. 22 and on average of $200 less on autumn departures. Rail trips from Paris are two hours (from $28 one-way), Brussels (three hours, from $44) or Frankfurt (3.5 hours, from $22),


Stay: Take in a unique hiking tour that crosses nine borders between Germany and Luxembourg. The Nature Parks of South Eifel and Our, and the Mullerthal Region have over 100 miles of exceptional trails (each circular route is unique) along the rivers Sûre and Our. A two-night stay at the charming Hotel Petry (15 Rue de la Gare, Vianden, 83 41 22), located in the medieval town of Vianden, is $285 including regional walking maps, breakfast buffet, and a three-course dinner (drinks not included).

Eat: Choose from a one- to four-course lunch at cozy Essenza ($15-$24). Selections include bruschetta, salads, pasta, fish, steaks and a fourth course of cheese or desserts. 12 Rue de la Boucherie, 26 73 77-1,

Experience: The guided three-hour Wenzel Circular Walk connects the fortress, old town and the parts of the town outside the walls not found on most tourist maps, $16.50. The walk involves steep stairways and climbs and certain parts are not passable with strollers. Luxembourg Tourist Office,


Stay: Choose from six themed rooms at the 12th-century clifftop castle, Temps d'Or Hotel. This luxury estate, 14 miles north of Luxembourg, sits on nearly 500 acres of meadows and woods and is the private residence of the current Count of Ansembourg. The territory surrounding the castle is home to wild boar, deer and fox and is accessible only to registered hotel clients. This area is known as the "Valley of the Seven Castles" and noted for its beauty and cultural treasures. Rates, from $166-$330, vary by room type (breakfast extra). Amenities include a sauna and a hot tub with panoramic valley views. Add an optional one-hour horse-drawn carriage ride around the valley, $110. Vieux Chateau, 7411 Ansembourg, 26 10 25 95,

Eat: The three-story Steiler is Luxembourg City's oldest pub (circa 1842). Soups, salads, burgers from $8-$22; mains, $17-$29. The pub features live bands and the best DJs until the wee morning hours. 2 Rue de la Loge, 26 20 39 47,

Experience: The city center is compact and easy to explore on foot. Train and bus service on the national public transport network of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg is free with the Luxembourg Card, Choose from one day ($14), two days ($22) or three days ($31). Discounts for two to five people traveling together. Also included is free access to more than 70 museums and tourist attractions throughout the country.


Stay: The Ardennes in the north of the country offers woodlands and valleys, rivers and picturesque towns with imposing castles. Not far from the historic medieval town of Clervaux is Chateau d'Urspelt. This romantic chateau is classified as a National Monument of Luxembourg because of the role it played as the headquarters for the German high command during World War II. On site are two fitness centers, a cafe-restaurant with a sun terrace. A "Dine, Wine & Sleep fine" package includes continental breakfast and a three-course dinner with wine flight from $275 per night. Am Schlass Urspelt, Clervaux, 26 90 56 10,

Eat: Brideler Stuff, a 15-minute drive from Clervaux in the Ardennes, serves traditional Luxembourgian dishes, $11-$28. 1 Rue Lucien Wercollier, Bridel, 33 87 34-1,

Experience: Enjoy a full or half-day exploring the landscapes, castles and ruins of the Ardennes. This guided bus tour visits the castles of Clervaux (12th century) and Bourscheid (morning) or the castles of Vianden, Esch-sur-Sûre and Wiltz. Half-day, $16.50 adults, $11 under age 16. Full-day rates are $28 adults, $19 children. Discounts for Luxembourg Card holders. Tourist Office of the Ardennes, B.P. 76 L-9501 Wiltz, 26 95 05 66,