Like many European royals, Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark likes to take his family on vacation in their home country. Each summer, they head for their royal residence in Skagen, the most northerly town in Denmark. This picturesque town only has 8,000 inhabitants, but this swells to more than 60,000 in the summer months, drawn by the natural beauty and peacefulness of this traditional Danish resort. The town is surrounded by sand dunes, with local houses painted yellow with traditional red-tiled roofs. There are white sandy beaches, museums to enjoy, and you can even take a guided tour of the local brewery. The iconic Skagen Grey Lighthouse, an inspiration for many local artists, is now a center for studying migratory birds. Skagen has an annual yacht race on Ascension Day, as well as a Summerfest, a music festival, and a bird festival.
Look to these off-the-beaten-path European destinations.
Bygdø Royal Farm, Oslo
The Norwegian royal family also has its own royal residence to use for a staycation. Each summer, King Harald and Queen Sonja retire to the Bygdø Royal Farm in Oslo, owned by the royal family since 1305. On this 500-acre site, you’ll find a lovely Baroque house surrounded by beautiful gardens. There has been a farm on the land since the Middle Ages, and it now operates as an organic dairy farm with around 60 cows, 90 calves and nine ponies. The farm is open on Saturdays out of season and even offers riding lessons for children.
Here are eight places you’ve never considered visiting—but should!
Vacation spots don’t come any more sophisticated than Biarritz on the French Riviera. Famed worldwide as a summer retreat for the super-wealthy, Great Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton have enjoyed a sun-soaked holiday here, staying in the five-star Hotel du Palais. Formerly the palace built for Empress Eugenia de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III, this luxury hotel is just one of the high-end spots to spend a night or two in Biarritz. The town itself has over six kilometres of sweeping sandy beaches, making it a surfing hot-spot, and the sea is infused with iodine from the local seaweed. These therapeutic properties make spa treatments a popular way to relax.
Be sure to pack your designer luggage for this countdown of the world’s most luxurious hotels.