The landlocked Grand Duchy of Luxembourg -- bordered by Germany, France, and Belgium -- packs in a wide range of sights in its tiny terrain of just under 1,000 square miles. Its languages are equally diverse, as most residents speak French and German, plus their national language, Luxembourgish. Steep wineries are strung along the Moselle, spiky castles speckle hillsides and glass-fronted skyscrapers glint in the capital. Deep gorges and red rocks round out its natural scenery -- in short, it's beauty and culture rolled into one delightfully small package.
Gape at the sky-piercing steeples peppering Luxembourg City. Stroll on the ramparts of the city's centuries-old fortifications to the Chemin de la Corniche, and you'll glimpse why it's called the most beautiful balcony of Europe. The therapeutic thermal waters at effervescent Mondorf-les-Bains soothe tired travelers. Edward Steichen's Family of Man in Clervaux is a fascinating permanent exhibition and a World Heritage Site: It fuses archives with social commentary and presents more than 500 photos of people from around the world.
Eating and Drinking
Luxembourg specialties fuse French and German fare, from delicate f'rell am Rèisleck (trout in Riesling sauce) to hearty gromperekniddelen (potato dumplings). They're best washed back with wines such as a sweet Riesling or a full-bodied Pinot Gris. In Vianden, indulge in the signature walnut cake and confections, all made from local walnuts. Or sample the salt-cured, air-dried Ardennes ham and try a shot of drepp - a potent schnapps flavored with honey, pine or herbs.
Buy multicolored candles in Esch-sur-Sûre, a village that's been producing wax creations since 1885. Swirly bowls and other artistic objects made by glass blowers in Asselborn's studios make for great gifts. Nospelt's chunky blue-and-white earthenware is easy to marvel at, as are its traditional love tokens in the shape of clay bird whistles. Luxembourg's taste lingers with fruity, top-quality Moselle wines. Many are tough to find outside the country's borders, so stock up before you depart.
Go north to be baffled by the Müllerthal's bizarre sandstone rock formations and clamber over wild crags in the Ardennes forest. Get on your bike to explore the Valley of Seven Castles, dappled with medieval ruins and prehistoric caves. Pick juicy strawberries in Steinsel, sip wine on the vine-clad banks of the Moselle and then step south to the Land of Red Rocks, named after its red, iron-rich soil.