Hiking and wineA good way to combine two popular activities in Germany — walking and wine tasting — is to join the Bergstrasse Wine Hike May 1 in one of Germany’s wine regions. The route begins in Alsbach and runs via Bensheim and Heppenheim to the Hessen-Baden border. Hikers pass vineyards and can stop for tastings along the way.

The Heppenheim Tourist Board is offering a “Hiking in the Bergstrass” hotel package. It costs 119 euros per person, double occupancy, and includes two nights’ accommodations, breakfasts, hiking map, two packed lunches and one Odenwald supper.

Get details from the tourist board at (+49) (0) 6252-13171, or by e-mail at The Web site is

Sports in IrelandIf you’re looking for an active holiday in Ireland, consider Go Ireland’s “Multi-Activity Adventure.” On each of eight days, you take up another sport. These include: hiking in Killarney National Park; climbing Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain; sea kayaking in Kenmare bay; hiking the Skellig Islands and its eighth-century Monastic site; mountain biking through the Gap of Dunloe; canoeing on Caragh Lake; horseback riding on the beaches of Dingle Bay; or rock climbing and traveling the Ring of Kerry.

The activities require some fitness but no previous experience with the sports.

Cost of the tour is $1,469 and includes seven nights’ accommodations, most meals, local transportation, leadership, activities and equipment. Departure dates are May 12, June 9, July 14 and Sept. 1. For details, go to

Swedish glass blowingIf you’re in Stockholm, Sweden, and are interested in glass, head to the Kingdom of Crystal in the nearby Småland counties of Kronoberg and Kalmar.

The area has 15 glassworks, some of them world famous. The Glasriket Pass, with an entry fee of 95 Swedish krone (about $15), covers free guided tours of the smelters and a discount of 10 percent on purchases over 500 Swedish krone (about $70).

Packages are available. For example, “A Day in the Kingdom of Crystal” costs 325 Swedish krone (about $45). It includes a guided tour of the kingdom and a short glass-blowing course at Johansfors. Other packages include canoeing on the lake, cycling or visiting local spas.

Find details at

Best betsBELGIUM: If movie titles such as “Attack of the Mushroom People,” “Don’t Deliver Us From Evil” and “D-Day: Roommates” interest you, head to this year’s International Festival of Fantastic Film in Brussels, which runs through April 17 at three sites. This year’s program includes a tribute to guest Syd Mead, an industrial designer who has worked on sci-fi objects for films such as the first “Star Trek,” “Tron,” “2010,” “Blade Runner” and “Aliens.”

In addition to film screenings, there will be exhibitions, public meetings with top names in the fantasy film genre, a fashion show, Vampire Ball, body painting contest, concerts and a sci-fi, fantasy and manga market. Events are scheduled for the Tour & Taxis exhibition center, Cinema Nova and the Film Museum. Tickets to the festival cost 6 euros (film screenings are extra). Details at

If you have an appetite for chocolate, check out the second annual edition of Brugge’s Choco-Laté Friday through Tuesday. Bakers, chocolate makers and the Chocolate Museum have joined to hold this chocolate festival — themed “Chocolate with all my heart!” — at the Oud Sint Jan Center. Check out the latest in chocolate wares and tastings, paint with chocolate, watch chefs create chocolate masterpieces, learn how to use chocolate as a beauty aid, discover how to combine wine and chocolate, let the children go at the Choco-village and visit the museum. It’s open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is 10 euros for adults, 6 euros for children. Find details at

Antique hunters might find something at Ciney’s annual Antiques Market Saturday through Monday at the Ciney Expo. The market is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets cost 7 euros for adults, children 12 and younger get in free.

ENGLAND: This year’s Model Railway Show in York runs Saturday through Monday at the Knavesmire racecourse. Between 110 and 130 trade stands will be there, along with about 40 working layouts. The show is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are 7 pounds (about $14) for adults, 5 pounds for children 16 and younger. Family and weekend tickets also are available. Find details at

SWITZERLAND: As in many European cities, Mendrisio holds a Good Friday procession, which takes place Friday at 8:30 p.m. More than 600 participants made up of religious brotherhoods carry lighted lanterns and two ancient statues and parade through the Old Town accompanied by religious band music. The tourist board describes it as “a river of light.” The city’s Web site is

— Jayne Traendly

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