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Luxembourg hostels, accommodation, viandan, bourglinster, echternach (5)

Hostels in Luxembourg

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This is the website of travel writer, Michael Turtle. After working in broadcast journalism for a decade in Australia, Michael left Sydney to travel the world indefinitely and write about his discoveries.

Bourglinster, Luxembourg

Bourglinster is one those places I didn’t expect. And I mean that in a few senses. I didn’t expect it to exist, I didn’t expect it to be so pretty, and I certainly didn’t expect it to have such a nice youth hostel.

The town is in a rural area, right in the middle of Luxembourg. Walking downhill along a road, we took a short cut through a small part of forest and arrived at the top of Bourglinster. The street was lined with the cute Luxembourg architecture I was starting to get used to. The sound of a passing car was already getting softer as it drove away and a dog’s barking took its place. It was clearly a small community.

Luxembourg hostels, accommodation, viandan, bourglinster, echternach (4)

There’s a castle at the highest point of this small town, which presumably has a lot to do with why the settlement was originally formed. It doesn’t explain why it still exists today, because the castle is now used only for functions. I guess that people just didn’t want to ever move on, after their families had lived there for centuries.

Luxembourg hostels, accommodation, viandan, bourglinster, echternach (8)

Luxembourg hostels, accommodation, viandan, bourglinster, echternach (7)

But I couldn’t work out why there was a youth hostel there. Bourglinster is a town with an official population of 680 people. Not exactly a bustling metropolis. And not exactly a bustling hostel either. There weren’t too many visitors when my friend Meredith and I stumbled on in.

Luxembourg hostels, accommodation, viandan, bourglinster, echternach (6)

Not that we weren’t grateful for its existence. We were on a mission to walk across the entire length of Luxembourg from north to south and needed places to stay. It’s not like we were travelling huge distances every day (probably an average of about 25 kilometres), so we appreciated that there were so many accommodation options along the way. At times I thought there were more hostels than places to get something to eat (a theory I still haven’t been able to disprove).

Luxembourg hostels, accommodation, viandan, bourglinster, echternach (2)

Hostels in Luxembourg

It’s odd how many hostels Luxembourg has, considering it is not the most popular of tourist locations. Across the relatively small country, there are ten sites that are part of the Hostelling International group. They cover a large part of Luxembourg and are all connected in a way that lets you easily organise a trip. The staff at each hostel will call ahead and reserve a bed for you so you can be guaranteed of somewhere to stay.

Luxembourg hostels, accommodation, viandan, bourglinster, echternach (9)

I wondered why there were so many. It didn’t really make sense. Until we walked in to the hostel at Echternach. As you can see from the photo below, it’s a large modern building that even has its own indoor rock climbing wall. That should’ve been the giveaway. You see, these youth hostels are used by schools and community groups for camps. Youngsters are bussed out from Luxembourg City, thrown into the dorm rooms, and then ‘entertained’ all day with outdoor activities and group projects.

Luxembourg hostels, accommodation, viandan, bourglinster, echternach (3)

I also heard from some other travellers that Luxembourg is becoming increasingly popular as part of the famous ‘Camino de Santiago’ pilgrimage. The regular hostels (and the large number of beds in some of them) are needed during the busier times of the walk. This cute one in Vianden is particularly popular with the pilgrims, apparently.

Luxembourg hostels, accommodation, viandan, bourglinster, echternach (1)

Overall, it’s another one of the wonderful charms of Luxembourg I discovered. The walking trails and the bike paths had been a great discovery – the excellent system of places to stay made things even better. The variety in the styles – from the modern, to the outdoorsy, to the Renaissance – was just the icing on the cake.

* For more information, you can check out the official list of Luxembourg hostels

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4 Comments
  • Vera | Dec 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Another cute little town in Luxemburg:)! But when you asked how come that there’s a youth hostel, I knew the dark answer. When I went to school in Germany, every year for a week or two, we would go to a youth hostel and do projects there, hike in the area and do trips to see the sights nearby – all very educational. All these youth hostel where in the middle of nowhere. You were not meant to have the opportunity to sneak off to raise hell, run into drug addicts or what-do-I-know. Also, these hostels were nearly always cunningly located on a freaking mountain. We did not approve back then. Anyway, so I’m pretty sure youth hostels originated to give GROUPS of youngsters the opportunity to travel, in a surrounding not too worldly too distract from all the awesome benefits kids and teenagers cherish so dearly… The fresh air. The wonderful walks through the stunning countryside. The peppermint tea throughout the day. The soothing relief that comes with TV-lessness. The extraordinary excitement to learn how to tie-dye (well, that was actually quite cool) – you get the point… The hostel of Bourglinster looks fab, by the way. I just can’t imagine that throughout your travels through Luxemburgian hostels there cometh the tale of you and the awesome beerfridge and the wild party (unless you count peppermint tea jugs and ka-raaazy pillow fights in). But I ain’t givin’ up hope just because it’s hopeless, pal… I’ll stay tuned! :)
    Vera recently posted..Travelling responsibly: #betterchildprotectionMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Ha – you are right about the lack of alcohol-fuelled backpacker hostel parties. Most of the hostels had more school children than anybody else. It looked like quite a nice way to spend a week or so as a student. I can think of worse school camp options. You’re quite lucky in some ways to have been able to grow up with these kind of opportunities. And the tea. Of course, always the tea. :)

  • Stephanie - The Travel Chica | Dec 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Is that seriously a hostel breakfast? Wow!
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Best pork buns in New York City?My Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Jan 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Oh, I think that photo might have been lunch. It’s all about ham, cheese and bread… :)

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