In Europe, 76 destinations off the beaten path
Looking beyond Rome, Paris or London? Consider Europe's lesser-known destinations, such as Monschau, Germany, a town so quaint you can hardly believe it isn't a theme park or San Marino, one of Europe's oldest and smallest countries (drive through it slowly).
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Icehotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden
Every winter since about 1990, sculptors have built a hotel and bar made of ice blocks from the nearby Torne River. When the spring thaw arrives, the facilities melt. New ones are created the next winter, usually opening in early December.
Sleeping in an ice room is an unforgettable -- though not entirely comfortable -- experience. After all, it's apt to be minus 20 or 30 degrees.
For summertime visitors, there's a lodge with chalets and lots of authentic Lapland adventure. The sun never sets for 100 days, and the temperature rarely rises above 75.
Getting there, getting in: SAS flies from Stockholm to Kiruna, where guests transfer to a bus for the trip to Jukkasjarvi, 10 miles east. For reservations and info: www.icehotel.com.
-- Susan Spano
Pictured: A 2003 version of Sweden's Icehotel.