07 September, 2023

Hoff the beaten track......things for the bucket list....

An Air Guitar Championship, Stockholm zombie walk and museum dedicated to The Hoff have ranked within top 25 quirky cultural experiences in Europe.

The new bucket list was compiled by easyJet alongside top travel experts and ranked by the British public. It comes as research finds 89% of travellers said they’re looking for more adventurous and experiential holidays post-pandemic.  76% that said they’re now more fearless when it comes to travel.

Festival of The Giant Omelette in France, Sedlec Ossuary bone church in Prague and Starkenberger Beer Pools in Austria, have been revealed as the top must-do cultural experiences in Europe.

Bob-sleighing around a scenic track in Prague, a charity Zombie walk through the streets of Stockholm, Sweden and a museum devoted entirely to actor David Hasselhoff in Germany also featured highly in a new bucket list compiled by travel experts and voted for by the British public.

The new study of 2,000 British holidaymakers, by airline easyJet, has revealed a   new ‘‘bucket list’ of lesser known, must-see and do experiences that can be found across the continent, as 89% of travellers say they are looking for more adventurous and experiential holidays.

Festival of The Giant Omelette in Toulouse (France), a celebration of the legend that Napoleon’s army once feasted on an omelette in the host village, topped the poll. Today, crowds can gather to watch the giant omelette of 1,500 eggs being made.

Voted for in second place was the Sedlec Ossuary, near Prague, Czechia. The 13th century monastery which is decorated with over 40,000 human bones.

The top 25 quirky cultural bucket list as voted for by British holidaymakers:

1.       Festival of the Giant Omelette (Bessiรจres, France) – An Easter celebration featuring an omelette big enough to feed 2,000 people (43%)

2.       Sedlec Ossuary (Prague, Czechia) - A 1000+ year old church, decorated with human bones (41%)

3.       Starkenberger Beer Pools (Starkenberger, Austria) - A brewery-turned-spa that will let you soak in warm beer (40%)

4.       Bob Sledding track (Prague, Czechia) - A 1km long bob sledding track that can be enjoyed year-round (37%)

5.       Stockholm Zombie Walk (Stockholm, Sweden) - Each year, zombies flood the streets of Stockholm to raise money for charity (34%)

6.       David Hasselhoff Museum (Berlin, Germany) - A Musuem in Berlin that’s dedicated to all things David Hasselhoff (32%)

7.       Leftover Star Wars Sets (Tozeur, Tunisia) - The preserved sci-fi city of Tatooine from the original 1977 film set (32%)

8.       La Raima (Pobla del Duc, Spain) - AKA “The Battle of the Grapes”, this is a grape fight with 90 tonnes of ammo (32%)

9.       Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling (Gloucestershire, UK) - A centuries-old race in Gloucestershire that sees participants race a wheel of cheese down a very steep hill (31%)

10.   Air Guitar Championships (Rovaniemi, Finland) - Founded in 1996, and aiming to promote world peace through music, participants put their air guitar skills to the test (31%)

11.   Koslรคpp (Nationwide, Sweden) - This annual event sees farmers release cows from their winter-proof barns and let them roam free - (29%)

12.   Mud Olympics (Brunsbรผttel, Germany) - Participate in mud football, mud handball, and other sports in this tradition now tied with a local music festival called “Mudstock” (28%)

13.   King of Kaszubska Street (Szczecin, Poland) - One of Szczecin’s most beloved tourist’s attractions: a stray cat, known as Gacek (27%)

14.   Tabernas Wild West (Almeria, Spain) - Transport yourself back to the Wild West at an authentic Western Theme Park, complete with pool areas, restaurants, and more (27%)

15.   Kirkpinar (Istanbul, Turkey) - Dating back to 1360, this traditional Turkish oil wrestling will see participants trying to pin their opponents (24%)

16.   Rouketopolemos (Chios, Greece) - Each year, two churches on opposing sides of a ravine hold a spectacular fight using homemade fireworks (23%)

17.   Wife Carrying Championship (Sonkajรคrvi, Finland) - An annual race that sees men carry their wives across a gruelling obstacle course, with the winner earning their wife’s weight in beer (23%)

18.   Up Helly Aa (Shetland, UK) - Dating back to the Victorian era, this Scottish town transform into Vikings for one evening only. Festivities include a parade, and the ceremonial burning of a ship which is then danced around (21%)

19.   Visit Syros (Mykonos, Greece) - Take a hike to this medieval village that overlooks the Aegean (19%)

20.   Gozo Beach (Gozo, Malta) - Soak in the rays at a deserted beach on the island of Gozo (18%)

21.   Kukeri (Nationwide, Bulgaria) - Between January and March, local men and boys dress up as monsters to chase away evil spirits (18%)

22.   Goat Yoga (Amstelveen, Netherlands) - Join a yoga class with a difference in this farm, by finding your inner zen surrounded by goats (18%)

23.   Viking Sushi Adventure (Stykkisholmur, Iceland) - Take a historical boat trip through the Fjords, while the crew catch fresh shellfish and other seafood, which is then served up to you (17%)

24.   The Underwater city of Heracleion (Alexandria, Egypt) - Scuba dive down to the lost city of Heracleion, now exhumed from the depths of the red sea (15%)

25.   Calcio Fiorentino (Florence, Italy) - Experience football in its early days by watching a game from the Middle Ages, which is a mix of football, rugby, and wrestling (14%)

Rouketopolemos – a firework fight over a ravine in Chios, Greece; the air guitar world championships in Oulu, Finland; and the ceremonial releasing of cows in Sweden, also featured on the list.

Those looking to start their bucket list a little closer to home, could try being a spectator at the UK’s centuries old cheese-rolling competition in Gloucester or Shetland’s little-known-to-tourists, Up Helly Aa; a Viking festival that culminates in the burning of a Viking ship.

easyJet’s new bucket list could provide helpful inspiration to the 76% of Brits that said they are now more fearless when it comes to travel than they were prior to 2020.

The study also revealed that as people get older, they have a stronger desire for new experiences, with over a quarter (28 %) of 65-and-overs saying that finding something quirky to do with lots of character is the most important to them on holiday.

When it comes to what travellers are looking for from their trips, family memories are the most cherished by half of  Brits (46%)​ Social media still has a role to play with 79% saying they want to capture a photo that no one else has.

The list, packed full of European festivals, unique celebrations and eyebrow raising traditions, was   determined by a public vote. Brits chose the experiences they’d most like to add to their bucket list, from a longlist compiled by panel of experts including: Travel Presenter Lucy Hedges, Cassam Looch, Creative Director at Culture Trip, travel writer Katy McConagle and Eleanor Ogilvie, Head of Network and Airport Strategy, the airline’s resident expert on what new destinations customers will be flying to next.

Antonio Shabbir, easyJet’s Customer Experience Director commented:  “We’re always looking at new trends and what customers want from their travels to expand our unrivalled short haul network so that we’re flying to the places people want to visit. Our aim is to make it easier for more people to experience the unbounded joy of travel.

We hope that this list surprises people and inspires them to try something or somewhere new. Whether that’s exploring more of the places they love or visiting a new destination and its unique experiences for the first time, we encourage would-be travellers to get out there and do it!”

Travel Show Presenter Lucy Hedges recommended number four on the list, bob- Sleighing in Prague, as her top tip for family activities. She said “Located off the beaten path in Prosek, this stainless-steel bobsleigh track is brilliant for both small and big kids alike. Over 1km long, you’ll hit speeds of up to 62 km/h. Hop on at night and the special track lighting enables you to take in the spectacular night panorama of Prague.”

For those looking for a unique foodie experience, Cassam Looch of Culture Trip recommended an Icelandic Viking Sushi adventure, voted number 22 on the Bucket list where “Travellers go out on a fishing boat and eat what the trawl nets bring in 'raw'”.