Best of Europe! (That you don’t need to fly for)
Already looking at Easter escapes for when the new year drags into grey gloom? Or need something to look forward to get you through until the summer? The New Year always brings with it a scramble for wellness escapes. Our bodies overindulged, our minds still tired from the stress of planning and the onslaught (as appreciated as it was) of family and friends, we are ready to get ourselves back into nature, and prioritise experiences and time over buying gifts and decorations.
But as pure as your intentions may be, come that time, the pure joy and cleansing magic that an escape brings with it can let us forget about the impact it is having on the rest of the world. On Wednesday, we have a fantastic article on how to avoid flying wherever possible, but for now, we ask you to keep in mind how lucky we are to have Europe on our doorstep, when you go booking your next escape!
Here are just a few examples of getaways that will leave you feeling refreshed and clear of conscience!
Welcome to Spain’s first ‘Biohotel’. Situated 20 minutes from Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, the Mas Salagros Ecoresort & AIRE Ancient Baths 5* offers a tranquil retreat from the tensions and stresses of modern life. Situated in the quaint Roman village of Vallromanes (literally ‘Valley of the Romans’), a key attraction of the Ecoresort is its ancient Roman baths. Bathe your worries away as you enjoy picturesque landscapes of the idyllic surrounding valley. The hotel boasts two organic restaurants, ‘Gastronomical Restaurant 1497’ and ‘La Granja Salagros’, where guests can enjoy regional and Mediterranean cuisine.
How to get there: Get yourself a train or bus to St Pancras International Station and hop on the Eurostar to the Gare du Nord. Two stops on a local train will take you to Gare du Lyon, from where you can take the high speed train to Perpignan, right on the border with Spain. Hop over the border on a bus and you are in Barcelona!
If ‘roughing it’ in a typical campsite isn’t for you, The Farm Camp offers a tempting alternative: ‘eco-glamping’. Situated in charming wooded countryside near Bath, this camp lets you reconnect with nature whilst also having a comfortable and relaxing experience. Spacious traditional bell tents allow you to experience the wild beauty of the untamed outdoors without finding yourself knee-deep in mud and without hot water. The tents are cosily furnished with log-burning stoves and futon beds made with fresh linen. As well as catering for bigger groups, The Farm Camp is ideally suited for two-to-four person midweek breaks, so why not take the opportunity to enjoy the perfect nature retreat?
How to get there: From London, we suggest a train to Bath Spa, and from there, a 20 minute bus journey out into the country to Seven Stars.
Tuscany: the birthplace of the Italian renaissance. Here is a region drenched in art and culture, where medieval villages perch on hilltops, vineyards produce world-class wines, and food is simply everything. And where better to enjoy a luxurious Tuscan retreat than in Il Maniero, an opulent six-bedroom Manor House situated near the Tuscany/Umbria border? Tuscany is a land of grandeur, and you can’t get much more grand than Il Maniero. With lavish bedrooms, a private pool, wonderful views, and a delightful Italian garden, this property has everything you’ll need for a truly enchanting Tuscan getaway.
How to get there: Rail Europe will book you trains from London St Pancras, all the way through to Rome. You may or may not want to stay a few days in this stunning cultural haven but when you do chose to head onwards, take a TrenItalia train from Rome to Arezzo, then busses with BusItalia with only a change at Monterchi Bar Caronte.