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From its white-washed UNESCO Heritage towns and cobbled streets to its empty beaches, lavender fields and pine forests, the island hideaway of Hvar in the Adriatic Sea is filled with many riches. Leave your luggage at the new eco-chic Relais & Chateaux Maslina Resort, which has one of those pine forests as its backdrop and views of the sea. Six traditional stone buildings have been lovingly restored to create a boutique hotel. It’s set within Stari Grad, the oldest city on the Adriatic coast, which is filled with quaint cafes and delis. After trekking, sailing or exploring you can while away the hours in one of those cafes and enjoy a lavender ice cream.
Embrace the slow life and take a trip along the Bosphorus. Then go ashore at the new Six Senses Kocastas Mansions found on the laurel-dotted banks. Created from two yali (waterfront mansions), the hotel has just 49 rooms, and is about to open its own Turkish bath. You can explore surrounding Sariyer, which is the weekend retreat for city dwellers, or go to Sultanahmet to visit the Blue Mosque or Misir Carsisi, Istanbul’s colourful spice bazaar.
If you want to get away from it all, travel to the 40-hectare estate of Fincas Serena in the rolling hills of Majorca. This 18th-century farmhouse is surrounded by olive groves, fruit trees and vineyards, and you can sample some of this homegrown produce in its gastronomic restaurant. If you need to burn off any calories you can go for a bicycle ride through the countryside, book a horse-riding lesson or enjoy a round of two of golf at one of the nearby courses.
George Clooney has long been a fan of Lake Como, now you have the chance to fall in love with this romantic getaway too. The Mandarin Oriental has turned a 19th-century villa on the banks of this great lake into a boutique hotel. As well as the famed Lake Como that you can tour boat, you can also find fresco-covered churches, the famed Enoteca Principessa winery, hiking trails and maybe George if you are lucky.
If you are looking for a city and beach break all rolled into one, visit the Four Seasons Astir Palace Athens. This storied hotel that’s found on a palm-fringed peninsular, provides the perfect place from which to explore the capital. Stop by an olive farm, visit the sites of Ancient Greece or take a trip to some of the nearby islands.
From $10,050 pp
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From $10,280 pp
When to go:
From $6,840 pp
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