At Spa Yves Rocher, in the heart of France’s Brittany region, you’re definitely in five-star-boho territory. Everything about the Eco-Hotel, including the elegant treehouse, immerses you in a sensual experience with nature.
Let’s start with the food. The restaurant, Les Jardins Sauvages, serves organic meals made from ingredients grown by local gardeners, prepared by local bakers, craftsmen and apiarists, all within 20 or so miles from the hotel.
It’s a cliche but Malta’s little sister island really is one of the Med’s best-kept secrets. Its ancient citadels, sun-baked terraces and Byzantine churches are a gift for location scouts (see Gladiator, Troy, Game of Thrones), but for the rest of us, the red-sand beaches and impossibly blue waters are the real stars of the show. At the end of February the low-key islanders go nuts for Carnival (28 February to 4 March).
What to do If you see only one sight ? Make it the Ggantija Temples at Xaghra – the oldest freestanding structures in the world, dating back to 3600BC. Swim in the “Inland Sea”, a lagoon surrounded by cliffs and connected to the sea by a narrow limestone archway. Relax on the gorgeous sandy beaches at Ramla Bay and San Blas. Gozo’s crystal-clear waters offer some of the best dive spots in the Med – you can book dive and snorkelling trips in the harbour town of Marsalforn.
Its known as the HQ of grockle tourism, but the island of Mallorca has seen a boom in upmarket country house hotels in recent years, also known as finca hotels, agro-fincas and agro-tourism. There are also Country house apartments, self-catering, but converted with great style and taste. The island is uncannily beautiful and the best of the country houses are in places from where you can take a walk along lightly populated and very heady mountain paths.
Mallorca (or Majorca) has an incredibly rich history since it was first settled by the French 7,000 years ago. The early settlers developed the Talaiot culture – named after the towers into which they withdrew at any sign of danger. The remains of these towers can be found all over the island.
Over the millennia, Cartheginians and Phoenicians were driven off by the Balliarides, Greek for stonethrowers Now Majorca is the leading member of the Ballearic island group.
Then Rome conquered and with its thirst for wine the Roman rulers cultivate vines that lasted until today. The traditional Majorcan weather has not been much in evidence these past few, rain-sodden years, but when it conforms to type there is little rain mainly in the Spring and plenty of sunshine from May to October.
If you use the internet for travel, here’s our tips on the best sites for flights, accommodation and a whole lot more.
You may not have heard of it, but this is a powerful flight-search website with software that can access the low-cost airlines and little-known local ones that aren’t available to most flight-search websites. Its my first stop for finding a flight.
The Man in Seat Sixty-One
Train travel on short haul is so much more relaxing. No need to leave home four hours early for a distant airport, arrive bang in the middle of town, and your carbon guilt will be practically nil. But trying to figure out how to get from Glasgow to Gerona can be difficult. That’s where The Man in Seat 61 can help explain how to travel by train from Britain or Bali to countries all over the world,
If you are trying to spring-clean your mind before taking on the more banale cupboards and curtains routine, a yoga retreat is the ideal way to breathe in the new season. A three day escape to one of the most western points of Ireland overlooking Clew Bay and the Atlantic awaits you. It is the Clare Island Yoga Retreat Centre which is located about a half hour boat ride from Roonagh, Co. Mayo. If it is a retreat you are after, this is it. Family-run, it offers weekend and week-long yoga breaks, accommodation and home-cooked organic vegetarian meals, using local produce. Water is even sourced at the local private spring. The Centre is committed to sustainable living, recycling, and alternative energy as well as offering the visitor a window onto the life of this wonderful small island community.