Quaint European Villages for Summer Travel
With Europe most likely opening to vaccinated Americans this summer, we’re excited to share European villages waiting to welcome back travelers once again. Here’s some destination inspiration for charming, postcard-perfect villages that are worth visiting.
Crillon Le Brave, France
With fields of lavender, hillside olive groves, and bright passageways between historic stone corridors, Provence, France seems like a place that that can only be found in a storybook. Provence is a charming and quaint region full of romance and historical remains of Roman, Byzantine, Medieval and Renaissance structures, which are all incorporated into the modern construction of its upscale and lovely towns. In the much-coveted golden triangle of Mont Ventoux, Dentelles de Montmirail and the Luberon, Crillon Le Brave sits at the heart of Vaucluse, Provence, far from the feverish hustle and bustle that descends on the region every season.
Hotel Crillon le Brave, a Maisons Pariente property, is the ultimate hideaway for travelers looking for a provincial French experience. The hotel is named after the village and also fully fledged part of it, with the property consisting of various private houses, acquired over time since 1989. Against a backdrop of hypnotically beautiful landscapes sits a wonderful labyrinth of 17th and 18th century buildings, where Crillon le Brave literally merges with the landscape. The hotel consists of around ten ancient Génoise-tiled houses, and in the middle stands an age-old olive tree that proudly stands guard of the property. More than just a picturesque hotel, Crillon le Brave offers guests 16 guest rooms/18 guest suites, a rustic spa, two gourmet restaurants, climbing plant gardens, an outdoor heated swimming pool, a terraced pétanque court, and a friendly concierge to arrange experiences to explore the dramatic region.
Bath, Somerset (UK)
Bath, just a two hour drive or 90 minute train ride from London, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with museums, ancient sites and beautiful architecture for guests to explore. Travelers seeking an enriching experience can walk the streets and visit the area’s treasured spots, such as the Ancient Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent, Bath Abbey and the Holburne Museum of Art. Additionally, explorers can embark on the six-mile Bath Skyline circular walk, taking them through forests and over rolling hills with spectacular views.
Bath is also home to The Gainsborough Bath Spa, a five-star luxury spa hotel located in the center of town and the ultimate destination for travelers seeking a relaxing escape. The Gainsborough is the only hotel that has tapped into the natural thermal waters of the area, providing guests with incredible spa treatments and pools to bathe in the healing waters.
Nestled in the spectacular Graubunden mountains at an altitude of 5,900 feet sits Arosa, a picturesque traditional Swiss town straight out of a story book. With stunning views of the Alps, 140 miles of hiking, biking and ski trails, a lake for boating and swimming in the center of town, and charming cottages all around, travelers feel like they've been whisked away to another world despite being only two hours from the hustle and bustle of Zurich.
Set among the magnificent Alps in Arosa is the Tschuggen Grand Hotel, a contemporary fairytale style venue. Complete with the Tschuggen Express, a private cable car giving hotel guests exclusive access to the mountains, iconic 54,000 square foot Mario Botta-designed Tschuggen Bergoase Spa and four outstanding restaurants, the property is ideal for a relaxed yet luxurious Alpine getaway.
Famous for its medieval Old Town and for being one of the filming sets of Game of Thrones, Dubrovnic has been a magnet for international tourist for a long time. With the reopening of Croatia, there will be opportunities to visit lesser known parts of this mediterranean country. With its incredible coastline, Croatia is a dreamy seaside country with plenty of scenic views to soak in. Located on the popular island on Brac, Villa Akuna (which means “peace by the water”) is nestled on the town’s quiet bay on the Adriatic Sea. The exclusive five-bedroom estate has a private gym, two chef’s kitchens, and resident concierge all available to guests. The home is located on a quiet bay, with direct access to the Adriatic Sea and offers extensive water-sport activities perfect for the entire family. Villa Akuna is part of ThirdHome’s portfolio of Exchange properties.
Encapsulating the laid-back glamour of the French Riviera, Ramatuelle is a picturesque village in Southeastern France. The area is known for it’s breathtaking beaches dotted along the shoreline, medieval architecture and stylish restaurants offering the freshest seafood. Visitors to the area can also spend leisurely days going for a stroll or bike ride.
For travelers to Ramatuelle, the MUSE Saint-Tropez is the ultimate secluded oasis. The chic retreat reflects architectural simplicity with its pure lines, beautiful terraced gardens, a stylish bar, and a charming reception area. The property's fifteen luxurious suites, each dedicated to famous muses and characteristically individual in decor and ambience, feature private plunge pools, a garden and terrace and an outdoor shower. During their stay, guests can lounge by the main pool and at the bar on luxurious cabanas, indulge in a sumptuous meal, explore the area on one of the MUSE’s custom-made bicycles, and enjoy a spa treatment at the hotel’s La Tente by Spa Village, offering a number of vitality treatments that harness the potent herbs, flowers and plants found in the region and the resort’s gardens.