If it’s a Spanish rural retreat with a rustic charm that you’re looking for then go no further than Casa Belmonte. As a 100 year old Spanish Farmhouse it is a perfect setting for a relaxed, secluded break in Andalucía. Elevated in the hills, you’re torn between the views of the rugged Sierra de Tejeda Mountains, the serene Lake Vinuela and the deep blue luxury of the Mediterranean Sea.
Completely in-tune with its setting Casa Belmonte enchants you to be at one with nature. You can take a dip in the saltwater pool, relax on the beautiful sun terrace, wander through the scented gardens or help yourself to the fresh produce in your own organic vegetable plot. You can even start the day by gathering your own free range eggs.
The house itself is the perfect balance of authentic rustic Spain and modern luxury. With room for 12, it is spacious and light yet authentically rural. The huge living areas and 3 bathrooms provide ample room, whilst the beamed high ceilings and whitewashed stone walls keep the property surprisingly cool in summer.
The large outside terrace and barbeque areas are perfect for al fresco dining and if you’re after fun and games there is entertainment from table tennis to pool. For those looking for a more peaceful evening you are in a star gazers paradise. With no glaring street lights you can take to the rooftop terrace or take a midnight soak in the pool to get truly star struck; the views are second to none.
If you can tear yourself away, the surrounding areas are equally enticing. Two nearby villages ooze Moorish charm with local markets and fresh produce at your fingertips, just half hour further afield you can discover the beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean coastline; and within an hour you can be in the historic cities of Malaga or Grenada. Where ever you visit each will reveal its own beguiling part of true Spanish life.
Written by: Gemma Edwards
£171-236 / night
Property charged @ GBP 1200-1650 / week
Alcaucin - Andalucia
Whitsand Bay - South Cornwall
Searching for a cosy, romantic getaway in an impressive coastal location? Then look no further! The Dell is a gorgeous chalet that sits atop Tregonhawke Cliff in Whitsand Bay, South Cornwall. The location is perfect for couples looking for a peaceful and unique escape. Accessed by sixteen steps, the property has brilliant views of the sea and the surrounding countryside.
Inside, The Dell is open-plan, with a cosy and stylish feel to it. White-sand coloured walls and light blue and beige furnishings give the chalet a relaxing, beachy vibe. The kitchen area is well equipped with modern appliances and accessories. The dining area is furnished with a charming round table for two. Large French doors give access to the garden area and, alongside the big windows, offer breath-taking views of the sea. The living area’s squashy white sofa and large collection of books and DVDs provide the perfect place to curl up and relax in the cooler evenings. The bedroom also has spectacular views and access to the garden area. There is a large, comfortable double bed and plenty of wardrobe space. The en suite bathroom is sleek and stylish, complete with a shower, wash basin, mirror, cabinet and WC.
Outside is a lovely decked area overlooking the sea, furnished with table, chairs and sun lounger – perfect for al fresco dining and watching the sun set over the horizon. Below The Dell and down the cliff is the gorgeous Whitsand Bay, a four-mile stretch of quiet, picturesque beach. Surrounded by the cliffs this is a tranquil place to kick back and soak up the sun or swim in the sea. Nearby there are popular attractions and destinations, including The Eden Project, Dartmoor and the historic villages of Kingsand and Cawsand (just a ten minute drive away). For the more adventurous guests there is a surf school on Whitsand Bay, so make the most of Cornwall’s waves! There are plenty of delicious dining options nearby – the award-winning restaurant, The View is a favourite and only a two minute drive from The Dell. There is more than enough to keep you busy in the surrounding area of The Dell, but the chalet itself is so relaxing and peaceful that you may find it hard to tear yourself away.
Written by: Naomi McKillop
€78-224 / night
Guide price based on current exchange rates
Property charged @ GBP 453-1309 / week
Bussiere- Badil- Dordogne
These three remarkable Covert Cabins have been carefully handcrafted to create eco-friendly escapes in the beautifully remote setting of France’s Perigord Vert natural park. Each cabin has its own idyllic rural setting and embraces the natural way of life with cosy log fires, oil lamps and candlelight. Home comforts such as hot water and electric lights are provided through wood burners and solar panels, and your everyday comfort is served by a unique composting toilet. Wholesome activities range from painting, fishing, reading and stargazing, whilst adventurers can choose to take a dip in the lakes, explore the local woodland or take a bike ride through the trails.
The Fisherman’s Cabin is the largest of the three retreats and was built using timber from the owners own wood and milled in their own sawmill. Settled into the enchanting wild woodland and overlooking a private lake, the cabin has a small wooden veranda jutting out towards the lake. Sleeping up to four, the cabin is a great place for kids, with opportunities to paint, books to read, games to play and fish to catch. Inside, the cabin is beautifully handcrafted and has everything that is needed for a glorious natural break, including a fully-equipped kitchen, comfortable beds and stunning lake views.
The Woodsman’s Cabin is equally awe inspiring and is perfect for a romantic escape for two. Settled amongst the trees, the cabin offers a unique opportunity to get away from it all. A beautifully carved wooden staircase, beamed ceilings and feature candlelight chandeliers create a magical feel inside, whilst outside there is a wooden patio area from where you can enjoy the stunning lake views. Visitors are free to take a trip out on the cabin’s handcrafted wooden raft, or to take a ride on the tandem bike, before relaxing in the hammocks swinging between the trees. There is even a special honeymoon champagne package on offer which includes the delivery of an indulgent meal directly to your door.
The Poacher’s Cabin is the last of the retreats to have been built and was inspired by an old fishing hut that TV presenter Kate Humble stumbled upon during a holiday break. Hidden away from the world, the two-room cabin is a 10-minute walk from the lane and is set amongst the untouched woodland of the natural park. Authentic, knotted wood surrounds the chestnut-roofed veranda whilst quaint wooden steps lead straight down to the lakeside. The scenery can be enjoyed with a paddle on the lake, a walk through the woods or a bike ride through the trees, whilst the indoor fire and comfy armchair entices you for a cosy night in.
If you want to venture out from your Covert Cabine there are wonderful markets in the area which are well worth a visit and canoeing trips can be organised for those adventurers amongst us. But if all that is a little too much like hard work then sit back and relax in one of these cabins for a wholesome and secluded country break.