Fed up with the same thing from your hols each year? Perhaps the tried and tested combo of golden beaches, cocktails and cooked breakfasts just isn’t giving you that summertime feeling any more. Well you know what would spice up your summer? Staying in a retro Americana trailer. Or perhaps a luxury treehouse. Or maybe even an abandoned monastery! We’ve rounded up some of southern Europe’s most interesting places to stay this summer.
Stay in an Ancient Monastery and Caves in Turkey: Argos in Cappocia
images © argosincappadocia.com
High in the hills of Turkey’s Cappadocia region, the site of an ancient monastery has been transformed into one of Turkey’s top hotels. Guests stay in sumptuously dressed ‘mansions’ some of which are located in the grounds of the monastery and some are carved out of the rock in a subterranean tunnel. Nothing is ordinary here – from the craggy surreal landscape, to the vast wine cellar and sumptuous underground suites with private cave pools.
Chill Out with Clifftop Pools and Luxury in Santorini: Katikies The Hotel
images © katikieshotelsantorini.com
This is one to treat yourself to: a brilliant white boutique hotel, built on top of Santorini’s steep cliffs, with sublime panoramic views. Those views are fully taken advantage of with two deep turquoise infinity pools and private terraces hovering 300 feet above the sparking Aegean. You’ll discover more pools, sun terraces and bars as you explore the gleaming hotel’s winding bridges and stairways.
Enjoy Eye-catching design from The City of Wine: Hotel Marqués de Riscal
images © hotel-marquesderiscal.com
If creative architecture is your thing then the luxurious Hotel Marqués de Riscal is bound to be a winner. It was built in 2006 by Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry – the mind behind the iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The flowing curves, constructed from brilliant titanium, provide a stunning modern contrast to the acres of surrounding traditional vineyards. Modernity is definitely evident on the inside with pop art inspired decor and state-of-the art Bang & Olufsen “Beovision” TV sets in the rooms.
As the hotel’s located in the heart of Spain’s wine country, the Rioja Alavesa region to be precise, and you’d be staying on one of the oldest wineries in the region – so part of your holiday in this gorgeous green countryside must include a visit to the wine cellars.
Sleep in a Treehouse on the Beach: Kadir’s Treehouses
images © kadirstreehouses.com
As anyone who has already visited Turkey’s Riviera coast will know; it’s unforgettable, but a stay at the Kadir’s Treehouses is going to make a holiday that bit more special. This welcoming camp-style resort is set in Olympos, which is just inland from the Lycia beach, dotted with Roman ruins and a breeding ground for loggerhead turtles.
The laid back atmosphere draws both backpackers and families, and it works out great value for money. You can stay in one of their treehouses for just 40 Turkish Lira (about £10) per person per night at the height of summer. Although if you’re attached to your creature comforts you might want to opt for a private elevated bungalow with air conditioning instead. Prices include breakfast and dinner – making this unique resort even more of a bargain.
Get Away to an Intimate Italian Trullo: Masseria Cervarolo
images © masseriacervarolo.it
In case you’re wondering, a Trullo is one of those white, cone headed buildings above, they’re only found in the Puglia region of southern Italy. These simple buildings were originally built as temporary storehouses, but these at Masseria Cervarolo have been lovingly restored and kitted out with rustic furniture and modern touches. Y’know, like TVs and the Internet. They form three of the rooms at this charming boutique hotel, set on an old manor farm.
High in the Trees of Catalonia: Cabanes Als Arbres
images © cabanesalsarbres.com
We bet you get an amazing night’s sleep from these remote huts, set high in the trees of the Forest of The Guilleries. It’s a back to nature experience. The cabins are beautifully furnished but don’t have electricity or running water. Instead you’ll have soft candle-lit evenings and you can use the facilities of the Vileta, a typical Catalan country house located nearby.
Some of these cabins are 8 metres off the ground, accessed by suspended bridges and wooden ladders.
Luxury Carved into the Cliffs of Southern Italy: Grotta Palazzese
images © grottapalazzese.it
Not content with the incredible Adriatic sea views the hotel and restaurants at Grotta Palazzese are carved into the cliffs. The highlight is the Summer Cave – the restaurant set in a vast limestone cavern. During the days it’s naturally lit by sunlight bouncing off the waters below, and at night it becomes a romantic grotto. Some of the hotel’s 25 rooms are also built atop the cliff, facing those glorious sea views. Others face out onto the quaint Old Town of Polignano.
A Vintage Vacation in an Authentic American Trailer: Airstream Retro Trailer Park
images © airstreameurope.com
We love this: Europe’s one and only retro trailer park! Set in the foothills of the Pyrénées you can enjoy a self-catered stay in one of 10 restored aluminium trailers! You can even pick your era – they have authentic trailers dating from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. The insides are all decorated around individual themes, such as the Melody Maker (celebrating the London rock paper of the same name) and the Naia with a 50s interior.
You’ll find lots more kitsch decor around the park as well as a spa with an outdoor Canadian red-cedar-wood hot tub and a Mongolian yurt.