20 May Luxurious Stay in the Spanish Countryside
So where could we travel in Summer or Fall this year? Will it be safe? Will we enjoy our time abroad? These are just some of the questions that come to mind at such uncertain times… We do have some answers for you though, along with some great ideas for you to start planning your long-awaited vacation. Spain is reopening and the tourism sector should be trading again by the end of June. We know it’s difficult to recover the confidence and to go back to something like normality, but we’ll get there with time and responsibility.
We believe that rural tourism is probably the best option to explore Spain and feel more at ease. We have so many natural wonders in the countryside, offering privacy, tranquility and open space where you could relax, walk, swim, read… or simply breathe in the nature and forget about the world outside.
Our 10 favourite spots to enjoy the countryside
So please come with us to discover our 10 favourite dream rural spots from North to South. All are truly distinctive rural accommodations that we feel will match our traveler’s needs, preferences and budget. Whether it’s a castle, a monastery, a farmhouse or a traditional Andalusian cottage, it’s all here…
PARADOR SANTO ESTEVO (GALICIA)
This stunning Parador is a converted Benedictine Monastery located in the heart of the Ribeira Sacra, an area of wonderful scenery in the province of Ourense (Galicia), where the river Sil joins the river Miño to form the Northern border between Portugal and Spain.
This monastery is first mentioned in documents from the 10th century but it is believed to have been founded in the 6th or 7th century. The main building has three cloisters and three different architectural styles, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance. The 75 bedrooms along the three cloisters are all uniquely different and most offer magnificent views over the Sill River Canyon. This is a great spot to explore the unspoiled and dramatic natural gem that is Galicia.
PALACIO TONDON (LA RIOJA)
Sitting on the banks of the river Ebro as it runs through the village of Briñas, this 16th century palace has such an exclusive and privileged location. It is full of unique architectural complexity where tradition and history are combined along with innovation and sustainability. The hotel has only 33 rooms which makes it the perfect location to simply relax, unwind and re-charge the batteries. Inside you will find that design, style and elegance seamlessly blended with comfort and functionality. And outside: mountains and vineyards.
Talking of vineyards, Barrio de la Estación and its 7 century-old wineries are just a few minutes away walking, so this is the perfect spot to delve into the passionate world of wine.
PARADOR CANGAS DE ONÍS (ASTURIAS)
Beautifully set on the verdant banks of the River Sella at the foot of the spectacular Picos de Europa National Park, between Oviedo and Santander and a mile or so outside the little town of Cangas de Onis, the superb Parador de Cangas was once the monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva, and dates from the 12th to the 18th century.
The location is unbeatable and absolutely perfect for nature lovers to explore the Picos de Europa National Park with the Covadonga lakes but also the whole region of Asturias. There is a wide variety of activities available nearby, including walking throughout the countryside, kayaking, rafting, fishing and mountain biking. Social distancing is definitely not an issue here.
CASTELL D’EMPORDA (COSTA BRAVA)
Sandwiched splendidly between the Pyrenees peaks and the Costa Brava’s cliffs and coves, medieval Castell d’Empordà is a Catalan ruined castle that was once home to an explorer who sailed with Christopher Columbus. It has now been transformed into a luxury boutique hotel. East of Girona, in the Catalan countryside, this romantic retreat is the ideal place to relax, play golf, go hiking, biking or visiting the famous Dali Triangle.
The 57 rooms are all beautifully decorated with authentic masterpieces and the gardens offer stunning views all around making your stay here a truly magical experience.
TERRA DOMINICATA (PRIORAT)
Immerse yourself in the tastes and traditions of Spain at Terra Dominicata, a medieval Dominican monastery transformed into a rural boutique hotel & winery in Montsant Natural Park, which is right in the heart of the world-famous wine region of Priorat, Catalonia.
Although the monks may be long gone, this rural retreat keeps up their time-honoured skill of winemaking (with the local vineyards producing the famed Montsant and Priorat wines). It may date from the 12th century, but inside, Terra Dominicata is utterly contemporary. The minimalist 26 rooms and suites feel in tune with the building’s history, with earth tones and natural materials. Spend the day out in the hotel grounds, soaking up the views from the pool or delve deeper into the estate’s winemaking heritage with a guided tasting session in the wine cellar. If that’s whetted your appetite, menus mixing traditional regional produce with modern Spanish gastronomy await at Alma Mater restaurant. What more do you need to forget about the world outside?
ABADÍA RETUERTA LE DOMAINE (RIBERA DEL DUERO)
After a remodelling period of ten years, this former monastery from the 12th century has been converted into a luxury five-star hotel & spa and is situated in the heart of the famous wine region Ribera del Duero (Spanish Douro Valley).
If you’re looking for luxury to your senses this place has it all: the beautiful countryside surroundings, the aroma of the vineyards, the fresh air, the silence, pure flavours and delicate wines, breath-taking sunsets… and so much more that you could only imagine. With only 30 rooms, this outstanding property with its privileged location is a pure delight of peace and relaxation. This is your once in a lifetime stay!
FUENTE DE LA HIGUERA (RONDA, ANDALUCÍA)
The property was originally an 18th century Milhouse. However, after an extensive refurbishment it has been transformed into an elegant boutique country hotel. This little rural oasis of tranquillity surrounded by walnut and palm trees, olive groves and cypress trees offers a plush tucked-away retreat where you can simply relax in the beautiful gardens or explore the surrounding Andalucian countryside.
Fuente de la Higuera is located only 10 min drive from the small town of Ronda, far enough from the town-centre bustle but very close for those wanting to sample the sites and gastronomic delights of Ronda. The location here is also great to explore some of the stunning white villages and the pure beauty of Grazalema Natural Park.
This quaint accommodation has only 11 rooms, each bright, graceful and uniquely designed. As the saying goes – diamonds do come in small packages….
HACIENDA DE SAN RAFAEL (SEVILLA)
Beguiling San Rafael stands in glorious isolation between Seville and Jerez, amidst rolling fields of wheat, sunflower and cotton. This pretty, family-run olive mill dating back to the 18th century, is still a working farm in the countryside, where the owners make their own olive oil. The property is relaxed yet smart, set in five acres of grounds with just 14 rooms/villas, each with a romantic, laid back, discreet and luxurious vibe.
The timeless elegance of this character property has a generosity of spirit and a soul that captures all five senses: the endless views of the Andalusian countryside, the scent of the lavender and jasmine in the gardens, the soothing breeze off the Atlantic ocean as you wake from your siesta, the singing cicadas, the gentle running water from the pools, the albero (limestone) sand under your feet and a dry sherry to reminisce the good old times.
CORTIJO LOS MALENOS (CABO DE GATA, ANDALUCÍA)
Located only 7 km from the pretty coastal town of Agua Amarga, in the heart of Cabo de Gata Natural Park (Almeria), this typical rural Andalucian guest house provides a charming and peaceful setting for a relaxing break in the sun.
This whitewashed cortijo is set in 70,000 m² of tranquil countryside, built in a traditional style and designed to offer natural protection from the heat and wind.
There are only 10 beautiful and spacious rooms in this guest house, all are built around 3 different courtyards decorated with fountains and vegetation. The design of the entire building and surroundings have been carefully planned for the guest’s perfect stay. They can enjoy a relaxing swim in the outdoor pool, without disturbing other guests in the sleeping or dining areas.
This dream spot is also the perfect place to enjoy the crystal waters and the wild coved beaches of Cabo de Gata Natural Park, one of the most unspoilt coastlines of Southern Spain.
SON GREC (MALLORCA)
The Baleraric island of Mallorca offers great options for luxury rural accommodation but if we had to pick one, that will be for sure the petit resort of Son Grec. With a privileged location in the pretty little town of Sóller (the heart of the ‘Sierra de Tramuntana Natural Park), this charming property is the accomplishment of a dream; a family project that turns the Mallorca’s priceless heritage into a new and welcoming home for each guest; a developed setting which has cleverly preserved its heritage. The result is an unpretentious sense of luxury only focused on covering the needs of anyone crossing the threshold of their historic entrance.
This adult only hotel has 13 spacious suites, all beautifully decorated with wooden beds inlaid with marquetry. The common areas, gardens and outdoor pool offer everything you may need to disconnect and immerse yourself in the most absolute calm.
The main square of Soller with its quaint bars and restaurants is just 5 minutes walk away and just a 20 minutes ‘vintage’ tram ride away you’re in the coastal town of Port Soller. The best of both worlds on your doorstep. Welcome to Son Grec. Welcome Home!