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Holiday Type / Europe & North Africa holidays

Where chronicles go beyond the confines of the classroom

Europe is timeless. From the still vivid paintings of Knossos Palace’s walls all the way to Marrakech’s spirited Medina, it’s the continent’s history and that of its neighbouring countries of the Maghreb that fascinate and draw in. All of this has led to the region achieving what we thought impossible. Yes, Europe has mastered edutainment.

The lesson starts by taking a step back to Turkey’s Roman roots exploring the “golden age” of the now crumbling Ephesus city, while in Italy, little aesthetes have their taste for art tickled with Villa Romana del Casale’s mosaics. The more hands-on approach continues in sun-scorched Greece, where budding archaeologists finally have permission to play in the dirt as they experience what it’s like to uncover artefacts on an excavation and, bypassing the Mediterranean altogether, crafty creatives learn the traditional art of carpet weaving and pottery in Morocco. A cooking class demonstrates Cyprus’ regional recipes and fiery Spain gets blood pumping with family flamenco lessons, cooled off only by a dolphin cruise headed by a WWF biologist in Portugal. While the pace is slowed altogether sailing the calm waters of Montenegro’s Boka Bay to explore the area’s old towns and ancient palaces.

One&Only Portonovi

The Riviera-alternative charms of Montenegro’s coastline were spotted early by One&Only, helping them snap up the best spot on Boka Bay for their first foray into European waters. With its auburn roofs and seamless walk-out access to the marina, it’s hard to believe that One&Only Portonovi hasn’t always been there, perched next to the Adriatic with its own little private beach wreathed by soaring peaks. But while these elegant Venetian-esque buildings weren’t constructed centuries ago, they were built with ultimate privacy and literally every ...

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Marbella Club Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa

Evolving from an abandoned finca to a royalty-welcoming guest house, this long-established property – once Prince Alfonso’s private residence – flows with old-school charm. In a destination where image is everything, this wholesome wonderland welcomes back its loyal guests, young and old, each year. Within this tree-sheltered haven, it’s down by the pool that makes for a central meeting hub for families. Where parents and grandparents tell of their day spent cooking with a local Spanish family, and children gush about their time making pizzas ...

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The Ritz-Carlton, Abama

A long enduring, standout hotel in Tenerife, its status on the island has flocks of loyal guests returning to reside in its bold Moorish-inspired pastel walls. Far from a shrinking violet, The Ritz-Carlton, Abama is a blooming rose citadel that closer resembles a small town than a hotel. Despite its vast size (it covers 400 acres), this is a place that feels like a quiet and exclusive club for those eager to quickly sneak off for a week of warmth in Spain’s sunniest spot. With nine restaurants/bars, seven swimming pools and over 450 keys, ther...

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Bahía del Duque

Comprehensive doesn’t even come close to describing this pastel pink resort. Complete with streets and squares and twirling turrets, it feels more like a fairy tale town. It’s strange, how a place modelled on a 19th century Spanish colonial village can feel intimate, yet somehow Bahía del Duque manages. One of Tenerife’s original luxury resorts, they’ve hit the sweet spot with a whimsical crowd-pleasing escape that doesn’t sacrifice on individualised service. Expect to leave on a first name basis with most of the charming staff and feeling lik...

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The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort

With one of the largest spas in the entire Med, Michelin-starred dining and plenty of space for carefree children, there are more than enough reasons here to spoil yourself… and the family. Framed by the Tramuntana Mountains and the Mediterranean sea, the location sets this refined resort firmly apart from the real world. As does the hugely pampering spa – it’s one of the largest on the island and melds Chinese medicine with natural methods to restore energy – ideal if you’ve been feeling burned out of late. When looking to recharge batteries ...

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Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort

Designed in a distinctly Canarian-style and offering stunning views over the white sands of Playa Dorada, the property features a wide choice of accommodation including superior rooms overlooking the gardens, pool or sea, and well-appointed suites with every conceivable amenity. Couples will appreciate the Relax rooms and suites with added exclusive benefits such as adults-only gourmet breakfast, aromatherapy turndown service and a complimentary massage (the longer your stay, the longer the treatment); while the spacious Royal Kiko Suites are ...

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La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca

Found within the charming artists’ village of Deià at the foot of UNESCO listed mountains, this intimate resort is more atmospheric than you’d ever thought possible. Deià has long attracted artists, writers, musicians and poets to escape the daily grind and settle here. And sitting in the sage-shuttered buildings and rose-scented gardens that house over 800 art pieces (including 33 original Míro paintings in the café of the same name), it’s obvious that La Residencia, too, is the place to let inspiration flow. Even the artistically challenged ...

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Puente Romano Beach Resort

One of The Leading Hotels of the World, Puente Romano Beach Resort enjoys a privileged beachfront position between Marbella and Puerto Banus. Famed for its illustrious clientele, it is the perfect location for a luxury holiday to Spain. Spacious deluxe rooms and suites, all with terrace or balcony, are scattered throughout the sub-tropical gardens in a private village style, whilst at the heart of the resort lies the Roman bridge from which it takes its name. The exclusive villas are exceedingly elegant, with private swimming pools and dining...

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Ikos Andalusia

Ikos Resorts’ first all-inclusive foray outside of Greece takes on the Iberian Peninsula, where everything from Michelin-starred creations, beachfront tipples and picky-eater’s-plates, to signature treatments by Anne Sémonin Paris and copious family distractions can all be included. Sandwiched between an exclusive golden sand beach and 21 acres of landscaped gardens, this spacious newcomer is somewhat of a Mary Poppins character; taking the stress off parents with adults-only spaces and elevated little touches (beach childcare is a thing), whi...

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Ikos Olivia

Set in 9 hectares of evergreen landscape dotted with olive trees, and framed by a 450-metre beach with twinkling waters, Ikos Olivia is a family-friendly Halkidiki resort where everyone can relax and enjoy all-day service in tranquil surroundings.  The warm waters of the Toroneos Gulf lap the idyllic beaches of southern Halkidiki, where Ikos Resorts have created an utterly contemporary resort offering Greek hospitality at its best. Spacious guest rooms and suites brim with understated sophistication, set in twenty two acres of immaculately te...

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Ikos Dassia

On the gorgeous island of Corfu, contemporary Mediterranean style meets traditional Greek hospitality in the tranquil surroundings of Ikos Dassia. Framed by fragrant woodland, fresh blues, whites and creams distinguish the contemporary interiors, reflecting the azure Ionian sea and sun-bleached sand of Blue Flag-awarded Dassia beach, one of the finest on the island. This resort offers stylish accommodation spanning double and triple rooms, spacious suites and pool suites, bungalow suites and deluxe two-bedroom beachfront villas with private ...

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Ikos Aria

White walls covered in blooming bougainvillea, seemingly endless ocean views and a laid-back opluence, Ikos Aria brings  an indulgent new level of luxury to the classically Dodecanesian island of Kos. Located on the southern shoreline of Kos, lapped by the warm crystalline waters of the Aegean Sea, the 47 acre Ikos Aria is the latest instalment in Ikos’ impressive portfolio of properties. Operating an already award winning ‘Infinite Lifestyle’ offering, which allows an elite all-inclusive level of living, here, each and every aspect of your st...

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Porto Zante Villas & Spa

The resort combines the privacy and space of luxury villas with all the amenities of a leading five-star hotel. Located on a lovely stretch of sandy beach reserved exclusively for guests, the superbly equipped villas, furnished with selected pieces of Armani Casa, boast a heated swimming pool and an enclosed sub-tropical garden, with exceptional views over the Ionian Sea from the outdoor dining area. Bathrooms feature a Jacuzzi and shower cabins with hydrojets; entertainment systems are state of the art Bang & Olufsen. Enjoy meals in the priva...

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Porto Sani

Stepping into this newly refurbished luxurious all-suite hotel is like entering a private club, where exceptional facilities meet discreet personal service. Set in the heart of Sani Resort near to the marina with its shopping piazza and bars, family oriented suites feature contemporary interiors and private terraces. Dining options are numerous, ranging from à la carte at Artemis and adults only Mediterranean fine dining with authentic Spanish cuisine by Michelin chef David Ibarboure at the new El Puerto restaurant, to brasserie snacks and Ita...

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The Westin Resort Costa Navarino

Inspired by old Messinian mansions, this picture-perfect retreat with a half-mile sandy beach by the glittering Ionian Sea, comprises clusters of stone built low-rise villas. Contemporary rooms and suites decorated in soothing seascape tones feature the Westin’s signature Heavenly® Bed plus a spacious terrace or balcony, many with a private heated infinity-edge pool. At the heart of the development is the Agora where an outdoor cinema, retail outlets and a Greek amphitheatre rub shoulders with enticing eateries including Da Luigi for Italian t...

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Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel

A hideaway for halcyon days beside the beautiful Bay of Mirabello, this glamorous all-suite hotel is a favoured haunt of Europe’s glitterati. Spacious suites offer breathtaking Aegean views, the Peninsula Collection suites providing double-storey accommodation ideal for families and groups of friends – each with a private pool – while Presidential Suites feature direct access to a jetty or the hotel’s private beach. For additional space and privacy, a number of Diamond Residences come complete with a fully equipped kitchen and outdoor pool, so...

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Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas

This is a place you’ll find both natural rugged beauty, and inner balance. Taking outdoor living up a notch, this calming hillside retreat gifts families with renewed breathing space. Building a hotel into the face of dramatic sea cliffs lends an immediate advantage: the location alone is enough to set Daios Cove apart from its Cretan neighbours. A treasured addition to the Agios Nikolaos region, this is about as secluded a postcode as you’ll find, despite sitting on one of Greece’s more popular islands. Don’t bother packing a watch; days here...

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Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection

Making its mark pairing rustic tradition with experimental modern design, this hillside village resort boasts panoramic views across the Mediterranean and luxuriously languid villa living. In a place as beloved by travellers as Greece, it’s difficult to stand out from the many hotels that line its streets and squares. However with its private beach, pop-up boutiques, sumptuous suites and verdantly vibrant hub of art, gastronomy, fashion and entertainment, Domes of Elounda isn’t just another hotel. It’s all the best parts of Cretan life melded ...

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Borgo Egnazia

Passing through beautiful bucolic olive groves sits a citadel-inspired playground of whitewashed stone walls; inside, content couples and fun-loving families coexist in harmony. There are few things more Italian than a family-run labour of love that took over a decade to design and complete; however, considering the nature of Borgo Egnazia it is no surprise its origins were quintessentially Apulian. Easily mistaken for a quaint village among the centuries-old olive groves of the Itria Valley, it defies the traditional conceptions of a resort h...

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Forte Village - Bouganville

This hotel stands immersed in exotic tropical greenery at the heart of the Forte Village resort. Following extensive upgrading the hotel welcomes guests into a world of Sardinian charm, the bungalow-style accommodation being both cool and spacious. With their private patio and garden areas, the bungalows range from Deluxe to Deluxe Family Plus – the latter having two bedrooms, one more compact and inclusive of an L-shaped bed, each with their own bathroom. For enhanced family convenience there is also a choice of interconnecting rooms. Breakfa...

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Borgo Pignano

Connecting with nature comes easy at this low-impact rural gem. A 750-acre organic farm, with magnificent 18th century villa and hamlet that was first settled by the Etruscans. Originally owned by the noble Incontri family, this country estate continues to transmit a true sense of place. A special infinity pool carved out of an ancient limestone quarry may be the trump card, yet the sustainable ethos that guides every aspect here cannot be ignored as a big draw. It’s taken almost 20 years to painstakingly restore the buildings, gardens and lan...

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Verdura Resort, A Rocco Forte Hotel

Reclining on 570 acres of beachfront miles away from the overpopulated suntraps, Rocco Forte’s first venture into building its own hotels is a crowd-pleasing, private affair. As Italian tradition dictates, food is taken seriously here – gourmet events range from monthly village fairs featuring guest celebrity chefs to olive oil and wine tastings from local suppliers. Meanwhile, in the cookery school, Sicilian pizza and pasta making is washed down with a mixology masterclass at the bar. When you don’t feel like cooking for yourself, the several...

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Vila Vita Parc

The Algarve in its purest form is found at this full-on destination-resort, that has everything from golf programmes to fantastic family facilities... oh and impeccable Michelin-starred dining. Meandering around the cobbled walkways highlights the convivial-village-meets-sub-tropical-gardens atmosphere of this clifftop hamlet, making it the kind of place lingering sun-seekers are loathe to leave. But trust us, tearing yourself away from the glorious Algarve coast is worth it, especially to the resort’s rural wine estate only one hour inland. T...

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Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort

Understated luxury and genuine hospitality distinguish Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort as an excellent family destination which lies within a protected natural park on the unspoilt Western Algarve. Rooms in this stylish beachfront hotel – all with ocean views - are complemented by a selection of spacious, two-floor family houses with floor-to-ceiling windows and front or back lawns, some with their own private swimming pool. Traditional Portuguese recipes have been re-invented with flair and imagination at O Terraço, a contemporary venue...

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Pine Cliffs, A Luxury Collection Resort

Surrounded by pine trees and overlooking miles of unspoilt beach, Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection resort blends style and comfort with an expansive range of recreations. Architecture reflects Portugal’s Arab heritage with airy interiors and cool courtyards, the resort comprising high-end accommodation choices including the Pine Cliffs Hotel, Residence and the newly-featured Ocean Suites – each a member of The Luxury Collection. With their cliff-top location overlooking beautiful Falésia Beach, the elegant one and two-bedroom suites have fully...

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Domes Lake Algarve

Boasting a private lake and surrounded by world class golf courses, Domes Lake Algarve in the heart of Vilamoura balances Portuguese tradition with family-orientated stylish modernity. Bringing their heartfelt philosophy and dedication to being the most luxurious of names, Domes have stamped their upscale look and deep-rooted values all over this Algarve gem. Here, contemporary rooms are inspired by the ecosystem of the resort’s private lake and feature verandas to maximise the panoramic views across either soothing gardens, nearby Vilamoura o...

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Six Senses Kaplankaya

Set on a secluded stretch of coast on the Turkish Riviera north of Bodrum, Six Senses Kaplankaya’s seamless blend between its natural surroundings and contemporary design makes it the epitome of respite. Having opened in May 2018, rooms, suites and villas are carved into the rock face, and cascade down towards the coastline – some with large terraces and private pools; all with views of the Aegean Sea. If you’re in pursuit of a healthier and happier you, the wellness wonder brand’s health and healing programmes are the main draw. A team of rep...

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D Maris Bay

A pine-clad hillside within the protected Datça Peninsula makes the stage for this elevated retreat, with peripheral-filling views over an azure bay and five porcelain beaches filling the stalls. Lying where the Aegean meets the Mediterranean, when renovations took place, instructions were given not to harm the surrounding nature reserve; leading the vibe here to be of unspoilt island isolation, but with more pine trees than palms. East and west rendezvous within the rooms, where exotic accents melt into the arms of the sophisticated and minim...

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Meaning ‘Queen’ in classical Greek, Anassa sits majestically on one of the finest beaches in Cyprus. The design of this member of The Leading Hotels of the World is that of an authentic Cypriot village, featuring a central square and a small traditional church with a bell tower. For atmospheric dining and fine fusion cuisine, wind your way down the stone steps to Basiliko, sample local specialities at Amphora or the gourmet delights of Helios. White walls and pastel fabrics create a sense of cool Mediterranean elegance in the spacious rooms, ...

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Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa

The beachfront Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, promises to bring a little bit of everything to the lively tourist town of Limassol. With no less than four outdoor/indoor pools, six restaurants, two bars, a veritable play-paradise for little ones and a child-free sanctuary for the grown-ups, this is a resort that defies the notion that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. For those with no young travellers in tow, we recommend opting for a spacious adult-only Lifestyle Suite, with or without private pool – where you’...

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Mandarin Oriental Marrakech

The Atlas Mountains make an evocative backdrop for the olive groves surrounding this hotel, that blends Berber and Andalusian-Arabic influences with eastern traditions to mesmerising effect. In fragrant gardens with small dunes designed to echo the landscape, this peaceful property was conceived with earth, sand and traditional Berber clothing as its guiding principles. But instead of simply borrowing its influences, it has created a modern mixology, ensuring an ongoing dialogue between the exteriors, nature and culture all around. Rooms are s...

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Four Seasons Resort Marrakech

Rose-hued walls surround this resort and spa set in Moorish gardens. Shady arcaded walks lead to fountain courtyards amidst olive and palm trees. A calming contemporary haven with a light Moroccan touch; bedrooms feature earthen shades and intricate handcrafted woodwork, all with spacious outdoor terrace, some with views of the historic Menara Gardens or Atlas Mountains. Feast like a sultan at Inara on flavours of Morocco; Quattro serves a diverse Italian menu and Azzera Pool Grill offers grilled meats and seafood. The Maarifa Cultural Centre...

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