Feeling like you need a bit of holiday-inspo? Here’s Authentic PR’s top picks for some stylish and authentic European destinations to check out this summer either for a long weekend or perhaps a week’s getaway.
Stylish and luxurious escapes in authentic Mallorca
The northern coast of Mallorca in the Balearic islands is a firm favourite with our team at Authentic PR.
Surrounded by the Tramuntana mountains, Port de Soller is one of the few towns that can claim both magnificent mountain scenery and breathtaking sea views on the island with the best sunsets in Mallorca. The bay is bordered by a sandy beach, lined by a pedestrianised promenade. Here resides an endless stretch of cafes, restaurants and shops as well as some top-notch restaurants and stylish cocktail bars.
Recently the world-renowned Design Hotels opened the ultra cool Bikini Island hotel on the hills above Port de Soller, a 4-star hotel designed by Armin Fischer with a concept of”Gypset Style” which originates from 1960’s San Francisco. A mix of leisure living and hedonism with vibrant textile murals and giant slogans and rugs that vie for attention with macramé lights, quirky artefacts, wicker seating and walls of mirrors. Renowned international restaurant brand Neni, the brainchild of Tel Aviv-born Haya Molcho and her sons, offers a moreish mix of Middle Eastern and Israeli cuisine. With its long wooden dining tables and enough low-slung plants the restaurant has a warm and relaxed ambience. There is a rooftop gym, freshwater pool and free bikes for guests to use.
And, to top it off, just down the road resides the delightful inland town of Soller which continues to embrace Mallorca’s heritage. Rustic stone architecture, a popular Saturday market and wonderful art galleries are amongst its highlights. It is connected to Port de Soller by a vintage tram which takes its passengers on a picturesque journey among lemon and olive groves or hire an electric bike (or a mountain bike) and discover the coastline.
The nearby town of Deia with it’s flagship, the gorgeous Belmond La Residencia hotel owned by The Belmond Group is a must-do. An award winning hotel (previously owned by Sir Richard Branson) and surrounded by 30 acres of ancient olive and citrus groves with 73 ultra-stylish but super luxurious rooms and suites to choose from.
Dining at the hotel is a gastronomic delight and offers some of the best culinary experiences in Mallorca. Cafe Miro is decorated with 33 original Miro paintings and provides delicious menus for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Award-winning fine dining can be found at El Olivio – an unmissable and truly memorable experience in beautiful surroundings. There are two outdoor swimming pools with dramatic mountain backdrops provide the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. In keeping with the setting of arty Deia, Belmond La Residencia is home to an acclaimed art gallery – Sa Tafona which features an inspiring variety of exhibitions and performances throughout the year. The beautiful gardens house one of the largest permanent sculpture gardens in Spain. The Spa and gym has an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, and 6 treatment rooms – 3 of which have outside terraces to make the most of the the stunning views.
La Residencia prices from Euros 330 per night per room
Top tip: Make sure you also try some of the best seafood on the island at the fish restaurant Ca’s Patro March, built into the rock by the sea and made famous recently as one of the filming locations in the BBC series The Night Porter. Deia was written about by the poet Robert Graves.
The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and some of the most notable musicians in history are known to have spent time in Deià, away from the glare of the paparazzi. Beyoncé made an appearance last year, and Kate Moss was spotted drinking sangria and dancing the night away at Sa Fonda, a totally informal bar that is known for its late nights and lively music scene. Nearest airport Palma.
Barefoot bliss in the South of France
The South of France is the classic destination for long lazy weekend. And if you don’t want to spend a fortune you don’t have to. Close to St Tropez you will find the little seaside town of Les Issambres.
It stretches along 8 km of inlets and fine sandy beaches which started in the 1930s with the opening of Hotel La Résidence above La Garonette Beach. Here you can sunbathe and swim on sandy beaches and enjoy a relaxed mediterranean vibe with bars, shops and restaurants all within a stones throw of the beach. We stayed at an affordable Bed and Breakfast Villa Tricolli high up on the hill with a beautiful pool just a ten minute stroll downhill to the beach.
Les Issambres is part of Roquebrune-sur-Argens and is actually the little sister of Sainte-Maxime, with as many beautiful sandy beaches. There are lovely cabanas for a relaxing lunch, a sailing school, a Provençal Flea market along the boulevard only a few minutes drive away from Sainte-Maxime. The village of San Peire, with its beautiful promenade, is situated at the heart of Les Issambres. Here you can get your fresh croissants in the morning from La Tarte Tropeziennes, named after the local specialty “Tarte Tropzienne”. On the terrace of Le Bistrot at the Hotel Le Provencal you can enjoy a glass of rosé with a view at the Mediterranean. St Tropez is a short drive away or simple ferry ride from St Maxime. Nearest airport Nice.
Villa Tricolli prices start from £100 per night per room via Booking.com
Rent a mountain top villa with friends in Tuscany
Check out the hill top tiny medieval village of Montecastelli Pisano in Tuscany in Northern Italy. There are a selection of self-catering villas to choose from but for a big group party we loved this villa. A labyrinth of rooms that includes 7 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms and a separate guest house with a huge open kitchen. A beautiful little garden packed with lavender and roses with steep terraces down to a huge swimming pool made the perfect dining hangout for an alfresco supper under a pergola covered in Jasmine (great for the ‘gram!). For a party book a team of local nonas to come in and cook an 8 course dinner for you under the stars.
The property is situated on the edge of the small village overlooking the famous Torre Sillana in a unique and exceptional beautiful position with breathtaking panoramic views over the Cecina and Elsa valleys, down to the sea and the Chianti hills. Internally it has been carefully renovated maintaining the original features and tastefully furnished in the typical Tuscan style and provided with modern facilities. In the village, approx. 100 meters from the house, there is a restaurant with a panoramic terrace as well as a small shop for groceries. Other services (restaurants, bar, grocery shop, post office) can be found in the nearby town of San Dalmazio (6 km). Siena is 45 km away and Florence 75 km, Pisa 88 km, whilst the beaches of the Tuscan coast are 60 km away. Nearest airports: Pisa Florence 95 km, Bologna 195 km, Rome 260 km.
Villa prices From £296 pre night via OwnersDirect