The Archipelago of the Egadi
The Archipelago of the Egadi, set off the western coast of Sicily, represents an extraordinary synthesis of history and nature, with its cluster of five, isolated, history rich islands - Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo and the islets of Formica and Maraone.
Travellers often pass on these lesser known gems for the more celebrated Aeolian islands and because they so often fly under the radar, their authentic charm, natural beauty and inherent Italian culture have been preserved. The secret butter-sand beaches, the terrestrial and underwater archaeological findings dating back to the Paleolithic age, sunken shipwreck ruins and the irresistible crystalline waters of the Egadi Islands Marine Reserve (one of the largest and most variegated in Europe) makes this flourishing archipelago a truly unspoilt destination.
The islands are easily reached – head for the quirky town of Trapani, an hour’s ride from Palermo Airport its discreet charms making it worth your while to stop and take a look before jumping on the hydrofoil for the 30’ crossing to Favignana. The largest of the islands, Favignana boasts just one town consisting of a cluster of brightly coloured buildings huddled around the port and the Stabilimento Florio: a former tuna fishery (for several centuries the largest in the Mediterranean) now a maritime museum, with plans for stylish new hospitality outlets underway for 2021.
Levanzo is the smallest and perhaps the most exquisite of the three main islands, with its white houses nestled on the harbour front. A favourite with divers for its Interesting underwater archaeological itineraries and uncontaminated waters.
Marettimo is the most isolated of this archipelago, wonderfully unspoilt both in terms of its marine life and its rugged mountainous hinterland and dramatic limestone cliffs over the cobalt-blue sea. For trekking lovers, this is a perfect island.
The Egadi islands are perfect for an ‘off the track’ destination as part of our ‘exclusive havens’ incentive programmes specially designed by our TERRAEVENTS Italy team.
Valladolid – The land of wine and the Tapas capital of the world
Valladolid, just an hour by train from Madrid, is located in the western part of Spain, the birthplace of King Felipe II, home to Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, and the place where Christopher Columbus breathed his last... In Valladolid you’ll discover the true spirit of Castilla, the architecture typical of inland Spain and the traditional Spanish lifestyle. Yet Valladolid is also a bustling university city with an energetic night scene.
The historic centre of Valladolid conserves an important monumental and architectural heritage, comprising noble houses and religious buildings, a highlight being the unfinished cathedral. You’ll also find excellent museums, including the National Sculpture Museum or the Christopher Columbus House-Museum.
Valladolid has more than fifty hotels, one of the most significant being the AC Hotel Palacio de Santa Ana, built on the site of an 18th century convent.
Food lovers will especially enjoy a trip to Valladolid during the well-renowned Tapas festival held every November – by far the most important Tapas event in the world. This city is also the place to try traditional regional dishes like roast lamb or suckling pig.
The surrounding countryside around Valladolid is covered in rambling vineyards so be sure to visit the wine estates of five local Designations of Origin, Ribera del Duero, Cigales, Rueda, Toro, and León. We also recommend a visit to the wine museum in the impressive castle of Peñafiel, followed by a tour and tasting at the famous Protos wines.
Spring and autumn are the best time to explore the city of Valladolid and its surroundings – as featured in our ‘exclusive havens’ incentive programmes specially designed by our TERRAEVENTS Spain team.
Somme Bay and the Opal Coast
“Do you enjoy vast open natural scenery, cultural heritage & sea food? Are you anxious to disconnect from your day to day world? We have the answer, less two hours by train from the centre of Paris for a guaranteed change of scenery - Baie de Somme and Côte d’Opale
Officially listed as one of the most beautiful bays in the world, the Somme Bay is a stunning natural site with extraordinary panoramic landscapes, evoking an “end-of-the-world” feel, cliffs which take rugged to a new level, pebbled beaches, sandy dunes, and a vista which is just as incredible in force 8 gales as it is in summer sunsets.
You can walk across the Bay or set off on a pirogue (a dug-out canoe) to mingle with the seal colonies that have set up home in the turquoise waters, meander along the dramatic coastline wondering at the outstanding panoramic views, visit medieval towns and their labyrinth of cobblestone streets, discover the exuberance of the “Belle Epoque” villas and hundreds of old-fashioned beach huts … not forgetting to savour the finest regional produce.
Speak with our TERRAEVENTS France team for further details on this very special destination, highlighted in our ‘exclusive havens’ incentive programmes.
Just an hour south of Lisbon, the sweet-smelling cork and pine forest of the Troia peninsular and the stretch of coastline of Comporta is slowly but surely developing a reputation as Portugal’s most chic resort. This is where you go if you’re a designer or a celebrity seeking seclusion (Christian Louboutin, Philippe Starck and Madonna all have houses nearby) ; this is the Hamptons relocated to Portugal. But, thank heavens, the presence of such high profile visitors has not altered the village’s downbeat, back-to-nature vibe.
A setting like none other – set on a fertile strip of the Alentejo coach, it’s thatched houses sit alongside verdant green ride paddies which blend into miles of sand dunes and a dramatic sea, perfect for surfing. Think tranquillity, think of enjoying sublime seafood served in the modest beach shacks, cocktails served on the sand, and dusty lanes crowded with tiny boutiques selling local weaves and furnishings. Walk the 12 km of beaches, take to the saddle to enjoy the ultimate equestrian experience riding the dunes with the ‘Cavalos na Areia’ , or immerse yourself in Comporta’s translucent glittering waters.
Sometimes compared to Ibiza before the crowds arrived, minus the nightclubs – the best you’ll get in Comporta is a bohemian beach bar, so maybe St. Tropez would be a truer comparison, minus Brigitte Bardot!
Our TERRAEVENTS Portugal team are looking forward to telling you more about this incredible destination, featured in our ‘exclusive havens’ incentive programmes