The long days of summer are slowly fading into the past and although it is sad, it is time to embrace a new more colourful season; enter autumn. Autumn is Mother Nature’s way of showing us what true beauty really is. Vivid hues of yellow and ochre team with deep shades of red and orange to create a fiery display across the world. Summer holidays are almost a given nowadays, but what about autumn escapes? Grab your loved one and head on a luxury autumn adventure as we explore the most extraordinary luxury autumn escapes.
Spot Brown Bears Amid The Autumn Colours In Kamchatka
This is very much a ‘plan ahead adventure’ for autumn 2017 and although not the spur of the moment break that you had possibly hoped for we can assure you that it will be worth the wait! Shrouded in thick ice in the winter months, Russia’s Far Eastern coast is only accessible at certain times of year. It is at its most vibrant in the early autumn – with striking colours across the hillsides and wildlife feeding along the shorelines in preparation for a long winter. Most spectacular are the brown bears, who will have feasted on salmon in the rivers and creeks over the summer and spend lazy autumn days dozing near the water’s edge. A cruise is really the only way to explore this region, visiting estuaries, fjords, bays and islands in the company of natural history experts who know just where to spot the usually elusive bears.
Wildfoot can offer a 12 night Jewel of the Russian Far East cruise, priced from £5,335 per person, departing on 4th September 2017. The price is based on sharing a triple cabin on full board basis, with a full programme of shore excursions and activities; lectures on board; and transfers to join the ship. Not included are return flights to Kamchatka and pre- or post-cruise accommodation. For more information please visit www.wildfoottravel.com
Wine Tasting In Montenegro
With its unspoiled sandy beaches, historic architecture and jaw-dropping scenery, Montenegro is fast becoming one of Europe‘s most sought after travel destinations. This autumn why not spend a weekend wine tasting their indigenous vranac wines or classic chardonnays and merlots. With its mild climate Montenegro ensures excellent conditions for wine production and produces a tasty selection of vintages not to miss. Visit Castel Savina, a stunning romantic boat ride across the bay, who produces a range which includes a merlot, a cabernet sauvignon, a rose-grenache and a chardonnay, something for all wine lovers to enjoy. Uncover the largest vineyard on one site in Europe, Cemovsko Field, an impressive sight to behold. To top off a weekend of wine tasting bliss stay at the Regent Porto Montenegro for an unforgettable luxury experience. This homely hotel with its nautical theme will have you wishing that you could spare more than just a weekend in Montenegro and perhaps you can- we won’t tell.
To find out more about the Regent Porto Montenegro go to regenthotels.com/EN/regent-portomontenegro
Explore Central Park In The Crisp Autumn Air
Everyone loves a trip to New York; shopping galore, entertaining Broadway musicals and food glorious food. Yes, all of those things are amazing but why not also explore central park in the most romantic way imaginable; with a picnic. Guests at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park are invited to explore Central Park’s colourful foliage with a customised 3-course picnic for two. Prepared by the hotel’s culinary team and packaged in a fashionable tote bag that guests can keep, this al fresco adventure is the perfect way to welcome the change in season. The concierge team also offer insider tips on the best picnic spots in New York’s most famous park ensuring the experience is as romantic as possible. The Picnic in the Park package also includes a kite that couples can fly together above a golden canopy of autumn foliage. Sound good? We think so.
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park’s Picnic in the Park package starts from US$845 (approx. £636) per night. This includes overnight accommodation and a three-course picnic for two. To book please visit www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/new-york/central-park
New England In The Fall
Sticking with our American friends across the pond we think that it doesn’t get much better than New England in the fall/autumn. This may be a broad suggestion as New England comprises of six States, however it is the iconic destination for lovers of spectacular autumn colours so we couldn’t help but mention it. From the forests of Vermont, to the incredible views of autumnal foliage from the Kancamagus Highway and the windswept maples on the coast of Maine, New England is the place to visit.
American Sky offers an eight night fully escorted ‘Autumn Colours’ tour which takes in all of these seasonal highlights and more, plus visits to Boston; the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory; New Hampshire’s White Mountains; Cadillac Mountain in Maine’s Acadia National Park; and many of New England’s prettiest coastal towns and villages.
Priced from £2,249 per person, based on two sharing a standard room throughout on a mixed board basis, with return flights from London Heathrow with British Airways, all transportation, excursions and services of a tour guide included. Departures available throughout September and October. For more information please visit www.americansky.co.uk
Indulge In A Five Star Mountain Break This Autumn
Mountain breaks are more often accosted with winter holidays but we think that a stay at Chalet Mirabell in South Tyrol in the autumn is a perfect escape. Home to the Dolomites, a UNESCO world heritage site, South Tyrol is renowned for its breath-taking views, fresh mountain air and gorgeous spa hotels. The region’s unique combination of Italian and Alpine culture offers couples the opportunity to experience something different, as well as the chance to try its world-class food and wine. The region boasts 22 Michelin stars across 20 restaurants, making it the Italian leader for excellent cuisine. There are also more than 150 wineries in the area, meaning that you are your partner can go on tasting tours or even hike the famous wine trails.
The five star hotel Chalet Mirabell, near the famous spa town of Merano, is running a special four-night package from £644 per person. This includes four nights’ accommodation in a Studio Texel room with one bottle of sparkling wine in the room, a ¾ gourmet board and one guided hike. The offer also includes an active body and mind programme (which includes an excursion, a pilates class or a yoga session), a £25 SPA voucher per room, as well as a 10% SPA bonus from 9am to 1pm. An autumn break here means peace and quiet, rest and relaxation, and experiencing the South Tyrolean way of life. The package is available from 4 September until 6 November 2016. Arrival on Sundays only. For more information about Chalet Mirabell please visit www.residence-mirabell.com/en/
For more information about South Tyrol please visit www.suedtirol.info/en
Get To Grips With Nature At Sagres Bird Watching Week
If a warmer autumn break is what you are after then perhaps a trip to the Algarve with its consistently warm climate and 300 days of sunshine is the place for you. The Algarve is often considered to be a sun, sea and sand destination, but it is in fact so much more than that. It is home to diverse natural habitats and array of stunning rural backdrops that are there to be enjoyed and explored. This year from the 30th September – 5th October, the town of Sagres will be hosting its 7th Annual Bird Watching Week. This event gives visitors a chance to see a wide-variety of wildlife in their natural environment and take guided tours, observe rare species and even experience non feathered friends and go dolphin watching. The activities on offer cater for all levels of nature lovers, whether you are truly passionate about bird watching or looking to enjoy a romantic walk whilst enjoying the views over beautiful Sagres. Bird watching isn’t a particularly luxury experience so we think that you should team it with a stay in The Bela Vista Hotel & Spa, located in Praia Da Rocha, Portimao is located under an hour from Sagres. Some say it is was the Algarve’s very first hotel and its current incarnations lays within a mansion that dates back to 1918. The hotel currently has 38 luxurious and contemporary designed rooms, inspired by the opulence of real palace life. The on-site amenities are complete with an on-site terrace restaurant – positioned to look over the breath-taking clifftops views below – two bars, private beach access, an inviting outdoor swimming pool and a SPA signed by L’OCCITANE – a unique concept in Portugal. The property also offers a variety of specialist experiences including “Fishing with the Chef” day trips, luxury driving experiences and matching food and wine workshops.
For more information about the Algarve please visit www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/algarve
For more information about Bela Vista please visit www.hotelbelavista.net/en/bela-vista
Secluded Scottish Hideaway And Castle Visit
If secluded luxury is what you fancy this autumn we have found the perfect romantic hideaway. The Boathouse is a secluded one bedroom self-catering cottage in the heart of the Dundas Estate on a private loch, near the spectacular Dundas Castle just outside Edinburgh. It offers beautiful views and a perfect, tranquil and cosy retreat. Surrounded by trees ablaze in jaw dropping colour, The Boathouse is an Instagram dream. Cosying up in The Boathouse is a perfect romantic treat but why not explore the nearby Dundas Castle? Dundas Castle is one of Scotland’s finest Castles that successfully combines a family home with a thriving business. Dundas Castle was built in 1818 by the renowned Scottish architect, William Burn, and is the ancestral home of Sir Jack and Lady Lydia Stewart-Clark who reside in their own wing within the Castle walls. Secluded within 1000 acres of spectacular wood and parkland, Dundas Castle truly is a hidden gem. Even though you may feel as though you are experiencing a rural retreat, you are only 25 minutes from Edinburgh city centre and 15 minutes from the International Airport.
A night in the Boathouse costs £235 (inc VAT) For more information please visit dundascastle.co.uk/the-boathouse/
Lakeside Leaf-Peeping In Slovenia
Beautiful Lake Bled is at its very best in October, when lush forests and woodlands at the water’s edge come alive in shades of red and gold, highlighting the famous church-topped island that sits in the middle of the lake. The surrounding mountain scenery is breath-taking too and a hike up to Bled Castle is well worth it for the picture-perfect views.
Regent Holidays’ seven day Ljubljana & Lake Bled Twin-Centre holiday is priced from £680 per person. The price is based on two sharing and includes return flights from London Stansted, accommodation throughout on a bed and breakfast basis and transfers. For more information please visit www.regent-holidays.co.uk
Rural Life in the Alpujarras
Discover the delightful Las Alpujarras, where whitewashed villages tumble down the almond coated hills. You can immerse yourselves in the gentle rhythms of the tranquil village of Mairena, whether joining in with the traditional farming cycle of harvesting olives and fruit or learning how to recreate authentic Alpujarran dishes. Mairena is a typical Alpujarran village where mules still outnumber cars by two to one at harvest time, and guests stay at Casa Las Chimeneas, a lovingly restored rural hotel, located just above its finca of olive groves and organic orchards of fig, medlar and pomegranate trees, the fruit of which is used to make the homemade preserves served at breakfast. When not dipping into the local culture, the walking trails in these hills are endless.
Prices start from £285pp based on 2 sharing, including 3 nights’ half board accommodation, 1 picnic lunch, route notes and maps, and 3 days’ car hire with Inntravel. Flights are not included. For more information please visit /www.inntravel.co.uk/holidays/short-breaks/Spain/Rural-Life-in-the-Alpujarras?pg=sk
Sweden’s Foraging Delights
Stay at Ett Hem and discover Stockholm’s nearby forests are teeming with delectable mushrooms from September including chanterelles, morels, trumpet and oyster mushrooms, which are imaginatively incorporated in the kitchen’s daily changing menus. Ett Hem’s innovative kitchen is led by talented head chef Martin Brag, who particularly relishes working locally-sourced vegetables from local grower Mauritz at Karshamra Garden at harvest time. Autumn’s also time for Sweden’s delicious berries – fresh lingonberries, blueberries and cloud berries are always delicious additions to the kitchen’s sweet desserts. Following Sweden’s traditional crayfish season in the summer, Ett Hem’s kitchen continues to provide the freshest seafood such as meticulously prepared lobster and meaty octopus, which is locally caught. The property’s unique approach to hospitality means that they offer a bespoke dining concept that lets their guests have the opportunity to dine wherever and whenever they like, be it in the kitchen, the library or looking out at the garden from their pretty greenhouse. Visitors arriving late can still help themselves to a slice of freshly baked cake in the kitchen or mix the perfect Swedish mule from the honesty bar.
For an additional epicurean adventure, visitors can embark on a quest to explore this beautiful city with Food Tours Stockholm by joining their entertaining and expert foodie tours. Families and couples alike can sample delicious bites whilst learning about Stockholm’s history and culture in the city’s iconic Old Town. Tours can also be booked privately for the ultimate indulgence.
Rates at Ett Hem start from £338 including breakfast AND 12% VAT. For more information please visit www.etthem.se/
Keep your eyes peeled for Extraordinary Luxury Autumn Escapes | Part II coming soon…