Looking for inspiration for your next getaway? Why not consider getting a taste of the high life with a mountain holiday, either amongst the peaks themselves or in the foothills close by. You’ll savour fresh alpine air, stunning natural scenery and breathtaking views; and whether you’re after adventurous outdoor activities or untouched local culture, there’s a destination for you. From sophisticated Swiss retreats to off-the-beaten-track Hellenistic hideaways, we’ve rounded up our favourite retreats – in, near or on the mountains.
Maroc Lodge – Atlas Mountains, Morocco
The fragrant scent of ripening figs and pomegranates, the sound of the natural spring gently trickling into the irrigation canal, and spectacular views over valleys filled with olive, almond and walnut trees. Nestled not far from the Berber village of Amizmiz, Maroc Lodge is ideal for those wanting to explore the beauty and culture of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. Explore the villages and vistas of the High Atlas with a local guide on a walking or mule-back tour, before returning to Maroc Lodge for a soothing session in the hammam.
Kurhaus Cademario Wellness & Spa – Lugano, Switzerland
Perched over 850 metres above sea-level, Kurhaus Cademario has been enchanting guests with its panoramic mountain views and world-class spa treatments for over a century. Ticino’s Mediterranean climate and stunning Swiss alpine scenery makes it the perfect place for outdoor activities, from summery strolls leading through centuries-old chestnut forests to some of the country’s best cycling routes. Alternate bracing mountain walks with sessions in Kurhaus’ truly impressive wellness centre, which features everything from Finnish Saunas to Frigidariums, including a pair linked cave-like indoor and outdoor pools.
Villa Principe Leopoldo – Lugano, Switzerland
Within driving distance of Milan, you may be tempted to overlook Lake Lugano in neighbouring Switzerland for the Italian lakes, but this Swiss retreat is worth a visit thanks to its winning combination of mild Mediterranean climate, rich cultural scene and breathtaking mountainous landscapes. Unlike sister hotel Kurhaus Cademario, Villa Principe Leopoldo is in the town of Lugano itself, but its commanding position provides it stunning views of the mountains. It’s the perfect base for bracing highland strolls through Lugano’s beautiful hinterland during the summer, while during the winter the snow-capped peaks form a picturesque backdrop to Christmas fairs and carnivals.
Casale Panayiotis – Kalopanayiotis, Cyprus
A dense, forest-carpeted plug of igneous rock thrusting forth into the sky, the Troodos mountain range is worlds-away from Cyprus’ coastal resorts. This is a land of verdant, pine-scented valleys, lonely hilltop villages and wonderfully atmospheric Byzantine churches echoing with centuries-old chanting. Get under the skin of this beguiling region at Casale Panayiotis. Nestled within the ancient village of Kalopanayiotis, the hotel has a strong and authentic relationship with the local community. Wonder at the enchanting frescoes at the UNESCO-listed St John Lampadistis Monastery, or explore miles of beautiful, untouched nature on one of the hiking trails snaking through the surrounding hills.
Lagacio Hotel Mountain Residence – Dolomites, Italy
Although it’s just a stone’s throw from the chocolate-box village of San Cassiano in Italy’s Dolomites, Lagacio Hotel Mountain Residence’s sleekly contemporary design is delightfully untraditional. Walls of locally-sourced pine and larch effortlessly blend into the surrounding landscape, while floor-to-ceiling windows provide awe-inspiring views over the Alta Badia mountains. Visit during the winter and you’ll be blessed with perfect skiing conditions and pristine snow-capped peaks, while during the summer you can enjoy invigorating hikes along picturesque mountain passes overflowing with flora and fauna.
Hotel Cortijo del Marques – Granada, Spain
Dating back nearly five centuries, the charming Hotel Cortijo del Marques resonates with the rich history and exotic culture of Grenada, a land of enchanting Moorish palaces, sun-scorched desert plains and the frenetic strumming of flamenco guitars. Although not in the mountains itself, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the Sierra del Pozuelo, Sierra Arana and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. Just a short drive away you’ll find beautifully scenic hiking trails and remote, idiosyncratic villages, such as Guadix, where many of the inhabitants still live in traditional cave-dwellings carved into the craggy rock.
Furnas Boutique Hotel – São Miguel, Azores
A mist-wreathed isle of emerald embedded in the Atlantic, São Miguel is one of Portugal’s best-kept secrets. Craggy volcanic peaks, verdigris lagoons and bubbling natural hot springs make this Azores gem a must-visit for any lovers of the great outdoors, and the stunning Furnas Boutique Hotel, set within a dramatic volcanic basin, makes full use of this magnificent location. The hotel spa with its natural thermal pools makes for a particularly unique wellness experience, while the surrounding area is filled with spectacular viewpoints, lush forest and blustery mountain passes just waiting to be explored.
Kipi Suites – Zagori, Greece
Plunging to nearly 1,600 feet deep, the Vikos Gorge in Epirus is one of the deepest in the world, and its just one of the spectacular natural treasures hidden within this lesser-visited corner of northern Greece. The wild and untamed region is home to pebble-dashed rivers forded by elegantly-arched stone bridges, mysterious pine forests where bears are sometimes sighted, and lonely monasteries clinging to the side of canyons. Kipi Suites, a charming collection of 19th-century stone houses within a traditional village cascading from the cliff-face, is the perfect gateway to this enchanting area, and host Alexandros is always on hand to give his best tips and hidden treasures.