Five Favourite Summertime Destinations

Arcipeligo de La Maddalena

The stunning islands of La Maddalena are only a stone’s throw away from the exclusive Costa Smeralda.  A 20-minute ferry ride from Paulu on the mainland will deposit you in the middle off these secret islands. Formally, a NATO naval base; now, a pink granite playground of seven larger islands and 55 isolotti with untouched beaches and turquoise waters.

These wild islands attracted Napoleon and Garibaldi: Napoleon never made land; Garibaldi, after being imprisoned on the island of Caprera, made it his home. This is now the jewel in the crown of the Museo Garibaldino.

The archipelago is not just worth seeing for its beaches although Spiaggia Rosa is definitely worth seeing but don’t forget the mosquito cream. Amongst these untracked islands, nature walking and sailing will make you appreciate your return to the vibrant life of La Maddalena.

Chandolin

Deep in the Val d’Anniviers, located off the Rhone valley, Chandolin is not only one of the oldest villages of Valais, but it is also one of the highest permanent settlements in Europe.

Charmingly peaceful, Chandolin clings to the cliffs of Couronne Imperiale. At 1934m, this hamlet is a perfect launchpad up to the alpine pastures of Ponchet. Stop a moment; eat your picnic lunch amongst the rich alpine flora; and watch the herds of chamois. Walk a little further along some of the heritage trails. This is the real Switzerland, away from all the other tourists. It is understandable why Chandolin is known as the muse to poets.

The romance of Val d’Anniviers and Chandolin’s old-worldliness becomes truly beyond earthly with a visit to the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Observatory in the neighbouring village of St. Luc. Out of this world. St. Luc’s pure atmosphere is the perfect location to view the skies, all day and all night.

Luberon

Luberon and lavender are synonymous. At the heart of Provence, the Luberon is a mountainous region with valleys of towns and villages. Despite these picturesque locations attracting visitors for many years; it is still possible to avoid the madding crowd.

The infamous Golden Triangle of the Luberon promises a display of unspoilt countryside, hospitable locals and outstanding weather. The original villages of the Ménerbes, Oppède-le-vieux and Bonnieux have welcomed Gordes and Roussillon. With rich and ancient history, each town’s unique personality stands out along the hills of the Luberon.

As the lavender season stretches from late June through to August, this summer promises to be colourful especially if you are lucky enough to capture the lavender and sunflowers at the end of the summer. Sault, with its high plateaux, and the towns of Gordes and Apt are picture perfect with their dry-stone houses. Throughout all of the Luberon, the most dream-like location offering splendour of views and service is La Bastide de Gordes. This luxurious stately home is a magnificent and intimate wedding venue for a summer wedding.

Formentera

Part of the Pine Islands (Pityuses Islands), Formentera is the antithesis of Ibiza. Tranquil with a flatter topography, Formentera is to seclusion what Ibiza is to hedonism. An hour’s ferry ride south of Ibiza’s decadence, this hippy vibe of Formentera still has a strong influence. In the back of your mind, you’ll hear Joni Mitchell composing Blue. If you take a walk out to the Cap de Barbaria lighthouse, Bob Dylan’s shadow remains after his summer of love.

Fortunately, Formentera is protected by expansion laws which protect the island and its natural landscape. Even the seagrass is UNESCO-protected. It is unlikely that it will ever become another Mediterranean built-up beach resort. Prickly pears and fig trees provide the necessary shade on this arid landscape, which run down to beaches of milky white sand and warm, turquoise waters.

Don’t be fooled, this island is not without its exclusivity. Boutique hotels and hidden 5-star villas are oases amongst lush pine forests with morning yoga and plunge pools. After a long, stress-free day, lay down on your daybed and watch the sunset over the Cape of Barbary along with Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley.

Annecy

Described as the Pearl of the French Alps, Annecy is indeed lodged between the snow-capped mountains. The glacial waters that arrive in the lake of Annecy create a shimmering gem which reflect its surrounds.  Also known as the Venice of Savoie, Annecy is a network of canals ready to be discovered. Supremely photogenic, it is more than just a pretty façade of architecture.

 Come the summer, Annecy is a hive of activity. Water, mountain trails and cafes attract a different clientele. Sailors, SUPers, road and mountain cyclers mingle with day visitors and the locals. The highlight of the summer season is the grandiose Venetian style festival on the first Saturday in August. In honour of Napoleon III, Annecy lights up its magical surroundings with a display of music and fireworks.

Away from the town of Annecy, villas are perched on the edge of the lake with private beaches and moorings. All this fresh mountain air certainly awakens an appetite. A special treat would be a visit to La Ciboulette, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the old town, or Le Belvédère with its panoramic views across the lake.

 

Together with our private jet specialists, ConnectJets, let’s talk about your next adventure.

 

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