The sound of cicadas in summer, the fiery shades of autumn, the frosts of winter, and the vibrant blooms of spring... The power of the countryside is its ability to strip us of the noise and concrete of everyday city life.
Nature offers us easy yet soul-enriching wonders, like a walk in a leafy wood, choruses of songbirds, or the scent and colours of wildflowers along a country path.
To enjoy the simple pleasures of rural life without giving up on the comforts of a high-end stay, check out our selection of beautiful countryside retreats.
Chateau de Villers Bocage, Normandy
While Normandy may be better known for its historical associations, the beauty of its landscape is second to none. The impressive Chateau de Villers Bocage lies on 32 hectares of sprawling lawns, landscaped gardens, fruit orchards, lush woodland, and a private golf course.
This countryside retreat harks back to the 17th and 18th centuries when construction took place. Nowadays, instead of gentlemen hunting, you are more likely to see guests taking a leisurely stroll around the gardens, cycling along the many paths, swimming laps in the indoor and outdoor pools, or enjoying a round of golf. With 16 opulent bedrooms, this chateau offers guests the epitome of luxury countryside living.
Villa Fito, Provence
The scent of the Mediterranean maquis filters through the vast outdoor space of Villa Fito, a luxury six-bedroom property.
Set in the expansive grounds of Chateau de Berne and surrounded by olive trees and stone pines, this Provencal estate offers guests 100 kilometres of hiking trails immersed in nature and 150 hectares of vineyards. The villa showcases natural elements like charming wooden beams and features traditional kitchen decor, cosy living spaces, and a cinema room. Set in the heart of Provence, the villa is also the perfect base for exploring the region and wandering through the purple haze of the iconic lavender fields.
Trullo delle Dame, Apulia
Apulia is famed for its vibrant colours: the deep blue sky, the russet soil, and the intense greens of olive groves and vineyards stretching from the hills to the coast.
In the heart of Valle d’Itria, Trullo delle Dame is a six-bedroom property that blends traditional architectural design, like the cone-shaped trulli, with contemporary elements. Floor-to-ceiling windows invite natural light indoors, underfloor heating creates cosy interiors in the cooler months, and the saltwater infinity pool provides hours of entertainment. Surrounded by six hectares of land, the villa immerses guests in the authentic heart of the region.
Castello del Monsignore, Tuscany
There are few vistas that are more iconically Tuscan than a line of cypress trees along rolling hills or fields of bright sunflowers stretching for miles. Such spectacular views are available from the historic Castello del Monsignore.
This 10-bedroom castle, dating back to 1490, has been sympathetically restored to offer luxury hospitality to discerning guests. The lavish interiors perfectly match the enchanting outdoors, divided among terraces, landscaped gardens, an orangerie and organic vegetable garden, and a truffle field. This wonderful villa offers eight hectares of quintessential Tuscan landscape – a true countryside haven.
Villa Mas Rosset, Costa Brava
This sprawling former farmhouse is the perfect destination for escaping from city life. The well-preserved stone exterior of Villa Mas Rosset evokes the idea of a rural idyll, confirmed by the stunning countryside views from the pool and the verdant lawns.
The contemporary interior comprises eight bedrooms and inviting living spaces, including bright lounges, a pool room with a bar, and a cosy cinema room. Its location in the beautiful Pla de l’Estany, a short drive from Lake Banyoles, offers guests plenty of activities in natural settings – from the more strenuous canoeing and cycling to the more sedate birdwatching. The daily delivery of freshly baked bread enhances the feeling of bucolic bliss.