The best getaways in luxury hotels, islands and the Harry Potter train

The best getaways in luxury hotels, islands and the Harry Potter train

April 20 was the first day without a mask in Spain, a real milestone to leave behind two difficult years. With spring already well established and temperatures rising, you feel like making a getaway, recovering old habits, since most countries, at least in Europe, are preparing to eliminate practically all the restrictions that limited the possibility of fully enjoying small holidays.

Tourism, in fact, seems to be definitely recovering, as evidenced by the images of the Mediterranean coasts during Holy Week. So, before the summer, even though there are no bridges available, a weekend trip can be organized.

As time is short, perhaps it is better to focus on destinations that can be reached in a few hours of travel: Europe or, at most, the other shores of the Mediterranean.

With little time, it is better to focus on nearby destinations: Europe waves shores of the Mediterranean

For weekend getaways, the cities are usually the preferred option, also because in spring there is no risk of finding everything closed and, in general, the temperatures are much more pleasant for walking. As for the type of accommodation, hotels remain unbeatable for a few nights. In fact, it is better to take advantage of the short time by spending the night near the nerve centers of the cities.

The most expensive hotel rooms in the world

In this regard, the specialized site Sleepseeker has searched for the most expensive and luxurious hotel rooms in the world. Except for Miami, which ranks sixth, the other destinations in this global top 10 are within reasonable radius for a short spring break.

The luxury hotel Raffles Makkah Palace has privileged views of Mecca


Therefore, if our passion is luxury hotels, you can reserve the Royal Two-Bedroom Suite at the Raffles Makkah Palace in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, at a cost of 18,330 euros per night, the highest in the world. It offers views of the iconic Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam. In the Arabian Peninsula there is also the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Muscat, Oman, which occupies the ninth place, as well as, on the other side of the Red Sea, in Hurghada, Egypt, we find the eighth most expensive room facing the waters considered the divers paradise.

The rest of the positions are all occupied by European cities: Florence, Rome, Brussels, Frankfurt and, after Miami, also Madrid. A night in the Turret Suite of the Mandarin Oriental, between the Retiro Park and the Prado Museum, according to Sleepseeker, can cost around 7,300 euros, ranking seventh among the most expensive hotel rooms in the world. The Swiss city of Zurich closes this especially exclusive ranking.

A boat getaway

The lucky few who can afford these figures surely have their own yacht with which to enjoy the Mediterranean in total privacy. But even for the less affluent, a sailing holiday is an increasingly popular option. Perhaps renting it in the company of a group of friends. In fact, during the first quarter of 2022, the Click&Boat platform received 114% more reservations from Spanish nautical travelers than in the same period of the previous year. Short but unforgettable trips.


Menorca, at any time of the year, is the perfect destination for lovers of the sea and sunsets


A possible option for a boat getaway is the Columbretes Islands, of volcanic origin, located off the coast of Castellón, an ideal place to explore the flora and fauna in total serenity and harmony with nature. In addition, for those most committed to the environment, the BIOagradables association of Valencia has been organizing monthly beach cleanups since 2012 in which you can participate.

A classic boat holiday is the Balearic Islands and this year Menorca has been recognized as ‘European Region of Gastronomy 2022’. A perfect destination to combine the first dips with tastings of local products such as fish, shellfish, fruit and vegetables. The boat is also the most comfortable option to visit inaccessible corners such as Cala San Pedro in Almería, Cala Pino in Málaga, or the steep walls of Cala dels Testos in Alicante.

Hop on the Harry Potter train

On the mainland, train travel along the slow and evocative historic railways is also gaining in popularity. Among the many possible routes, there is one really special one. Harry Potter fans, in fact, cannot miss a ride on the Jacobite: the steam train identical to the Hogwarts Express in the saga.


The Jacobite train in Scotland teleports you to the Harry Potter movies


In service from May to October, the train travels the last section of the West Highland Line, in Scotland, one of the most spectacular railways in the world: it leaves Fort William and reaches the town of Mallaig in a couple of hours, through of the magnificent landscapes of the Highlands. Some wagons are decorated like the mythical Harry Potter train and through the windows it is possible to admire the same landscapes.

Romantic ‘weekend’ in the Italian hills or continue skiing in the Alps

Skiers who are not resigned to the arrival of the heat and want to continue practicing their favorite sport, can find refuge in the Italian Alps, in particular the Dolomites, but also on the French side, in Les Deux Alpes, where the largest glacier extends ski area in Europe, or in Austria, in the Stubai valley, where at more than three thousand meters of altitude it is possible to continue practicing winter sports in the middle of spring.


Les Deux Alpes is the perfect European glacier for ski lovers


If, on the other hand, spring calls for a romantic getaway, Italy offers several options off the beaten track. One of them is articulated in the hills of the province of Parma, a charming city in the north of the country. It is one of the undisputed capitals of Italian gastronomy, as well as the nerve center of the country’s operatic tradition and the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi. Outside the city it is possible to sleep within the walls of the Torrechiara castle, in a landscape that has nothing to envy to the Tuscan hills.

Two Mediterranean islands

For those who want to combine their first baths with more exotic flavors, two islands in the eastern Mediterranean are highly recommended. The first is Malta, certainly not a novelty, but whose wealth never ceases to amaze. Modern yet ancient, relaxing yet exciting. In a short time it is possible to cover the entire island and not just limit yourself to Valletta or the beaches on the coast. A stop in the ancient capital, Mdina, the city of silence, a true architectural gem immersed in the colors of wisteria and bougainvillea in full bloom, is a must.

lipsi greece

The island of Lipsí, in Greece, is a complete wonder to visit in summer


Finally, a small Greek island in the Dodecanese archipelago is capable of leaving the most experienced traveler speechless: Lipsí. Wild beaches and a crystal clear sea make this place a concentrate of beauty and the perfect refuge from everyday stress. In addition, the local gastronomy is renowned and the abundance of excellent restaurants make it an attractive destination in every way. At the end of spring it is already possible to bathe, without tourists and with much more affordable prices.

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