The New Year brings with it thoughts of jet charter getaways to provide a welcome treat to look forward to in 2017. Europe has numerous destinations for the perfect weekend, or longer, away – and from perennial favourites that offer luxurious relaxation to the more active and adventurous, hopping on a private jet for a change of scene has never been easier.
Fly to France
Nice welcomes millions of visitors each year, but away from the French Riviera’s main town (and the crowd magnet that is Saint-Tropez) there are numerous smaller towns and villages that exude a quieter charm. Saint-Raphaël and neighbouring Fréjus are two perfect spots further along the Mediterranean coastline and both provide stunning views of the dramatic Esterel mountains and equally spectacular blue sea. With sandy beaches, marinas, pretty tree-lined streets and seafront food markets the area is a delightful haven.
Chateau Saint-Martin – Image courtesy of Chateau Saint-Martin
Stay at the Villa La Mauresque, originally built in the 1880s as a private residence for a Pasha, and now operating as a recently renovated luxury hotel. Other excellent places to stay a short drive from Nice are the Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa in Vence, an old fortress set in lush gardens, where food is a particular highlight.
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The summer season begins in April and guests will be welcomed to relax in the sprawling, verdant gardens, take in views out to the water and also visit their sister property, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, for an exquisite lunch. Book your private jet to Nice/Côte d’Azur Airport and experience it’s quiet charm.
Fly to Iceland
A very different but just as breath-taking landscape can be found further north in Europe, in Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. Apart from being an ideal destination to view the stunning Northern Lights, which are best seen in the winter months up until February but appear as late as April and again from autumn onwards, there are many other reasons to come to this distinctive city. With geysers, waterfalls and a unique volcanic landscape to explore, there is also bathing in the Blue Lagoon, whale watching and snowmobiling to try.
The Blue Lagoon
The city at night also offers an eclectic mix to entertain. Make sure to visit the striking Harpa concert hall, designed in collaboration with artist Olafur Eliasson, where visitors can enjoy an array of performances from opera and ballet to jazz and the much more contemporary, plus an excellent meal or drink at its roof top restaurant.
The stunning Harpa concert hall – Image courtesy of flickr
There is also a thriving music and dance scene not to miss, with Kaffibarinn, Húrra, and Paloma always popular venues. Fly direct to Reykjavik and get there in no time.
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Fly to Italy
But if a classic romantic getaway is called for in 2017, the Amalfi Coast provides a glorious filmic backdrop to any anniversary celebration. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, this 50-kilometre stretch of rugged coastline in the Gulf of Salerno is made up of a collection of 13 towns and smaller fishing villages, with pastel-coloured buildings dotting the landscape to create a magical setting.
The Amalfi Coast
And it is a setting that has inspired film directors for decades, from Ravello shot in John Huston’s Beat the Devil, to The Talented Mr. Ripley which saw Jude Law, Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow come together to make a modern classic, using the coast as the inspiration for the fictional Mongibello.
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Good bases to stay are the classic, family-owned Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi (open seasonally from the end of March to the beginning of November), and the beautifully renovated monastery Monastero Santa Rosa, located between Amalfi and Positano. Fly to Naples Airport and get to the Amalfi coast by car in less than an hour and a half.
The Monastero Santa Rosa – Image courtesy of Classic Collection
Whether you crave the indulgence of a luxurious spa retreat, a romantic escape, or a quirky mix of nightlife, music and outdoor activities set in a dramatic landscape, Europe certainly has some excellent destinations to choose from in 2017.
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