Our favourite staycation gems from around the globe

Our favourite staycation gems from around the globe

28 May 2021

Arctic bath hotels, treetop hideaways, abandoned theme parks and, of course, lots of nature.

While it’s nice to travel abroad sometimes, how many of us have truly explored our own countries? For those of you in the huge countries like the US, that would take a lifetime or more!

A smiling train in Lugano, Switzerland

We’re fans of the staycation because taking a train is so much more chill and the less planes in the air the better when it comes to the environment. Then there are current restrictions about travelling abroad of course.

We tapped into the local knowledge of our distributed team to get the inside track on the best staycation spots in their countries. As you’d expect, there’s some interesting choices and lots of nature breaks. Let’s kick off!

Fancy a night sleeping high up among the tree tops? So do we.

Treehotel, Harads, Sweden

For those of you who dreamed of building your own treehouse as a kid, or if you were fortunate enough to have one, then you’ll be in awe of the options available at Treehotel in the very north of Sweden. Designed by leading Swedish architects, they’re the treehouses of childhood doodle books made real. Situated in the idyllic Lule River valley, surrounded by miles of forest, the idea is that guests can gaze out at the spectacular views and the Northern Lights. As our Head of Brand Mikaela, puts it “this is an ideal setting to connect with nature and makes me feel like a little kid again.”

Arctic Bath Hotel, Harads, Sweden

Maybe you’re scared of heights and treehouses aren’t your thing, but you still want to experience the beautiful Lule River. Arctic Bath was also suggested by our Head of Brand, Mikaela, who you might have seen likes to take a dip in cold water from time to time! The main building is a floating sauna and spa that is designed to imitate logs, that in olden times were floated down the river by lumberjacks, getting jammed in rapids. Everything is made to have a minimal environmental impact, so you can really chill out.

Medieval castle ruins and turquoise waters in the Swedish countryside? Yes please!

Borghamn Strand, Borghamn, Sweden

A favourite of Alejandra, our Swedish translator, it’s fair to say Borghamn is a properly hidden-away gem. It’s a place for peace, quiet, simplicity and enjoying nature and the historic surroundings around Lake Vättern. Activities include fishing or taking a dip in the turquoise waters, or going hiking or ziplining in Omberg national park. Lovely.

Kuhdva, Cornwall, UK

Cornwall is a county (some would argue it’s a COUNTRY) in southwest England that is steeped in history and has its own language. In Cornish, Kuhdva means ‘hideout’ and this little spot, hidden away in an old quarry next to the sea, is exactly that. This writer (Finn, content writer!) loves it for the chance to unplug and reconnect with nature while jamming with others through music and art workshops. Always leave feeling refreshed, just remember to pack a raincoat!

Coves, waves, seafood, some rain, and tranquility. What's not to love.

Samsø, Denmark

Samsø (pronounced Samsoe) is a small island home to a community of around 4,000 ‘‘Samsings.’ 100% of the island’s electricity comes from wind power and biomass, so this is one for eco-tourists who want to breathe clean air and learn about how communities can live a more sustainable lifestyle. With it's famous gastro-scene focusing on local produce and the quaint little seaside hotels, it's a great hideaway located in the Kattegat sea between Denmark and Sweden. Bonus: it’s stunningly beautiful with its pristine white sand beaches.

Babbo’s Woods, Stenssved, Denmark

If you go down to Babbo’s Woods today… you’ll be sure to find some excellent chefs and bakers who took to the forest to create an extraordinary experience for those who want to dip their feet in outback camping, but also want to experience delicious homemade pasta, freshly grown (by themselves!) veggies and—best of all—bread baked on their open fire. A gastronomic delight from our Head of Comms, Emilia!

This Sound of Music-looking scenery will have anyone dancing and singing. Fresh air in a bottle.

Füssen, Bavaria, Germany

Disney castle: check. Beautiful forests, lakes and rivers: check. Beer: check. Füssen is a small town in Germany, close to the Austrian border. It looks unmistakably European and sits serenely in the Bavarian countryside, surrounded by miles and miles of hiking trails and forests and lakes to explore which, according to our German translator Maya, are great for cyclists. It’s also close to the famous Castle Neuschwanstein, which was the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.

You can certainly see how the medieval castles of Europe were the inspiration for many Disney castles. The view from up here is amazing, Emilia our Head of Comms happily confirms.

Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany

The eagle-eyed amongst you will recognise that Saxony is actually a German free state and nowhere near Switzerland! Anyway, it’s another favourite of Maya’s who we can see has a taste for the great outdoors. The park is world renown for its unique scenery sandstone mountains that have been weathered into canyons, caverns and precarious looking rock formations.

Speicherstadt UNESCO Site, Hamburg, Germany

Speicherstadt, meaning ‘warehouse city’, is the world’ largest preserved old warehouse complex. A visit is, according to our Head of Sales, Henrik, like stepping back into a video game. We can see what he means. The neo-gothic architecture is kept in immaculate condition and it doesn’t take a lot to imagine them teeming with life and activity. Industrial charm I think we’ll call it. Well worth a visit, and you can even go on a little boat tour among the Venice-looking streets surrounding it!

Almost like a movie set, wandering around in the Speicherstadt in Hamburg is an otherworldly experience.

Spreepark, Berlin, Germany

What’s scarier than a roller coaster? An abandoned roller coaster probably! Spreepark is a theme park that went bankrupt in 2001 and was left to rust. Now it’s a tourist attraction and commonly used for film sets and photoshoots. The old ferris wheel, cup carousel and swan boats look particularly creepy in the pale early morning light, in keeping with the after-hours Berlin vibe. Perfect for your artsy and alternative Berlin staycation. Also makes for a very good photo backdrop – we’re looking at you Instagrammers.

Lake Placid, New York, USA

OK first thing first, this wasn’t the lake featured in the 90s movie with the enormous crocodile, so no need to be scared! The small village of Lake Placid, named after the pretty lake it surrounds, is just north of New York City (not Maine). With plenty of small town charm, and an abundance of natural beauty close at hand, it’s gone through something of a renaissance. Our Head of Design, Kristin, likes to go there to take a break from the city and go skiing.

We guess if you're actually from Australia, stumbling upon a koala is maybe not that big of a deal. But the rest of us can only dream!

Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

The Northern Territory of Australia perhaps doesn’t get as much recognition as Queensland, New South Wales or Victoria but there’s certainly some (rather large) gems. Kakadu National Park is one of them. It covers an area of 19,804 km2, is home to some unique flora and fauna and, thanks to the climate, some of the oldest rock art in the world dating back 20,000 years. Worth braving the heat for and vouched for by our Australian sales colleague Ann-Maree!

Hatters Hideout, New South Wales, Australia

Close to the village of Monkey Creek in the rugged Blue Mountains lies a huge natural cathedral (large cave) that a man who goes by the name of ‘Mark the Hatter’ has transformed into a special camping spot. The Hat Cave, as he calls it, has been carefully developed to make use of the cave’s acoustics and to have a minimal impact on the lush, cool temperate rainforest around it. Perfect BBQ spot according to our Ann-Maree.

Looking like something straight out of Game of Thrones, this magical place just needs to be seen with you own eyes.

Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy, France

As mythical places go, it doesn’t get much more mythical than a 10th Century Abbey that appears to float above the sea. Catch it on a misty morning and it’s something straight out of a King Arthur legend. To explain, it’s a town/fortress/monastery built on a tiny island approximately 1 km from the Normandy coast. As such, at high tide it’s completely surrounded by water – and to say the lease, not super accessible. We guess you just have to time the tide for when you want to go there!

Not sure about you guys but we’re certainly going to indulge in some staycation now that spring is sprung and summer is upon us. Stay safe and please let us know if you have a favourite to share!

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