Ibiza is the last place I’d expect to reconnect and recharge in an oasis of tranquillity where even the birds are attuned to discerning visitors seeking to escape the crowds.
How wrong could I be?
We thought that paradise could only be discovered on secluded islands in exotic, far-flung regions like the South Pacific where languid days drift by amid turquoise water and tropical palm trees wave in the breeze.
Imagine how ecstatic we were to discover a tranquil oasis closer to home.
Calblanque Regional Park is located just a few kilometres from the La Manga strip which lies between the azure blue Mediterranean Sea and Mar Menor’s therapeutic Salt Lake.
The wild remote landscape of the Calblanque Regional Park transported us into a carefree world of birdsong, golden sands and saltwater marshes stretching as far as the eye can see.
Appointed as a protected nature reserve in 1987, this is responsible tourism at its best. The ultimate destination for surfers, swimmers and hikers, the park teems with wildlife - flamingos, sea herons and waders.
Sheltered coves along the park’s 26 kilometres of sandy beaches enhance the solitude. For the first time since my childhood, I skinny dipped in its crystal waters, luxuriating in the freedom that such an indulgence can bring.
Be prepared for a half-hour walk from the car park - and bring plenty of water and a picnic if you plan on staying all day. This is an escape where time literally stands still.
Just 14 kilometres up the coast was our destination, La Manga del Mar Menor, an extensive resort and residential area located between the Mediterranean Ocean Sea and Mar Menor, Europe's biggest saltwater lagoon.
Our travel reviews often transport us to hospitality havens of tranquillity where guests can recharge and relax in safe surroundings. They include a visit to Stonefield Castle where it’s not unusual to see otters meandering up the driveway, dolphins and seals splashing by the loch and deers roaming the woodland.
Stonefield Castle is a stunning Scottish baronial manor house set in 60 acres of woodland gardens which overlooks Loch Fyne. Switching off is guaranteed as the castle’s top team do everything possible to ensure guests relax and recharge their batteries.
We’re often invited to review hotels and resorts during the course of our colourful and adventure-packed travels and are invariably bowled over by the venues’ passion and commitment to customer service.
On Halloween, we wanted to share an insight into our unforgettable experience at the haunted Tulloch Castle which Bespoke Hotels Group commissioned us to review for the Yorkshire Times and the Lancashire Times.