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Escape to the country in Spanish style, away from the beach-going crowds

Spain’s pretty patchwork of Mediterranean woodland, olive groves, and grape-laden vineyards is often overlooked when it comes to European escapes to the country – attention usually turns to Tuscany’s rolling hills, or the heady, herb-scented farmland of Provence. We’ve scoured the Spanish countryside and lesser-trodden spots on the Balearics to root out these utterly idyllic rural retreats – where you’ll feel a world away from everything, and yet still be within easy reach of a ruggedly remote beach.

1. Torralbenc, Alaior

Tucked between rolling farmland and vineyards, and the island’s sandy beaches with Mediterranean Sea views, Torralbenc boasts the best of both worlds when it comes to experiencing the natural beauty of Menorca. A traditional finca with fuschia flowers covering whitewashed walls, threshing floors, and a stable yard, the light-filled rooms and cottages are decorated in a soothing, creamy palette.

Trot along in tranquillity through the 77-hectares of the estate on horseback to make the most of the surrounding agricultural landscape, sprinkled with wild olive forests, fragrant orchards, and Mediterranean underwood. And remember to save room in your suitcase for one of the farmhouse’s signature wine bottles.

2. Torre del Marques, Monroyo

A cleverly converted 18th century watchtower huddled in the hills of Monroyo – one of the least discovered regions of Spanish countryside – Torre del Marques promises a rural escape from reality plus impressive eco-credentials to match. The Considerate Collection hotel nurtures its surrounding land with an ‘as nature intended’ approach, drawing water from natural springs and wells on the farm, opening up ancient horseshoe trails for guests to roam, and tending the vineyards, ecological orchard and fruit plantations which supply the ‘zero-kilometre’ kitchen.

Torre del Marques

The ancient honey-coloured stones of the old tower building reveal cool interiors that soothe the eye and calm the spirit.  The muted, modern feel flows through to the dining and exterior spaces, where succulents in earthenware pots and beds of fragrant lavender soak up the Spanish sun. Spend your days doing the same, unwinding in the pool and sauna that looks out across vistas of olive groves and vineyards, or venture into the countryside for a spot of olive oil tasting, truffle hunting, and stargazing.

3. Hacienda Zorita Wine Hotel & SPA, Salamanca

This former monastery in the mighty vine-looking Duero Valley has been working wine miracles since the 14th century. Vineyards extend as far as the eye can see from Hacienda Zorita Wine Hotel & Spa, a magical wine resort which is overflowing with activities for oenophiles, foodies, and nature lovers alike. Here, hacienda hospitality is perfectly blended with a gourmet restaurant, a vinotherapy spa (formerly an 8th century watermill), wine tasting in the cellars, an ancient art-filled chapel, and cheese tasting on the estate’s organic farm.

Hacienda Zorita
Hacienda Zorita
Hacienda Zorita
Hacienda Zorita

Original thick stone walls and magnificent oak beams contrast beautifully with contemporary design in the 40 rooms and suites – a number of which overlook the swirling waters of the River Tormes. Try to time your visit for mid-October if you’d like to help with the estate’s annual wine harvest, which is followed by plenty of food and festivities in the vineyards.

4. Can Ferrereta, Santanyi

A converted 17th century mansion in sleepy Santanyí, one of Mallorca’s least-discovered areas, Can Ferrereta reimagines rustic minimalism for the modern Mediterranean traveller. Time seems to move slowly here – saunter down to the sun loungers lining the landscaped pool, salute the sun in a morning yoga class, and surrender yourself to total bliss during a salt-and-seaweed wrap in the Sa Calma spa – with a soul-soothing indoor pool.

As the hotel’s most exclusive room, the Pool Suite comes with access to an expansive second terrace. Natural light floods through the large double windows into the lounge area with garden views, sundeck and, of course, its own pool inspired by Mallorcan lavoirs, known as safareigs.

5. The Lodge Mallorca, Sierra de Tramuntana

Still fresh from its opening this month, The Lodge is one of the latest retreats to land on Mallorca – and oh, she’s a bucolic beauty. Fragrant fields of lavender, almond trees, olive groves and orchards unfold around the former farmhouse, covering 157 hectares of this private nature reserve. Sandwiched between rugged beaches and quaint mountainside towns, it’s an inspiring location – and a gateway to the ‘other side’ of the island.

The Lodge Mallorca

Inside, expect mellow tones, exposed stone and hewn wooden features in suites that are dotted around the estate – giving you space to breathe and, in some cases, private pools or gardens. Spend slow, idyllic days saluting the sun with private yoga classes, melting away tensions with a Natura Bissé massage, or stretching out in the shade of a carob tree beside the striking infinity pool. And when adventure calls, the hiking trails which criss-cross the Sierra de Tramuntana are on your rural doorstep.

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