Once Upon a Time Vacations
by Amy Lignor
Whether you are a lover of history or you simply have the “Beauty & the Beast” obsession – which, according to movie revenue data, millions all over the world are suffering from – just think how amazing it would be to stay in an actual castle. We already know what the beauty would be from the female perspective, but when it comes to the gentlemen out there, just think about how much better that “moment” on bended knee would be if you popped the question in a very real castle.
There are once in a lifetime vacations. However, here we delve into those “Once Upon A Time” trips that include a stay in some of the most elegant homes ever built; homes of royals and historical heroes and heroines that will have you impressing that girl you love, or giving that history-loving mind of yours an unforgettable gift.
When you talk about castles, Europe is the hands-down winner of the oldest and most highly esteemed palaces ever built. Not a surprise, considering you are talking about countries ruled by kings and queens who erected walled cities and grand battlements to be able to withstand centuries of war.
Talk about a rich history. We begin at Balfour Castle in Scotland, which is the most northerly castle in the world where you and yours can stay. 5-Star luxury is an understatement. At Balfour, you will be amongst some of the most impressive wilderness as you dwell in the castle on the small island of Shapinsay, which is quite famous for its sheltered bays that once provided safety to Viking ships.
If wishing to head to Italy for the amazing culture and even more amazing food, you can stay in Castel Relais Porrona, which is a 12th century castle located in the midst of olive trees and vineyards in Tuscany. From saunas to pools to horseback riding, this is one palace that is beyond compare.
Built almost 1000 years ago, situated just 60 miles from London, Amberley Castle can be found. This is one choice that will live in your memory for all time because of the fact that the castle has maintained its original medieval architecture. Each of the 19 rooms available feature whirlpool baths and other modern-day amenities, of course; yet the gardens, walls and magnificent twin-tower gatehouse still stand and add to the beauty of a world that has not existed for quite some time.
If France is the country of choice, the luxurious Chateau de Bourron can be found just an hour’s ride from the heart of Paris. Built in the traditional brick and stone style, this fortress was constructed in the early 17th century and even has the spring-fed moats to add to the perfect picture of what a castle should be.
If looking for a Spanish experience, Pousada de Óbidos is the place to visit in Portugal.
The actual city of Óbidos is walled; the castle, itself, was begun in 718 AD and not completed until the mid-1300’s. This is where the troops that defeated Napoleon for the first time were dispatched from – which feeds into that historical mind of yours. And when it comes to irresistible beauty, Pousada de Óbidos is close by the white-sand beaches and the pristine waters of the Silver Coast. From hot air balloon rides to sailing, this is one castle adventure that should not be missed.
The architecture in India is breathtaking, and the Neemrana Fort Palace near Delhi is one that steals the show. It was back in 1464 that the palace was constructed on a hillside by order of the king, so that he could see his lands at any time he wished to view them. Seven palace wings built over 14 layers make up the tiers of the hill, making this one of the most unique castles in the entire world.
And there is no other way to complete a list of the best castles other than with Ireland and the beautiful Ashford Castle. This is literally the oldest Irish castle in existence. Medieval, Ashford was constructed in 1228, and the Guinness family (who purchased Ashford in the 1800’s) added to the property, yet did not disturb the natural beauty that made up the castle in the first place. A true recipe of the ‘old’ (ramparts, chandeliers, medieval armor) mixed with the ‘new’ (spas, horseback riding, golf courses, and more), this Irish castle is most definitely one that will take your breath away.
So…ready for a historical walk through a royal world? Ready for the perfect spot to propose? Or are you simply ready for your own chance to have a true castle-in-the-air experience? Then check out these stunners as you move forward to book a magical vacation.
Source: Baret News