From late-May to mid-July, the craggy cliffs of Cape Wrath, Britain’s most north-westerly point, are home to legions of Britain’s best-loved seabird: the puffin. You’re at the ends of the earth here, but this is a sight worth travelling for. Maximise the enjoyment of your remote surroundings at Croft 103, two seriously cool boltholes, where walls of glass let you drink in the awe-inspiring mountain views. From here, Cape Wrath is a short ferry hop across the Kyle of Durness, with a minibus service on hand to transport you to the cliffs.
The waters around the Greek island of Zakynthos – or Zante – are among the bluest and most pristine in Greece. Perfect for snorkelling and diving, they are also home to one of the largest loggerhead turtle nesting sites in the Mediterranean. Base yourself at the stunning ocean-front Paradisso Beach Villas, situated on a tranquil headland to the east of the island, a world away from the boozy bars and cheap resorts of Laganas in the South. You can take a dip in the glittering azure waters of your private cove, or take a 5-minute stroll to the local sandy beach.
The Cévennes National Park in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southern France boasts thousands of plant species, including an impressive array of wild orchids. Tear your eyes away from the flora, however, and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of another of its famed inhabitants – the griffon vulture – soaring overhead. Gorgeous hilltop B&B La Maison Papillons overlooks the park, and owners Caroline and Olivier are full of local recommendations on where to visit.
Tresco, the second largest of the Scilly Isles, is a car-free paradise of just 1.15sq.m. But don’t be fooled by its size – Tresco packs a biodiversity punch, with wild moorland in the north and manicured gardens in the South. And, thanks to a 2013 scheme introducing them to the island, red squirrels can now be spotted in the world-famous Abbey Gardens, along with 306 exotic plant species. Guests of the stylish FlyingBoat Cottages get free entry to the Gardens, as well as access to an indoor pool, spa, bar and restaurant.
Perched high on a hillside in Hvalfjordur (meaning ‘whale fjord’), surrounded by wild, rugged landscapes and exuding a glorious feeling of remoteness is tranquil hideaway Hotel Glymur. You might come here to watch the Northern Lights from the geothermal hot tub – which certainly ranks among our most magical travel experiences – but there’s magic to be found in the waters as well as the skies. From May through to August the hotel can organise whale-watching boat trips, giving you the chance of glimpsing majestic minke whales, hearing the haunting song of the male humpback, or spotting harbour porpoises and white-beaked dolphins skimming through the waves.
In deepest Camargue, wild expanses of floodland and vast lagoons attract millions of migratory birds each year. But it’s the flamingos that call this watery landscape home year-round that are the real stars of the show. From Le Mas de Peint, an ancient farmhouse turned smart hotel, the Parc Ornithologique de Pont de Gau is a short drive away, where you’ve got the best chances of a close encounter with these vibrant creatures. After a day of birdwatching, debrief on your best sightings over a delicious four-course meal in the Le Mas de Peint’s brilliant dining room, where chefs prepare mouth-watering dishes – think oysters, fillet of bull and mandarin ice-cream – before your eyes.