Summer breaks don’t have to revolve around sea and sand; some of our favourite European hideaways sit among soaring mountains. You’ll be treated to stunning scenery, lung-fuls of fresh air and all sorts of outdoor adventures – from hiking and climbing to rafting and wild swimming. Whatever your idea of holiday perfection, we have a mountain retreat that will make you feel on top of the world…

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Auberge Ostape, Gascony, France

For cool design…

Check into The Omnia, a swish Swiss hotel at the base of the Matterhorn, with swathes of black granite, modernist rooms decked out in blond wood, and designer chairs by contemporary fireplaces. Even the arrival is pure James Bond: you enter a cave, jump into an elevator, and rise through 45 metres of rock to reception.

Find your perfect mountain retreat / The Omnia, Switzerland

Find your perfect mountain retreat / The Omnia, Switzerland

Find your perfect mountain retreat / The Omnia, Switzerland

Or venture into Corsica’s beautiful interior, where Hotel Artemisia sits amid sculpted peaks, chestnut forests and ancient hilltop villages. The open-plan ground floor houses a lounge, a library and a laid-back restaurant, and a plunge pool waits outside. As for the 10 rooms, they’re coolly minimalist, with beds facing big square windows that frame the landscape.

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Hotel Artemisia, Corsica

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Hotel Artemisia, Corsica

For high-altitude haute cuisine…

You can’t beat France. It’s home to 2 of our favourite gastronomic hideawaysAuberge Ostape in the foothills of the Pyrenees, whose multi-course tasting menus include the likes of ewes’ milk gnocchi and pigeon pastilla, and Chamonix’s Hameau Albert 1er, whose double Michelin-starred restaurant serves up treats such as red-wine risotto with Alba truffle.

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Auberge Ostape, Gascony, France

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Auberge Ostape, Gascony, France

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Hameau Albert 1er, Chamonix, France

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Hameau Albert 1er, Chamonix, France

For a more informal foodie experience head into Spain’s Sierra Nevada, where you’ll find pretty little guesthouse Casa Rural Las Chimineas. Resident chef Soledad prepares delicious meals which blend Alpujarran and North African influences, and serves them up alongside perfectly matched local wines and organic goodies from the owners’ smallholding. There are also dedicated cookery weeks with guest chefs and hands-on demonstrations.

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Casa Rural Las Chimineas, Spain

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Casa Rural Las Chimineas, Spain

For a bit of mountaintop pampering…

Swoop up to vigilius mountain resort, perched a mile above the Ultimo Valley in Italy’s South Tyrol and only accessible by cable-car. Designed by Milan architect Matteo Thun, it’s a contemporary take on a traditional Tyrolean lodge, with sleek rooms clad in glass and larch, 2 excellent restaurants, and a host of free activities (Nordic walking, archery, yoga). But the main attraction is the spa, which offers a spring-water pool and alfresco hot tub gazing out over the ice-capped Dolomites, plus innovative treatments such as hay baths and apple polenta scrubs.

Find your perfect mountain retreat / vigilius mountain resort, Italian Alps

Find your perfect mountain retreat / vigilius mountain resort, Italian Alps

We also love The Cambrian in Switzerland – a stylish design hotel whose excellent spa features a steam room, a sauna, a vast range of treatments, and a heated indoor-outdoor pool with big views.

Find your perfect mountain retreat / The Cambrian, Switzerland

For great value…

Book a stay at Casas da Lapa – proof that you don’t need a mountain of money to enjoy a magical mountain holiday. Set in the Serra da Estrela in Portugal’s central highlands, this collection of former shepherds’ cottages has been converted into a stylish country hotel with light-filled rooms, Jacuzzi tubs and a heated outdoor pool. Spend your days exploring limestone peaks, mossy waterfalls, crystalline river pools and granite caves, then return to warm hospitality, a sauna and steam bath, and delicious food packed with local produce.

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Casas da Lapa, Portugal

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Casas da Lapa, Portugal

You’ll find similarly appealing rates at Achlada Mourtzanakis Residence, a self-catering eco retreat hidden among olive groves above Crete’s north coast. The villas and apartments are simple but comfortable, with space for 2-4 guests apiece, and there are 2 pools to lounge around. Best of all, it’s only a 10-minute drive from the beach, so you can combine mountain hiking with some time by the sea.

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Achlada Mourtzanakis Residence, Crete

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Achlada Mourtzanakis Residence, Crete

For remote romance…

Whisk your other half away to Nebesa, a cluster of chic Slovenian chalets whose name means ‘Heaven’. This really is paradise, set on a plateau high above the clouds, with snow-capped mountains to the east and endless valleys trailing down to the Adriatic Sea to the west.  Help yourself to wine and cheese in the central lodge, bliss out in the on-site sauna, then wander back to your private love nest and watch the sinking sun set the slopes ablaze from your deck.

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Nebesa, Slovenia

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Nebesa, Slovenia

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Nebesa, Slovenia

Or hole up at Croft 103, a pair of contemporary boltholes at the very top of Scotland. Their open-plan interiors have wood-burners, concrete floors and all sorts of mod cons, plus glass walls that drink in magnificent views of water, mountain and sky. You also get 2 clawfoot bathtubs – one inside, and one outside on the terrace so you can soak under the stars.

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Croft 103, Scotland

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Croft 103, Scotland

For something a little bit different…

Try Whitepod – a collection of igloo-shaped pods high above the Rhône Valley in the Swiss Alps. The views here stretch for miles, and there are all sorts of activities to help you make the most of the stunning setting, from hiking and paragliding to dog-karting and even wild-plant cooking classes. The pods themselves have proper beds and bathrooms, panoramic decks for summer sundowners, and wood-burners to keep you toasty when the temperature drops. There’s also an on-site restaurant, plus a treatment room for massages.

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Whitepod, Switzerland

Find your perfect mountain retreat / Whitepod, Switzerland

See our full collection of European mountain hideaways, or view all our boutique hotels

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