Top 10 Pools
Even if you like to get out and explore on holiday, there are few of us who don't relish the chance to spend a lazy couple of hours now and again by an inviting pool
Enjoy the sunshine by one of our Top 10 Pools that feature in our favourite places for a relaxing dip, chosen for the fabulous views or the pleasant setting.
Cenobio dei Dogi, Ligurian Coast, Italy
You could, quite literally, spend all day by the pool of this elegant 4-star hotel (the recommended extension to our Along the Ligurian Coast
walk), and not just for the breathtaking views along the Portofino Peninsula, the sound of waves lapping below, and the chance to people-watch as entire Italian families enjoy the sunshine in designer swimwear. There is an adjoining terrace restaurant, ideal for a light lunch, and a bar underneath the pool with windows into it. If this were not enough, a flight of stairs leads from the pool to the hotel's private beach below.
Molino del Santo, Andalucian Mountains, Spain
Converted from an old watermill, the Molino del Santo is a great place to unwind after a day of walking as part of our White Towns & Rugged Mountains
walk. Guests love the cuisine and the wonderful service here – you are made to feel like royalty – but the best feature has to be the pool and neighbouring terrace. Shaded by willow trees, it is absolutely idyllic.
Las Casas del Rey Baeza, Seville, Spain
This is quite possibly the most welcome of all our Top 10 Pools. After a day strolling through the streets of Seville under the hot southern sun on our A Trail of Three Cities
rail journey, a dip in the Rey Baeza's rooftop pool is the perfect way to cool off.
Hotel Ullensvang, Hardangerfjord, Norway
Edvard Grieg was a regular guest to this historic fjordside hotel at the end of the 19th century, and it is easy to see how the scenery might have inspired some of his great compositions. On our Serene Hardangerfjord
walk, you can enjoy the splendid landscapes, too, as you swim in the panoramic indoor pool, or in the fjord itself at the height of summer.
Hotel Adler, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
If you like to have views of the mountains as you swim, then you will also like the indoor pool at the Hotel Adler on our Bernese Oberland
walk, which boasts large windows so that you gaze at the surrounding peaks.
Relais de Castelnau, Dordogne, France
So far we’ve had pools by the coast, on the side of a fjord, in the Swiss mountains and on a city rooftop. This one is in a hill-top village in the Dordogne Valley – in the grounds of the Relais de Castelnau in Loubressac, to be precise – and the views (which this photo cannot attempt to do justice to) encompass everything that our walking
holidays in the Dordogne are about: miles of green, rolling countryside, meandering rivers, stone villages and handsome private châteaux.
Tenuta Toscano, Tuscany, Italy
This working farm and wine estate in the Chianti hills is an alluring spot for a relaxing week of walking and exploring with all the freedom a self-catering holiday
brings. The large pool here is framed by cypress trees, and offers sweeping vistas of the surrounding hills and vineyards. A perfect spot to lie on a lounger for a few hours with a good book and a long, cold drink.
La Bégude St Pierre, Roman Provence, France
Given that our To the Pont du Gard
walk in southern France is one of our most indulgent holidays, featuring some wonderful hotels and equally superb cuisine, it is no surprise that it features a swimming pool worthy of appearing in our top ten. That of La Bégude Saint Pierre, an elegantly converted former coaching inn, is a fittingly delightful place to cool off and unwind on the last day of a very relaxing holiday.
Hotel Wiesenhof, Tyrol, Austria
This pool forms part of a vast, state-of-the-art spa complex which occupies the entire first floor of the hotel. Among the astonishing range of facilities are: a herbal steam sauna; a saline steam sauna; a Finnish sauna; a ‘grotto’ where you can relax to the sound of a fountain; vitalising showers and foot spas; two relaxation rooms with views of the mountains; hay ‘baths’; Tyrolean shale oil baths; massages; and facials and other beauty treatments. This highly praised hotel
is popular in winter and is also the base for our Lake Achensee & its Mountains
Tuscan hideaway apartments, Italy
These stylish apartments
– formerly the farmhouse, cowshed and hayloft – are individual and modern, yet retain their rustic Tuscan heritage, which is complemented by antique arte povera
furnishings, beamed ceilings and open fireplaces. What better way to relax after a day exploring idyllic Tuscan landscapes than by wandering beneath shady walnut trees that lead from your hideaway to an even more secluded and elegant infinity pool as the warming Tuscan sun dips behind the distant rolling hills?
If our Top 10 Pools has inspired you, please contact our friendly reservations team for more information.