It feels like only yesterday that we at ALG Vacations® were giving you the HIC Europe 101 when we introduced the concept of All-Inclusives in Europe. And now, half a year later, here we are with the 102: what to do off-site when staying at these spectacular playgrounds!
Because while these luxurious properties have left no volcanic stone unturned when it comes to dining, drinking, leisure, and creature comfort amenities (including knock-out views), going to Europe for a beach vacation should still always be more than “just” a beach vacation. You’re not jetting off to a deserted island, after all, and it’s not a full experience unless you get to know the local area, experience the region, see the sights, meet the people, and generally pop the touristic bubble.
Here are some of the most exciting Inclusive Collection, part of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in Europe and what to do to ensure the best time in these splendid locales.
Dreams® Corfu Resort & Spa
Corfu-Gouvia, Ionian Sea, Greece
Yes, we are very well aware of how hard it might be to depart from the haven of Unlimited-Luxury® inclusions that come with a stay with this brand, and even more so if you opt for a Preferred Club room, which adds on butler service, an exclusive pool and lounge, and more. On a recent City + Sea FAM trip ALGV hosted in Athens and Corfu, staff and travel advisor guests definitely felt challenged to venture from the leisure of five available dining options, four bars, three pools, a 24-hour fitness center, spa, and schedule of activities and entertainment. But they’ll also attest it’s worth it to put on your walking shoes.
The Old Town of Corfu has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and boasts incredible history. The Venetian fortress that began as a Byzantine one is a must-see, withstanding both the tests of time and siege attacks – three from the Ottomans, to be exact. It also survived bombardment by the Italian Air Force and Nazi occupation during World War II, when it was grimly used as a prison for the Jews of Corfu. Today, it’s a solemn and important landmark.
Beyond the city, Corfu is considered a hiker’s paradise. Outdoorsy folks can – and should! – try to grab a peek at the famous shorelines from on high. The Arkoudilas trail goes through a forest and past a monastery; the Gardena traverses a valley; Korission offers a lake, and the Agi Deka and Pantokrator routes wind along the mountainside.
Zoëtry® Mallorca Balaeric Islands
Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
While the Unlimited-Luxury® inclusions of the Corfu Dreams resort is difficult to leave, with Endless Privileges®, it’s nearly impossible. Guests here are catered to at the highest level, with standards that begin with early check-in and late check-out by default when available; a welcome gift; complimentary laundry service; a 20-minute wellness experience for every guest at the Pure Spa that has a climatized indoor pool and hydrotherapy; daily afternoon tea and infusions on top of unlimited drinks (and food and snacks) at two gourmet restaurants, a gastro bar, three bars, and room service; and a fitness center to support the spa resort’s wellness ethos. But then add to that features that are special to this resort, such as yoga retreat offerings, cycling routes, and kitchen garden tours, and you might feel like you need to double your stay just to enjoy this property properly.
However, there’s much to be said for exploring the countryside beyond, since this is one of the only Inclusive Collection properties that isn’t basically on top of a coastline. Opt for the resort’s added-cost experiences like an excursion on a traditional trawl fishing boat, hot air balloon over Mallorca, or a vineyard tour to see it all, and definitely make time to head out to nearby Palma’s Old Town, especially since you’ll want to hit the beaches. We recommend Es Trenc, Cala Pi, and Cala Mondrago.
Or, observe the marine life while staying dry, by visiting Palma Aquarium or the Mallorca Markets. Alternatively, make a day of being fully immersed in being on solid ground. Villages and towns like Soller and Valldemossa lay begging to be explored from this resort’s convenient location, you can visit the cities in the Llucmajor municipality, or just hoof it on a hike before you get back to Zoëtry for a well-earned massage.
Secrets® Mallorca Villamil Resort & Spa
Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
This Castilian-style resort makes a stylish splash on the coast, offering a refined adults-only escape with niceties that include a sea-view spa with an indoor jetted pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, Experience showers, and a solarium. Nearby, a fitness center, a heated outdoor pool with sunbeds and Bali beds, and scheduled activities offer more everyday options for relaxation between drinking and dining at three bars, a café, and five restaurants. Plus, Preferred Club guests also have a VIP Zone in the World Café buffet with an exclusive menu, a sun terrace, and a lounge just for them.
But push yourself to your feet and point them to Peguera, a quick ten-minute walk from the resort. This village and its three large beaches is known as Little Germany due to its popularity among German tourists, which will offer fun insight into what beach tourism looks like to those from that country. Or check out a port considered by many the loveliest harbor in the Mediterranean, decorated with mega-yachts and picturesque sailing boats – Port d’Andratx. It’s only a 17-minute drive from the resort.
In the opposite direction, hop in a car to explore Majorca’s Old Town, also known as El Casca Antiguo. It’s an essential day trip while on the island with gorgeous architecture and scenery that will give you a real sense of being in Europe. Wander around until you make your way to the Almudaina Royal Palace – search walking itineraries online, and they’ll all include this important landmark on the water.
Secrets® Bahia Real Resort & Spa
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain
Its extraordinary location on a stunning beachfront with magnificent, magnetic views of the islands of Lanzarote and Lobos make it hard to do anything but relax and stay put, especially since the amenities at this adults-only property are tops. Seven Unlimited-Luxury® dining venues, three bars, a snack bar, two pools, and a private beach area with sunbeds make this one of the most complete all-inclusive Inclusive Collection resorts in the country, and it only gets better with extras like nightly live performances, themed nights, sports activities, and water sports. And the spa is unmissable – it has a large active pool, seats with water jets, an ice fountain, steam bath, samarium, Finnish sauna, salon, and more.
But tear yourself away to explore the landscape of this island made so unique by its positioning across the Sahara Desert. Go to Corralejo Sand Dunes National Park, a mere seven-minute drive away, and roll through its sand dunes with the ocean to one side and volcanoes to the other. Get closer to nature in a different way, with a visit to the Oasis Park Fuerteventura wildlife zoo. Or observe your fellow man by visiting El Cotillo, a charmingly whitewashed fishing village that remains mostly fixed in time, or Betancuria, the ancient capital of the island.
Another idea? Set your sights overseas. As we mentioned, you can see Lobos from the resort. So why not go there? Or take a boat over to the Aguy Caves to explore this natural treasure, cruising by black sand beaches. All to say, you’d better book a longer stay!
Dreams® Jardin Tropical Resort & Spa
Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
This family-friendly luxury resort on the big island of Tenerife has plenty of attractions, especially since it was only recently refurbished in a modern style with African-inspired flair to reflect its original architectural details and unique location off the coast of that continent. It has everything you need to keep every member of the family happy, like two outdoor pools with a waterfall, a children’s pool, kids and teens clubs, oceanfront fitness center, name-brand spa, and six dining venues before you even count the café and four bars.
But if you’re already in Tenerife, don’t rob yourself (or the family!) of the things that make it so special. Absolutely book an excursion to go to Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure that features the highest peak on Spanish soil. Hike or take the available cable car for astounding crater views, and check out unusual rock formations while you’re within the park’s boundaries. Or take the ride to the north shore to Parque del Drago, then take a picture with its thousand-year-old dragon tree. On the way there, make a pit stop at Acantilados de Los Gigantes, a spectacular cliffscape that lives up to its name.
If you’re feeling ambitious, drive the opposite direction to experience the Trail of the Senses, where your choice of three tails takes you down old royal pathways that once joined cities but now serve only to connect you with the smells, sights, and touch of the wild world in the northeast corner of Tenerife.
Want to learn how to hop from island to island abroad? Check out our how-to guide for the Balearic Islands or this guide for the Greek Isles. For a deep dive into these destinations, read our Top Tips for Taking Tenerife or our Cities & Seas for Mallorca. Or explore our IC explainer, All-Inclusives in Europe!