This chic resort is perfectly nestled in-between Lake Como & Lake Lugano. It is just 12km from Menaggio in Italy & 14km from Lugano in Switzerland making it the perfect spot to explore two insanely beautiful Lakes!
The train links in Italy are so easy, we spent a couple of days in Como & Tremezzo before heading to Parco San Marco for two nights, It is really easy to reach via train or bus, the bus stop (Cima) Is directly outside the entrance to the resort.
Firstly, what an amazing greeting I had from the hotel staff! They are really friendly and nothing is too much trouble. I swiftly checked in, dropped my bags and prepared to explore…
From the minute I arrived I had a great sense of excitement, especially after seeing the incredible mountain views. Each corner you turn, you will experience picturesque scenes which will truly take your breath away!
Without a doubt, the most amazing views can be found from the highest point in the resort, the Buddha Pavillion. It’s the perfect place to soak up the panoramic mountain views in the most peaceful and relaxing surroundings.
You can also arrange to have your dinner up here, sipping champagne by candlelight…Yes please!
B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! The suites are so spacious with a luxury contemporary feel. I was so lucky, my suite featured a huge balcony with the most perfect Lake Lugano views….Imagine waking up to this view every day!
Parco San Marco has 5 different elegant restaurants to choose from, which leaves you spoilt for choice!
They even offer Cookery Classes, which includes preparing a four-course Italian meal in a beautiful setting on the outdoor terrace of La Masseria.
I ate in ‘La Terrezza’ Restaurant, which is the adult’s only option. The food is absolutely incredible. They have so many different options and they are great at catering for dietry needs. I noticed on the menu they have great offerings for Vegetarians, Vegans and Gluten Free.
One of the things that attracted me to Parco San Marco is the location. It’s the perfect place to explore both Italy & Switzerland. There are so many places to explore with such easy transport links.
If you love to go on adventures as much as me, I would definitely recommend visiting Monte Brè in Switzerland, it’s easy to get to from Parco San Marco & it’s really close to Lugano town too.
It was a little misty when I climbed, but still the views are insane!
Cadenabbia in Italy is also a short bus ride away, I hiked to San Martino church which took around 1 hour to reach the top, It was pretty steep but totally worth it to see these views overlooking Bellagio! Lake Como has lots of hidden gems, it’s very easy to reach from Parco San Marco via bus and it’s cheap too, only around 4 Euros!
Known for its beautiful alpine mountains, stunning lakes and (literally) the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted, Switzerland is one of the world’s most picturesque destinations!
You all know how much I love a spontaneous trip and this trip was no different!
Tuesday night I was sat in the lounge scrolling through my feed as usual, when I scrolled past Catherine’s unbeliavable photo, that was the point my research started and I knew it was time to head to Switzerland!
By Friday our bags were packed, Swiss map in hand and off to Folkestone we go to the Eurotunnel! It’s so quick, within 30 minutes we were in Calais. Let the fun begin!
Calais to Switzerland is then around a 8.5 hour drive (The not-so-fun part, although a ridiculously beautiful drive!)
After hours of research (and lots of helpful tips from Catherine) we decided the best place to head to was Kandersteg & Interlaken. We only had Saturday – Monday so we really needed to make sure we were in a good, central location.
We didn’t have any accomodation booked by the time we got into the car, so the search began whilst Quinn took the wheel!
Because it was so last minute, I was really struggling to find anywhere central & good value as most places were fully booked. I didn’t want to waste unnecessary money on average accomodation knowing we would hardly be there, thats for the adventure funds!
So….This was our home for the weekend!
We camped, I’m so glad we did! It was totally glamorous as everything was clean and ready for our arrival.
The Manor Park Farm campsite in Interlaken is perfect, firstly it has the most scenic surroundings. It’s right between Lake Thun & Lake Brienz meaning the views are breathtaking. Each night we would watch the sunset over the lake whilst enjoying a BBQ in the great outdoors! (What more could you want?!)
Secondly, It’s only a 30 minute drive away from Kandersteg, which was absolutely perfect for what we wanted to do. Interlaken is a pretty central point to explore which was great for us and our limited time frame.
Thirdly, the facilities are better than a hotel! We had so much space, the tent was huge and really well equipped.
There is plenty to do there, you could easily stay at the campsite for the week and be totally entertained. They hire out kayaks, pedalos & canoes plus offer parasailing & paragliding which is an absolutely amazing way to soak up the views.
Picnic in hand, we drove to Kandersteg ready to hit the mountains!
There are so many amazing hikes in the area, ranging from 30 minutes to 6 hours 30 minutes. The entire UNESCO site is beautiful. You could spend days exploring everything, but due to time, we decided to cheat and get the cable car half way up (18 CHF) and walk back down!
Directly at the top of the cable car route is the Summer Sleigh Run, which of course we did. We can officially say we have slid down a slide in the Swiss Alps. Such fun!
The walk to Oeschinensee is like a scene from the Sound of Music! The endless views of mountains & waterfalls make you never want to leave.
Keep a look out for these little cuties along the way. Listening to their bells ringing whilst walking through the mountains is something I’ll never forget!
Oeschinensee Lake is literally one of the most pristine mountain lakes I’ve ever seen! The water is so perfect for swimming.
It’s so tranquil and peaceful in the morning, there were only about 10 other people there when we arrived, although that quickly changed by the time we left!
Come well prepared with a picnic and you could happily sit and watch the world go by all day. There are plenty of spots for a BBQ too!
Walking back down is pretty steep, make sure you have good walking shoes on with good grips to reach the bottom comfortably.
Switzerland is definitely one of those places that leaves you wanting more…
…Any questions, please feel free to ask! I’ll help with your upcoming trip as much as I can! The travel community is an amazing place, I wouldn’t of packed my bags as quickly if it wasn’t for Catherine’s help!
Are you planning a trip to Dublin? Make sure you don’t miss out on a beautiful little corner of Ireland called Howth!
Who knew this little hideaway is only 30 minutes away from the city?
Not only does Larry Mullen have a house in Howth overlooking the beach (He’s the drummer from U2, pretty cool huh!?) It is also home to some of the best Fish and Chips in Dublin, Leo Burdocks is pretty famous for its crispy bits! What more could you want?!
I found it really easy to get to Howth from Dublin City centre, I caught the DART train from Connolly Station, O’Connell Street to Howth for €20. It is super easy to find the right train & it only takes 30 minutes!
Whilst on the train I passed through Sutton, which is so pretty I nearly jumped off the train early! It’s only one stop before Howth along the coast and the journey between the two stations is absolutely beautiful.
When I arrived in Howth I went straight to the pier where I sat and watched the fishermen along the bay, eating an Ice cream watching the world go by, it’s totally different to the city centre, yet so close!
Howth is so quiet and peaceful, it has the best views of Ireland’s Eye (a beautiful island that’s just a 15-minute boat ride away) and lovely views of the harbour and the lighthouse. There are lots of lovely restaurants with amazing fresh seafood.
It wouldn’t truly be a trip to Ireland without a traditional pub to visit. ‘The Dog House’ pub and tea rooms are conveniently located right next to the train station!
Howth Markets are also on every weekend. I was there on a Thursday so there were only a few stalls open. If you’re travelling over a weekend I’d definitely go and have a look! www.howthmarket.ie
I spotted a Seal bobbing its head in and out of the water too, but I was far too slow to get a picture. Although my lovely friend Veruska managed to snap this little beauty sunbathing the following day! How cute is he!
No.4 Benissa is the perfect little boutique residence located in the heart of the Costa Blanca.
The hotel has been built and created by Charles & Aleks, Fashion Designers & Architects from London & Poland. Their passion for interiors and design is reflected throughout this totally unique hidden beauty – It really is one of a kind. I have never seen anything like it!
Charles kindly arranged to pick me up from Alicante Airport and we arrived at No.4 Benissa within the hour, as soon as I arrived I was completely blown away by the design and the decor in the reception area. How many hotels can you say you have been too, where you are greeted by two bronzed tigers!?
They really have created this boutique residence perfectly. From the luxurious marble staircase to the beautiful laid-back patio area to enjoy a coffee in the morning, they have it all just right.
There are 4 rooms here; The Blue Room, The Patio Room, The Arabesque Room & The Moroccan Suite. I stayed in the Moroccan Suite for 2 nights. It is so beautiful, it has such a romantic and cosy feel, I didn’t want to leave the room! I was travelling alone on this trip so having the entire Moroccan Suite (with the comfiest king size bed!) to myself has certainly spoilt me.
The Moroccan Suite is super spacious, with an impressive bathroom featuring authentic Spanish tiles, walk in wet room, his and hers sinks and an incredible view overlooking Benissa’s quirky streets.
Charles is also an aspiring chef, meaning the breakfast offerings here are perfect! They have choices for everyone.
If you would like something cooked a certain way, Charles & Aleks will do everything they can for you! They source everything fresh and locally and they also make as much as they can by hand.
They offer a traditional Benissa breakfast; including tomato, salsa, manchego cheese, serrano ham, olive oil and roasted garlic paste. Alternatively, if you are feeling sweet you can opt for freshly baked mini pastries with homemade jam and local honey. I opted for the granola & yoghurt on my first morning and fresh avocado, feta cheese with onion chutney on my second morning. Both were so full of flavour and absolutely delicious! Who knew avocado and onion chutney would taste so good!
No.4 Benissa is in a really good location. Benissa is a traditional Spanish town oozing charm, it will keep you entertained for a few hours for sure, especially if there is a fiesta in town! I spent a couple of hours walking around exploring the narrow streets and turning corners to find beautifully decorated balconies and chalk drawings along the pavements. They have a real sense of community here, I totally fell in love with the place!
I would certainly recommend hiring a car as it means you can explore quickly and is much better value than local taxis. There are so many beaches to explore but also the mountains if you are more adventurous, all within an hour’s drive away!
I had 24 hours to explore as much of the surrounding area as I could and I think I did pretty well! Firstly, I took a taxi to Calpe (17 Euros, 20 minutes) which is a pretty little beach area with a nice walk way to explore. There are some lovely spots for some tapas and of course a rioja!
Close to Calpe you can also explore Cala Fuestera Beach which is a little quieter and less touristy, I also went to Moraira Beach and to Denia Town to have a look around – I managed to squeeze quite a bit in!
I would love to go back and take a trip to Valencia, which is only around an hour away too!
Have you ever been to Calpe, Moraira, Denia, Alicante or Benissa? Do you live close to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, would you love to travel here? Say Hello if so! Let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you!