Knit together some of Europe’s finest spa retreats with impossibly scenic drives through the Tuscan countryside. Indeed, with the use of a hire care throughout, you’ll have the flexibility to explore, whether its vineyard tours, the region’s medieval hilltop towns or the Renaissance majesty of Florence that piques your interest. But, staying in ducal palaces and neoclassic villas, it’s your spa accommodation that’s the real star of the show. Here, mornings begin with breakfasts of local produce and homemade cakes before sliding into lazy days filled with a full spread of included treatments.
Begin your trip in style with a chauffeur drive to the airport and complimentary lounge access before your flight out to Pisa. On arrival, you’ll pick up your hire car and head into the countryside to the marbled neoclassicism of your 18th-century spa accommodation. Perched on natural hot springs first enjoyed by the Romans, you’ll be treated to a full range of treatments, from thermal and flotation pools to Turkish baths, Swedish saunas, whirlpool soaks and hydromassages. There are even guided morning hikes. But, with the use of your hire car, you’ll want to take in Pisa’s leaning icons and leafy Lucca, a walled city where cobbled streets knit together pretty piazzas.
Stay: Bagni di Pisa
A scenic drive through the cypress-tree-dotted Tuscan countryside – perhaps stopping at Florence’s cathedral wonders – will see you on to Fonteverde. Originally built in the 1600s as a palace for Grand Duke Ferdinand I, today this Renaissance gem welcomes with true hot-spring indulgence. Your complimentary treatments here include thermal pools, hydro-massage waterfalls, hot plates and a range of unique circuits, along with the usual hikes, saunas and Turkish baths. And, as your valley-view room will attest, you’ll have a land of vineyards and rolling hills to explore, along with the Gothic severity of nearby Siena.
On your drive to Grotta Giusti, we highly recommend taking the scenic route for stops at Tuscany’s medieval hill towns. San Gimignano’s great brick towers and Volterra’s imposing fortifications are particular highlights. They’re an imperious contrast to your 19th-century villa accommodation, all swirling frescoes, parquet flooring and park views. Alongside complimentary hikes and thermal pools, you’ll also enjoy discounted entrance into the eponymous grotto cave – a natural sauna and a truly evocative experience. If you’re looking for something faster paced, there are excellent bike routes, while winery tastings and visits to artisanal chocolatiers make for equally rewarding afternoons.
Stay: Grotta Giusti
A final drive through the pristine Tuscan countryside will see you back to Pisa. Perhaps pausing to wave goodbye to its fading merchants’ houses, you’ll then board your flight to be met by a private chauffeur for your final leg home.
"With opulence, serenity and spa treatments at its forefront, this is an indulgent itinerary that embraces lazy days. Treat yourself to spa accommodations at the height of luxury and scenic drives through the rural Tuscan countryside. I’ve hand-picked each of your retreats, from ducal palaces to country manors, for the range of hot-spring treatments that they include. "