Fancy sleeping in the spot where kings, queens and other members of the royal courts once lay? In these castles, from Ireland to Italy, all this and more is entirely possible.
1. Ashford Castle, Ireland
Imagine 5-star accommodation on 350 acres of lush grounds, alongside Lough (lake) Corrib! Originally built in 1228 by the de Burgo family, Ashford Castle (which sits just an hour’s drive north of Galway) now boasts 82 gorgeous rooms, as well as activities including falconry, fishing, swimming, horseriding, boating and golfing.
2. Thornbury Castle, UK
If you’ve ever wanted to follow in the footsteps of the Tudors (namely Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn), Thornbury Castle awaits. Just two hours south of London, Thornbury means staying in rooms with four-poster beds, dining in the dungeons and embarking on day trips to Bristol (about half an hour away) or even travelling across into beautiful Wales.
3. Castello di Monterone, Italy
It was once a military headquarters on the royal road linking Perugia to Rome in the 13th century. And it’s even believed to have been owned at one point by the Knights of the Templar.
If you decide to stay at Castle Monterone today (it’s just two hours south of Florence), you’ll find rooms with furniture made of wood and iron, an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi and an in-house restaurant serving authentic Italian dishes.
4. Castle Hotel Thannegg, Austria
There’s no doubting the beauty of the Austrian Alps, and this castle hotel proves it. Dating back to the 13th century and named after the Knights of Thann, this cosy and quaint hotel offers stunning hiking opportunities and vintage car tours when it’s warm, and wintry, fairytale charm (and snow sports) in the colder months.
5. Culzean Castle, Scotland
Perched on top of a cliff with dazzling views of the Firth of Clyde, Culzean Castle dates back to the 16th century, though it acquired most of its present-day glamour in the 1770s. Impressive sights at the hotel include the armoury, the Oval Staircase and the Walled Garden.
Other than relaxing, recommended activities include golfing, coastal walking, fishing, boating and other water-based activities. You’ll find Culzean around one and a half hours south of Glasgow.
6. Parador de Oropesa, Spain
Built in 1402, Parador de Oropesa is a castle turned hotel (also known as a ‘historic parador’) in the Spanish province of Toledo. A stay here entails basking in the old presence of the Toledo noble family, taking in vistas of the Sierra de Gredos mountains and exploring the medieval monasteries, churches and monuments of the town.
7. Dornröschenschloss Sababurg, Germany
Don’t worry if you can’t say it! You can still stay here. Sababurg has been around since 1334 (when it was first called Zappenburg) and is most well-known for frequently housing the Grimm Brothers and inspiring the fairy tale castle in their version of Sleeping Beauty.
Set in the Reinhardswald forest on none other than Fairy Tale Road, the hotel offers lodging, a well-reputed restaurant, a castle garden and a theatre.
If you fancy living it up like royalty, InsureandGo can cover your trip, even if it is a year away. Simply visit www.insureandgo.com.au or phone 1300 552 701 and quote “Choices10” and save 10 per cent off your next policy.
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited, ABN 49 000 525 637, issues InsureandGo Travel Insurance (the insurance). Please read the combined product disclosure statement and financial services guide available at //www.insureandgo.com.au/policy-wordings to decide if the insurance is right for you.