The atmosphere of the Bodrum Peninsula makes stress slip away from the moment of arrival. Those who live here seem privy to a secret that many can go their entire lives without discovering: how to live the good life, slow and satisfied, aware of and inspired by the beauty of the landscape and the serenity of the sea. Amanruya is in tune with this distinctly laidback lifestyle, creating space to bring the simplest of pleasures into sharp focus.
Slow down and set sail
One of the greatest delights of the Bodrum coast is time spent on the sea. Stop for a swim in the balmy turquoise waters of Cennet Bay, en route to Küçük Tavsan Adası (‘little rabbit island’) and Mercan Adası (‘red coral island’), both named for what can be seen at each.
The waters in the parts are the cleanest and clearest in all of Bodrum, and yet it’s rare to share them with others. At the highest point of Küçük Tavsan, the ruins of the second-century Apostoli Church open a window across the centuries to Bodrum’s medieval past.
Turkey’s Aegean coastline offers idyllic sailing and rewarding fishing, while Amanruya’s protected bay on the Bodrum peninsula is also ideal for water sports like snorkelling or canoeing.
AMAN VENICE, ITALY
Hidden corners of Venice
To walk the streets of Venice is to travel through time. Architectural styles from different eras whisper stories of the past, sending curious minds on flights of imagination. Even the smallest details of the palazzo can unlock human stories from across the centuries. It’s easy to walk past the lantern in the lobby without a second thought, but those who take the time to find out will discover that this artefact is a survivor of the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 – the largest-scale naval conflict in history – when it stood on the deck of Admiral Coccina’s warship.
He kept it as a memento, and brought it home to his palazzo, where it stands today. An afternoon spent exploring Aman Venice is as eye-opening as exploring the city itself. Discover the secret self-portrait concealed in the wall of the Blue Room, and the stone bee on the fireplace of the Brustolon Room — details that, for generations, the Arrivabene family have touched to bring luck.
Journeys to the dawn of humanity
The history of humanity is woven into the Peloponnese. The region around Amanzoe is full of ancient secrets. In the Franchthi Cave, overlooking Kiladha Bay, for example, traces have been found that date the cave’s human history as far back as the Palaeolithic era, 38,000 BCE – making it one of the world’s oldest places of human settlement.
An hour away, the Asclepeion at Epidaurus was the most important centre of medicine in the Classical world. The sick would come from afar to spend the night in the temple’s enkoimeteria, a special dormitory where, the Greeks believed, the healer god Asclepius would visit them in their dreams to diagnose their ailments and offer guidance on the path back to good health.
The hiking trails of the Peloponnese are extraordinarily beautiful but, with minimal official signage, difficult to navigate without experience. Amanzoe’s seasoned guides escort guests to some of the most astonishing viewpoints by off-the-beaten-path routes. Follow the riverbeds and an ancient Roman aqueduct to picturesque Fourni Village; discover the legendary Katafiki Gorge, taking in historic mountain churches en route; and hike the pine forests of the Bisti Peninsula, stopping for a swim in the crystal sea, and to spy the ruins of temples to the gods Athena and Poseidon.
ROSA ALPINA, ITALY
The healing heights of the Dolomites
The mountains of South Tyrol are naturally invigorating, blessed with fresh crisp air and inspiring scenery. Here in the Dolomites, where Italy and Austria collide and combine, is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, a region that rewards hikers with trails both manageable and challenging, and with spellbinding vistas at every turn. This is believed to be the birthplace of via ferrata climbing – the ‘iron roads’ of steps, ladders and cables that the adventurous can use to traverse plunging rockfaces and cross from peak to peak.
Alta Badia retreat Rosa Alpina serves as the starting point for hiking and via ferrata expeditions for adventurers of all levels of ability, and directs guests to little-known trails and ferrata routes. The mountain terrain means that many of the Dolomites most spectacular places will remain unseen by all but those with the means to reach them. The vast wall of ice known as ‘the Silver Mirror’ is one of the most astonishing sights in the range – a natural wonder made accessible to Rosa Alpina guests by helicopter, accompanied by a knowledgeable guide.