Our favourite female travellers on their best girls’ holiday

There’s nothing quite like a girls’ holiday. Turning on your OOO, washing your hands of any stressful life admin, and leaving all your worries and fears behind – a girls’ holiday can cure just about anything. Days will be spent sipping coffees with reel-worthy views, strolling down cute cobbled lanes in search of that under-the-radar spot someone on TikTok once mentioned, and long, lazy afternoons on the beach. Evenings are for extravagant cocktails, necessary trauma dumps and getting to the bottom of conflicting gossip heard over the last few months.

But the joys of girls’ holiday run far deeper than these cursory delights. A holiday like this provides the necessary time to celebrate girlhood and womanhood, with zero expectation, pressure or stress – a momentary pocket of peace, whether that be found at a wellness retreat on a Balearic Island in Spain, a hiking trip through Italy’s craggy Dolomites, a food-fuelled city break in New York or a country music-filled trip to Nashville. Below, we asked our favourite travellers to tell us about their very favourite girls’ holidays, and what made them so special.

Zanna van Dijk in The Dolomites, Italy

Zanna van Dijk in The Dolomites Italy

Zanna van Dijk and friend in The Dolomites, Italy

The Dolomites, Italy

“Every year, my friend Rhyanna and I go on an annual girls’ hiking trip. In the past, we’ve stuck to fairly relaxed coastal walking destinations, but we wanted to challenge ourselves this time, so we headed to the Italian Alps for five days. The Dolomites is home to the perfect combination of rugged peaks, crystal blue lakes and remote mountain huts. In short, it is hiking heaven. Cortina d’Ampezzo was the perfect base, nestled between some of the most beautiful landscapes in the region, such as the Tofane, Sorapis, Cristallo and Sexten mountains. The landscapes are so dramatic; think sheer rock faces, turquoise blue lakes, rolling valleys and snow-capped peaks. Plus, there is great mountain culture with incredible huts scattered across the region, each serving fresh homemade Italian food in the most stunning setting. Our favourite mountain hut was Rifugio Lagazuoi. Perched high on a mountain top with some of the best views of the Tofane peaks, it serves the most phenomenal food – try the trio of gnocchi.”

“When we first saw the bright blue water of Lago di Sorapis, we could not believe our eyes; it was so unbelievably beautiful. We ended up sitting on the shores of the lake for well over an hour, just absorbing our surroundings and taking in the stunning views. The hike to and from the lake is also quite an adventure, with some steep, narrow trails that definitely got the adrenaline pumping. That’s one of the joys of going on a girls’ holiday – your friendships go to a whole new level when you travel together. You share new experiences and create memories you can look back on in years to come, especially when you’re on a more adventurous trip. I find that by pushing yourselves out of your comfort zones together, you create a stronger bond and sense of trust.”

Billie Bhatia and friend in Nashville USA

Billie Bhatia and friend in Nashville, USA

Billie Bhatia and friend in Nashville USA

Billie Bhatia and friend in Nashville, USA

Nashville, USA

“I have loved country music for as long as I can remember, as has my lifelong friend Sasha. So, in celebration of our 25-year friendiversary (it’s a thing, I’m sure), we packed our bags and our boots and headed to Nashville, Tennessee. We stayed at the city’s Soho House, a converted sock factory in the Wedgewood Houston district. Nashville is what I imagine Vegas to have been like 30 years ago – at the root of the city and it’s people is just a desire for everyone to have a good time.”

“We stayed off the beaten track when it came to tourist destinations, skipping the Grand Ole Opry and the museums to spend our days dipping in and out of the famous Honky Tonks on Broadway sampling the local musical talent. In the evening we sussed out the locally recommended bars for a more authentic experience – our favourites were Winners, Red Door, Tin Roof and the upscale cocktail spot Patterson House.”

“A week, before we landed in Nashville, country superstar Luke Combs, announced a surprise date at the Nissan Arena, and we managed to snag some tickets. It was the most magical evening, as the sun set to the sound of a beautifully strummed guitar, and The Stetsons made an appearance. We pinched ourselves that we had managed to live out our dream of seeing country music live in Nashville. Girls trips are so special because you can enjoy all the little things together – getting ready for your evening plans, the hungover face mask the following day, eating French fries in silence, watching the world go by. Girls trips make the very best of trips.”

Maria Georgiou and Rhiannon Butler  in New York USA

Maria Georgiou and Rhiannon Butler (Mam Sham) in New York, USA

Rhiannon Butler in New York USA

Rhiannon Butler (half of Mam Sham) in New York, USA

New York, USA

“There’s no better confidant for hedonism than your best pal, and what better place to release the beast than New York City (baby)? Some people train for marathons, but real gladiators do a short trip to the Big Apple. Yes, 72 hours in New York is tight, but so was our budget. First, we had to conquer jet lag – a large Martini and live comedy at The New York Comedy Club perked us up (dozing off in the front row was not an option). In the morning, we went full throttle and dislocated our jaws at Mission Sandwich Shop with ‘The Gobbler’, a sweet and cheesy turkey sub the size of your head. When they say the portions are big in America, this is your baptism of fire.”

“Food provides the best narrative to a city and, as sisters in stomach, we’ll always make the most out of the trips together. Starting with seafood at Cervo’s, we enjoyed spicy mussels escabeche amidst a sea of shellfish. Our big night (and splurge) on Saturday began at Cosme for contemporary Mexican food – a big shout out to the Tataki al pastor, it was 10/10. We made friends with our waiter, who brought us a birthday cake (it wasn’t our birthday) and took us dancing at Tonita’s, a Latino social club for beers and pool. Travelling as a pair, it’s easy to encourage spontaneity. You get back what you give, so the night always takes us somewhere fun.”

“The next morning, we required assistance in the form of a pastrami salmon and cream cheese bagel, which we found at Frankel’s. Feeling hungover and vulnerable, we made the decision to get a joint tarot reading and were told we needed to pay £200 to be released from our demons. Were we conned? Maybe. Honourable mentions go to any food truck selling empanadas, Joe’s Pizza for a slice and Bad Luck Bar for drinks and dancing.”

India Cardona and friends in Menorca Spain

India Cardona and friends in Menorca, Spain

India Cardona and friends in Menorca Spain

India Cardona and friends in Menorca, Spain

Menorca, Spain

“Last year, I discovered the contentment and magic of going on retreats. It’s the perfect tonic for busy lives and one best enjoyed surrounded by women in the sunshine. In October, I attended a pilates retreat hosted at Son Blanc Farmhouse on the Balearic island of Menorca. I convinced my mother to join me and the other 20 female strangers attending, who very quickly became our friends. It was the ultimate wholesome girls’ trip: our days were punctuated by pilates, hikes and an abundance of locally grown food. Son Blanc’s sprawling grounds, considered design and salt-water pool made for a picturesque backdrop paired with balmy late summer weather. Evenings were spent chatting over delicious course, after delicious course, often lingering around the table long after dinner ended.”

“Son Blanc is an enchanting boutique hotel and eco-retreat in a wild corner of Menorca. It is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful settings, with acres of wildflowers, phenomenal food and a warm, inviting atmosphere. Outside of occasional retreats, they offer a day-to-day programme of activities, or you can opt to just enjoy the foodie delights by the pool. I’m increasingly leaning towards more wellness-based trips, where you come back feeling like you’ve filled up your cup. Getting out in nature, reading by the pool and moving your body, paired with catching up with your favourite women, is really food for the soul. The beauty of a retreat is that everything is organised for you, so, I’m making my next girls’ trip a retreat, too, this time in Ibiza.”

Hollie Mercedes and friends in Mallorca

Hollie Mercedes and friends in Mallorca

Hollie Mercedes in Mallorca

Hollie Mercedes in Mallorca

Mallorca, Spain

“This was the girls’ trip that finally made it out of the group chat. Francesca, Chloe and I travelled to the northeast coast of Mallorca to stay at The Lodge, a hotel on a farm of over 150 acres of nature reserve amid the Tramuntana mountains. The beautiful surroundings gave us the perfect escape from our busy city lives.”

“It was primarily a work trip – between us, we had quite a few projects to shoot, but the integration of nature and luxury at the lodge allowed us to unwind while still focusing on our projects. It was also lovely to have the great weather that Amsterdam and London lacked at the time. I loved spending time with the girls in this setting. Due to the nature of our jobs, we realised that we only spent time together in high-energy and fast-paced environments. Being in Mallorca created a new dynamic and allowed us to connect in a different way.”

“We perfected the art of hunkering down and staying in during this trip. The Lodge has a delicious restaurant focused on locally grown produce. We ate at the same table every night, which was probably my fondest memory from the trip, heading to ‘our’ table each evening and sitting there chatting and giggling as the sun set. As I get older, I find that girls’ trips sadly become few and far between. They are so important and a great opportunity to connect and laugh in a way our partners could never.”

 

Reference

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