As we passed a glorious landscape of mountains, valleys and Cypress trees, on the never-ending, winding roads of southern Tuscany, we knew our honeymoon destination would prove to be something special.
And finally there it was, the Adler Thermae Hotel, nestled away in the quiet region of Val d’Orcia, a 10-minute walk from the small ancient town of Bagno Vignoni and a short drive from picturesque Pienza and Montepulciano.
The 5-star hotel boasts around 90 rooms, although such is its layout that you never feel as if there are more than a handful of other guests.
Our room was spacious and boasted stunning views of the surrounding valleys and thermal pools. Each comes with a private balcony and a distinct sense of romance, luxury and relaxation.
Guests are also well-catered for at the beautiful terrace by the bar, where every afternoon there is a fresh fruit buffet and some of the best Italian coffee we have ever tasted, while the hotel’s restaurant provides a sumptuous buffet breakfast and expertly-prepared dinner. The chef was also more than happy to accommodate our strictly-kosher diet.
We spent our first day enjoying the perfectly-maintained grounds, walking around the tiny medieval village of Bagno Vignoni, where the natural hot springs were discovered as far back as Roman times.
Adler Thermae also offers its own menu of spa treatments, and we booked ourselves into the Honeymoon Special Oriental, an indulgent couples’ treatment lasting 100 minutes. Following a full body exfoliation, mini facial and relaxing massage, we left the treatment room feeling like every stress had disappeared.
There are a variety of steam and sauna rooms for guests to enjoy, including the particularly impressive panoramic Finnish sauna, as well as the brine steam bath and herbal caldarium.
We also enjoyed the relaxation rooms and healing waters of the thermal pools, naturally filtered through the mountains.
For guests wanting to enjoy the region more extensively, the hotel is happy to organise an itinerary. We had the option to join group tours, although we chose to arrange our own private tour.
There is also mountain bike and e-bike hire or racing cycle hire (€35 or £30 per day) available, as well as car rental for €50 (£43) per day.
Our knowledgeable driver, Andrea, took us first on a tour of quaint Italian towns, including beautiful Pienza, a UNESCO world heritage site, as well as nearby Montepulciano and Montalcino.
The former charmed us with its medieval houses, palaces and winding streets, while Montalcino exudes a peaceful charm and boasts breath-taking views of Tuscany.
We visited the charming village of San Quirico d’Orcia and, on the way there, marvelled at the ancient architecture of the Abbey of Sant’Antimo.
Around an hour’s drive away lies the magnificent medieval city of Siena, famed for its art, museums and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year.
Visitors can still see the remnants of Siena’s Jewish ghetto, where a substantial community once flourished, while the 18th century synagogue inVia delle Scotte is still used today.
Just outside Siena, wine enthusiasts might also want to pay a visit to Terra di Seta, one of only two kosher wineries in Tuscany, alongside the recently-opened Cantina Giuliano, located in Casciana Alta.
We even fitted in a visit to Mulino Val d’Orcia, a family-run pasta maker, who grow all of their own wheat and spelt on six acres of land. We watched as they transformed this raw ingredient into all types of pasta, including Pici, a local speciality.
There is something truly magical about Tuscany as you walk through the cobbled streets of its perfectly preserved villages, taking in its beauty, history and culture. Our trip was perfect for a honeymooning couple and we plan to come back again to this magnificent region.
Rachel’s travel tips
Rachel and Dovi stayed at the Adler Thermae, where prices start from €721 (£623) per person sharing a double room for a three-night stay on a half-board basis, or from €1,460 (£1,263) per person sharing a double room for a week-long stay on a half-board basis. Book online at adler-thermae.com or call the reservations team on 0039 0577 889 000.
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