First Choice Blog
  • Selina Akhtar

    ITV’s drama Victoria is back on our screens and, to celebrate, we’ve taken a look at some of the favourite holiday destinations of the iconic monarch. From the Canary Islands to Italy’s super-swanky resorts, here’s where you can follow in royal footsteps…

    Spain

    Did you know that Queen Victoria was the first British monarch to visit Spain? During a stay in France in 1889, she briefly dipped a royal toe into the country (quite literally) by crossing the border into San Sebastian on the north coast. After getting a taste for the tapas-loving country, she then enjoyed holidays to Tenerife with her family. The royal clan stayed in the resort of Puerto de la Cruz on the north coast of the island, which lines up a quaint harbour, a traditional old town, and a kilometre-long stretch of black sand. If the Queen was travelling to Tenerife today, we think she’d love Playa de la Arena which is tucked away in a quiet corner of the island and surrounded by gorgeous mountain views. Here, there’s a Blue Flag beach, plenty of relaxed restaurants and bars, and local fiestas in the summer to liven things up.

    Italy

    If there’s one holiday destination where you can get a taste of ‘la dolce vita’, it’s Italy. And in 1888 Queen Victoria did just that, embarking on a month long holiday to Florence and the surrounding area as the guest of Lady Crawford.  If we were to pick a royal resort fit for a Queen, it would be Sorrento. The picturesque place enjoys a coveted spot on the Neapolitan Riviera and boasts a clutch of designer boutiques, swanky bars and sophisticated restaurants. It’s within easy daytripping distance of Pompeii and the island of Capri, too. Stay at the newly-refurbished Hotel Parco Del Sole to have the best of Sorrento right on your doorstep. It has its own pretty landscaped garden full of citrus trees, plus an outdoor pool surrounded by sunbeds.

    Isle of Wight

    Queen Victoria’s former summer residence Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight will be the star of a new film out on the 15th of September about the iconic monarch called Victoria and Abdul, starring Dame Judy Dench. The stunning property has its own private beach, beautiful manicured gardens, and opulent ceilings designed by Lockwood Kipling, the father of author Rudyard Kipling. It opened to the public in 2012, and is open almost every day from 10am till 6pm. If you’re flying from Southampton airport or staying in the area, it’s easy to hop on the ferry over to the Isle of Wight and see the royal residence for yourself.

    5-star retreats

    As any queen knows, posh holidays are as much about the hotel as they are about the destination. And if you’re after a luxury escape, look no further than the resorts from our Premier collection. The hotels in this range are all 4 or 5 star, and line up classy pool scenes, a la carte dining options, sophisticated rooms, and even extras like poolside butlers. Grab a last-minute deal at the aptly named Hotel Club Jandia Princess, which boasts views over the Atlantic, four pools to choose from, and a quiet, secluded adults only section too.

    Ready for your own regal holiday?

    Check out our last-minute deals here. Or, read more about the best Strictly Come Dancing-themed holidays.

    Victoria is on ITV at 9pm every Sunday.

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