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2023: New destinations, experiences and places to stay - across The Azores, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, the Nordics and Latin America

Choose to book your holiday with Sunvil, a family-run independent tour operator with 53 years’ experience of specialist holidays and regarded as one of the most established, caring pedigrees in travel – and relax in the knowledge that you are in the safest of hands.

Pioneer of sensitive travel to lesser-known destinations, supporting local economies and building trusted relationships, it is no wonder that we have such a strong and loyal following from our customers – whether those who fall in love with places and return each year, or those who rely on our judgement and insight to introduce them to places they may never even previously have heard of.

The Azores - New properties

For the past 33 years, Sunvil has passionately pioneered and promoted holidays to the mid-Atlantic archipelago of the Azores. Only four hours from the UK, it is a land like no other, with nine islands, each very special in its own way… lush, undulating hills; sparkling caldera lakes, dramatic cliffs, black sand beaches and enchanting local communities. Marked hiking trails, cave systems, thermal baths, natural parks, fishing harbours and more. Flowers everywhere – fuchsias sprouting from stone walls, wild ginger flower spikes and hydrangea flowers in the hedgerows, and enormous blue and white flashes of ceanothus in bloom – not to mention the sweetest of pineapples and a tea plantation that is the furthest west such plantation in the world.

Our latest additions
Villa Galé Collection Hotel, on the main island of Sao Miguel: This boutique hotel is located within a historical building right in the centre of Ponta Delgada, the island’s main town and also its port, where narrow cobbled streets are bordered by well-preserved period houses. Parts of the hotel, now restored, were once a convent and a hospital. There is a high-quality restaurant devoted to regional gastronomy, a bar, a beautiful outdoor pool, an indoor pool, a spa offering a range of massages and beauty treatments, and a children’s club. 

Vinhas do Calhau on the island of Pico: This is a comfortable and sophisticated four-star property which consists of spacious apartments and has astounding views of the Atlantic Ocean and Pico Mountain – Portugal’s highest point, at 2,351 metres. Importantly, the hotel is part of the Wine Tourism Project Ramal do Calhau. The Pico Vineyards Cultural Site, classified as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, is where labyrinthine walled enclosures, made from black volcanic rock, protect the famous Pico verdelho grape (fortified Verdelho wine) which, it is said, was imported from Cyprus in the 1500s. 

Quinta da Abelheira on the island of Sao Miguel: Having closed for a complete renovation, this rural retreat has just reopened - and, put simply, it astounds. Located 4 km from Ponta Delgada, and surrounded by extensive forest, guests have a privileged view from the hotel’s belvedere over the capital city, the mountain of Lagoa do Fogo, and the island’s sandy, southern beaches. The main house, completely refurbished by the new owners, is flanked by a large lawn area, in the centre of which is a very inviting swimming pool.

Quinta da Abelheira, Sao Miguel Vinhas do Calhau, Pico

Portugal - New walking itinerary | Peneda Geres National Park

Our new self-guided walking itinerary in Portugal’s only national park combines magnificent scenery with observing traditional agricultural practices in the isolated rural communities of northwest Portugal. Discover shepherds’ shelters, a medieval castle, a mountain sanctuary, a traditional wolf trap, oak forests and crystal-clear waterways. In the foothills of the Amarela mountains, where tiny, terraced plots and vineyards surround clusters of granite cottages, there is evidence of age-old farming practices such as stone grain stores and ancient water mills.

Peneda Geres National Park, Portugal

Croatia - New itineraries

Our Croatia programme now stretches from Istria to southern Dalmatia, and inland to the national parks and to the capital, Zagreb.

Three-centre: Trogir, Sibenik and Krka National Park
Brac and Hvar need no introduction and are indeed deserving of their magnetic draw. Sunvil has dug deeper into central Dalmatia and discovered two beguiling coastal towns: Trogir, which is walled, mediaeval, a warren of narrow streets and a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site; and Sibenik, teeming with tiny palaces, chapels and squares, plus an unmissable cathedral, St Jacob’s, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Two nights in each of these places, plus a four-night stay in the spectacular Krka National Park - a wonderland of waterfalls and blue-green lakes – and you’re really getting under Croatia’s skin. 

Two-centre: Rovinj and Lovran
This leisurely itinerary combines an island stay to explore the medieval city of Rovinj (a free, five-minute boat trip), with Lovran, a quieter alternative to Opatija, for an authentic experience of the coveted Kvarner Bay with its cobalt waters and magnificent villas. From Rovinj, a hop across the water to Venice for the day is an unmissable opportunity. In Lovran, from your four-star hotel, you’ll have glorious bay views and direct access to the start of the famous 12 km lungomare seaside promenade.

Two-centre: Lovran and Rab
After three nights in Lovran, overlooking the vast and blissful Kvarner Bay, the lesser known island of Rab is wonderfully low key, stunningly beautiful, with prices a third less expensive than on the better-known Dalmatian islands, Dubrovnik, and nearby resorts. The Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus gave Rab Town municipal status in the 1st century BC, and there are interesting remains everywhere. 

Two-centre: Pula and Veli Brijun Island
Pula and the Brijuni Islands National Park, in the north-west Croatian Adriatic, are a mere a 45-minute trip apart by taxi and boat. The contrast between the two, however, is dramatic. Pula is Croatia’s seventh largest city and boasts magnificent ancient ruins, a vibrant waterfront, and the world’s sixth largest Roman amphitheatre (Tom Jones and Elton John have performed there), the Golden Gate, built in 30 BC. Veli Brijun Island, accessed by boat via the bustling fishing village of Fazana, is the only one of the National Park’s 14 small islands which can be visited. The island, with acre upon acre of parkland planted with pine and olive trees, was the former summer residence of Yugoslavian President Tito, where he entertained celebrity friends and world leaders.

Krka National Park, Croatia Pula, Croatia

Greece - Sustainable initiatives

Greece is seeing many new sustainable initiatives coming to the fore. Sunvil has been impressed with two in particular:

Astypalea - first model for climate-neutral mobility in the Mediterranean
A project that’s transforming the tiny Dodecanese island of Astypalea into the first smart energy/green island in the Mediterranean; by developing a ride-sharing app (astyMOVE) for e-buses, e-car and e-bike rentals, a model for climate-neutral mobility has recently been established.

Tilos – first zero-waste Greek island
Though a tiny island midway between Rhodes and Kos in the Docadese archipelago, Tilos leads the way in environmental protection and eco-tourism. At just 64 sq kms, with 16 uninhabited islets, the locals have recently launched a new zero waste project called Just Go Zero. Involving residents and visitors alike, the scheme not only educates, but also provides the tools needed to reduce waste and environmental footprints. All hotels now have three daily bin collections - organic waste, recyclable and non-recyclable (which is then shredded for use as compost) - and visitors are given a multi-use bag during their stay on the island to avoid single-use plastic bags.

Tilos, Greece

The Nordics - New additions

New properties and experiences for winter 2023/24 include:

Lapland Guesthouse in Swedish Lapland – in the small community of Kangos, 150km above the Arctic Circle and surrounded by a vast open wilderness of lakes and forests, the warmth of welcome here packs a punch and the roaring fires, cosy chairs and intricate details place you immediately at ease. A labour of love by the owners - the artistry of the couple and their sons being apparent throughout - each room of this guesthouse has been individually decorated, telling stories about the people and wildlife that call the region their home. Choose from a wide range of activities - snowmobiling, dog sledding, reindeer encounters, Aurora tours, ice driving, snowshoeing and more. 

Magical Pond in Finnish Lapland – stunning, Scandinavian-style igloos in beautiful natural surroundings in northern Finland, just 8 km from the famous Ruka Ski Resort. The igloo village is built in owner Johanna’s childhood neck of the woods - her family has owned this area since 1885. Witnessing the Aurora Borealis can be truly empowering - and Johanna, together with her family, wanted to give others the same opportunity to experience it in a thoroughly exclusive setting.

Iso Syote in Finnish Lapland – is a boutique hotel standing grandly on the southernmost fell landscape of Finland. Offering joyful experiences found in a true winter wonderland - such as skiing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing as well as snowmobile, reindeer and husky safaris – the property itself has beautifully-designed bedrooms, suites and log cabins, plus a wonderful spa and a panoramic restaurant with high-quality cuisine.

Snowmobiling at Lapland Guesthouse, Swedish Lapland Husky dog ride at Iso Syote, Finland

Latin America - New twin-country trip

Costa Rica and Panama in one trip:
Our brand new and exclusive 16-night expedition combines two enchanting countries of Central America. In Costa Rica, traverse the verdant jungles of Tortuguero and Sarapiqui, immersed in a world teeming with rare wildlife and cascading waterfalls. Indulge in the allure of Boquete, a quaint town celebrated for its coffee plantations and panoramic mountain vistas. And surrender to the sheer beauty of Punta Banco's gilded beaches and crystalline turquoise waters. Then, in Panama, learn about the remarkable engineering works of the Panama Canal, venture into the lush expanse of Soberana National Park, and uncover the historic Mira Flores Locks.

Beautiful wildlife and fauna Panama City, Panama

The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

2nd August 2023



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

Sunvil's holidays are designed by passionate travellers just like you. Our reservations experts and product teams, many of whom have been with us for many years, are passionate about our destinations and, through their personal, first-hand knowledge can answer any questions that you may have. They are well qualified to advise and recommend, based on your own holiday criteria. We can point you to those special, little-known places, some not found even in guidebooks.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774
  • Marketing: 020 8758 4731

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