Experiential travel, Provence

Get up close and personal with elephants, learn kitchen secrets from a chef, hurl yourself down a snowy mountainside, paraglide into paradise – if you're after an eye-opening, mind-expanding or pulse-quickening experience, these are the hotels for you…

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From gentle exertions like cycling between the vineyards around Hôtel Crillon le Brave, to brow-dampening hikes in the Atlas Mountains near Kasbah du Toubkal, we know activity-packed places to appeal to every type of adventurer. Thrill seekers might consider the Alps: bathed in summer sun, they're a playground for hikers, climbers, mountain bikers and white-water rafters. Alpaga makes for a tranquil base to rest up afterwards. Those of a more leisurely persuasion might prefer to mount a steed and see the White Isle's wilder side on horseback – rustic retreat Can Curreu in Ibiza has its own stables. And if Sweden's big-kid-thrilling Treehotel can't make you fall in love with the outdoors, nothing can. 

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