Not just a pretty place
Why the latest research suggests a scenic view really is good for you.
It’s official: ongoing research into health and wellbeing suggests that people really do feel healthier in more scenic locations. Though the benefits of fresh air and an outdoor lifestyle have long been associated with better physical and mental health, it is only recently that scientists have begun to look at the relationship between people and their environment. Given the old adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this is not an entirely straightforward affair, yet the findings are fairly consistent. There seems to be a winning formula when it comes to the scenic environments that have the biggest positive impact on health - and fortunately our portfolio is packed full of them.
The Big Blue
It seems that a blue vista is right up there when it comes to having a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. Gazing out at the infinite blue of sea and sky reduces the number of sensory stimuli to the brain and provides instant relief from the barrage of information that fills our daily lives. It’s nothing new to suggest that reducing mental stress is one of the best things we can do for our health – it lowers production of the body’s stress hormone cortisol, which in turn strengthens our immune systems and promotes better sleep. So, if blue is your thing and you can imagine nothing better than your own terrace with a stunning sea view, our wonderful selection of coastal villas with infinity pools in Greece and Turkey are heaven sent. The Rou Estate offers an outstanding choice of individually styled villas overlooking the mesmerising waters of north east Corfu and our unique collection of Simpson Hotels are perfectly placed to maximise the big blue yonder; including the White Orchid in Sivota, GK Beach Hotel in Crete, Katouna Suites in Lefkada and our new Bella Mare Hotel in Corfu.
River deep, mountain high
You don’t have to be by the sea to reduce the sensory overload. Researchers have found that the brain processes natural environments more easily than man-made ones, with views of valleys, lakes, rivers, mountains and trees all producing positive effects on our sense of health and wellbeing. Whether you’re staying amongst the endless olive groves of Masseria le Torri in Puglia, where the ancient trees and vast skies lift both the eyes and the spirits; or are nestled on a heavenly Tuscan hillside at La Madonnina, we can promise you a room with an enchanting view. In western Crete both our GK Beach and Arosmari Village hotels offer views of the magnificent White Mountains whilst some of our more rural villas in Corsica and Mallorca offer a splendid panorama over the local landscape. Try Alzitella in Corsica and Ca’n Antuna in Mallorca for inspiration.
Keep in character
You don’t have to be isolated to reap the health benefits of a lovely view. Researchers also found a positive bias for certain man-made elements, with characterful buildings such as churches, castles and towers all producing an enhanced feeling of wellness. It seems historical architecture, when its loveliness is not modified by the stress of negotiating a mass of tourists, can evoke a similar sense of inner peace as an uninterrupted view of the natural world. This comes as no surprise when you look at some of the achingly lovely views from our villas in Provence. Take Villa Camille for example, set in the heart of Cabrières d’Avignon; looking out over the ancient stone buildings of this beautiful Provençal village is as joyous a prospect as one might imagine.