A home from home
"Our centre bases have provided a ‘home from home’ for hundreds of happy clients over the years"
There’s something liberating about arriving at your destination, dragging your bag up to your room, throwing open the blinds and taking in the breathtaking view out of the window. Some travellers like to move on each day, always looking for something bigger, brighter or better, but I enjoy really getting to know somewhere, taking the time to study the view, watch as the weather changes and the light plays on the landscape.
During my time as an Exodus leader, I was lucky enough to lead in a wide range of destinations from trekking in the Himalayas to sightseeing in Cuba, but my favourite places were (generally) less obviously exotic. I loved working at our European centre bases, which felt almost like home.
When you are poring lovingly over the latest Exodus brochure, eagerly turning the pages, looking for your next ‘oooohh, yes, I want to go there’ moment, it can be easy to be attracted by the well-known destinations to tick the ‘must see’ sights off your ever expanding list. But I would recommend a moment of reflection, before you sign the booking form. Are you sure you want to move on every night, having to lug your ridiculously heavy bag up yet another staircase, then spend twenty minutes trying to find the things you need from the bottom? Wouldn’t you prefer to just unpack, spread your things out and make your room yours for the week? One of the special charms of our centre bases is that they are only big enough to hold one group. Even when you add in the local staff and the Exodus leader, the overriding impression for the guest will be ‘small and homely’. They are not luxurious or ostentatious; I’m afraid those of you who seek gold-plated taps or a twenty-four hour concierge should look elsewhere.
Centre bases are more about taking the farmhouse dog out on the daily walks, learning to speak a few words of the local language with the staff, or discovering the ‘refreshing’ plunge pool situated just a few minutes walk away from the lodge. All our bases have one thing in common – the location; they are all situated in an area that the owners wanted to make their home.
These are ancient converted buildings, built in the local vernacular style, subtly adapted for tourist use. By retaining their character, and by keeping them small (but perfectly formed), our centre bases have provided a ‘home from home’ for hundreds of happy clients over the years. The warm welcome and the familiar surroundings have attracted many of these clients (and a few lucky Exodus leaders) to return over and over again.
Article written by Olly Townsend, Exodus' Leader Operations Manager
Our Centre bases
Italy - Braccicorti
Stay at Braccicorti and you can enjoy exploring an area of Tuscany free from the plague of mass-tourism, coming ‘home’ each evening to enjoy beautiful surroundings and a fantastic mix of local food and wine. On warm evenings you can sit in the garden or by the swimming pool and admire the views across the valley to the mountains beyond.
France – La Feniere
Holding a maximum of just 10 guests, this cosy chalet-style accommodation is located in a peaceful mountain valley. Open the windows and you can hear the gush of the nearby river and breathe in fresh mountain air. La Feniere has a large garden, which is a great place to sit and enjoy the mountain views, perhaps sipping a beer or two from the bar.
Spain – Cortijo Rosario
Set within 25 acres of picturesque rolling hills in the heart of Andalucia, this beautifully converted farmhouse is an idyllic place to stay. You can take breakfast outside on the terrace and drink in the views along with your freshly squeezed orange juice.