Muhu Island, Estonia
Two hours drive southwest of the pretty, medieval capital of Tallinn, you’ll reach the island of Muhu. During winter months, the stretch of sea between the island and the mainland usually freezes over, making the warm embrace of Padaste Manor, one of Europe’s most unusual spa retreats, even more welcome. This converted 19th-century estate looks over the sea, and is stunning year-round but comes into its own as a winter wonderland when the air sparkles with ice crystals. On your first morning, get the lie of the land by strapping on snowshoes and heading onto the frozen sea. Warm up in the rustic spa, where treatments include herbal steam sessions and Chardonnay grape wraps. All products are locally sourced and natural. Early evening, snuggle up with a glass of mulled wine in the wood-fired seawater-filled outdoor hot tub (you’ll be lent a hat to prevent your hair freezing), before a dinner showcasing plenty of game, including moose carpaccio. Get up at dawn for a fishing session, and the chef will happily cook your catch of the day in a sea-salt crust. Take in a film in the hotel’s private cinema after supper before your flight the next morning.
Hours from London: Six and three-quarters
Travel modes: Flight, car, ferry and snowshoes
Number of nights away: Three
Double rooms at Padaste Manor from €228 (£155) per night, full-board (spa treatments and other activities extra). Call +372 454 8800 or visit padaste.ee. BA flies to Helsinki from London Heathrow, and Finnair the Alliance partner flies from Helsinki to Tallinn, visit ba.com