Like the idea of using your holiday as a way of reconnecting with nature? A beach holiday is certainly a change of scene for most of us but what if you want to combine that with staying in some of Europe’s top natural spots? Immerse yourself in the scent of green forests or the beauty of a landscape unspoilt by modern development and you’ll benefit from a double whammy of health benefits.

The Times suggests that one way to ensure a good dose of natural beauty is to seek out Europe’s national parks and nature reserves. Some of us may be familiar with Spain’s Picos de Europa or the Haut-Languedoc’s Regional Natural Park in France, but did you know that Sicily has no fewer than five regional parks (Etna, the Madonie, the Nebrodi, the Alcantara and the Monti Sicani) and over 70 regional nature reserves?

The Times recommends a stay at Villa Arte Mare Blue which hovers on the edge of the Madonie Regional Natural Park where you’ll have 85,000 acres of family-friendly hiking and cycling routes on your doorstep. Set in a lush green landscape, the villa is just a 10-minute drive down to the bustling seaside resort of Cefalù yet is a wonderful base to explore the nature reserve and its charm-packed villages and towns.

Dotted with the art-loving owner’s vintage artworks and sculpture, the 5-bedroom villa has a stunning infinity pool, set amidst mature gardens and terraces with a sea view. Book now for the week of 16-23 July, or from late August into September and you can save 20% on the published rate.