The Trip of a Lifetime: 4 Extraordinary Experiences Across Europe

by Stirling Kelso Neff

Planning a European holiday? Make your trip one to remember by partaking in one of these bespoke Extraordinary Experiences.

Our Extraordinary Experiences – exclusive, first-in-class excursions exploring topics that range from art and food to astronomy – lift the velvet curtain on the intimate places and high-profile tastemakers that define a destination. If it’s the European trip of a lifetime you seek, read on for a few of our favourite expeditions across the continent.

Figure-skate like the Pros

Two-time Olympic medalist Alexander Zhulin has trained Olympic and European champion ice skaters from Russia, the U.S. and France, but who’s to say his most promising student isn’t you? Four Seasons guests can cut the line of eager pupils and clear the ice in Moscow’s Olympic Stadium for a one-on-one lesson. Zhulin can go over everything from step sequences and dance spins to lifts and even twizzles (that’s rink-speak for a multi-rotational one-foot turn). He’ll also crank up the music and show you some of his own award-winning moves.

Take It Up a Notch Make it a date for the ages: Come with a partner and learn to skate as a pair.

Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

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Photograph Lisbon on a Vintage Moto-Sidecar

Winding streets, iconic trolleys and azulejo-studded buildings make Lisbon one of Europe’s most photogenic destinations.

It’s hard to walk a block without seeing a traveler capturing the perfect Instagram, but we’re willing to bet no one else will be riding in a moto-car – a 1940s Ural 750 or 1970s Moto Guzzi 1000, among other options – alongside a professional photographer. Whether you’re a novice shutterbug or a practiced shooter, you’ll learn the technical nuts and bolts of your camera and how to capture portraits and landscapes, as well as get tips on working with movement and light.

Take It Up a Notch If it’s not already on the itinerary, request a morning ride to Miradouro de Santa Luzia, an observation deck in Alfama. “Thanks to the city’s Seven Hills and the Tagus River, this place radiates light,” says General Manager Guilherme Costa of Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon.

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

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Witness the Enchanting Beauty of the Night Sky Over the French Riviera

Even Francophiles might not know that Grand Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel, is a stargazing paradise. Not only is the peninsula serene and romantic, it’s also removed from the sky-saturating lights of the French Riviera. During this dinner and tutorial, Dr. Patrick Michel, a French planetary scientist who specializes in asteroids and comets, is your guide to the sky. Upon a terrace or within the property’s 17-acre garden, Michel greets you with his computer, telescope and Provençal aperitifs. Before and during an al fresco dinner, the sky is literally the limit when it comes to topics you might cover – think a constellation refresher or an in-depth discussion on Michel’s role in upcoming space missions to asteroids.

Take It Up a Notch Ask Michel to show you some of his unpublished space photos.

Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel

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Enjoy a Secret Dinner Alongside the Duomo

This Florentine dining experience is so exclusive that Four Seasons Hotel Firenze’s concierge can’t even divulge the name of the Renaissance palazzo where the evening takes place, a 15th-century residence designed by Medici confidant Giuliano da Sangallo. Like the nobles who own the property – and greet you at the front door – you’ll enjoy unpatrolled city views from a balcony while sipping Champagne or a classic Italian negroni. Set in a room with elegant Renaissance-style furnishings and a panoramic window that frames the Duomo, the dinner table is festooned with artful flower arrangements, centuries-old crystal and bottles of wine from the owner’s Tuscan family estates. Dive into seasonal plates such as Cavatelli cacio e pepe and marinated scampi as the candles flicker.

Take It Up a Notch “Mimicking noble Renaissance family traditions, we can arrange hand-painted menus or even have Florentine flag-wavers welcoming you,” says Catering Manager Alessia Magni.

Four Seasons Hotel Firenze

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