We all love princess stories, but the reality is that being a royal is no easy task. Being the head of state comes with a lot of responsibilities, and it brings as much stress as it does glory. Still, even kings and queens get some time off now and then. So, where do royals vacation? As it turns out, royals take holidays all over the world. Many of them travel far abroad, while others prefer to stay within their kingdoms. If you’re curious what sort of luxurious adventures royals get to experience, read on for a list of favorite royal destinations. You’ll find that a few of them aren’t so hard to recreate on your own—as long as you have a private jet and a king’s ransom to spend.
1 The South of France
France and Britain have had a historically interesting relationship, which has evolved into a somewhat friendly rivalry. This, however, hasn’t stopped Prince William and Princess Kate from visiting France for vacation, where they have been known to stay in the 16th Century Chateau La Rocque. Of course, the British royals aren’t the only ones who love France’s beautiful southern region. King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan love St. Tropez, a site they visit fairly regularly.
2 Mallorca, Spain
If you’re looking for a stunning Mediterranean destination, look no further! Mallorca is the destination of choice for the Spanish royals, Queen Letizia and King Felipe of Spain and the Princesses Sofia and Leonor. Although the royals tend to spend a lot of time at official events while they are in the area (royals can’t really take a break, after all), family time on the island is cherished by all members.
3 The Caribbean
Everybody loves the Caribbean, and the royals of Europe are no exception! Crown Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece (plus their five children and some friends) hit both Cuba and the Bahamas in 2016. After a great time exploring the beaches and streets of Havana, the family headed to the Bahamas for an Easter in the sunshine.
The Greek royal family may head to the Caribbean, but of course, Greece has more than enough vacation material of its own. Princess Padmaja Mewar of India is quoted in Today as confessing her love for Greece. With stunning islands, beautiful ocean views, and fascinating history, there are few places that are as tempting. There are plenty of resorts that are fit for royalty, but many of them prefer to spend time away from the crowds on a private yacht.
King Philip and Queen Elizabeth of England spend every August through October in their Scottish castle. Balmoral Castle is exactly what you would expect a queen and king to live in. It’s got turrets, flags, and ivy-covered walls. Who wouldn’t want to live here? The Queen of England much prefers this peaceful abode to the busyness of Buckingham Palace; she’s a country girl at heart. Wish you could visit? Here’s the best news of all: you can actually go to this castle! When the royals aren’t in residence, the gardens and ballroom are open for public viewing.
6 Costa Smeralda, Italy
Italy’s most lovely coastal area is a favorite spot for royals, including Saudi Princesses and the late Princess Diana. It’s easy to see why this place attracts princesses from all over the world! Not only is the oceanfront and surrounding land beautiful, but it’s also designed for luxury living. Services for helicopters and yachts, plus the beaches, high-end hotels, and golf courses, continue to tempt royals to the lovely Italian coast.
7 Southern Denmark
The Danish royal family have a summer palace in Southern Denmark, far away from the worries of the capital city and affairs of the state. Graasten Palace is the quiet countryside home of the royal Danes. Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrick, and crown prince Frederik’s family (plus various members of the extended family) enjoy spending joyful holidays at this beautiful palace. There couldn’t be a better place for a royal family reunion.
8 San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
Bariloche is a charming town at the foot of the Andes Mountains. King Willem-Alexander’s wife, Queen Maxima, is from Argentina. She owns a beautiful estate in San Carlos de Bariloche, which is a frequent destination for the Dutch royals. This is ideal for the royal family—they can visit the warm Argentinian summer during the cold winter months in the Netherlands. Of course, winter in Bariloche is also awesome, since it is home to a popular ski resort!
The King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, recently took an extravagant vacation to Indonesia. According to the Daily Mail, he took 506 tons of luggage with him—including a couple of elevators! Apparently, he doesn’t like stairs. The king started his stay in Four Seasons Georgetown, where the red carpets were rolled out and gold appeared everywhere. While the trip was also a business trip to sign a treaty with the Indonesian government, the king certainly had his share of enjoyment in Jakarta and Bali.
We may not be able to vacation like royalty, but we can dream. From Scottish castles to the French Riviera to ultra luxury in Indonesia, these are some of the favorite vacation destinations of the royals.