by Sally Peck, The Daily Telegraph, January 22, 2015
The best seaside villas for summer holidays in France, Italy, Croatia, Turkey, Greece and Spain, with tips on the tour operators to get you there.
In life, there’s no simpler pleasure than bounding out the back door and into the sea. You’ve dispensed with the chore of schlepping in and out of the car with sandy feet; you are living on the beach, and it is divine. While seaside villas command a premium price, the primitive joy of being by the water is unparalleled. It is, however, a joy best shared with children who can swim; not all properties have safety gates. Below, our experts in Europe select their favourite seaside villas.
|Photo by Freeimages.com/Cass Tell|
1. Villa Marta, Costa Brava, Spain
Virtually every room of this antique-filled, Italianate villa has stunning views across the manicured gardens to the Mediterranean in the nearby bay of Aigua Blava. This four-bedroom property is the spot to laze away your days, either by the stunning private pool, or at the gorgeous, pine-laced cove of Platja Fonda, just 10 minutes’ walk away. Set back from the road, down its own narrow, private lane, the house feels wonderfully secluded. And yet it’s also walking distance to Aigua Blava Bay, where there are several excellent restaurants. Otherwise, it’s a short hop in the car to the nearest supermarket, and the fortified medieval hilltop town of Begur is less than 10 minutes away.
● Villa from £3,495 in low season; rising to £4,495 in high ( vintagetravel.co.uk ). Unusually, there is no Wi-Fi.
2. Villa Betonia, Menorca, Spain
The low-key resort of Punta Prima on the south-eastern tip of Menorca, with its white sand beach and laidback cafés, is unsurprisingly a popular choice for for fuss-free family holidays. Betonia is a modern villa with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large, light-filled living room with a beamed ceiling. The curving terrace with views of the Mediterranean is perfect for boisterous barbecue dinners or sharing a bottle of Menorcan wine – and you can keep an eye on the kids as they splash in the enclosed 10-metre pool and play on the lawn. Shops, restaurants and the sea are all within a few minutes’ walk, so you could easily manage without a car – although you might want to rent one to explore the island . The airport and capital, Mahón, are less than half an hour away.
● £1,117 per week in June with James Villas ( jamesvillas.co.uk ).
3. La Cuve, Porto Vecchio, Corsica, France
Stay in a stylishly converted wine-storage building with the best of Corsica’s beaches on your doorstep and Porto Vecchio’s smart bars and cafés a five-minute walk away. La Cuve sits on a coast road, overlooking the Med, against a backdrop of a saltmarsh nature reserve visited by flamingos, and the dramatic Ospedale mountains. The sleek interior blends Gustavian greys, buffed cement floors and billowing silk curtains with huge swallow-you-up family couches.
● One of the eight apartments has two fan-cooled bedrooms sleeping four, from £979 per week (booking.com).
4. Pirate’s Cottage, Galicia, Spain
The pretty stone Pirate’s Cottage really was once home to a notorious pirate, and it still feels like a secret lair. With leaded windows and an arched entrance, it is all a bit gothic and rather romantic. Upstairs there is a big bedroom and a terrace from which to watch the world go by with a glass of the local Albariño wine. The cottage is in the village of Corcubión, on the dramatic Costa da Morte in Galicia , north-west Spain, right by the harbour and 10 minutes’ walk to Quenxe, a blue-flag beach . A string of spectacular unspoilt beaches are a five-minute drive away. You c an learn to sail or kayak in the bay, and walk or cycle in the hills, or simply enjoy the superb seafood. It’s a 90-minute drive from Santiago de Compostela or La Coruña airports, and two hours from Vigo.
● £570 for a week in June with Rustical Travel ( rusticaltravel.com ).
5. Sandy Bay Cottage, Ferragudo, Algarve, Portugal
New to the CV Villas portfolio for 2016, this rustic and wonderfully private cottage overlooking the sea is filled with charm. All white-washed walls and blue wooden shutters, it would be perfect for a family of five in search of rural tranquillity , within walking distance of the beach and along it to Ferragudo, an attractive old fishing town with a good choice of restaurants. The four bedrooms are small – two of them being suitable for a child or a young adult. Outside by the pool, there is a small dining terrace – an ideal spot from which to view the sea and boats beyond.
● From £1,562, including maid service three times a week ( cvvillas.com ).
|Photo by Freeimages.com/Ravanous|
6. Villa degli Oleandri, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Among Positano’s charming pastel houses, which tumble down the steep cliffs to the black-sand beach, Villa degli Oleandri is a three-bedroom apartment spread over two floors, with the elegantly decorated rooms spilling out onto large, leafy terraces with hammocks and stunning sea views. Here you can live like a local in one of Italy’s most captivating towns, with the sparkling Mediterranean beneath you; 200 steps will bring you directly to the beach. The bedrooms are air-conditioned and two have en-suite bathrooms. The large sitting room is filled with souvenirs from world travels, the kitchen is well-equipped, and the villa has daily maid service. Without a garden or a pool, this is more suited to young couples.
● From £3,923 per week or £560 per night ( villaoleandri.it ).
7. Villa Makarska, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
This striking and well-positioned modern villa sleeps up to 10 guests in five bedrooms spread over four floors, and is located in a small, mainland village, a bout two hours’ drive from the nearest airport, at Split. A good choice for a group of friends or family, it has large, open-plan communal areas and a well-equipped kitchen. A big plus is the villa’s close proximity to a scenic stretch of shingly beach. Drift off to the sound of the waves, which lap the shoreline directly below the roomy sun terrace. The villa is child-friendly, although there is an unprotected plunge pool and steps leading straight down to the beach, so small children would need full supervision. Water sports are available nearby, with pedal boats and snorkelling.
● From £2,611 per week in low season, to £6,420 in high season ( croatianvillas.com ).
8. Kioni apartments, Ithaca, Greece
Perfect for two adults and two small children, the bijou apartments in this yellow Italianate building score points for their seaside location in the prettiest village in the Ionian Isles. Immerse yourself in the intimate fizz of village life, or create your own odyssey exploring the island’s many walking routes. Sitting between mainland Greece and Kefalonia, Ithaca is the home of Odysseus, a rugged isle crested in turquoise water and blessed with secluded empty beaches. There are half a dozen great tavernas to eat at near the homely Kioni apartments, a jazz café, and tiny yacht-bobbing harbour just yards away.
● Apartments from £50 per night in low season to £72 per night in high season ( ithacagreece.eu ).
9. Daios Cove, Crete, Greece
Clinging to the hillside like an amphitheatre, the Daios Cove resort, on the island’s north-east coast, is built in the style of a traditional village, with more than 300 villas and apartments lining eight streets, cascading down to a private beach . Particularly good for families with young children, the resort’s villas (each with a private saltwater pool) rival any resort for size. But the views are t he real bonus: the bay is flanked by parched hills on one side and the endless Aegean on the other. Chauffeur-driven buggies whizz you around the complex, and a funicular takes you down to the beach. There’s even a spa, tennis courts, and kids’ club on site.
● From £5,300 a week for a family of four (£1,325pp) in low season, rising to £9,980 (£2,495pp) in high, including B&B in a two-bedroom villa , two kids’ club places , flights and transfers ( scottdunn.com ).
10. Summer House, Kalymnos, Greece
This traditional house in the north of Kalymnos (Greece’s former sponge-diving capital) has unbroken views of the sea – it’s just 60 metres away . With fragrant mountains, wandering goats and pretty coves, this is an island that will surprise you. The property sits in sleepy Emporios village, a clutch of sugar-white houses huddled around a cove with a pebble beach and impossibly clear water. Ideal for a family with young kids who don’t need their own rooms, it has one en-suite bedroom, two single beds in the main living room, and a bathroom. A sister restaurant, Harry’s Paradise, 200 met res away, offers the finest organic Greek cuisine on the island.
● From £50 per night low season, and £65 in high ( booking.com ).
This article was written by Edited by Sally Peck from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.