A home away from home
Whether the thought of sitting back and relaxing by your own private pool or having your own private space in a mountain village is what appeals, opting for a villa experience provides freedom and flexibility to do as you please.
There are no meal times to set the alarm for and no need to worry about being woken by room service as you would in a hotel or apartment setting. Put simply, a villa is your own welcoming holiday home. If you want somewhere where you can immerse yourself in the local culture, you’ll find it. If you want a shady terrace where you can relax after a day’s wandering, it’s there. Or if you want somewhere that’s away from it all, it could be the answer.
From your base, you can explore as little or as much as you wish. You may want to take in the sights at a leisurely pace or lay back by the pool and watch lazily as the sun moves across the sky. You may wish to enjoy the privacy of your own walled garden or lounge in the shade while sharing some quality time with your family. Villa holidays are designed to provide freedom and should be far removed from rigid itineraries and mapped out tourist routes.
Giving you options
Of course, everyone’s needs are different and we recognise that what suits an elderly couple is not necessarily great for kids and vice-versa. But that’s where villa options really come into their own. With an array of villas found in virtually every major and minor resort around the world, they’ll be something, somewhere, that ticks the right boxes. So regardless of whether you want a beach escape, a romantic retreat, or an adrenaline fuelled action holiday, the chances are you’ll find a property equipped for your needs. It’s easy to associate villa holidays with larger groups too, but this isn’t the case. Such is the array of property available, that it’s possible to accommodate anyone and everyone, from couples and small families to large groups of friends and even multiple families.
You’ll have your own private space to relax in and be surrounded by those you want to be there. That could be under the sweltering summer sun in Orlando, or overlooking clear crystal waters in Greece. It may be in the heart of the hustle and bustle of a big city like Rome or Barcelona, in the seclusion of a Norwegian fjord while encircled by breath-taking scenery, or even surrounded by glistening snowfalls in an isolated alpine retreat. Your villa could act as a gateway to stunning locations and experiences, all around the world.
With flexibility top of the agenda, a popular accompaniment a villa holiday is car hire. That way you’re able to explore your new found destination when you want to. You can discover private beaches and hidden coves, mystical ruins and archaeological sites, not to mention a blissful array of local culinary delights. Just imagine tucking into the catch of the day while watching the sun go down at a luxurious beachfront restaurant, or sampling the local market produce while relaxing on your own private terrace after a BBQ – if you’d like to experience it, perhaps a villa holiday is right for you?
Building your own holiday
Opting for a villa means you have the ability to shape your holiday exactly how you want it. As it’s an unpackaged option in its own right, you can ensure that what you pick stays within budget, that it meets the dates you want to travel, and that it’s in a location where you want to be. Even if you have limitations, you can still build around them. There’s no need to pay for extras you don’t need either.
Deciding on your destination is one thing, but you can also pick and choose where your villa is located. This brings with it a number of questions – being in a city centre might be an ideal location for experiencing the local culture, but may be noisier. Being isolated may provide peace and quiet, but the lack of amenities may not be ideal if you’re with a large group or with children. Of course, if you’re travelling as a couple it might be just what you need.
As villas come in all shapes and sizes, there’s plenty of options when it comes to room sizes, the number of beds and the number of bathrooms. Add in the possibility of having a heated pool, one with a suitable shallow end for kids or a shelved entrance for those even younger and you can have a villa that perfectly suits your needs.
Depending on who is in your travelling party, staying in a villa with a varied group of people of all ages has numerous benefits. Especially in the sense that it allows people to do their own thing. Many villas can also come with quirky features that are specifically designed for children, helping to create safer environments and allowing you to relax that little bit more.
From rural retreats and beachfront villas to renovated barns and mountain chalets, the world really is your oyster when it comes to picking where to go. Across the world there’s an array of inspirational locations that are rich in culture, bathed in sunshine and where you can wander freely along golden sands and rocky tracks with the wind flowing through your hair.
The sandy beaches and picturesque small villages of Spain’s Costa del Sol are particularly popular with Brits, as are the golden sands of the Balearic and Canary islands. The white-washed homes of Italy’s Amalfi Coast provide an idyllic backdrop, while the rustic charms of Puglia offer a delightful mix of architecture and green rolling hills. You may also want to look to the islands of Greece or to Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines for quieter resorts away from the main tourist hotspots.
If you’re a fan of golf, the Algarve has you covered with plenty of stunning courses, and European flights can generally be found without breaking the bank – especially if you take advantage of sale periods or have a degree of flexibility when you travel. An alternative is to venture to southern France, as there’s the added bonus of being able to take your own transport via the Channel Tunnel.
Looking further afield, Florida, affectionately known as ‘the sunshine state’ offers ample opportunity to top up your tan, while a luxurious villa in the Rocky Mountains provides skiing and snowboarding in the winter and hiking and adventure sports options in the summer.
The money conversation
There was a time when villa holidays were considered a preserve of the rich, but now it’s a different story. Numerous factors, ranging from the school holidays to the location you pick, will influence the price. Booking more bedrooms than is necessary will likely mean you pay more too, so it pays to look around. Generally speaking, you’ll want to have enough people to fill the rooms if you want to keep the cost per person down.
If you have the ability to be flexible with dates or locations, you’ll likely increase your chances of finding a great deal. But in reality, the sheer number of available villas out there should mean you can find your luxury escape without splashing the cash too much – that’s if you have a strict budget of course. If you don’t mind paying a little more for the experience, any number of perks could be available. Some villa bookings may include spa or gym access, while others may have the option to include car hire or even maid service!