10 of the best: beach villas in Europe

Bedroom at Finca de Arrietta

10/10 Finca de Arrieta: Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Why go? For quirky and ethical yet stylish and comfortable accommodation, Finca de Arrieta in Lanzarote hits the mark. Choose to stay in a Mongolian-inspired yurt or restored water mill, all powered by off grid solar and wind energy, and a hop and a skip away from the sandy beach. For more activity, head into the lunar landscape of the Timanfaya National Park for epic hiking and biking. This is responsible tourism at its best.

Rooms: Various, depending on which type of accommodation you go for. Ranges from four people in a yurt up to eight in three bedrooms in the farmhouse.

Facilities: Finca de Arrieta has a convivial atmosphere, with shared solar heated pool, playground, trampoline and huge chess set for all to enjoy plus movie night by the pool once a week. Some yurts have a small private garden area, plus if you hire an eco room, there’s use of a hybrid car for your stay. Fill up on supplies at the farm’s honesty shop and collect eggs from the hens. Baby equipment and body boards are available to borrow.

Price: i-escape; from £65 per night.

Kitchen at Domaine de Murtoli

9/10 Domaine de Murtoli: Corsica, France

Why go? Domaine de Murtoli on the south coast of Corsica contains a range of lovingly restored 17th century shepherds houses set in over 2,500 hectares of Corsican countryside dotted with olive trees, alongside gorgeous views over the Mediterranean. Murtoli is a working farm, and families can pick their own fruit and vegetables from the estate. If that seems too much effort, the estate can deliver your groceries instead. There’s plenty for families to enjoy here, as well as the dreamy surroundings. Splash out on the open air spa or splash into the sea and go diving. The estate often organises tailormade retreats too including cookery courses and pottery for children.

Rooms: Varies, from two people and a baby up to a group of 13.

Facilities: Each villa has its own garden and pool, plus a roomy terrace for outdoor dining. The estate has its own restaurant or can organise romantic candlelit dinners on the beach. Babysitting can be organised on request.

Price: Scott Dunn; from £900pp per week including flights.

8/10 Can de la Roca: Majorca, Spain

Why go? Can de la Roca is located slap bang in the middle of Port de Pollença, a charming Majorcan town on the northern coast. Port de Pollença has plenty of sandy beaches nearby to keep little ones occupied, plus the beautiful old town packed full of independent shops and restaurants will keep parents happy.

Rooms: Sleeps six in three en-suite bedrooms.

Facilities: This new property has a luxurious interior with air conditioning, floor to ceiling glass panels to make the most of the outdoor views, open plan living, an outdoor pool and stylish kitchen with espresso machine.

Price: Abercrombie & Kent; from £3,657 per week.

Outdoor dining, Villa du Couchant

7/10 Villa du Couchant: Ile de Ré, France

Why go? This understated and impeccably-designed villa created by a top architect sits on the edge of the village of Bois Plage – a two-minute walk through a pine forest and you are out onto dunes. There’s a nearby beach club and a sailing club. Ile de Ré is flat, so ideal for cycling, and there’s a bike shop on almost every corner where you can hire child seats.

Rooms: Sleeps 10 people in five bedrooms.

Facilities: The villa has an outdoor fireplace, library, gym, heated pool, petanque pitch, table tennis and table football. Babysitting is available.

Price: SJ Villas; from £11,250 per week including daily maid service.

6/10  Vila Vita Parc: Algarve, Portugal

Why go? On Portugal’s southern coast, Vila Vita Parc is a resort set in 54 acres of subtropical gardens, 25 minutes from the town of Silves. Hire a dreamy whitewashed private villa and all facilities are within walking distance.

Rooms: Various options (from four to six).

Facilities: Spa treatments, golf, wine tours, watersports, tennis, and yacht hire – think it over while sunning yourself in the cliff-protected bay. There are kids’ clubs, activities for teens and babysitting, plus plenty of food options, from a trattoria to a two Michelin-starred restaurant.

Price: ITC Classics; from £681pp per week including transfers.

5/10 Villa Sevdam: Turkey

Why go? Beachside Villa Sevdam has sea views to die for, and is just a short walk to waterside bars and restaurants. The Söğüt peninsula in southwest Turkey has traditional villages, authentic harbour life and pretty but rugged bays to enjoy, if you can peel yourself away from the blissful serenity of your villa’s location.

Rooms: Sleeps four in two bedrooms

Facilities: The private pool and outdoor terrace are all you really need in this stunning seaside location.

Price: Simpson Travel; from £885pp for one week including flights and car.

La Beata villa

4/10  La Beata: Istria, Croatia

Why go? Staying on the Istrian coastline is perfect for more active families as there plenty of mountain and coastal pursuits on offer, as well as being a beautiful part of Croatia. La Beata is in a top spot. The nearest beach is a few minutes drive away, and the pretty medieval town of Labin a little further on, which is packed full of architectural charm.

Rooms: Sleeps 10 people in five bedrooms.

Facilities: This spacious villa is set over three floors, so ideal for large groups. It comes with infinity pool and outdoor terrace, perfect for gazing at the spectacular Istrian coastline.

Price: James Villa Holidays; from £1,789pp per week.

Sea view, Porte Zante

3/10  Porto Zante villas & spa: Zakynthos, Greece

Why go? Zakynthos is one of the most beautiful Ionian Islands with aquamarine sea and rocky coves. Porto Zante is tucked away on the island’s east coast and is perfect for families wanting a high end holiday treat. Expect plush Bulgari toiletries and Bang & Olufsen technology.

Rooms: Various (1,2,3 and 4-bedrooms).

Facilities: These six luxury villas were voted one of the best family hotels in the world by Conde Nast Traveller in 2018. Private pools sit on their own stretch of beach, with panoramic views over Kefalonia and the turquoise blue Ionian Sea. All the perks of a hotel but with bags of personal space. Everything is at hand: the beachfront restaurant, bar, spa service, babysitting, private chef, and a butler. Entertainment for children is endless – diggers, buckets and spades are at the ready on the beach and pedaloes and paddleboards in the water . Special menus, essential family paraphernalia likes cots and highchairs, plus dedicated villa rooms complete the glittering line-up for kids.

Price: Porto Zante Villas & Spa; from £1,562 per night.

Courtyard hamman, Casa Bordonero

2/10  Casa Bordonero: Sicily, Italy

Why go? Cefalù, in Northern Sicily, is the ideal destination for families wanting a relaxed holiday but with amenities on hand.Bright and airy Casa Bordonero is set in the heart of bustling old town of Cefalù and just a short stroll from the beach and promenade bursting with seafood restaurants and cafes.

Rooms: Sleeps six in three bedrooms, all with en-suites and balcony.

Facilities: The townhouse has a unique relaxation zone in its courtyard, with Turkish steam room and Jacuzzi, plus outdoor dining table for al fresco meals.

Price: Oliver’s Travels; from £1,293 per week including concierge service.

Terrace dining, Villa Callirrhoe

1/10  Villa Callirrhoe: Rhodes, Greece

Why go? Villa Callirrhoe is a seriously cool property and sits in the southeast of Rhodes with access to a sandy beach with private chairs, paddles and canoes and a blue, blue sea. At the right time of year, you may also be lucky enough to see turtles hatching on the beach.

Rooms: Sleeps up to 28 in 12 bedrooms.

Facilities: White Key Villas, which rents the property, has a very child-friendly policy – it will do everything from supplying high chairs, baby cots and car seats to organising a child’s birthday party. To ensure tots don’t tumble, the pool is surrounded by anti-slip floors. You can relax in the garden or on the patio while they splash merrily.

Price: White Key Villas; from £12,756 per week including daily maid service, travel assistance and concierge services.

 

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