Whether it's a minimoon with the other half or a family fortnight on the beaches, this guide to some of the world's most enthralling places for villa rentals aims to stoke the wanderlust just a little. It's got tips on forever-favourite Spain, roams the valleys of France and breaks out across to Asia and beyond, all to help you pinpoint a spot you're bound to remember.
Discover holiday villas to rent in Spain
There are plenty of reasons why Spain still tops the bill for families, couples and travelling groups when it comes to villa hires. There are not only loads of homes to pick from, but also oodles of enticing destinations, from the glowing islands to the raw sierras.
Choose holiday villas in Mallorca
Regular returnees to Mallorca wax lyrical about this Balearic isle. And it's true – it really has it all on the summertime front. Glowing beaches and pine-shrouded inlets run from Cala d'Or to Portals Nous. The craggy Serra de Tramuntana has narrow-gauge railway lines weaving deep into its citrus orchards to the enthralling artist town of Soller. Meanwhile, holiday villas on the north shore fringe the isolated beaches of the Cap de Formentor. There's lots to pick from.
Soak up the sun on the Costa Blanca
The mighty Santa Barbara Castle greets travellers who touch down on the runways at Alicante, heralding a region known as the Costa Blanca. It's the perfect introduction to a part of Spain that effortlessly fuses culture with good-living fun. You could head south to find the waterparks of Torreveja in full swing. Or, go north, where villas are sandwiched between the Blue Flag beaches and breathtaking cliffs of Calp and Moraira.
Holiday villas in Andalusia
Just a mention of the name Andalusia is usually enough to conjure images of white-painted pueblos and dusty olive groves. It's precisely that sort of quintessential Spain that awaits all across this southern region. Once you're over the poolside views, trips to see the expensive yachts bobbing in the harbour at Marbella, encounters with monkeys on the rock of Gibraltar or souvenir shopping jaunts to stunning Ronda could all be on the menu.
France's holiday villas to rent
From scintillating pebble beaches to snow-capped mountains, France certainly has plenty going for it. Read on for 3 very different places where you can seek out villa hires in the country this year.
Villa rentals in the Dordogne
Days in the Dordogne can be filled with canoe expeditions down the meandering water, drifting past medieval towns laden with creperies and bistros. They could also be spent wondering at the prehistoric cave paintings of Lascaux – thought to be at least 17,000 years old. Or, you could just kick back by the side of your private pool, watch the sunflowers dance in the fields and sip sweet local wines.
A chic villa hire on the French Riviera
Heading for the French Riviera means heading for one of the most happening stretches of shoreline in Europe. Yachts coalesce between the marinas of St Tropez, while fashionistas strut the cobbled lanes of indelibly stunning Gassin. Then comes Cannes, drawing the celebrities, and Nice, fusing masterworks by Matisse with ancient Roman history. The villa options that stud the region tend to have their own edge of modern style and class, with pools and sweeping views of the Med just some of the features you can look forward to.
Booking villas in Normandy
It might be the accessibility of Normandy, a region that sits just a short ferry ride across the English Channel, that draws the crowds, but it's the handsome beach towns and enthralling history that surely keeps folk coming back. Homes could be longhouse conversions or traditional gites with a pool, all a stone's throw from the immersive Bayeux Tapestry or the uber-romantic rises of Mont Saint-Michel.
Other places around the world to consider booking villas
Of course, the tried-and-tested retreats of Europe aren't your only option when it comes to choosing holiday villas to rent. There are now chic stays with private pools and gardens ranging from Southeast Asia to the Sunshine State.
Holiday villas to rent in Greece
Greece is another of Europe's iconic destinations for villa hire. In the Aegean Sea, expect to find rentals channelling the whitewashed, cubist style of the region, with flat-topped roofs and – if you're lucky – jaw-dropping perches on islands like Santorini, where the sunsets are said to be the very best on Earth.
A villa hire in Bali
Booking villas in Bali is a sure way to taste the unique style of the so-called Isle of the Gods. The homes here aren't anything like the villas of France or Spain. They make use of local teak woods, bamboo and mahogany, spill into palm-shaded gardens and have dark-tiled infinity pools. What's more, if you think you can pull yourself away from that luxury for a day, the majestic Uluwatu Temple and the macaque-swinging Monkey Jungle of Ubud both await.
Choose villa rentals in Florida
A pad for the whole family is an obvious choice in Florida, what with Universal, Busch Gardens and Walt Disney World just around the corner. The homes in these parts tend to be large, with multiple bedrooms and covered pools out back. Many will even be linked to the buzzing resort centre of International Drive in Orlando by direct road or shuttle bus.