In a twirl of the flamenco dress and a click of the castanets, Spain beckons travelers to one seriously immersive part of the continent. Gleaming beaches combine with cobbled pueblo viejo to create somewhere where sunbathing goes hand in hand with tales of great explorers and formidable matadors. There's food, too – think endless paella and sizzling tapas infused with the spices of North Africa. Tempted? Be sure to read on for a guide to booking villas in Spain…

The beguiling features of villas in Spain

With enchanting mountain cottages and luxury villas in Spain on the menu, the rentals in this corner of Europe certainly have plenty to entice and enchant. A few of the top features of vacation rentals in the home of flamenco and paella are listed below.

Villas in Spain by the beach

From the buzzing marinas of the Costa del Sol to the craggy coves of the Costa Brava, Spain is blessed with some of Europe's most stunning coastline. A great bulk of the country's villas offer a ticket to the sands and seas. Look for them in vibrant resort towns like Marbella and Calpe. Or, consider going a little off-radar, with ocean-side villas on the north coast by San Sebastian and the Basque Country.

Villas to rent in Spain with a private pool

It's no secret that Spain can get balmy. Temperatures can often peak over 100 degrees on the costas, and that's not even mentioning the African heats of the Canaries even further south. One way to give yourself some respite is to focus in on a villa with its own private pool. There are oodles, from terracotta-roofed farm conversions with splash pads in the Sierra Nevada to plush minimalist villas with infinity pools overlooking the Med.

The most luxury villas in Spain

From whitewashed cottages perched on top of dusty sierras to grand hacienda homes in old orange-growing estates, luxury in Spanish villas comes in many forms. What ties the top-class rentals together in these parts is that you're sure to leave feeling like royalty, relaxed after days by the pool and rejuvenated by the breezy airs of the Mediterranean Sea.

How to find the cheapest villas to rent in Spain

Stack up extra euros for the new beachwear and Spanish tapas evenings by following the tips below. They reveal a couple of ways you can reduce the cost of even the most luxury villas in Spain…

Spring and fall are still warm

You don't have to hit Spain between June and August to be in with hot days and balmy nights. It's usually T-shirt and board short weather by May time, while the temps don’t tend to dip again until around November, especially in the Balearic Islands and the Canaries – which are even closer to Africa than they are to Madrid. The upshot? You'll still be able to soak up the rays in spring and autumn, though rates in villas will usually be considerably lower.

Stray off the beaten track for cheap villas in Spain

Channeling your inner Don Quixote and heading off-trail in Spain is a sure way to unearth some surprising bargains. There's always demand for the chic houses of Marbella and the Golden Mile, Barcelona and Ibiza Town. But what about the rustic white villages of the sierras? What about artsy Madrid? What about the verdant vineyard hills of Galicia?

Ravishing regions with amazing villas in Spain

Spain is a patchwork of all sorts of diverse and intriguing regions. From the fish-sizzling cantinas of Cadiz to the shimmering beaches of the Costa Blanca to the wave-spattered isles of the Canary chain, there's oodles of spots to think about when booking your villa this year.

The Costa del Sol is a doozy

No guide to villas in Spain could possibly be complete without at least a nod to the Costa del Sol. For decades this has been the go-to place for beach days and summer vibes. Along its length, towns like Malaga pack in carved Moorish citadels, and resorts like Marbella jostle with fashion boutiques and yacht sails. Between them, they tout seriously luxury villas in Spain's most famous coastal area, many with jaw-dropping views over the sands.

Ibiza – for luxury villas in Spain

Ibiza is the fabled White Isle – a vacationing mecca that evokes feelings of happy-go-lucky days doused in cold cocktails and wild nights on the town. In fact, the island isn't all thumping mega clubs and sizzling off the hangover. It's also got some beautiful villas, often designed by famous architects and packed with thought-provoking artworks.

R&R on the Canary Islands

Spain's sun-splashed islands in the Atlantic Ocean are just a ferry ride from the coast of Africa. That means they are year-round sun spots that magnetize snowbirds when the rest of Europe is snuggling up by the fire. For beaches, be sure to consider the white-hued bays of Fuerteventura. For surf and craggy volcanos, Lanzarote might be a better pick.

Escape to the sierras of Andalusia

Andalusia is a real mixture of quintessential Spanish culture and history. It's home to the puebla blanca villages, which have stood for centuries on dusty mountainsides above the Mediterranean. It's also the birthplace of paella and tapas, which you can taste in earthy cantina bars all over the region. Away from the coast is where the sierras take over, hosting all sorts of secluded villas and country estates.