f the heatwave has got you dreaming of sunbeds and sangria, you’re not the only one; which means planning a stylish last-minute escape may require more than a little good timing and luck. But making a hasty getaway doesn’t have to mean sacrificing on style – if you know where to look. To give you a head start we’ve scoured the chicest villa rental platforms on the internet to find the luxurious villas still available to book this summer.
La Bastide de Victoire, Côte d’Azur, France
Marie Antoinette meets Coastal Grandma at this eccentric yet iconic four-bedroom villa on the French Riviera. La Bastide de Victoire is 7km from St Paul de Vence – the charming hilltop village beloved by Picasso and Matisse – and an easy 20km from Nice airport. For local village life, Tourrettes-sur-Loup is a gentle stroll from the property, and boasts a handful of boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
The four characterful bedrooms are filled with intricate French dressers, pastel linens and elaborate tapestries, opening onto unparalleled views over rolling hills and sea. There’s a freeform pool carved into the limestone, with a picturesque waterfall, boules court, outdoor BBQ and hot tub. Renting this villa also means access to your own private chef, plus a bountiful breakfast hamper each morning with eggs for scrambling, oranges for juicing and fresh pastries from the local boulangerie.
Masseria Schiuma, Puglia, Italy
Verdant citrus trees, volcanic red soil, whitewashed walls and frothing blue sea foam – or schiuma in Italian – these are some of the colours that inspire this restored six-bedroom Puglian farmhouse. Still, it’s not the Puglian cliché you might expect: Danish owners Pernille and Lars Lembcke renovated the farmhouse in 2014 according to their own unique taste, and still live here for much of the year. The property has six spacious, en-suite double bedrooms (two of which are large enough to sleep three guests), as well as a stylish yurt in the grounds for camping out under the stars.
Holidays here are about diving into the saltwater Olympic pool and rinsing off in the olive tree turned outdoor shower, before a long lunch under the vines. Puglia is home to some of Italy’s most delicious produce, and the vegetable garden will keep you supplied with bounteous tomatoes, peaches, courgettes and more. Although close to the sea, the masseria is surrounded by lush olive and lemon groves, their perfume filling the air. Nearby, discover Monopoli, Savelletri, Bari and the unexplored Puglian countryside beyond.
Vision of a Gentle Coast, Mykonos, Greece
Chaotic family holidays with teenagers, grandparents and screaming toddlers all messing in together can be a lot of fun, in moderation, but sometimes it’s nice to retreat to your own space too. Cue this stonking 18-person property in the hills of one of the most sought-after Greek islands, where six separate guest houses have been artfully woven together into one truly special home.
Everything convenes around the infinity pool, and you need only spend an evening here, sipping chilled white wine and listening to music as the sun sets, to understand why. Outside the property, you’ll find the impossibly azure waters of rightly famous Agios Ioannis beach a 15-minute drive away, and the charming town of Mykonos itself just 10 minutes away.
Mansion Tony Montana, Marbella, Spain
A majestic home set in the exclusive Golden Mile of Andalusia, Mansion Tony Montana is nothing if not excessive. The choice residence of more than a few royal figures and Hollywood stars over the years, the six-bedroom villa is set on an expansive plot of 2,350 square metres. Reflecting its sparkling history, the interiors are all Persian rugs, antique furnishings, marble bathrooms and crystal chandeliers, leading out onto a huge pool with a grand loggia.
A professional-grade kitchen is at your disposal for hiring a private chef, who can serve up a feast in one of the many dining areas. You’ll find the best parts of a luxury hotel – sauna, spa, well-equipped gym, cinema room and billiard room – with nothing so pesky as other people.
Villa Paola, Ibiza, Spain
Done Ibiza’s party scene and looking for something more relaxed? Villa Paola, a gorgeous five-bedroom retreat set amid the lush greenery of the island’s southwest coast, is just the tonic. Unfolding over several levels, this spacious villa is the perfect destination for some truly horizontal R&R.
The property exudes the hippy-chic aesthetic Ibiza has become known for, with driftwood sculptures and soft furnishings to ease the senses. The open-plan kitchen and dining area are fully equipped with everything that you – or your private chef – need to create the most delicious Mediterranean-inspired feasts. Outside, sun loungers and four-poster days beds line the long infinity pool, with a Balinese gazebo for you to enjoy al fresco lunches and dinners together. A short drive away, you’ll find golden beaches such as Cala Jondal, home to the exclusive Blue Marlin Beach Club.
Tempted By The Morning Sun, Antalya, Turkey
The Turkish Riviera – as it’s been rebranded in recent years – is having a serious renaissance as a Mediterranean destination full of fascinating history, culture and pristine beaches. Beyond the party towns of Bodrum and Izmir, Antalya is difficult to beat for its charming villages and unspoiled nature.
In the hills above Kalamar Beach, this five-bedroom villa looks out over lush mountains and clear blue skies, the warm sea just a short stroll away. You’ll find excellent seafood restaurants in the local town of Kalkan, where cobbled streets and whitewashed cottages line the waterfront. Back at the villa, find a shady spot to read a book in the hammock, or pass an afternoon in the beautifully tiled pool.
Podere dei Limoni, Tuscany, Italy
Set amidst the hills of Capalbio in Maremma, Podere dei Limoni feels like a secluded paradise with wild beautiful gardens and a spectacular ocean view. The interiors are all neutral white-washed walls, polished concrete and contemporary art, a welcome break from the Renaissance overload of Tuscany’s museums and cities.
Each bedroom has its own outdoor access, and the villa’s pièce de résistance is a sunken infinity pool, disappearing into the landscape of rosemary, lavender and mulberry trees. Down at sea level, luxury travel consultant Merrion Charles can arrange a private boat trip to Giglio, or tours around nearby wineries.
The Red Chalet, Algarve, Portugal
Opening for the first time this summer, this bijoux two-bedroom villa opens a much-anticipated new chapter to the seaside town of Armação de Pêra. The Belle Époque era holiday house was built at the turn of the 20th century, inspired by the opulent luxury of the day, and was originally known as ‘Chalet dos Caldas e Vasconcelos’.
It remained a family summer home for almost 80 years, and this sense of familial warmth has been recreated in the unique wooden flooring, antique chandeliers, and a spectacular staircase. In the grounds, a small annex – the White House – offers a duplex suite with living room and terrace, ideal for an extra couple, au pair or older children.
Villa Sheherezade, Dubrovnik
The jewel of the Dalmatian coast, the ancient walled city of Dubrovnik is no well-kept secret. What is a secret, however, is this palatial villa positioned on the clifftop above the town. A masterpiece of white stone, topped with a striking turquoise dome, it is surrounded by 4,000 square metres of original white-stone terraces and a Mediterranean garden.
Villa Sheherezade was originally built in 1920 with an intoxicating mix of Moorish and Mediterranean architecture, and views onto the terracotta-coloured Old City, the impossibly clear Adriatic and the secluded island of Lokrum. A spectacular seaside property, the white-stone palace once played host to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Now, its five newly-renovated bedrooms are each as sumptuous as the next, and you’ll get Bvlgari toiletries, a private chef and a butler to boot.