Winter Getaways: Five of the Most Inviting Villas and Places to Stay in Andalucia

It’s mid-winter and the nights have drawn in. Thankfully, though, down in Andalucia there’s still a fair bit of sunshine to squeeze out of the year. And from traditional village houses and grand palacetes in Granada to exclusive luxury villas and rural boltholes in Malaga, every one of the selection of villas and places to stay in Andalucia below is tailor-made for a seriously relaxing winter break.

El Tinao; Canar, Las Alpujarras

This converted village house in the heart of the Alpujarras has charm and character to burn, but it doesn’t come at the expense of comfort and all the necessary modern facilities – original chestnut beams meet a rooftop Jacuzzi, essentially. On a clear day, there are views of the Rif Mountains over on the other side of the Mediterranean, but at this time of year, evenings and early mornings can be spent on the terrace watching the mists roll down from the Sierra Lugar. Stunning.

Villa Riachuelo; Canillas de Aceituno, Malaga

If you had to draw a picture of the archetypical holiday villa in Andalucia, then Villa Riachuelo would probably be it. Except it’s not down on the crowded coast, it’s high in the mountains, surrounded by the Sierra de Tejeda and a stone’s throw from the charming village of Canillas de Aceituno. Facilities here are extensive (pool, indoor/outdoor kitchens, hydro-massage showers and plenty of outdoor seating areas) while the grounds stretch down through the olive groves to a babbling brook.

Gran Hacienda Florentina; Marbella, Malaga

Five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a pool table, home cinema, sauna, gym and Jacuzzi, an infinity pool… Gran Hacienda Florentina has more of the feel of a high-end luxury accommodation than your average holiday villa in Andalucia (it even offers Egyptian bed linen, for goodness sake!) Atmospheric, quirky and charm-filled it ain’t; but with its top facilities and host of luxe touches, it’s pretty hard to beat for a decadent long weekend away with friends.

Palacete de Cazulas; Cazulas, Granada

The Palacete de Cazulas is a truly remarkable historical palace complex made up of a main house (a riot of elaborate rejas, arched ceilings and original tiles), and a couple of courtyard outhouses. Outside, the gardens extend to a tree-lined pool and tennis court. At around 1,400 Euros per night for a three-night stay it’s certainly not cheap, but it sleeps 20 and for a place to stay for an indulgent winter sunshine break that takes in a unique slice of history, it’s worth every penny.

The Mill; Juviles, Sierra Nevada

The Mill is yet another of the many thoughtfully converted places to stay that now dot the Alpujarras. Interiors are a stylish blend of ancient and modern, with thick walls and wooden beams sitting neatly alongside gleaming slate floors and carefully chosen pieces of furniture. But it’s the location that really stands out: set in its own ‘barranco’ (or small river valley) it’s a stunningly secluded spot, while the nearby village of Juviles itself is an attractive little place.

Exploring Chianti in Tuscany – Villas and Vineyards Galore

Chianti is a famous wine-producing region in central Tuscany. Villas to rent are popular and plentiful in the area, thanks to its picturesque landscape and languid lifestyle – complete with rolling hills and greenery as far as the eye can see.

But Chianti is a region that has so much more to offer – especially if you know where to go. Here are some top attractions and places to breathe in the area’s extensive natural and cultural beauty.

Castello di Verrazzano

There is a reason this particular site is one of the most popular attractions in Chianti, if not Tuscany. Villas in the area are surrounded with verdant vineyards, cellars are full of aging wine, and guestrooms are awash with medieval art, offering a holistic package for visitors to appreciate the best the region has to offer. A tour of the Castello is just 16 Euros – great value considering what you get from the package. You can top off your visit with a scrumptious sampler of three of the Castello’s most popular wines. An interesting snippet of information: a descendent of the Verrazzanos – Giovanni de Verazzano – discovered the New York Bay.

Monte San Michele Nature Park

Are you looking forward to taking in the natural beauty of Tuscany? Villas and hotels around this area will put you within easy access of the Monte San Michele Nature Park, where you can hike around and fully appreciate the flora and fauna of Chianti. Poplars, wild cherries, chestnuts, fallow deer, wild boar, porcupines, foxes, hares – there is just so much for the nature lover to enjoy while casually strolling through this lovely nature park.

Antica Macelleria Cecchini

While you might not think a visit to a butcher shop is an attraction, the avid foodies will revel in this particular one – the Cecchini Butcher Shop, located in Panzano. Dario Cecchini is an eighth-generation butcher who seeks to create the “Renaissance of meat.” He thus not only dedicates himself to perfecting the art of preparing good meat, but also in presenting it in a way that makes people look at food with much more reverence than they are used to. Dario has opened two restaurants as well. One, located above the shop is named Mac Dario, where you can eat a homemade hamburger and the full meal with a 1/4 lt of wine, a coffee and his homemade cake for just €13; then there’s his top restaurant L’Officina della Bistecca (the steak workshop) where he presents and cuts three different types of steak, cooks it in front of you on a big log fire and then serves it with his own special ritual. But one thing that really sets him apart from any other butcher in the world is that as soon as you walk into his shop you are offered a glass of Chianti and a taste of several of his product and it’s all free of charge. This is a true gastronomic experience not to be missed.

Church of San Leolino

Catholicism is prevalent in Tuscany. Villas and hotels may abound in the area, but so too do churches – in every shape and size. What makes the Church of San Leolino stand out is the history behind its simple Roman architecture. Built around 1,000 AD, this particular church eschews the glitz and glamour of its many peers for a serene, contemplative and humbling atmosphere. Still, the simplicity of the church is an elegant one and can stir the passions of those who enter within its walls.

Get Out of the Phuket Holiday Villas and Explore the Province

Sun, sand, and sea-these are the three things travellers think of when they hear of Phuket. Situated south of Thailand, Phuket is one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations because of its natural beauty. Its pristine white sand beaches, well-preserved forests, and rich mix of Asian and European architecture place it among the best vacation spots in the world. In recent times, Phuket holiday villas and hotel accommodations continue to be in high demand, and tourists continue to flock this Southeast Asian paradise.

The province boasts of many tourist attractions. The Two Heroines Monument in Amphoe Thalang greets tourists along the highway from the international airport. Culture lovers will find Thalang National Museum a treat. There you will find pieces of old Phuket, revealing its French, Dutch, English, Portuguese, and Chinese origins. You will also love touring the city where you can find colonial Portuguese and Thai architectures. Environmental trekkers will take pleasure in visiting the Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Conservation Development and Extension Centre. Take a hike at the national park and marvel in its well-preserved virgin forest. Discover a number of wild animals that are nearly extinct thriving in this park as well.

Head to the south or to the southwest until you reach the scenic beaches of the province. If you live an active lifestyle, head to Phuket’s most developed beach. Patong Beach offers water sports activities to quench your thirst for adventure. This beach is also popular for its nightlife, and party goers will find this place a haven.

Shoppers will find bargain clothes and accessories in town. Those of you who only want to relax in one of the beautiful Phuket pool villas can go to the second largest beach in the island. Karon Beach is less developed, and more families and couples prefer to stay here for privacy. The waters in this area hold some of the most wonderful coral reefs in Southeast Asia. The View Point and Phromthep Cape both provide wonderful views of the ocean and the islands nearby. These are just some of the places you can visit when you go on your trip to this southern province of Thailand. You can always spend your down time with friends or loved ones while soaking in the golden rays of the sun on the beach.

Going to this popular tourist spot is easy and affordable even on a tight budget. You can find many resorts offering Phuket holiday villas and Phuket pool villas with competitive prices online. Do a search on the Internet and check with your local tourist centre for a list of accredited travel agencies. Ask your friends about places they can recommend, and check reviews online as well. Make sure to take into account the activities you want to do while in Thailand, and find a bundle which offers as many activities. You can choose to arrange your other activities later if you wish to make reservations at once, as rates in Thailand are very budget-friendly.

If you haven’t been to Thailand before, going to the province of Phuket is a good start. Explore its historic city and its marvellous beaches. After all, there’s no such thing as getting too much of sun, sand, and sea.

Villas and Apartments to Rent

Spanish holidays are all about sun, sand, restaurants, shops and the nightlife. Whilst abroad, the modern holiday maker as a choice of either paying for hotel accommodation or renting (or even buying) a villa or apartment.

Self catering can be fantastic because it gives you so much more freedom and choice. It can also be less expensive than paying for service in hotels. Enjoying your holiday is always enhanced when you have more choice.

If you end up enjoying your villa or apartment the first time around then you can always book the same one again next time. Subject to availability of course. In peak times competition for vacancies can be high.

With high competition for space, prices are usually comparatively lower which means that you can still find a bargain even in the peak session (as long as you look hard enough!).

Many holiday makers like to have their own private pool so they can take a dip before breakfast. Seaviews are also fantastic. There’s nothing quite like sharing a coffee on the balcony overlooking the ocean or having a nice glass of Spanish wine at night as the sun sets.

Finding Villas and Apartments to rent is always great if you have young children. Looking after them in this type of accommodation is much better than when you’re in a hotel.

So whatever your budget you will find a fantastic place to stay in Spain. Check out the link below or the other holiday resource online and book your place today.

Villas and Apartments in Spain For Rental, Tenerife – Many Reasons to Book Direct!

When you book villas and apartments in Spain for rental on the fabulous island of Tenerife with the holiday-home owners direct, you will benefit from not having to go through an agent. A directly-booked luxury Spanish villa in Tenerife can be fantastic value, especially if you are holidaying with a large family group. By speaking to the owners directly you can often get a good deal on the price of holiday rentals in Spain if you want to rent a property for a fortnight or longer.

A further reason for deciding to book holiday villas and apartments in Spain for rental direct from the owners is the selection of properties that are available in popular destinations like Tenerife. Whether you want a luxury Spanish villa in Tenerife for twenty people or a small, central apartment for two, or something in between, most people can find something suitable. The property you ultimately select will depend on your budget, the size of your party and the location you want, but you will probably be surprised at the choices that are available.

If you choose villas and apartments in Spain for rental for your holiday in Tenerife you will benefit from the freedom that self-catering brings. For visitors who want a holiday which is tailor-made for them, privately booked accommodation is ideal as you can find the perfect property in terms of situation and facilities. Some people want a beach holiday in popular resorts like Los Cristianos whereas others are looking for more secluded rural locations like Orotava village. Whatever you are looking for there are holiday rentals Spain to suit most visitors.

One of the most appealing benefits of choosing villas and apartments in Spain for rental direct from the private owners is that the holiday-home generally has many more amenities than hotel accommodation provides. With villas and apartments you will have a kitchen with basic amenities like a fridge and cooker which is useful even if you plan to eat out most of the time. Many properties, especially if you choose a luxury Spanish villa in Tenerife, have extremely well-equipped kitchens with a freezer, microwave, dishwasher etc. to make your stay more comfortable. If you are holidaying with small children they can have their own rooms which means that they can stick to their bedtime routines and you can stay up and have some ‘grown-up’ time without disturbing them.

Unlike a hotel package deal, self-catering villas and apartments in Spain for rental allow you the flexibility to come and go as you like. With holiday rentals Spain booked direct there are no restrictive check-in times or restaurant opening times or organized sightseeing tours – you choose your schedule to suit you and your fellow holidaymakers. You can choose the places you want to visit, where to eat out and the experiences you want to have – you are free to come and go as the mood takes you!

Holidaymakers who book villas and apartments in Spain for rental from the private owners may find that the extras that are often provided can make your holiday a memorable one. As property owners use their villa or self catering holiday apartment in Spain for their own holidays there are often many extras provided such as high chairs, cots and car seats for babies and toddlers or beach towels and sun loungers or even sports equipment such as golf clubs and tennis racquets. This can make a good holiday into one you will remember for a long time!