20 best seaside villas in Europe
Last updated June 12 2010 12:01AMSand in your shoes and the sea in your ears (or vice versa): we’ve tracked down Europe’s best beach houses
1 Eco Fisherman’s Cottage, Lanzarote, Spain This solar-powered fisherman’s cottage on the seafront in the pretty fishing village of Arrieta, northeast Lanzarote, is a stone’s throw from a sandy cove. It sleeps two adults and two children, and has been lovingly converted: wood furniture, cream throws, plants and paintings, a fully fitted kitchen, two bathrooms and lounge opening out on to the promenade. The balcony has superb sea views and the shaded courtyard is perfect for alfresco dining. There are good coastal walking and cycling trails from the doorstep, and the mountain village of Haria is just a short drive away.
Details From € 770 a week (€ 193pp); 00 34 9 2882 6720,lanzaroteretreats.com
2 House on a rock, Italy Perched atop a rocky outcrop in Cefalù, a medieval town on Sicily’s northern coast, Il Gabbiano is a three-bedroom property (sleeping five) with 360-degree views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Whether you’re kicking back in the living room, with its wood beams, sofas and huge picture window, or on one of the three terraces (one of which has a barbecue and dining area, another is backed by a garden), you can’t escape them. Follow the private path down to two sandy coves, or head to the longer beach in the centre of Cefalù, 20 minutes’ walk away.
Details From £3,400 a week (£680pp); 020-7377 8518,thinksicily.com
3 Quiet retreat, Greece Step through the patio gate and you’re on one of the most peaceful, uncommercial beaches in northeast Corfu. Simple but homely, Villa Varvara sleeps four and has an open-plan lounge/kitchen/dining area and a sea-facing veranda — a perfect spot for watching the sunset over the mainland. Take a walk to nearby Avlaki beach, where there’s an excellent English-run dinghy sailing school as well as horse-riding facilities. Or head to the bustling harbour town of Kassiopi, just a few miles away.
Details From £1,620 a week (£405pp); 020-7401 1026, cvtravel.co.uk
4 Roman Villa, Croatia This traditional Dalmatian-style property is built on the foundations of a 4th-century Roman villa on the island of Brac. Inside you’ll find two simply furnished bedrooms (each sleeping three) and an open-plan lounge/kitchen/ dining area with exposed stone walls, low beams, a wrought-iron chandelier and open fireplace. Outside is a walled garden filled with pine and poplar trees, and a covered barbecue area. The village of Postira, with its weekly food market, is within walking distance — perfect for stocking up on local hlap (lobster) and jastog (crayfish).
Details From £809 per property a week (£135); 020-8888 6655,croatianvillas.com (ref BC036)
5 Funky cottage, Spain Set in the natural park of Punta Paloma, near Tarifa, El Paraiso is a three-bedroom property (sleeping six) with its own private pathway leading to a sandy beach. Beautifully decorated with richly coloured rugs and cushions, funky lamps and chunky wood furniture, the cottage has spectacular sea views. Admire them from the lounge, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, the porch or the roof terrace. Or head to the garden gazebo and kick back on the cool white sofas. Tarifa, with its castle and numerous kitesurfing centres, is a short walk away.
Details From £2,220 per property per week (£370pp);holidaylettings.co.uk/127907
6 House party villa Portugal Villa Ciete is a stylish house on a cliff top in the Algarve, with views of the Atlantic and gardens that sweep down to a secluded sandy cove. It sleeps 12 and is ideal for large groups or families, with a spacious sitting room, a games room with pool table, outdoor swimming pool and barbecue area. Take rugged clifftop walks leading to more hidden coves, or visit the nearby village of Gale, home to the Algarve’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Vila Joya.
Details From £7,605 a week (£634pp); 020-7401 1044, cvtravel.co.uk
7 Agriturismo Italy On the southeast coast of Elba, off the Tuscan coast, Bio Elba is made up of four bungalows, dotted throughout 33,000 sq m of forestland. Our favourite is Casetta Sogno, which sleeps five and is surrounded by pines, with its own path to a secluded beach. Organic provisions, including goose eggs, olive oil and home-made wine and honey, can be purchased directly from the owner. Don your walking shoes to explore the island’s hilltop fortresses and medieval villages.
Details Casetta Sogno costs from € 940 per week (€ 188pp); 00 39 05 6593 9072, bioelba.it
8 Stylish house Turkey Set at the foot of the Taurus Mountains in southern Turkey, the best thing about Sans Yildizi in Kalkan is its freshwater infinity pool, which overlooks the sea and is surrounded by elegant wrought-iron sofas and potted plants. The decor is simple yet stylish, with two bedrooms plus a sofa bed in the lounge (to sleep six in all), which has a DVD player with an extensive DVD library, iPod docking station and opens on to a terrace. A few minutes’ walk away is Kisla Cove, with its gently shelving Blue Flag pebble beach, which is great for snorkelling. Patara beach, with its ancient ruins and nesting turtles, is only a 15-minute drive away.
Details From £500 a week (£83pp); pureholidayhomes.com (ref. 1423)
9 Secret hideaway Spain The name says it all. Tucked away in a cove above a little-known shingle beach near Soller in Majorca and backed by rocky cliffs, El Secreto feels like a secret paradise. Sleeping nine, it is perfect for families: while the kids explore the gardens and play on the football table, PlayStation and piano, parents can follow the path down to the beach, where two restaurants serve top-notch local fish and Majorcan wine. The clear water is great for snorkelling, and there is a path that leads to the Sa Pedrissa watchtower. Deià, one of Majorca’s chicest villages, is 1km away.
Details From £1,873 a week (£208pp); holidaylettings.co.uk/65061
10 Listed cottage France Lostmarc’h is a stone cottage at the end of the Crozon peninsula, a few minutes’ walk from one of the the most beautiful beaches in Brittany. Sleeping six, the renovated property combines elegant modern furnishings with original features and has a good-size garden with terrace. Explore this unspoilt region by bike (two are provided) or head to the seaside towns of Morgat and Crozon, both 3km away.
Details From € 1,350 a week (€ 225pp); 00 33 2 98 55 29 26; frenchberry.com