Whether you’re an oceanholic, sunshine aficionado or you’re gunning for adventure – summer is the season on everyone’s minds. And let’s face it, life is better in flip-flops! Here at Oliver’s Travels, we love all things unforgettably quirky, luxuriously stylish and chock-full of character. So, we’ve handpicked a sizzling selection of exceptional summer villas in Europe that’ll leave you sun-kissed and rejuvenated with a sprinkling of culture. We’ve chosen the best from the bunch and we’ve even dished out our top seasonal tips. What are you waiting for? It’s your chance to make this the best summer yet!
1. Tour St Therese, Charente
If you’re looking to feed your romantic side in one of the most romantic countries in the world, then the charming Tour St Therese will not disappoint. Offering quaint French furnishings and nearby food markets, this idyllic 14th century tower has it all. This rural retreat comes with the option of having dinner cooked by the owner and yoga and massages in the garden which will make for your most romantic summer to date. Look out for the gentle visiting owl that likes to perch on the recessing windowsills.
Summer tip: Fancy a lover’s stroll in the surrounding countryside? Listen out for the relaxing serenade of birdsong and croaking frogs on a morning meander. Or take an evening amble and admire the stars in the often cloudless skies.
Prices from: £15pppn
2. Chevaliers Gatehouse, Shropshire
Summer in style! Chevaliers Gatehouse is a haven for those yearning for a relaxing and luxurious summer holiday. This home is perfect for a quiet night in soaking in the freestanding tub or enjoying a picnic in the grounds by the beautiful fountain and flower beds.
Summer tip: Bit of a foodie? Feast out at some of the region’s gastro hotspots or discover some good old fashioned pub grub.
Prices from: £61pppn
3. Villa i Grilli, Tuscany
What a glorious setting, right? Villa i Grilli is positioned in the heart of Tuscany on a verdant hillside with gorgeous scenic views. Drink in those panoramas from the manicured gardens or from the stunning pool with cocktail in hand. The tradtional Tuscan farmhouse dating from the 18th century is clad in original stone and has room for up to 15 guests to stay in comfort and style. You’ll love the enchanting farmhouse style interiors, offering exposed timber beams, roaring open fires and flagstone flooring, framed by bottle green wooden shutters. It’s the quintessential Tuscan escape!
Summer tip: Rediscover the things you love to do, but no longer have time for. You might be a wordsmith, bibliophile or artist. Use your time away from home to fall in love with your craft again, and what better setting than Villa i Grilli.
Sleeps: 6 – 15
Prices from: £43pppn
4. Chateau De Jaques, Chalons-en-Champagne
Make your own history in this historic chateau! Chateau de Jaques is the perfect setting for a large family occasion and makes for a beautiful and traditional wedding venue. Enjoy catering by the Michelin-starred resident chef and experience a glimpse of the past in this delightful classified building.
Summer tip: Rise and shine! The local bakery is only a short walk from the chateau gates so soak up those morning rays and grab some freshly baked croissants for the family.
Sleeps: 12 – 32
Prices from: £30pppn
5. Gaelic Castle, Ireland
You’ll be thinking you’ve got the luck of the Irish with this alluring find! Gaelic Castle lies in the enchanting rural surroundings of County Clare and offers a mixture of medieval aesthetics and modern amenities. Ireland may not be the warmest of summer locations but don’t let that stop you taking part in summertime activities, such as surfing the Atlantic waves of the nearby Lahinch Beach. The castle’s breathtaking countryside views and the serene local lakes make for a much-needed retreat away from the stresses of modern life.
Summer tip: Life is about those little micro-moments that bring us happiness. So swap your Facebook scrolling for headspace. Leave the phone in your bedroom and make the most of Gaelic Castle.
Sleeps: 4 – 8
Prices from: £46pppn
6. Villa Ferragudo, Lagoa
Lap up the summer like a royal! Sound up your street? That and more awaits at Villa Ferragudo. The holiday home once housed a royal princess and though it still belongs to the Portuguese Royal family – it’s yours for the taking. A summer here is great for larger families and friends as the villa can sleep up to a whopping 19 guests. As a waterfront villa, you’ll only be a few minutes from the beach. Curl your toes beneath the sand, embrace the waves and once you’re beached out, come back to the villa and spend the evening by the pool area.
Summer tip: If you’re a budding golfer, you’re in luck! You’ll find several golf courses within a 20 minute drive from the villa.
Prices from: £49pppn
7. Le Mas de Saint Paul, Cote d’Azur
Is the French Riviera calling your name? Take a look at the snazzy Mas de Saint Paul for your next summer getaway. You’ll be torn between staying inside or seeing the neighbouring sights. Of course, you can have both, but what will you do first? We recommend visiting the famous Fondation Maeght Museum which is just a 10-minute walk away. After a spot of lunch nearby, stroll back to your villa for an afternoon of tennis, boules, swimming or lazing about on one of the terraces.
Summer tip: Summer is peak travel season in France so expect big queues for museums and attractions. Mid-week is a better bet for a shorter wait and make sure to get there early to beat the rush. But don’t forget to check the opening days and times in your trusty guide book before you set off for the day!
Prices from: £32pppn
8. Villa San Michele, Puglia
A converted chapel set among medieval towns, there’s history on your doorstep at Villa San Michele. Not to worry, for those who can’t live without their modern comforts, there’s entirely nothing medieval about the furnishings in this villa! Charming antiques coupled with modern trinkets make for an oh-so-chic interior. So, after hours soaking up the heat on sun-loungers in the exotic gardens, there’s no better place to take a kip than your comfy double beds! There’s an authentic wood fire oven, so the whole clan can get stuck in making pizzas then sharing laughs until starlight with some al fresco dining (save us a slice!). When you don’t fancy cooking, have a meal at Osteria Pugliese for some world recognised grub.
Summer tip: We wouldn’t blame you for wanting to spend every waking minute splashing in the private pool. But don’t forget the importance of shade, especially during peak sun hours. Getting some shade under the covered veranda is the perfect way to enjoy outdoor life but avoid nasty sunburns – you’ll thank us for it.
Prices from: £58pppn
9. Villa Arantza, Dalmatian Coast
Who wouldn’t fancy spending their summer plunging into the blue waters of Villa Arantza? Found in the hills outside Sibenik, this home is made for families to enjoy a summer of fun. Take a dip in the pool, blow off steam in the games room and unwind on the stunning terrace in the evening. There’s even a wooden playset in the garden and four-legged guests are welcome here too! There’s truly room for all the family.
Summer tip: Even though it’s tempting to pack your suitcase full of shorts and T-shirts, remember to cover up if you’re planning to spend a long time in the sun. Long skirts, long-sleeved shirts and sun hats will be vital in that scorching European sun.
Prices from: £69pppn
10. Villa Volta, Mallorca
Set among tropical gardens in the heart of the Mallorcan countryside, this gloriously restored farmhouse is idyllic, private and boasts beautiful, flowering bougainvilleas and an array of scented herbs. You’ll spend the majority of your time on the large terrace, perfect for fresh lunches and a spot of table tennis. Then there’s the super-inviting pool, surrounded by sun loungers where you’ll be sure to top up that Spanish glow.
Summer tip: Did you know, olive oil can protect against UV damage? In fact, the fatty acids in the oil help the skin stay supple. If you can sneak in a tablespoon daily, it will help keep your skin in tip-top condition.
Prices from: £29pppn
11. Magic Rocks, Corfu
Magic Rocks really does offer a bit of summer magic into the mix! Situated just outside the village of Spartilas, this rustic villa is the best of the best with panoramic sea and mountain views that can be enjoyed from the infinity pool. Pour yourself a glass of wine on the chic roof terrace and watch the sun soften over the bay. If you can bear to drag yourself away from this bewitching villa, there are some stunning beaches only a short 10 minute drive away. Or let loose and enjoy the buzzing nightlife in the nearby resort of Ipsos.
Summer Tip: The Greek heat is a scorcher, which is why it’s so important to stay hydrated on holiday. It will help you combat holiday tiredness and it will keep your skin from drying out too. It’s a win-win! But if you’re a little bored of drinking water, add some fresh fruits to infuse the flavour.
Prices from: £74pppn
12. The Fortalice, Scottish Highlands
Ah, bonnie Scotland! If you’re in need of a venue this summer then The Fortalice is the one for you! The Great Hall is ideal for a celebratory banquet and showcases a hand-painted ceiling for a special touch of grandeur. The Fortalice also makes for a divine intimate wedding venue with a small and unique chapel situated on the ground floor (and there’s ample outdoor space to capture those perfect wedding snaps!)
Summer Tip: The outdoor space is great for curious kids to explore the Scottish countryside! Pack your walking boots and embark on a scenic walking adventure.
Sleeps: 12 – 16
Prices from: £45pppn
13. Belle Vue, Dorgdogne
Filled with family heirlooms and artwork, this inviting property might just be your new home-away-from-home. Sat on a private hilltop, the views you’ll have over the lush valleys of Dordogne are nothing short of mesmerising. Unwind in perfect peace, whether that’s cuddling up by the fireplace or taking a refreshing morning swim. Get a taste of the “real” Dordogne with visits to the local village with all the amenities you need. Why not hire a bike and explore the town or take a romantic canoe trip down the river?
Summer Tip: Don’t be afraid to immerse yourself in French culture and experience the Dordogne in full authenticity, bike hire is a great way to get around! Oh, and the local village is the perfect place to grab some grub.
Prices from: £35pppn
14. Villa Cecconi, Tuscany
Villa Cecconi boasts traditional Tuscan elegance with stylish Italian interiors, al fresco dining under the gazebo and stunning views overlooking the local vineyards. Within easy reach of Siena and Florence you can take in the sights before returning for a refreshing swim in the invitingly large pool. Why not have a go at firing up the outdoor pizza oven for an added Italian experience?
Summer Tip: Situated in sought-after Chianti wine country, make sure to book a wine tasting experience for a delicious taste of the local culture.
Sleeps: 14 – 24
Prices from: £50pppn
15. Mas De Beauce, Midi-Pyrenees
Summer Tip: Get your taste buds tingling with some local delights! You could visit a local boulangerie for some scrummy baked goods or try your hand at making a local dish like Confit de canard using ingredients from the farmers market.
Prices from: £19pppn
Now, we’re sure that tantalising selection has got you planning this year’s summer adventure! If none of these tickles your fancy, why not check out our top destinations for 2023. If you’re looking for that extra something to make your holiday that little bit more special, you’re sure to find it in our concierge services. With everything from catering services, babysitting and local tours on offer our concierge team can organise it all.