Our travel-loving destination experts have been busy combing the globe for up-and-coming places that they know our customers will love, while still paying attention to our golden oldies. A perfect combination of our staple favourites and the newbies that should be on everyone’s bucket list, our list of trending destinations for villa holidays in 2021 will give you all the ammo for ultimate daydreaming. Let’s have something to look forward to when all this madness is behind us!
Golden beaches, bustling resort towns, and year-round warm weather… Spain has been a popular destination for years. So much so, it’s become a little underrated. Make 2021 the year you rediscover the beauty of Spain – its mountainous scenery, its charming local villages, its bustling social scene, and its delectable cuisine.
Trending regions we are loving for villa holidays in 2021: Menorca and Costa del Sol
Why: These regions both offer something different, low-key Menorca beats to a slower drum than its lively counterparts; a sparkling Balearic island with endless sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and laid-back charm. Whereas coastal Costa del Sol is home to glitzy Marbella, authentic Mijas, and vibrant Torremolinos.
Bustling souks, intricately designed architecture, and ethereal desert plains, Morocco is a feast for the senses. A land of diverse landscapes, you can choose from a trek up the Atlas mountains, camping in the Sahara, chasing waterfalls in forests or even a coastal escape. It’s no wonder Lonely Planet put Morocco on their ‘Best in Travel 2020’ list.
Trending regions we are loving for villa holidays in 2021: Marrakesh
Why: From boutique Riads to ancient medinas and colourful souks, the capital of Morocco is the perfect place to experience Arabian charm and hospitality. Wander the walled medieval city and the labyrinth of laneways, soaking up the sights, smells and sounds of this cultural hotspot.
Game of Thrones may have put Croatia on the mainstream map, but this European gem has long been a magnet for people looking for authentic experiences, foodie inspiration, and dazzling scenery. From island hopping to historic sojourns, there’s a reason this Mediterranean slice of paradise is consistently gaining in popularity.
Trending regions we are loving for villa holidays in 2021: Dalmatia Coast and the islands, and Istria
Why: Dalmatia and Istria are two of the historical regions of Croatia, and they offer boatloads of activities and experiences for even the most discerning traveller. Whether you’re looking to go wine-tasting in the vineyards or wandering the cobbled towns and villages of Istria, or snorkelling along the coastline or hiking in the hills of Dalmatia, one thing’s for certain – Croatia will have a special place in your heart. And you won’t be able to help going back for more.
Year-round sunshine, golden beaches and vibrant cities – Portugal is a country that has a little bit of everything. From surf spots to hidden coves, quaint villages to lively resorts, and hiking trails to sea kayaking... if you’re looking for a great place to bring the kids, at any time of year, this is it.
Trending regions we are loving for villa holidays in 2021: Sagres and Salema
Why: The Algarve has always been on the radar for British tourists, whether it’s the sandy beaches, the fresh seafood cuisine, or the sunny climate – there’s a multitude of reasons why we love it! Sagres and Salema are in the southern section, the latter spreads a cacophony of white-washed buildings across a small fishing town, while Sagres is a charming village with dramatic cliff scenery. Both offer a real glimpse into local life, away from the tourist populated resorts.
The country that ignited the passion for Oliver’s Travels – we are head over heels for this gorgeous country. The rural countryside dotted with vineyards, the fairytale chateaux in the hills, the medieval walled towns, and the beguiling coastline... it’s got so much going for it we could wax lyrical for hours.
Trending regions we are loving for villa holidays in 2021: Dordogne and Provence
Why: These are firm favourites among the Oliver’s Travels family, and for good reason. Charming Dordogne flies under the radar, but with its foodie heart, medieval towns, and forested interiors, it wins travellers hearts’ time and time again. And with some of France’s finest vineyards, prehistoric sites, and lavender fields, Provence is an idyllic escape for many.
Higgledy-piggledy mazes of white-washed buildings, laneways draped with bougainvillea, sugar-white beaches lapped by turquoise waters – Greece is as pretty as a postcard, with a whole lot of culture to boot. Historic ruins dot the landscapes, religious festivals fill the calendar, and they’re a country of foodies, where social situations and food go hand in hand.
Trending regions we are loving for villa holidays in 2021: Zakynthos and Crete
Why: There’s something so alluring about the thought of a holiday in the Greek islands, and these two islands won’t disappoint… whichever one you choose. Cobalt blue waters lap secret coves, fresh seafood is piled onto plates in bustling local tavernas, and balmy evenings play host to breathtaking sunsets. If you’re looking for lively nightlife and picture-perfect beaches, consider Zakynthos, or for low-key island life, look to Crete.
Turkey is all about tradition, whether it’s an afternoon trip on a traditional boat, a lively meal at a local taverna, ancient sites bursting with historic tales, or even local villagers going about their lives just as their ancestors did. Pair this with the scenes of the sparkling Mediterranean and the captivating shores of its coastline - it’s a country where old meets new and you leave with a real feel for the place and its people.
Trending regions we are loving for villa holidays in 2021: Kas and Kayakoy
Why: Kas is a bohemian town that dates as far back as the Lycians, with mountainous scenery and must-do scuba spots, so you get a bit of everything when you visit. As for Kayakoy, it’s all about the authentic experiences and local lifestyle as you see village folk going about their daily life, traditional food is in abundance and boat trips across the Med are an idyllic way to spend an afternoon.
We are more than excited about this new addition to our portfolio – South Africa is quickly becoming a destination on everyone’s bucket list, and it’s no surprise. The gorgeous vineyards producing top-class wine, the mountainous scenery offering all sorts of adventures, the thrilling safaris where you can spot the Big 5, and the beaches, ideal for surfers. It’s a wonderland for travellers young and young-at-heart.
Trending region we are loving for villa holidays in 2021: Cape Town
Why: Cape Town is the hub of all of the action in South Africa – you can go wine-tasting in the surrounding vineyards (like Stellenbosch), hiking in Table Mountain National Park, cruising down the scenic Garden Route, or even go for a game drive! It’s a vibrant, charming city, surrounded by places just waiting to be explored.
A country world-famous for its beauty, whether it’s its art, landscapes, people or culture. Italy oozes style and sophistication, from its pretty-as-a-postcard canals in Venice to its traditional Trullo houses in Puglia. Go wine-tasting in Tuscany, discover art galleries in Veneto, go hiking in the Italian Lakes, or relax and indulge on the Amalfi Coast.
Trending regions we are loving for villa holidays in 2021: Puglia and Sicily
Why: Situated in the ‘boot’ of Italy, Puglia is a delightful little region that stands out from the crowd due to its conical-shaped houses, known as Trullo houses, punctuating its scenery. Picture-perfect villages are surrounded by rich, rolling countryside, and the warm, laid-back ambience promotes a low-key lifestyle. Sicily offers a multitude of experiences, which is ideal for large groups with different tastes – whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, lazy beach days, culture-filled day trips or a rural escape, Sicily provides.
There’s so much beauty right on our doorstep, from charming seaside towns to vibrant cities, luscious national parks to rolling countrysides, and social calendars brimming with culture – from music festivals to parades. Staycation is a buzzword right now which has earned its fame… the shorter travel time means more time for your holiday, and whether you’re looking for a coastal getaway or a city stay, the UK has it all.
Trending regions we are loving for villa holidays in 2021: Scotland and Cotswolds
Why: Scotland is a playground for outdoor explorers, whether you’re sailing Loch Lomond, hiking in the Highlands, or wandering Edinburgh’s historic streets. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you stay in a medieval Scottish castle. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a chocolate-box village that looks like its been plucked straight out of a story book, surrounded by gorgeous English countryside and home to cosy pubs and tea rooms, you might want to go on a trip to the Cotswolds instead.