knowledge short-haul summer
Antiparos Windmill on the Greek island of Paros has a seawater pool and plenty of space for teenagers
Family units Finding accommodation to suit every member of the family is no easy task, but a villa is often a good solution. Katy Balls takes a look at some of the Mediterranean’s best family-friendly villas that should help you to keep any kind of client satisfied FOR FAMILIES WITH TEENS.
FOR THE WELL-HEELED.
As children get older they generally become harder to please, but one way to keep problems at bay is by giving them extra space. The Villa Book suggests Antiparos Windmill on the Greek island of Paros. A stunning windmill conversion, it consists of two buildings joined by a large terrace which has views of the surrounding smaller islands. It is ideal for larger groups with older children as it offers private space for teenagers and adults – and a seawater swimming pool. Sleeping up to 14, the whitewashed villa has room for nine, while up to five teens can hide away in the windmill building. Surrounded by deserted beaches and with a busier island nearby, there are plenty of activities suitable for the whole family, such as diving and sailing, or art exhibitions and museums. Wi-Fi is available too for those teens who find it hard to be separated from Facebook and their email. Prices for a week in July at this property start at £12,000. ■ thevillabook.com
If money is no object, a luxury villa is one way to ensure your client has a holiday to remember. Sitting over the Gulf of Mirabello in Crete, Elounda Gulf Villas offer 18 luxury villas with their own private pools, large terraces and sunbeds. The family-owned and run properties cater for up to six guests and have panoramic views of the Mediterranean. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, they come with stylish furnishings, working fireplaces and a large open-plan kitchen. A butler service is available and breakfast can be served on the terrace. A childcare service can also be provided, allowing parents to go off and explore the island or make use of the onsite restaurants and bar. Carrier has one week in early August from £6,150 for a family of four in a two-bedroom Elounda Villa with early booking discount (available if you book by 31 March). ■ carrier.co.uk Turn to 48 ■ eloundavillas.com
Villa holidays are a great way to keep the whole family happy
knowledge short-haul summer
FOR THOSE WITH TODDLERS.
FOR THE CASH-STRAPPED.
Large villas with several rooms â€“ sometimes spread over more than one floor â€“ can pose a safety risk for smaller families with toddlers. Olivera in Majorca is offered by Coastline Villas as a hazard-free option for holidaymakers with younger children. Sleeping two to four people, this singlestorey, cobbled brick villa is great for tots or the disabled as there are no tricky stairs to navigate. A spacious lounge and dining area open out onto the covered terrace with barbecue, and there are also large lawns. There is a free-form swimming pool too, which is set in expansive sheltered gardens filled with fig, olive and carob trees. Coastline can also arrange a childcare service with all nannies qualified to National Nursery Examination Board standard and holding first aid certificates. The nearest beach is 10km away and there are lots of family-friendly activities on tap, including boat trips and water parks. Coastline has a week at Olivera in early August for ÂŁ2,808, based on four sharing. â– coastline.co.uk
If the price is right a villa holiday can be a fantastic way to get away without breaking the bank. Families on a budget might consider the Caleta Villas in Fuerteventura. Only one kilometre from the lively Caleta Dorada holiday village, they give families privacy and seclusion as well as the option of using the complexâ€™s expansive facilities at no extra charge. These include a nightclub, pizzeria, poolside bar, gymnasium, water park, squash courts, childrenâ€™s playground and sauna. The spacious villas range from two to four bedrooms and have tiled floors and wooden beamed ceilings. Four-bed villas have a private outdoor swimming pool, games room with pool table and barbecue, and are less than two kilometres from the nearest beach. Cosmos Holidays has a week in early August in a four-bedroom villa that can sleep up to 10 for ÂŁ1,445, villa-only. â– cosmos-holidays.co.uk
At just one-storey, Olivera in Majorca is ideal for toddlers
Waterparks and pools are a surefire way of keeping kids happy
For value for money, it is hard to beat Pierre & Vacancesâ€™ Les Restanques du Golfe de St Tropez on the Cote dâ€™Azur.
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short-haul summer knowledge
The Caleta Villas in Fuerteventura suit smaller budgets
Al Jafar in Sicily has an eco-friendly pool, solar panels and low-energy light bulbs, medieval tower and, according to legend, a ghost
One week in a studio apartment sleeping four costs around £640 in the last week of August, and includes kids’ clubs for all ages, plus pools with a wave machine and flumes. There are several onsite shops and restaurants in the 25-acre holiday village. Adults can enjoy views of St Tropez and its many celebrity visitors, even if they can’t afford to stay there. The holiday village is close to beaches, with the nearest three kilometres away, and there is a shuttle bus service if guests don’t fancy walking. ■ pv-holidays.com
Al Jafar, a recently-restored Arabic castle on the coast of western Sicily, is a top choice for families who are looking for an eco-friendly getaway. Dating back 1,000 years, this seven-person stone villa has a medieval tower, chapel, piano and outdoor chlorine-free swimming pool set within a walled Mediterranean garden. Solar panels, low-energy light bulbs and an eco-friendly water pump system mean you can relax under the Sicilian sunshine guilt free.
FOR THE ECO-CONSCIOUS. Located near the towns of Trapan and Erice, the villa is surrounded by Greek temples, medieval towns and has plenty of beaches nearby. On top of all this, kids will enjoy looking for Al Jafar’s hidden treasure. Legend has it that if you head to the outer grounds at midnight, cut open a pomegranate and count every seed, the resident ghost will lead you to the buried hoard. Think Sicily offers a week in August from £6,960 for up to seven people, villa-only. Turn to 50 ■ thinksicily.com
knowledge short-haul summer
FOR THE CAR-FREE. Villas tend to be located outside of towns and resorts, meaning rental cars are often a necessity. But you can forget about that at Casa del Sole in Tuscany. Only a short stroll from the town of Cortona, it is a classic two-floor Tuscan villa with terracotta floors and wood beam ceilings. It sleeps four and offers great views of the Valdichiana valley and vineyards while still being close to the town’s amenities. Cortona is a walled town with medieval houses on the slopes and a Medici fortress worth visiting. Typically Italian has a week in early August for £1,370. ■ britalytravel.co.uk
FOR THE NOISY BUNCH.
Some Porto Zante villas on the Greek Island of Zakynthos have their own private beaches
FOR BEACH LOVERS.
FOR LARGE FAMILIES.
Top of the wish list for many families is proximity to the sea. Porto Zante on the Greek island of Zakynthos offers this and more. Not only are you right by the seaside, but the beach is only for Porto Zante residents. Some villas even have a beach area just for the use of guests staying in that villa. Three villas are open already, with three more to launch by May. Smaller villas can be combined to create larger villas for bigger families, and each has a private heated pool. They all have flatscreen TVs and Wi-Fi, while activities include horse-riding and scuba. A private car or helicopter from the airport will get the holiday started stress-free. SJ Villas has a week in early August at the two-bedroom Presidential Villa sleeping four to six with personal beach area for £10,535. ■ sjvillas.co.uk
Finding villas for large families can be tricky, but Think Sicily recommends Palazzo Hedone, which sleeps up to 24 in 11 rooms. A perfect venue for bringing the whole family together, it was formerly a boutique hotel and still has many of the facilities you would expect in a luxury property, including a spa, masseuse services and resident chef. Set near Palermo, there is a heated indoor pool that can become an outdoor pool by hitting a button to slide the glass roof aside. Dinner can be eaten on the roof terrace while gazing over the baroque town of Scicli. There is also Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a private beach house 10-minutes away by car. Shops and restaurants are walkable. Think Sicily has a week in August from £22,790 for up to 24 guests. ■ thinksicily.com
For families looking for somewhere remote where they can make a lot of noise without annoying neighbours, Thomas Cook suggests the Tas Sinjura villa in Xaghra, Malta. Surrounded by nature and overlooking a valley there, guests can either chill in their country retreat or head to the beach 4km away. Shops and restaurants are 2km away. Made from traditional local stone, this former farmhouse sleeps six in three rooms, and has a private pool and sun loungers. A rental car is recommended, as the villa is off the beaten track. Thomas Cook Style Collection has a week in late August for £899. ■ styleholidays.co.uk
The Tas Sinjura in Malta is secluded and ideal for noisy kids