Below is a selection of our favourite European destinations where you can enjoy an indulgent villa escape away from the masses.
Lesser known than its famous Cote d’Azur neighbours St Tropez and Cannes, Cassis has a relaxed, authentic vibe. The hub of this charming fishing village is its colourful harbour lined with pastel-coloured buildings. Friendly locals fill the bustling cafes and bars overlooked by the stunning 14th-century chateau.
The standout feature of the area is its famous Calanques – a series of high limestone cliffs and beautiful bays that run from Cassis to Marseille, making for a truly scenic drive.
Despite being one of the closest to Athens, Kea is one of the lesser-known islands of the Cyclades. It is popular with Athenians but is yet to be discovered by the masses, offering a more authentic Greek Island experience. Nature - not nightlife - is the focus here. Peaceful coves and rocky hills are perfect for hiking and cycling, whilst the surrounding waters are great for snorkelling, diving and boating.
History buffs will find many sites to explore, including the ancient city of Karthea, the Monastery of Agia Anna, and the Stone Lion - an impressive lion head carving dating back to Prehistoric times.
A pretty seaside village on Portugal’s west coast, Comporta is around an hour’s drive from bustling Lisbon. The 10 km sandy beach is perfect for fishing and horse riding, whilst its quiet waters are ideal for surfing and kite surfing.
Comporta is the ideal destination for nature-lovers as much of the region is a protected nature reserve. Grassy dunes flank the beach, pine forests are perfect for hiking, whilst the freshwater Sado Estuary is home to dolphins, otters, flamingos, plus more than 200 other bird species.
Located just off the coast of Split, Brač is Croatia’s third-largest island. It is renowned for its beautiful white stone used to build the historic Diocletian’s Palace in Split, much of which still stands today.
The island boasts pretty harbour towns, beautiful pine forests, and calm, crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and sailing. Other famous draws are the pebble beach of Zlatni Rat with its tapered cape extending out into the Adriatic Sea and the imposing Vidova Gora - the highest peak in the Adriatic and a favourite amongst hikers.
Although it has more beaches than neighbouring Ibiza and Mallorca combined, Menorca is far less touristy; rather than party-goers or resort-seekers, it draws those looking for nature.
The whole island has been a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since the early 90s due to its diverse native flora and fauna. The stunning wetlands of Parc Natural de S’Albufera des Grau are ideal for exploring by foot, mountain bike or kayak, whilst Mahon Harbour is great for snorkelling and diving with its plethora of marine wildlife.