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Beautiful holiday villa on the Croatian island of Hvar
Nov 7th, 2013 by elisa

Hvar Island

Hvar Island

With vast fields of lavender, olive trees and vineyards, surrounded by stunning beaches and crystal blue waters, the Croatian island of Hvar has to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world.

Now is a particularly good time to book as the school holidays are over and many low cost airlines are offering great winter deals on flights.

With special offers when booking as a family or group, or for those staying longer than a week, this recently renovated island house might be just the accommodation for you!

It has stunning views of the Adriatic sea, town and hills. There are five double plus one single bedroom and the property has recently been renovated to an excellent standard. With all the amenities one would expect with such a substantial holiday villa, guests also benefit from two large patios, a garden, sunbeds, outdoor tables and chairs. Laundry will be done each week and you can expect to be greeted by an English/Croatian couple who will give advice on what to do and where to go on Hvar island and other nearby islands and mainland in Croatia.

One of the immaculate double bedrooms

One of the immaculate double bedrooms

Balcony view

Balcony view

The property sits five minutes away from the beach, and cafes, restaurants, piazza, market and boat hire is only a 10 minute walk away. It’s great for a relaxing holiday, but also ideal for those in search of more activity as within half a mile of the house there is sailing, water skiing, sea kayaking, paragliding, windsurfing, diving and tennis.

You can find this Hvar island house in the Croatia section of VillaSeek. For more information on the property and what to do there, go directly to the listing for the villa, where you can contact the owners directly.

Beautiful beaches

Beautiful beaches

 

Menorca – idyllic biosphere reserve
Mar 6th, 2013 by elisa

Turquoise sea, white sands. Menorca picture by Flickr user Paul Stephenson

Turquoise sea, white sands. Menorca picture by Flickr user Paul Stephenson

Menorca is a beautiful Balearic island; and with more beaches than Mallorca and Ibiza combined, it is serious competition for its more famous neighbouring islands.

Known as the more laid-back island, it’s perfect for families with young children or just visitors who want a relaxing holiday and slower pace of life. The resorts tend to be small and occupied with holiday villas rather than large hotel complexes.

The most popular coastal resort is probably Son Bou / San Jaime, with over a mile of white sand, perfect for sun-worshippers! It is not just good for beach-goers though, the newly constructed coastal path, Camí de Cavalls, is ideal for walkers, too. The whole of Menorca has been classified as a biosphere reserve by Unesco because of the striking wildlife and natural surroundings. On a walk around, you could see booted eagles, red kites, Egyptian vultures and even osprey! If you aren’t sure where to start, you could book a guided tour with Walk Menorca to ensure you see the best there is.

The capital, Maó, spreads along a cliff above the harbour with bars and restaurants. The old town is filled with small plazas and a market to explore. Across the other side at the western most point of the island is Ciutadella, a picturesque old town with cobbled streets, harbour, Gothic cathedral and museum.

If you like a fiesta, however, then go around the Saints’ days between June and September to enjoy the buzz and jollity of each town’s special programme of celebrations. For more information about up-coming events around the year, visit Menorca Live, which I’ve found rather helpful for finding things to do once you’re there.

We have many holiday villas in Menorca, but if you’d like some inspiration, then you won’t go far wrong with this pretty and spacious villa in Puerto Addaia.

The villa sleeps 6 and has 3 bedrooms (2 double & 1 twin – both doubles have air-con). There is a balcony overlooking the pool, and a large roof terrace with lovely sea views. There is a main bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen, lounge with Sky TV and French doors which open onto a partially covered patio with built-in barbecue and large, extendable sun awning. The pool is excellently maintained and has a children’s section. The villa is also close to local shops, restaurants and marina. Also close by is Arenal, a beautiful beach.

Great for family holidays

Great for family holidays

For this villa and many more across Menorca or other holiday destinations, check out our main website for details.

 

Year-round sunshine – the Algarve
Feb 22nd, 2013 by elisa

Tavira in the Algarve picture by Flickr user Toni Castillo

Tavira in the Algarve picture by Flickr user Toni Castillo

One of Europe’s premier holiday destinations, the Algarve is the most southern region of Portugal and can easily be reached by flights from various airports in the UK to Faro.

The Algarve is perfectly positioned for some of the best sun in Europe and has an enormous array of sandy beaches to enjoy it on. There are different areas to suit different people: Lagos is often a draw for a young crowd after a good nightlife, Faro has a fascinating medieval quarter, and Sagres and Carrapateira are a hit with the surfers and water sports enthusiasts for an activity holiday.

It is also a year-round destination for visitors, with much more chance of sunny weather even when northern parts of the country are covered in snow. Winter is short and mild, and spring and summer are long and sunny. It’s coming to the end of winter and into spring at the moment, so it’s a great time to visit for cheap accommodation in the off-peak season with it still possible to enjoy a trip to the beach.

Villa Casasol

Villa Casasol

This pretty, detached villa with its own pool and colourful garden is only 10 minutes from the former fishing village of Tavira. Comfortably furnished, Villa Casasol, accommodates up to six guests. It has an en suite master bedroom, 2 twin bedrooms and a separate second bathroom. A fitted kitchen with all the amenities, a large dining room/lounge with satellite TV and a wood-burning fire.

Villa Casasol

Villa Casasol

 

You would be forgiven for not spending much time indoors however, when outside has so much to offer: a tiled patio, garden with sun beds for those lazy days soaking up the sun, a pool-side barbecue and secluded outside terrace. You don’t even have to go in at night as there is outside lighting, and even the private L-shaped swimming pool can be illuminated for an evening dip! Prices start from a very reasonable £300 for long winter holidays of three weeks or more, and from £500 for all other times.

Stunning outdoor patio and pool

Stunning outdoor patio and pool

A beautiful garden

A beautiful garden

Villa Casasol is only a 5 minute walk to the beautiful Ria Formosa Lagoon (an area of great international conservation importance), Cabanas Village, and the golden sandy beach of Cabanas Island – reached by a short trip on a fisherman’s ferry boat.

Greece – fantastic villa rentals and award-winning beaches
Feb 12th, 2013 by elisa

Lindos Acropolis on Greek island of Rhodes. Picture by Flickr user Bladeflyer

Lindos Acropolis on Greek island of Rhodes. Picture by Flickr user Bladeflyer

Greece is most definitely one of the first places you would list if you have the primary holiday requirements of sun, sea and sand. It has this in spades (excuse the pun), but so much more to boot – cuisine, culture and history, not to mention the plethora of awards it has won as a travel destination.

The Sunday Times Travel Magazine voted Greece as the Best European Beach Destination 2012, followed by the Travel Agents’ Choice Awards 2012 for the Best Short Haul Destination for Weddings, Honeymoons and Couples. It also fares extremely well with TripAdvisor with many of its beaches in the Travellers’ Choice 2012 Beach Destinations.

The birthplace of the Olympic Games, Greece is a perfect place for an activity holiday, which could include cycling, rock climbing, basketball and water sports. For the less energetic of you, it’s also a wonderful place to relax, with stunning aquamarine waters and beautiful sandy beaches with a variety of coloured sands, from black, to white, to red – all of which make for unusual and picturesque landscapes.

Take the village of Lindos on the Greek island of Rhodes. Open year-round and with an exceptionally mild climate, this is a popular destination amongst tourists. It is a maze of narrow streets and small shops filled with unique jewellery, pottery, leather goods and regional crafts. The Acropolis dominates the landscape, and if you want the best view, then dine out at one of the village’s many rooftop restaurants at sunset.

With a great nightlife when you want to be sociable, and also with quieter spots for relaxation, it’s a box-ticker of a place for holidays. It’s also easy to get to, with affordable flights available throughout the year.

For a quiet getaway, try this luxury villa with infinity pool situated on the hillside above Kalathos village and a short trip to Lindos (6km). With 3 bedrooms (1 double, 2 twin), pool, air-conditioning, BBQ facilities and stylish interior design, you’d be forgiven for not wanting to leave! Prices start from £600.

The stunning Francesca Villa

The luxurious Francesca Villa

Stunning evening views

Stunning evening views

Lounge by the pool in the sun

Lounge by the pool in the sun

 

 

 

 

Disney World, Florida, Villas!
Jan 24th, 2013 by elisa

Disney World, Florida - picture by Flickr user AndrewH324

Disney World, Florida – picture by Flickr user AndrewH324

It’s so cold here in the UK! We’ve been snowed in, and we don’t really like it. So, it’s time for a holiday somewhere warm and sunny, and where could be better than Florida!

The next few months are a great time to visit the sunshine state, there are deals on flights with many of the major airlines and it’s home to the world’s most famous theme parks, Walt Disney World! A definite win if you have younger children. Also, Florida is a golfer’s paradise with many wonderful places to tee off from.

This luxury four bedroom, three bathroom villa in the popular Southern Dunes Golf and Country Club has an enlarged pool deck that is not overlooked but has marvellous views over the 16th fairway. It’s within walking distance of supermarkets and restaurants, and is only 20 minutes away from Disney and all it’s attractions.

The list of all its amenities is extensive, with all you’d expect for a luxury villa and family break away, such as air conditioning, flat screen TV, music system and games room, plus free high-speed internet connection and free local and international phone calls!

Luxury Villa in Florida

Luxury Villa in Florida

South West facing pool, sunshine all day long!

South West facing pool, sunshine all day long!

Open plan living room with large, comfy sofas

Open plan living room with large, comfy sofas

 

The villa accommodates eight plus an infant, and prices start from £495, a great deal for everything that’s included.

 

For many more quality holiday villas in Florida, visit our main site.

 

Coordinated approach needed for lift on liquid ban
Apr 27th, 2011 by elisa

The EU has warned that European airports must coordinate their approach to lifting the ban on carrying liquids.

From this Friday transfer passengers travelling on flights originating outside the EU will be permitted to carry duty-free perfume and alcohol onto connecting flights as the first phase in a strategy to relax the ban. However, transport secretary Philip Hammond said this will not happen in the UK “for security reasons”.

A total lift on the liquid ban will be implemented at all European airports by April 2013; but EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas said that if the changes aren’t simultaneous then air passengers will face disastrous consequences.

Kallas told The Guardian newspaper: “If some countries lift the ban and some do not then it will be disastrous.”

“Some airports are questioning the rationality of lifting the ban because life is easier to continue as it is. Politically that is unacceptable.”

If some airports adhere to the ruling and some continuethe ban, then there are likely to be long queues as confused travellers go from one airport that allows liquids to a plane heading for another that does not.

 

New Virtual Travel?
Mar 1st, 2010 by elisa

Google, together with Russian Railways have launched a virtual train journey along the famous Trans Siberian Railway which goes across two continents, 12 regions and 87 cities. You navigate the journey by clicking on the area you’d like to view and are taken along as if you are sitting on the train and gazing out of the window. The film quality is brilliant and you can accompany your journey with the realistic sound of the rumbling of wheels, or by listening to some Russian radio or Nikolai Gogol’s “Dead Souls”, or even Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. You can also click on icons on the map which will give you interesting information about areas on the journey.

I imagine that this step for Google and Russian Railways will push forward the virtual world that many use  already online, it will enable people looking at different places to go on holiday to get a realistic taster of the feeling of being there rather than staged shots in travel guides where a lot of the pictures can be quite similar.

Some state that this could be an alternative for cash-strapped people who want to look at areas of the world they may never get to travel to, however I think that it may give those with the natural curiosity to travel even more itchy feet; it certainly did me! For whatever reason you’d like to see the Trans Siberian Railway though, this new view is worth a look. Check it out here.

Guide to stress-free travelling
Jun 17th, 2008 by admin


Here’s our guide to a stress-free trip, from Issue 68 of Holiday Villas Magazine

Love the holiday but hate the hassle of getting there?

Travel writer Gillian Thornton has 30 stress-busting tips

  • Travelling by car to the Med? No need, then, for
    minimalist packing, but have you packed everything
    that’s legally required for your vehicle, such as spare
    bulbs, a warning triangle, and a fluorescent yellow
    vest? Check with the AA, RAC or your car insurers
    before you travel. www.drivingabroad.co.uk
    provides detailed info on the rules of the road in the
    USA, Western Europe, South Africa and Australia.
    And remember you’ll need a Green Card if you want
    fully comprehensive cover while driving abroad.
  • You can save money by pre-booking your airport
    parking. Off-site car parks are usually the best value,
    but allow extra time to reach the terminal. Purple
    Parking offer competitive off-site parking at almost
    20 UK airports (www.purpleparking.com) or try the
    British Airports Authority website, www.baa.com.
  • If you’re travelling by low-cost, no-frills airline, you
    can save money by packing snacks for the journey
    rather than buying at airport or airline prices. But don’t
    forget that current security regulations about carrying
    liquids mean that you will need to buy bottles of drink
    once you have passed through security.
  • Check to see whether your villa owner or holiday
    company includes the option of pre-booking a
    welcome pack on arrival. If you’re arriving late or
    have a long transfer time, the last thing you want to
    do is head off in search of a supermarket. But it’s
    always worth taking a few non-perishable essentials
    such as tea, coffee, sugar, biscuits, dry pasta and a
    sachet of pasta sauce.
  • If you’re planning on trying any adventure sports
    such as paragliding, rafting or jetski, make sure that
    your holiday insurance covers you. Better to pay a
    small supplement than a big hospital bill.
  • Travelling within the European Union? Make sure
    you all have a European Health Insurance Card,
    which entitles you to free medical treatment. Full
    details from your local Post Office.
  • Make two photocopies of your passport, driving
    licence and travel insurance documents. Leave one
    with friends or family at home and take the other
    with you, keeping it separate from the originals.
  • Put one member of the party in charge of tickets
    and passports, but give everyone a copy of essential
    details such as villa address, directions for finding it
    and contact phone numbers.
  • Cancel the milk and newspaper deliveries, and
    ask a neighbour to keep watch for post or free
    papers sticking out of the letterbox. If the house is
    alarmed, make sure someone has a key to get in and
    turn it off if necessary.
  • Check the five-day weather forecasts on the
    internet before you travel, so you know whether to
    take waterproofs or extra layers.
  • Know where you’re going. It sounds obvious, but
    make sure you know exactly how to get to the
    airport at this end (some people do actually go to the
    wrong one!) and to your villa at the other. A bit of
    pre-planning can save a lot of frayed nerves and
    family arguments on the road.
  • Leave more time than you think you’ll need.
    Better to sit at the airport over a snack or a good
    book, than stuck in a traffic jam. Don’t underestimate
    the time it can take to get through security checks in
    peak season.
  • If your departure airport has more than one
    terminal, check which one you need with your tour
    operator or via the airport website.

Packing up

  • If you’re travelling by air, eliminate the tedious wait
    at baggage carousels by carrying hand luggage only,
    especially when you’re travelling in the summer with
    light clothes. But check hand baggage allowances
    with your airline before you travel – weights and bag
    sizes vary – remembering that you may want to bring
    extra purchases home with you. Some airports and
    airlines now allow two pieces of hand luggage while
    others still enforce the one bag rule.
  • With tough security measures still in place, you can
    only take liquids, gels and pastes in containers of up
    to 100 ml in your hand luggage – with the exception
    of baby food and baby milk – and these must be
    packed in a re-sealable plastic bag no larger than 8” x
    8”. Visit www.baa.com for the latest regulations.
  • Most people pack far too many clothes, so I advise
    women to lay their holiday wardrobe out on the bed
    and be ruthless about leaving things behind. Go for
    coordinating items in neutral colours then jazz up
    with a bright top or accessories. Don’t forget the
    golden rule: work out how much clothing you think
    you’ll need, then halve it; calculate how much
    money you’ll spend, then double it.
  • Wherever possible, choose fabrics that don’t
    crease, but remember that if you roll clothes rather
    than fold them, they’ll come out looking far less
    crumpled. Remember, too, that if you haven’t got it,
    you can almost certainly buy it at your resort, and if
    your villa has a washing machine, you’ll need to take
    even fewer clothes.
  • Travel in your bulkiest pair of shoes, then pack a
    pair of flip-flops and some lightweight shoes for
    evening. Blister plasters are far less bulky than taking
    extra footwear!
  • Carry a basic sponge bag, clean underwear and
    swimwear in your hand luggage; if your luggage
    goes to Costa Rica and you’ve gone to the Costa
    Blanca, you can still enjoy a dip in your villa pool
    and freshen up afterwards until your bags arrive.
    Swop an outfit with a travelling companion so you’ve
    both got something to wear if your luggage is
    delayed. A sarong can be used in a multitude of ways
    until your full wardrobe arrives – just ask David
    Beckham!
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