If you’ve not yet booked your dream villa for summer 2018, fear not – for award-winning family travel experts, i-escape, have a great range of holiday cottages, converted barns, stylish villas and self-catering rural retreats for you to choose from.
The i-escape Kids Collection is a 900-strong portfolio of stylish family hideaways which come in a range of shapes and sizes across many destinations and with prices to suit all budgets. Each gorgeous property has been carefully selected for its style, service and location, and personally reviewed by one of the team. Each review has trademark highs and lows so you know what to expect, plus invaluable insider tips such as activities at the hotel or nearby for children, which rooms are best for families, and what baby and toddler equipment is in available.
Read on for 10 of our favourite holiday rentals for you and your family which still have availability for summer 2018; see here for even more options.
Masseria Apulia, Puglia, Italy
Some liken Puglia to Italy’s Cornwall as both have a long rugged peninsula with a distinct regional identity and picturesque countryside. Puglia has the edge when it comes to vernacular architecture however, those fairytale stone <i>trulli</i> cones that dot its fields and villages.
Two trulli are at the heart of this hillside farmhouse, which also has a lovely outdoor eating area, a large lake-style swimming pool, 2 acres of fruit trees and herbs in its gardens (including a small vineyard), and 4 charming bedrooms.
Istria Design Villa, Istria, Croatia
Up and coming Istria is a triangular-shaped peninsula jutting into the Adriatic close to the Croatian-Slovenian border, renowned for it’s food-rich rolling interior (think vineyards, medieval hilltop villages) as much as its pretty pastel-coloured coastal resort towns.
Set in 5 hectares of private land (for safe running about), with breathtaking views over the River Mirna valley below, is this sleek contemporary glass-fronted villa. Interiors are minimalist and tastefully furnished, with open-plan cooking and living below and the 3 bedrooms above; best of all is its heavenly heated infinity pool.
Bude Hideaways, nr Bude, Cornwall, UK
You’re on the Cornwall-Devon border, close to iconic surf-tastic northern beaches and the South West Coastal Path, surrounded by rolling country and cute villages.
The hideaways consist of two chic barn conversions – think bold art, pops of colour against white walls, funky fabrics – which have 2 and 4 bedrooms each, and 7 acres of gardens to roam. There are free range chickens, a trampoline, mini football pitch and a woodland den. There’s also a beautifully restored 2-bed village cottage with small garden nearby.
Villas St Pierre de Serjac, Languedoc, France
This an authentically French corner of the Languedoc countryside, with vineyards, rolling hills, chateaux and traditional market towns at every turn. You’re 40 minutes from the coast, there are largish towns such as Beziers and Montpellier to explore too.
Stay on a working domain in super-elegant wonderfully decked out villas (which come in sizes from 2-4-bedrooms), many of which have private pools. Kitchens are the latest word in chic, and the kids club offers scavenger hunts, tennis, den-building, and mini-discos and movie nights. There’s a large heated infinity pool and bikes to explore the extensive grounds.
Pollensa Bay Villa, Mallorca, Spain
Mallorca is a perennially popular Mediterranean destination: dramatic interiors and rugged coastlines with lovely beaches and a warm welcome to all. The very north of the island is perhaps less well-known, but considered more authentic and has wonderful wild beaches.
This light open-plan Swedish-styled villa has 4 supremely comfortable bedrooms, French windows giving onto an amoeba-shaped pool (with pool toys supplied), a shady dining terrace and an annexe if you’d like to bring grandparents.
Cretan Contemporary Villas, Crete, Greece
The breathtaking and under-visited north-west coast of Crete has olive groves and azure waters, rugged peninsulas and stunning beaches.
Head to Kissamos Bay for these 11 sleek and contemporary villas. Eight are perched on rock, with wonderful views across the Bay and beyond, three more are placed on the shore itself. All have infinity lap pools and picture windows, and a super modern style.
Barsham Barns, Norfolk, UK
North Norfolk has a wild windswept beauty and boasts fabulous long sandy beaches, seal colonies, nature reserves and cute coastal towns with requisite fish and chip shops.
Just 15 minutes inland are a cluster of 6 converted barns in a little hamlet near Walsingham, which come in various sizes from 2 bedrooms to 7, each with their own private outside space. The colours are rich and warm, there’s a great sense of space, the kitchens are well-equipped, and there’s a shared games room with ping pong and football tables.
Fattoria Barbialla Nuova, Tuscany, Italy
This is the untamed side of Tuscany, far removed from the manicured postcard views, a 500-ha estate towards the north of the region, equidistant from Siena, Florence and Pisa, yet with forests full of wild boar, deer and prized white truffles.
Three farmhouses here have been transformed to 7 great value and rustic-chic apartments (for 2-6) and a villa for 8-10. Each dwelling has its own swimming pool, there are cooking classes for children, boules and ping pong, and a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with nature as a family.
Fiskardo Cottages, Kefalonia, Greece
Made famous by its starring role in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Kefalonia is as rugged and enchanting as portrayed. Expect caves, castles, coves and cypress-shaded hillsides sloping down to the turquoise Ionian Sea.
This pair of whitewashed self-catering cottages (for for 4-8, the other for 2-4) have tasteful interiors, a pool and private terrace apiece, and are a close to excellent unspoilt beaches.
Villas Martinhal Sagres, Algarve, Portugal
Sagres, on a peninsula at the most south-western tip of Europe, is at the end of the world: the known world that the Portuguese explorers set sail from to find a new one. What they left behind is a long curve of golden sands, cliffs made for walking along, and some of the best surfing beaches anywhere in the world.
As a one-stop-shop uber-family-friendly Villas Martinhal is hard to beat: handsome contemporary villas in various configurations, most with sensational sea views (some with private pool, others within a walled garden) within a resort-style set up so there are several restaurants to choose from if self-catering should pall, a wealth of facilities including swimming pools, creche, and all-ages kids clubs, playground, tennis courts and cycling tracks.