Written by Lynsey Oxton
When I go overseas, I love nothing more than to stay in a lovely villa where you have space to move around, a place to cook food if you fancy and best of all, your own private pool. It doesn’t get better than that for me. Of course, villas don’t usually come cheap and it requires a lot of research on the right sites to find something that is as special as it is affordable.
So, let me save you some trouble and take a look at some of my favourites that will be sure to tickle your travel buds!
The USA 🇺🇸
Southern Dunes, Haines City near Orlando, Florida 🇺🇸
I like to think I’m something of an expert when it comes to villas on Southern Dunes Golf and Country Club, having visited for the past 8 years and stayed in 8 different ones! We were lucky to stumble across this gorgeous location through a package holiday in 2010 and we haven’t looked back since, although we now choose our villas using the owners direct website. The villas come in all shapes and sizes but the prices are very reasonable. In 2019, you’re looking at between £600 – £800 per week for a large villa that easily sleeps a family (or two!) very comfortably and has its own private pool. Many of the villas also come with golf views. On site you will find the golf clubhouse where you can go for a beer or a bite to eat (and play a round if you so fancy). Off-site and within walking distance is a huge Walmart and some shops and eateries, including the best steakhouse around, Manny’s Chophouse. Of course, if you stay out in Haines City and want to do some touring or go to the parks, you’ll need to hire a car. Disney is approximately 20 minutes away and Universal, 30. Southern Dunes as a complex is so well maintained and I guarantee it will put a smile on your face every time you drive in. If you have any questions about these villas, post a comment and I’ll respond. In the meantime, check out my blog on things to do in Orlando.
Kefalonia: Forest Villas – Villa Theo, near Agia Effimia 🇬🇷
The first of the villas I recommend is Villa Theo, near Agia Effimia – a lovely little villa that is set into the forest and just 15 minutes drive from the famous Myrtos Beach! The villa is extremely clean and well-presented, with all the amenities you will need as a couple or a family – from washing machine (perfect if you’re packing light!) to Netflix! The owners are very welcoming and kind – we were so pleased we found this little gem and I can’t recommend it enough. Want to know more? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you. In the meantime, read my blog on Kefalonia to get a feel for the island!
Kefalonia: Villa Stefania, Pylaros near Agia Effimia. 🇬🇷
The second villa I recommend is Villa Stefania. This a mere stones throw from the first villa but is more substantial in size with three bedrooms, therefore better for larger families. Also unlike the first, this villa is set across three floors, providing a lovely seating area on the upstairs balcony. There is a great BBQ area outside by the private pool and plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy a bit of alfresco dining. This beauty is perfectly located close to Agia Effimia harbour and within walking distance of a few local tavernas (if you want a change from BBQs!). Not sure which of the two villas suits you best? Leave a comment below and I’ll help you decide! In the meantime, read my blog on Kefalonia to get a feel for the island!
Crete: Lofos Suites, Agia Marina near Chania 🇬🇷
We got an absolute steal with this villa because we booked last minute. I think we paid something like £450 a week! You’d have to check out the Lofos Village website to price it up now though, bearing in mind that we went out of season and prices rise from May onwards. This cute villa was part of a set of around six and perched up high into the mountains with the best views out to the ocean. It was perfectly located and just a 20 minute walk to some beautiful tavernas and the beach, bars and shops in Agia Marina. If you want to venture further afield and explore the island however, I’d recommend hiring a car; the parking at the villa is free too. Although small (yet perfect for two), the villa was bright and airy, with a lovely loft bedroom and panoramic window in the living area. Some of the villas also have in-built saunas for a bit of added luxury! Sounds good but want a little more detail? Comment below and get in touch. In the meantime, why not read my blog on what to see in Crete?
Mediterranean Coast View Villa: Argaka, near Polis, Paphos 🇨🇾
If you’re looking to visit Southern Cyprus and want a villa that is off the beaten track, close to a sandy beach and with a massive private pool and outdoor space, this one fits the bill! We rented this villa all the way back in 2014, so prices will have risen since I was there (I also noticed they have had a lovely refurbishment too!). Take a look at the website and see if it suits you. Like all the villas we stay in, we did our research and made sure that it got good reviews before we booked. We were not disappointed and I can certainly vouch for the setting which is idyllic and tranquil. To find out more about the area, why not read my blog?