These summertime breaks to Europe won't bust the budget
You can make your money go further this year without skimping on style, in or out of the eurozone. Simone Kane picks some covetable destinations offering great deals
Sunday 03 May 2009
Campo Verde, a charming restored farmhouse near the village of Vilatan in Galicia, sleeps four people in two bedrooms and costs £595 for a week in the peak summer months through Holiday Lettings (
holidaylettings.co.uk/76983 ). There's no pool, but it's a short drive to a river beach and the historic towns of Chantada and Monforte de Lemos, with the former Benedictine monastery of San Vicente del Pino on the hill.
Mobile homes might not sound the most stylish holiday option, but Keycamp's (0844 406 0200; keycamp.co.uk) new Vista model is available on certain sites for the first time this year. The Vista has a bright and modern interior, and patio doors that open out on to the decking. Seven nights in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom Vista mobile home at Playa Montroig on the Costa Dorada costs £876 in August, accommodation only, for a family of four.
Eurocamp (0844 406 0552; eurocamp.co.uk ) is upgrading its options under canvas with new Safari Tents, which are available on selected sites in France and Italy. These tents offer lots of elegant living space, complete with wooden flooring throughout and a fully equipped kitchen. There's also a large, decked terrace with teak furniture and a barbecue. Seven nights, accommodation only, arriving on 26 August at La Croix du Vieux Pont, Berny Rivière, costs £625 for up to six in a two-bedroom Safari Tent.
Large groups can save by sharing a stunning 17th-century stone farmhouse near Castera-Verduzan in the heart of Gascony, which has seven bedrooms, a private pool, table tennis and bags of style. It's set in 10 acres and it's built on a hill which makes for great views. Available through The Gascony Secret (0844 800 1637; gascony-secret.com), one week during the school summer holidays costs £2,820, based on 12 people sharing – so that's £235 per head.
Stay in the heart of Lisbon in a two-bedroom apartment in the Campo Ourique district, perfectly situated for exploring the nearby historical centre. Bright colours, modern furnishings and bold fabrics lend a striking style to the property, which costs £35 per person per night during peak season, based on two sharing ( holiday-rentals.co.uk/p83922 ).
Treat yourself at The Vine (00 351 291 009 000; hotelthevine.com ) in Funchal on Madeira, which has a stunning rooftop infinity pool, vinotherapy spa and fine-dining restaurant. Bag a five-star summer break at this contemporary hotel by Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill for £175 per room per night B&B, based on two sharing.
Indulge in some culture in Florence, where the Hotel Gallery Art, a stone's throw from the city's sites, puts on a show with a constantly changing programme of art and photographic exhibitions in its public areas; while the cocktail bar and Fusion restaurant are popular with chic locals. KeyHolidays (020-7963 6697; key2holidays.co.uk) offers three-night and seven-night breaks for £299 and £799 per person respectively from 11 July to 6 September, based on two sharing a classic double on a B&B basis and transfers. Flights cost extra.
Take your pick of the Queen's Jewels, a cluster of quaint cottages converted from farm buildings, in the hills above Taormina in Sicily. Sharing a pool, they sleep families of four to eight. Seven nights in August cost £222 per person, based on four sharing a one-bedroom with mezzanine level, through Solo Sicily (020-7193 0158; solosicily.com ).
It might not have a pool, but what more could you want from a holiday house than Villa Varvara's direct access from its terrace to a wide stretch of beach? Perfect for families, the house is situated on the north-east coast of Corfu, with views to Albania, and has two bedrooms sleeping four. Seven nights cost £670 per person in July and August, based on four sharing, including return flights from Gatwick and transfers (020-7401 1026; cvtravel.co.uk).
Just 15 minutes' drive from Elafonisi beach on western Crete, and five minutes from the village of Kefali, you'll find Velanos Cottages. A small group of rustic holiday houses perched on a hill with views down to the sea – great for couples and families. Velanos Cottage 4 sleeps five in two bedrooms and costs £795, accommodation only, for a week in peak season through Freelance Holidays (0845 094 8871; freelance-holidays.co.uk).
For a cosy holiday home with lots of character, book into one of the Terrace Houses, three 19th-century cottages in the hill town of Sirince, six miles from Ephesus. The little buildings have been carefully renovated with reclaimed marble basins, wooden sleigh beds and lovely lighting, including Chinese lanterns and wrought-iron chandeliers. A week in peak season costs £630, accommodation only, for a cottage sleeping up to four, with a local gift, for i-escape guests ( i-escape.com/terracehouses.php ).
The Ettena Hotel on Cirali beach, with its enviable seafront position and eco-credentials, is an opportunity to enjoy a guilt-free holiday. Nuzzle up to nature in one of the 10 simple wooden chalets, and enjoy al-fresco breakfast buffets and dinners by candlelight (so as not to disturb the turtles that use the beach). Seven nights' half-board, based on two sharing, cost £348 per person throughout July and August with Journey Anatolia (020 8761 5605; journeyanatolia.com ). Flights cost extra.
For a rural retreat that won't break the bank, try Villa Walnut, in a hamlet near Rabac. A refurbished stone farmhouse sleeping four, it has its own pool and is surrounded by gardens. Available through Essential Sun (0844 560 3748; essentialsun.co.uk), seven nights' self-catering costs from £346 per person during peak season, including car hire. Flights cost extra.
Slovakia could still be a steal thanks to the low cost of living. Head for the High Tatras and put Canadian-style Chalet 21 to the test – it has a national park and championship golf course on the doorstep. The five-bedroom property can be split into a two-bed and a three-bed apartment. Mountain Paradise (0845 602 5874; mountainparadise .co.uk) offers seven nights' self-catering with breakfast for £450 per person, based on four sharing a two-bedroom apartment. Includes flights and transfers, from 1 July to 30 September.
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