The Most Incredible Villas To Stay In This Summer That Are Right By The Sea
As summer in the Mediterranean beckons, Kate Lough curates her edit of the most breathtaking villas right on the water.
There is something particularly intoxicating about summer in the Mediterranean. The way the sea dazzles all shades of blue. Or the way light bounces off myriad styles of beautiful architecture, from Cycladic cube houses in Greece to rustic fincas in Ibiza. The way you feel as you dive off a boat into its crystal clear waters.
As summer beckons on the horizon in Europe, we’ve scoured our collection of villas for the most idyllic ones that sit right on the water, with expansive views of the sea. From Greek islands to the Balearics and the South of France to Italy’s Tuscan coast, here are a few of our favourites:
Villa Talamo, Tuscany
The Maremma is one of Tuscany’s best-kept secrets, with an emerald coastline, pretty medieval hilltop towns and rolling hills. And this one-of-a-kind Tuscan villa, with its 10 bedrooms and serious Call Me By Your Name vibes, is an even better kept one.
Villa Talamo is an 18th century Italian masterpiece set right on the Tyrrhenian sea, just above a secluded beach in the Tuscan archipelago and surrounded by beautiful gardens and cypress trees. You’ll enjoy alfresco breakfasts, lunches, dinners and everything in between at the beautiful table looking out over the sea, and be hard pressed to leave the villa. If you do, make the half an hour drive south to Monte Argentario, where you can explore the chic town of Porto Ercole and pop into the iconic Il Pellicano hotel for aperitivo.
How to get there:
- Nearest airports: Leonardo da Vinci Rome Fiumicino airport (150 km), Roma Ciampino airport (160 km, Galileo Galilei Pisa airport (205 km), Amerigo Vespucci Florence airport (200 km).
- Nearest train station: Orbetello (15 km), Roma Termini railway station (2 hours), Pisa Centrale railway station (2 hours).
La Croix Valmer, Côte d’Azur
Saint Tropez has been the epitome of French summertime chic since Brigitte Bardot made the small fishing village her home in the 1950s — and nothing looks set to change as the years go by. Laid-back beach clubs and restaurants, golden sands kissed by the Mediterranean Sea and the prettiest towns make the French Riviera a stretch like no other.
Villa La Croix Valmer will instantly transport you back to Saint Tropez’s legendary era in the Sixties — and is our hot tip for this summer. It treads exactly the right line between rustic-luxe and Cote d’Azur elegance. Sleeping up to 12, its guests will adore its private access to the shared beach below as well as the postcard-perfect pool and gardens which surround the house. Not to mention the knockout terrace which opens off the upper floor living room and seems to hover just above the waves.
If you can drag yourself away from the villa and its outdoor bar, make time for the market at Place des Lices (every Tuesday and Saturday), lunch at the famed Pampelonne beach and pre-dinner drinks at Senequier in the port.
How to get there:
- Nice airport is a 1.5 hour drive or taxi.
Villa Portinatx, Ibiza
Ibiza has a magnetism that sees us return to this Balearic island summer after summer - and its wild, northern coast is unquestionably one of the most special parts. Acres of forest, olive groves and trees laden with fruit lead down to a turquoise sea and create the ideal location for your Ibiza summer trip, away from the crowds in the south of the island.
Villa Portinatx is a spectacular place to stay, with Mediterranean meets Moorish design and English country-style gardens that are a respite from the summer heat. Inside, beautiful arched doorways typical of Ibiza create an inside-outside feel, while stone fireplaces and four-posters add a dash of elegance. With space for 12, this house is ideal for those who want to hide away in their own Ibizan enclave on the quieter side of the island. Hidden just above the shoreline, you can be swimming in your own paradise in minutes.
However, when you do feel like exploring, you’re still near many of our favourite places to eat, including Cala Xuclar for seafood lunches and Paloma for alfresco dinners among the trees. And a day trip to the neighbouring island of Formentera is always a must…
How to get there:
- Fly to Ibiza, served by several major European airlines.
Villa Heleni, Antiparos
It can be hard to pick just one Greek island for your summer getaway, but Antiparos makes a good case for 2022. Low-key with a bohemian character that’s enchanted everyone from Lord Byron to Tom Hanks, it’s a haven of whitewashed houses with blue shutters, open fields and endless secluded coves.
Villa Heleni is our favourite private house on the island, and with seven bedrooms, she’s perfect for a couple of families or a big house party of friends. A whitewashed exterior in the typical Cycladic style is framed with pale green shutters and shelters minimal, pared interiors within that let the exceptional views do the talking. A pretty infinity pool appears to drip gloriously into the Aegean, with driftwood day beds providing the most coveted spots to laze around in the Greek sun.
It’s so close to the sea that you can trip down to the water’s edge in minutes — there’s no better way to start and end your day than by jumping off the smooth rocks in front of the villa into the sea. Spend your days lazing at Heleni — or there’s a tennis and basketball court for sporty types — or exploring this heavenly island. Make sure you spend at least one afternoon at Beach House and settle into the cocktail list.
How to get there:
- Fly to Paros and take a quick ferry (30 mins) or private speedboat to Paros.
Join the newsletter
Curated experiences, travel tips, and latest reviews, not to be missed.