The most luxurious villas in Europe
High-end villa experts The Luxury Travel Book takes Tempus on a tour of the five finest rental properties in Europe
If you've spent any time online recently, you might have noticed the growing trend of travel articles carving out niche holiday ideas for a post-pandemic world. Whether it's recommending the best private island escapes as a means of avoiding coming into contact with strangers or rounding up the finest UK staycation properties in case the lifting of international travel restrictions is suddenly reversed, it is now perhaps a given that all holiday research will be touched by pandemic-era framing and bizarre caveats.
But what if you want your return to the world of globetrotting to simply be as luxurious as possible without all these addendums? After all, to hole up in a hotel or villa purely because of its applicability to post-pandemic travel is to literally house yourself in a constant reminder of the last 12 months of misery, boredom and upheaval. So for those looking to put the past behind them and go for some straightforward, all-out luxury this summer, Tempus has teamed up with The Luxury Travel Book to bring you the five most exclusive, extraordinary villas in Europe.
Despite being just 15 minutes from the centre of the iconic French city of Cannes, this mammoth luxury villa remains secluded enough to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet with stunning views over the hills and ocean beyond. With five hectares of land featuring a large outdoor pool, terrace and landscaped garden, this is perhaps the archetypal idea that one might have when thinking of a luxury villa completel with gorgeous modern fittings featuring state-of-the-art technology and delightful living areas in which to relax.
And that's not the half of it; further facilitie include a fully equipped gym, spa, hamman, wine cellar, cinema, heated swimming pool and an exceptional outside dining area.
If Bond villains had a better eye for interior design, Melissonia Estate might be the result. This ultra-luxurious seven-bedroom villa is split across multiple layers clinging dramatically to the cliffs on the Greek island of Corfu, but has all amenities and comforts one might expect from a vibrant five-star hotel. A stay at Melissonia includes breakfast, afternoon tea, concierge, housekeeping, soft drinks, chef, airport transfers and driver service within the destination.
Up here, guests can choose from a number of different locations from which to bathe in the Greek sun overlooking the Ionian Sea, from the infinity pool and terrace at the top, to the multiple split level gardens further down for a bit of downtime away from the family.
Few villas anywhere on Earth can boast a pool quite like Magliano. Appearing to stretch out into the sky from the terraced area, the farthest end of it hangs high above the rolling hills of Tuscany below, offering views out to the islands of Giglio and Montecristo. And when you're done, swim back to the "home" end and hop out for a go in the sauna or steam room nearby.
Just 20 minutes from the coast, this indulgent property is surrounded on all sides by olive groves, vineyards and woodland - staples of central Italy - and features a private stable from which one can explore the enormous grounds on horseback.
It seems implausible that the overcrowded tourist hub island of Santorini would be home to one of the most exlusive and secluded villas in southern Europe. But it most certainly does in the form of Megalochori Caldera, a rather regal property perched atop an enormous cliff face in the southern portion of the island, away from the bustle of Pyrgos, Thera and Imerovigli.
Just 10 minutes by car from the main port and 15 from the airport (if you don't want to make use of the property's private helipad), this villa has it all; beautiful Cycladic architecture, stunning minimalist interiors, five gigantic bedrooms, a pool and spectacular views out over the caldera, formed after the Minoan eruption which forged the island itself almost 3000 years ago.
It is hopefully common knowledge by now that Ibiza is not just parties and drunk English tourists - it's home to some of Spain's most dramatic landscapes and luxurious properties, one of which is Villa Azure, a glorious seven-bedroom rental home in the south of the island.
This brand new villa features wonderful views over the Mediterranean Sea toward the island of Formentera and has direct access to the beach, along with a spacious outdoor area complete with a garden, large terraces, a chill-out area and a 200 m2 heated infinity pool and jacuzzi.
Furthermore, although being just six miles from an airport would usually mean heavy noise pollution, Villa Azure is remarkably quiet meaning that guests will experience only the benefits of being so close.
For more information and rates visit theluxurytravelbook.com