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Who likes looking for villas? Please help me!

(26 Posts)
LowLevelWhinging Sat 29-Jun-13 15:52:10

I'm going bog eyed here...

We're looking for a villa that sleeps 5 (2 adults, 3 kids)

Private pool.

Walking distance to restaurants/shops - this is the biggie!

Don't need to be near a beach.

Preferably France or Italy. But would consider others.

For this summer, so end of July or august.

Anyone fancy a villa mooch?

dreamingofsun Sat 29-Jun-13 17:24:41

you need to tell us how much and if its one or two weeks. do you want hot hot hot, or not too bothered?

yes i think restaurants/shops within walking distance is an issue with both countries you have chosen, especially as you are booking so last minute.

have you considered portugal as i think you will find it much easier. or a mobile home?

LowLevelWhinging Sat 29-Jun-13 18:28:14

Of course, more details needed!

Say, up to 4k. 1 week.

Definitely want private pool, not shared (so ruling out holiday lodges/caravans etc).

Don't particularly want hot hot hot. North France would be lovely.

We had a holiday near albufeira a couple of years ago. Whilst the villa and beaches were beautiful, the area was quite run down; lots of abandoned building sites and graffiti. And we found out why all the villas had 10 foot security fencing as we were burgled over night angry

So, we're a bit prejudiced against Portugal I think!

dreamingofsun Sat 29-Jun-13 20:53:26

guess where we are going!! i just know that france and italy have been the hardest places over the years to find villas/gites within walking distance of things - i've just booked for next july as so little around. albufeira sounds the pits - not that i've ever been. east algarve is much less commercialised and we didn't get any bad vibes about crime there - so might be worth considering.

your criteria is similar to feel your pain. maybe worth looking at greece? pollensa in majorca always scores well here.

LowLevelWhinging Sat 29-Jun-13 21:38:22

Thank you dreaming. Walking distance to Stuff really makes holidays easier doesn't it? But so hard to bloody find!

And of course we've left it late too.

I'll check out pollensa.

Jbck Sat 29-Jun-13 21:47:51

Dreaming can I ask where you are going?
I'm looking at Portugal but overwhelmed by all the info on various sites re 'good' areas etc.
I'd like 2 bed townhouse or bungalow style accomodation but I want two on the same complex, or a larger villa private or shared pool not fussed if complex is nice. Walking distance to shops etc, like beach/prom for a stroll at night not so much for actual sunbathing.
My eyes and head are sore trawling ownersdirect et al!

dreamingofsun Sat 29-Jun-13 22:09:19

lagos (maia prai is good- there) , tavira, cabanas, carvoeria, alva, gia (think thats the place cliff richard lives), ferraguedo all sound nice reading reviews on here and books from the library. spellings all wrong probaly been here (not nec this apartment) but whilst bars are walkable you would have to get cab or hire car for shops. has a security guard. nice.

oh i hope we don't get broken into at night...that would really scare me.

porto pollensa - or whatever resort by coast also sounds nice

dreamingofsun Sun 30-Jun-13 09:34:19

lowlevel - do you mind me asking what happened with the break-in? how did they get in? that must have been so scary.

LowLevelWhinging Sun 30-Jun-13 09:39:41

They forced open metal security shutter on the kitchen window. All our valuables - camera, Nintendo, wallet were conveniently in a bag we'd used for our trip out that day, so they just lifted that easy peasy. We were in downstairs bedrooms and I was horrified to see they'd tried the children's room window shutters first. <vom>

I slept with one eye open for the rest of the holiday and was glad to go home hmm

It was a weird area, Gale I think it was. Lots of big beautiful villas with high security fencing. But lots of half finished apartments left to rot too.

Bowlersarm Sun 30-Jun-13 09:40:41

Jbck we love the algrave in Portugal. In particular Carveiro which is a biggish town and excellent for small children and close to water parks etc, or a bit further along and away from everything, Salema, a cute fishing village.

LowLevelWhinging Sun 30-Jun-13 09:41:07

After mooching around the Internet last night, I'm now thinking maybe we'll just have a couple of nights in London or something. That's always good and easier to find accommodation!

Bowlersarm Sun 30-Jun-13 09:45:17

That's quite a change of direction, OP!

dreamingofsun Sun 30-Jun-13 09:51:31

oh i so wish i hadn't spoken with you lowlevel. but so glad we didn't book at gale in the end.

LowLevelWhinging Sun 30-Jun-13 09:59:13

Yes, it is a change isn't it?! I guess I've been demoralised very quickly with this search. I'll have to start looking for next summer I think.

And sorry dreaming. It was over 2 years ago, so maybe the area has picked up a bit since then?? grin

dreamingofsun Sun 30-Jun-13 11:31:12

i've just booked for next summer. there aren't that many gites within walking distance of shops/bars/restaurants - i know as i spent a few days this week trawling owners direct. if you want to ping me a secret message (can't remember the name) i will send you details of where we've booked - though it may not suit you as its 3 gites - but it has fab reviews on trip adviser and is walking distance of lovely village and is much cheaper than our villa in portugal

Cremolafoam Sun 30-Jun-13 11:41:35


ThePskettiIncident Sun 30-Jun-13 11:52:07

Try and I use both and also vivastreet in France has some great villas rented by their owners for a less formal arrangement.

I found a stunning villa just south of La Rochelle by an hour with a private pool. The owners were lovely! I think it was about 800 euros.

dreamingofsun Sun 30-Jun-13 14:28:23

playa blanca in lanzarote - i know lanzarote has dodgy reputation amongst some but we rather liked it...ok not super posh, but not downmarket either. there is a long walkway for couple of miles i guess all along the front - beach one side and shops /bars/restaurants the other. there are loads of villas with pools. parc de ray is where we've stayed - in the winter - haven't been in summer when i understand there are more spanish than brits.

Jbck Wed 03-Jul-13 12:23:15

Just come back this dreaming PB is where we've been 3 times.
Pre-kids I hated this type of holiday but it makes them happy so Im happy.
We're still looking at Portugal at the areas you've suggested so thanks.

homebythesea Wed 03-Jul-13 15:39:57

How about a villa on a complex which has its own shop / restaurant bars etc but where you will still have a private pool? James Villas do a collection like this - worth a look?

LowLevelWhinging Wed 03-Jul-13 16:18:48

actually homebythesea we had just seen these!

have you ever stayed in one?

like Jbck says, our idea of what makes a good holiday has changed since having kids. Never would have considered one before!

homebythesea Wed 03-Jul-13 16:51:32

Many moons ago when the kids were younger we did stay at La Manga Club but not through James Villas. We weren't blown away by it but the principle worked for us IYSWIM. We have used James for other villa holidays in the Balearics which prob don't fulfil your walk ability criteria but the company I thought were excellent and of course booking a package does give you some extra protection in the event of ash clouds etc

raspberrytart Wed 03-Jul-13 17:02:29

We've just spent a lovely week in Cala Galdana in Menorca. Booked villa through bartleholidays. Good luck!

LowLevelWhinging Wed 03-Jul-13 19:41:05

I think that's the one we looked at homebythesea and like you say, it's probably a nice compromise between adult and children's needs.

have used James Villas before, in fact, the burgled villa was through them, but we were so glad because they handled everything brilliantly.

Having recently been stung by a private villa owner (whole other thread, literally!) I'm veering towards paying a premium for that extra reassurance and service.

raspberrytart thank you, I'll have a look at bartleholidays. A recommendation is very valuable!

theoriginalandbestrookie Wed 03-Jul-13 21:51:43

If you can get flights to Bergerac the Dordogne is lovely. Lots of nice villas, check out Chez nous and Owners direct.
I'd look for something near Sarlat which is a lovely medieval town.

Or failing that we were looking at Menorca, loads of gorgeous villas there, I managed to find one with 6 bedrooms within walking distance of restaurants etc and within walking distance of the sea. Sadly my friend decided she doesn't want to go to Menorca so we are back to the drawing board.

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