Following the dismal summer last year, we are definitely going abroad next year. I prefer self-catering, and we are thinking Greece, Turkey, Spain, Croatia ie slightly further afield from France/Italy. We would like a villa with a pool and want it to be nice, pretty, secluded, nice beaches near by, beautiful scenery, away from the hordes etc And for it to be a very good standard So, seeing as I love leafing through brochures, which would you recommend as being top dollar Any recommendations for any particular firms, or any particular properties? Am pretty open minded about where we go, but are thinking of going May/June/July time Thanks lots
Have you looked at James Villas? I'm not sure exactly what you mean by top dollar, but I have used Classic Cottages before and I'd say the standard is comparable. We have been with them a couple of times to Spain. Lots of villas are in secluded locations and you do need to hire a car to get out and about. They have many more villas on their website than they do in the brochure. It could be a good starting point. They are almost certainly more expensive than choosing something from a website like owners abroad, but I always feel a bit nervous about handing over a few thousand pounds to someone without any sort of guarantee, which is why we've paid the premium before. I would suggest buying flights, car and villa seperately though because James Villas do charge more for the extras.
Oh the luxury of being able to choose to travel outside of school holidays... I'd pick June. Scottish (and some private) schools start their holidays end June/early July so prices are a bit higher and places a bit busier.
We are thinking of half term May or taking a week off school, June or just as they break up, mid July Always feel guilty about missing a bit of school though Thanks, am off to look at James Villas Will have a newish baby with us too, so we really don't need anything dodgy to happen to the villa!
Croatia & Turkey not in the euro yet, so nice & cheap, apparently! (ie I haven't been so can't quote examples)
Turkey tends to be v v v hot in the summer - too hot for a baby maybe - Croatia might be your best bet.
Or go for a couple of days either side of the May half-term, which is mostly the first week of June next year - if you went eg Thu 27 May - Tue 8 June you'd get nearly 2 weeks, kids would only miss 4 days of school, & you'd get cheaper midweek flights instead of wildly expensive half-term weekend ones
trip advisor also has holiday rentals with reviews, (I know, am on it!) Won't tell you where, so as not to self advertise. and also holidaylettings.co.uk but no reviews. Owners direct has a guarantee scheme, one of my guests used it this year, free I think.
DR - just to say as well that we tend to settle on a country, then see if the flights will come in ok for prices and times and then do the villa/area.
The best value we saw for next year regarding villas with beaches nearby was Cyprus or Portugal - I found a few good ones in Sardinia as well but as some of them were right on the beach they didnt have the pool.