If seasons were movies, then summer would be the most highly anticipated blockbuster of the year! Overflowing with unforgettable moments, happy endings and beaches worthy of the big screen – temperatures are set to soar as high as excitement levels. From the Algarve's golden shores to Greece's idyllic islands, here's a little 2021 summer holiday inspiration to get you started.
From big group getaways to romantic couple retreats, our villas come in all shapes and sizes. Throw in a private pool and plenty of personal space, and you'll soon see it's hard to top the feeling of unlimited freedom and flexibility that comes with a villa holiday.
Whether you have a trusted family-favourite that you re-visit year on year, or you're looking to mix things up in 2021, bring your dream summer holiday to life with a jaunt to one of these jaw-dropping destinations…
The beautiful Balearic Island of Mallorca is a favourite among British holidaymakers, and summer is the season to make the most of its biggest draw – the beach. Totalling in at over 250, it's fair to say that Mallorca's pulling power has a lot to do with sand, sea and sun! The archetypal fly and flop champion, in just a few short hours you can be running headlong into turquoise Mediterranean waters, or splashing about in your own private pool.
The answer to all your summer holiday prayers, Mallorca knows a thing or two about pleasing the masses. Hitting the highs just as the kids break up from school, this family-friendly destination promises bright blue skies and 13 hours of sunshine. Days melt from one to the next, with temperatures heating up to 34°C by the end of July and showing no sign of stopping in August. Rain is almost non-existent too, so the only umbrella you'll be needing is a beach parasol!
Mallorcans are well versed in entertaining us Brits and have an impressive 40+ years of experience under their belt. Watersports are a sure-fire winner, with stand up paddle boarding, jet-skiing, snorkelling and heart-racing inflatable rides all part of the repertoire. Back on dry land, cycling, golf, horse riding, climbing and hiking are all big hits too! You'll find a healthy helping of wonderful waterparks around the big resorts, set up to cater to everyone from the tiniest tot to the oldest man-child. Who will be the first to brave the gravity-defying slides?
Savour the capital lifestyle that bustles seamlessly alongside the 14th century cathedral and Moorish masterpieces with a day out in Palma. Bursting at the seams with a fascinating history, mouthwatering gastronomic scene and it's very own strip of sand – you'll be hard pushed to know where to begin. Be sure to wander the narrow cobbled streets of Old Town and immerse yourself in a bygone time, where a dazzling display of medieval churches, elegant archways and picturesque plazas are just waiting to be discovered. A mesmerising medley of old and new, you might find you'll be coming back for seconds before the holiday is through!
You may have noticed the beach is a bit of a reoccurring theme, but can you really beat the feeling of sand between your toes? Summer holidays are made for the beach, and Mallorca most definitely got the memo. From long, commercialised strips to hidden gems and safely-guarded secrets – there's something for everyone. Golden sands are often graced with all the facilities needed on a family day out, so there's no need to get tide down with bringing bags to the beach. Cafés, shops, playgrounds and promenades are sure to keep the troops happy.
Don't forget the rest of the coastline – amazing cliff top views, stunning scenery, picturesque ports and historic harbours are peppered around the island. As well as a couple of cave systems that are just waiting to be explored…
It's not hard to see why the Algarve is Portugal's golden child – literally! A repeat offender on most traveller's wish lists, even those who have crossed it off find it hard not to return to the southern stretch of 24-carat shores. Dressed up to the nines in yellow beaches and honey-hued cliffs, you'll be infatuated by the Blue Flag beaches and Atlantic sea sparkles long before your towel has even touched the sand.
The Algarve comes into its own in the summer months. Rain is virtually non-existent and sunshine hours are at an all-time high. Daily temperatures average at 26°C from June onwards, and they'll still be maxing out at 27°C well into September. Your private pool is the place to be, where you can splash about and cool off from breakfast 'til bed time.
It's safe to say the Algarve has a hefty amount of strings to its bow. The climate, the hospitality, the beaches, the golf, the food and the marinas are just a handful of reasons this Portuguese paradise has a reputation as an all-rounder. Whether you're a brood of beach bums or a clan of culture vultures, villa holidays to the Algarve score on every count.
Fresh with the scent of sunscreen and salty air, it'd be a crime to come to Portugal's sought-after south and not spend a day (or 5) on the beach. Hemmed in by golden limestone cliffs and surrounded by showstopping sea stacks, the view from your towel is sure to be spectacular! Doling out Blue Flags by the dozen, the Algarve's beaches are among some of the cleanest in Europe. Plus gently sloping sands make for guaranteed family-friendly fun in the sun. Isn't life a beach?
Being such a popular holiday hotspot, it's no surprise the list of things to do in the Algarve is almost limitless! Fun for the whole family awaits at any one of the several waterparks, as well as the Zoo-marine theme park. Continue your watery adventures on a boat trip to secret sea caves and grottoes, or feast your eyes on the breathtaking Praia do Benagil.
For culture vultures the ancient Moorish capital of Silves has heaps to explore, while the pretty village of Porches sells local, handmade pottery. You'll find yourself going to great lengths to fit some in your suitcase! The nearby mountains of Monchique boast a Roman spa perfect for couples, with invigorating thermal baths and a peaceful setting to indulge in a spot of holiday pampering. A road trip to Portugal's land end – Cape Saint Vincent – is always a good idea. Time it with the sunset and it'll be a moment you never forget.
There's a reason why Crete is one of the most famous holiday destinations in the Greek Islands – it has something for everyone! Take your pick between picture-perfect cities like Chania and Rethymno or head to the traditional towns and sleepy stone villages that are dotted along the coastline instead. Finding your own personal paradise near a quiet cove or secluded beach will bring new meaning to the phrase 'getting away from it all', where it's likely the only set of footprints on the sand will be your own…
Crete packs a punch with its sublime summer climes, making it a mecca for beach lovers the world over. Temperatures are well on the way to touching 30°C by the end of June, with July rising to claim the 'hottest month' title – as well as the sunniest. August might not quite match up with daytime highs (missing out by a degree or two), but you'll find it boasts the warmest sea temperatures across the entire archipelago!
Crete is famed for its natural beauty, and it has inspired artists and philosophers throughout history. There are beautiful, long sandy beaches to the north, with a healthy helping of smaller, more secluded sands for you to enjoy too. The cliffs in the southern parts of the island offer fantastic walking routes – even if you're just looking for a sunset stroll.
For the more hardcore hikers out there, a walk through Pastos Gorge near Rethymno will lead you over weathered rocks, along ancient pathways and through a scenic valley. A hiking destination of the highest order, Crete is also home to Europe's longest gorge – Samaria. At 16km long, it's near to the town of Chania and just asking for adventure!
The cherry on the Cretan cake, beaches are something of a speciality in Greece's largest island. Teeming with bucket list backdrops and off-the-beaten track options, you can go from beautiful Balos and pink-tinged Elafonissi to the southern shores of Frangokastello in a single road trip. Now's your chance to get your fill of vitamin sea, or lay down your towel and spend a day on the sand. After all, sunshine really is the best medicine!
The home of Minoan civilisation, you can visit Crete time and time again and still discover new facts and historical sites to visit. The archaeological site of Knossos is a must you cannot miss, and is one of the most celebrated sites of the island. Legend says it was inhabited by King Minos, son of Zeus – which is no small claim to fame! The Heraklion Museum houses some fascinating Minoan art and artefacts, perfect if you're travelling with history buffs.
The world is your oyster, and with over 3,000 handpicked villas spread across 60 dreamy destinations – 2021 is set to be your best summer getaway yet! From the bright lights of Orlando and the magic of Walt Disney World Resort to the Gulf Coast's Caribbean-like beaches, fun-filled Florida is a match made in heaven if you want both action and relaxation.
Trade rollercoasters for rustic retreats and feast your eyes on Italy. The iconic Tuscan countryside is awash with rolling hills, verdant valleys, rushing rivers and hilltop hamlets. Not to mention romantic cities, medieval masterpieces and relics of Roman rule.
If the beach is your be all and end all, island hop the coast of Croatia or sun yourself in a sub-tropical Canarian paradise. Choose between golden dunes or black, volcanic sands as you explore some of the world's most celebrated shores. Looking for a destination that does exactly what it says on the tin? Mainland Spain's Costa del Sol literally translates to 'sunshine coast' – clue's in the name with this one!