Autumn has well and truly arrived. There's a crisp in the air and the nights are already drawing in. So, as the chill sets in, why not book yourself a vitamin D boost over the next couple of months?
It's too late, we hear you cry. But be not afeared, there are some spectacular villas in hotter climes that still have availability for October and November.
We’ve picked ten of the best to escape to…
1. Villa Selva, Mallorca, Spain
Tucked in the pretty Mallorcan village of Selva, at the foot of the brooding Tramuntana mountains, this four-bedroom, 19th century townhouse is straight out of the big book of holiday style: all natural wood, white walls and industrial steel kitchen. Outside, there are sunloungers down in a walled garden to laze on in in the Balearic sunshine and a good-sized pool to keep you cool.
There’s no real reason to leave – everything from a chef to masseur can be arranged for your holiday here. But as you’re in the heart of the village, just a stroll away from the square, it’s worth exploring the local restaurants and importantly the café bars – joining locals for drinks and tapas on balmy long Spanish evenings.
2. La Roche des Alpilles, Provence, France
Originally a Roman villa, La Roche des Alpilles is built into rocks below the ruins of the Chateau les Baux, offering showstopping Instagram potential. The villa itself has three double bedrooms, and an open-plan living space; outside there’s a kidney-shaped swimming pool and mature fruit trees under which to read a book.
When you’re ready, head out to the local Ancient Roman ruins and towns of Arles, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence – as well as the Camargue National Park – all within striking distance. Les Baux de Provence, up the hill, has excellent restaurants if you’re feeling lazy.
Or dine out on the terrace, with its summer kitchen and fire pit, as the sun sets across the Provencal countryside and the lights of surrounding villages twinkle in the distance.
3. El Carligto, Andalusia, Spain
Set on a hilltop overlooking Andalusian mountain vistas, the Mediterranean Sea and out to the coast of Morocco, El Carligto Estate’s two stylish private villas can be rented together or separately. The largest sleeps eight and is full of stark white walls offsetting pops of colour from tapestries and rich fabrics and antiques.
Relax as sweet eucalyptus scents the sky beside the palm-fanned pool when the sun is high; then light the oversized fireplaces when the autumn nights draw in. The largest of the four bedrooms even has its own hammam style bath.
Value adds are A-list, with a bespoke concierge-style service and a professional in-house chef, who uses produce from the villa’s own herb and organic vegetable gardens.
4. Villa Acantha, Paros, Greece
According to legend, Paros in the Cyclades islands is sacred to the harvest goddess Demeter. And you can see why, with its rolling hills covered with vineyards and olive trees and a beautiful coastline of soft sand beaches.
Close to Aliki Bay in the south, Villa Acantha sleeps eight, sitting on a hillside like a holiday temple of dazzling white minimalist design. Be mistress of all you survey here; the Aegean and the Marpissa mountain range sit hazily in the distance, ready to command from your sunlounger on the elevated stark white terrace. Or just take a dip in the turquoise pool instead.
The stylish simplicity of a luxe white and stone palette extends inside to the bedrooms and summer living room, with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views.
5. Puente Romano Beach Resort, Marbella, Spain
Get a last bit of Marbs at Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa – where La Pereza is one of three new villas opened by the luxury resort this year. Interiors are a soothing confection of Greek marble and natural tones, with four bedrooms – one with an en-suite Jacuzzi.
The villa is set within a large landscaped garden with outdoor dining area and private pool, all just two minutes from the beach. But it’s the facilities that really add sheen to your holiday. Villa guests have the use of a Mercedes A-Class and the choice of nine restaurants at the resort including two-Michelin-Star Dani Garcia, organic restaurant Rachel’s and gluten-free bakery Celicioso, plus the use of the tennis club and Spain’s only Six Senses Spa.
6. Le Terrazze al Mare, Amalfi, Italy
Soak up some Dolce Vita in this grand oceanfront villa on Italy’s beautiful Amalfi coast, between the towns of Amalfi and Maiori.
Arrive by land or by sea to your private palace, offering eight bedrooms over five storeys and six levels of sunkissed terraces that lead down to the waterfront. Moving up through the villa there’s a sauna with a massage table, an enormous hot tub with a bar area, and a rooftop deck with a parquet floor.
Once you’re done pruning gently with a glass of Prosecco in hand, head out to explore both the Amalfi and Sorrento Coasts and Naples, for the best gelato and thinnest, crispiest pizza around. Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum are also within easy reach.
7. Villa des Lanternes, Marrakech, Morocco
Who needs a riad? Soooo a few years ago. Get some Moroccan spice without all the exhausting bustle of the Medina instead at this three-bedroom contemporary villa located next to the Jardin Majorelle.
Yves Saint Laurent’s beloved botanical gardens are just one of Marrakech’s highlights within a short walk from your base. Spend the day haggling in the markets or sipping mint tea in Jemaa el Fna Square – then retreat to this oasis, with an open-air rooftop living room for cocktails under starry skies. The villa has a swimming pool, a terrace with a BBQ and enclosed gardens filled with shady palms. Perfect for hiding away in private paradise when you feel like it.
8. Casa de Sequiade, Barcelos, Portugal
An hour outside Porto in the north of Portugal, this large traditional stone villa with accommodation in its main house and three self-contained apartments is perfect for friends who want togetherness on holiday – with a bit of privacy thrown in.
Congregate around the cool pool, relax on bed seats and swinging chairs to read a book or pick oranges (and lemons for G&Ts) from the fruit trees in the enclosed gardens by day. Evenings are made for dining al fresco on a long table under the stars in the flagstone courtyard; later, drunken competition will inevitably heat up in the villa’s games room with pool, table football and table tennis.
Or head out for nightlife and evening promenade in the beautiful towns of Barcelos and Braga, both a 20-minute drive away.
9. Villa Hidden Cove, Drvenik Island, Croatia
Who needs a pool when you have your own beach lapped by the Adriatic? At this four-bedroom rustic villa on the tiny island of Drvenik, you can enjoy having a private cove of your own without being a billionaire. Sunshine and saltwater will make you feel a million dollars anyway.
The island itself is reached by ferries from Split and Trogir. Explore the island by bike, the scenery peppered with gravel paths leading to little stone chapels or the island’s only village, two miles away.
Just don’t come for the nightlife; nothing loud happens on Drvenik. Instead, locals continue to make olive oil, as they have done here for centuries, and enjoy the easy tempo. Probably best to join them.
10. Trulli Le Mandorle, Puglia, Italy
Stay in a trullo, a traditional whitewashed Apulian dry stone hut with a conical roof, for a quirky twist on a villa holiday. Trulli Le Mandorle sleeps four and is set in gardens filled with cherry, almond and olive trees for the perfect al fresco stay. There’s a large freeform pool, BBQ area and terraces with loungers on which to soak up the last of the sun rays.
Plus, you get to be ahead of the curve. Lovely Apuglia, tucked away in Italy’s ‘boot heel’, is relatively undiscovered: the crowds still head to Tuscany and Umbria, the ‘villa valleys’ of northern Italy. Make it your mission to explore on the bicycles provided for guests, including a pedal to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Alberobello two miles away.