50 Bargain Villas in Europe

50 Bargain Villas in Europe

Looking for a cheap summer break somewhere stunning? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Every one of the 50 villas and apartments here costs less than £200pp a week in the most expensive week of the school holidays.

What’s more, they’re not a bunch of Costa Concretes – each one of these properties comes with added sparkle. It might be a 13th-century Tuscan watchtower, a white-sand Atlantic beach or a view across the most celebrated landscape in Provence.

Some of them have pools, others vine-covered pergolas – and every one is in a place you and I would actually like to visit.

So, get packing. Summer is looking affordable again


1 Vouliguern, Ploneour-Lanvern, Brittany
£1,153, sleeps 8
This is so far under budget, you could bring six people here for less than £200pp and use a bedroom to store your luggage. Knocked together from two cottages, the house is bright, airy and unfussy. It’s in farmland, there’s a barbecue in the garden and the vast white-sand beach of the Bay of Audierne lies less than a mile away. 0845 230 1380, brittanytravel.info; fly to Brest, 75 minutes away, with Ryanair or Flybe

2 Delaslin, Mortagné au Perche, Normandy
£593, sleeps 4
The single-storey house is a charmer: small, but stone-built, and set on the owner’s dairy farm. There’s a large garden with a barbecue and a swing, and, beyond that, the rolling fields of la France profonde. Tennis, riding and fishing are all available nearby, and Chartres Cathedral is within easy day-tripping distance. 0871 244 0744, brittany-ferries.co.uk; reference NO6007. The price includes return crossings with Brittany Ferries

3 Le Gîte Les Altéas, Assay, Loire Valley
£726, sleeps 4
One of two semi-detached cottages set in the grounds of a winery and sharing a good-sized pool. Made from the local limestone, they feature exposed beams and stonework, and are a great base for those who want to sample the chateaus and vineyards of the Loire (Tours, Chinon and Saumur are all nearby), but don’t want to spend the entire holiday day-tripping. bookcottages.com; fly to Poitiers, an hour away, with Ryanair

4 Le Bas Bourg, Dompierre sur Charente, Charente-Maritime
£731, sleeps 5
Apparently, the owner’s cat has the run of the place. In return, you get free range over the large, grassy garden and shared use of the pool with one other family. The house is simply done, but characterful — with exposed stonework in the sitting room and french windows leading onto the terrace. It’s an hour’s drive from the coast and there’s fishing on the local river, as well as golf and riding nearby. 0844 847 1333, www.bowhills.co.uk ; FA419. Fly to La Rochelle, 90 minutes away, with Flybe, Ryanair or Jet2

5 La Pelousie, St Marcel du Périgord, Dordogne
£726, sleeps 5
The fireplace in the living room is big enough to heat a castle — though hopefully you won’t need it in August. This rough-hewn, characterful gîte lies just to the north of the Dordogne, within easy striking distance of castle country, as well as the Cro-Magnon caves at Les Eyzies-de-Tayac. 0871 244 0744, brittany-ferries.co.uk ; AD5010. Fly to Bergerac, 30 minutes away, with Ryanair or Flybe

6 Palissayre, Eglise Neuve d’Issac, Dordogne
£1,546, sleeps 8
This honey-coloured farmhouse comes with its own guest cottage and features plenty of exposed timber and stonework. Better still, there’s a pool in the garden, surrounded by wide lawns and shaded by mature trees — perfect for days when you can’t face yet another Dordogne castle or Bergerac vineyard. 00 33 5 53 54 54 31, simply-perigord.com ; EGL174. Fly to Bergerac, 10 miles away, with Ryanair or Flybe

7 Le Pigeonnier, St Julien du Gua, Ardèche
£880, sleeps 6
They had to hack a terrace out of the hillside to build this one, and the views are gorgeous — the perfect backdrop for sun-drenched barbecues. The rough-hewn house has been tastefully decorated, with lots of wooden furniture and exposed stonework. Canoeing on the nearby Ardèche is a must, as are big walks through the wild hills. 01452 716840, vfbholidays.co.uk ; GAU.07. Fly to Lyon, two hours away, with BMI, British Airways or EasyJet

8 Numéro 95, Lectoure, Gascony
£1,980, sleeps 13
In a word, mouthwatering. Lectoure is your fantasy hilltop Gascon town, and this is your fantasy Lectoure holiday home: a listed 17th-century townhouse with its own pool, parquet floors, shuttered windows and an imposing front gate. You’ll be wearing a wig and reciting Molière by the end of your stay. 020 7738 8772, dominiquesvillas.co.uk ; PY33. Fly to Toulouse, 90 minutes away, with BA, BMI Baby, Jet2, Flybe or EasyJet

9 Le Pastoureau, near Jegun, Gascony
£1,240, sleeps 8
All right, the interiors of this rambling old farmhouse aren’t exactly cutting-edge. But they’re big, and that sense of space continues when you walk outdoors. There’s a pool, a pond, lots of lawn and plenty of shade beneath the trees. The house is surrounded by rich Gascon farmland, the fruits of which can be gathered from any one of a number of local markets. You’ll also find windsurfing on the lake at Castera-Verduzan, riding at Auch and armagnac for the grown-ups. 0844 800 1637, gascony-secret.com ; 009PAST. Fly to Toulouse, 90 minutes away, with BA, BMI Baby, Jet2, Flybe or EasyJet

10 La Chéniaz, Samoëns, French Alps
£936, sleeps 6
Samoëns is a perfect compromise for those who want Alpine scenery, but can’t bear the idea of staying in a purpose-built mountain resort. Samoëns used to be famous for its stonecutters, and its medieval core is a designated historic monument. La Chéniaz isn’t quite so distinguished architecturally, but it is a pretty, freestanding wooden chalet, near the river, and will provide a great base for a week or two of hiking, cycling, rafting and golf. 0844 576 0170, peakretreats.co.uk ; fly to Geneva, 45 minutes away, with BA, Swiss, EasyJet or Jet2

11 Ferme de Bluye, Plaisians, Provence
£787, sleeps 5
A converted outhouse on a working farm, this is no-nonsense accommodation in a sensational part of France, close to Mont Ventoux and the Roman remains at Vaison-la-Romaine. There are public pools in the nearby villages, with more swimming on offer in the stunning gorge of the Toulourenc, beneath Ventoux. 01452 716840, vfbholidays.co.uk ; COR.26. Fly to Marseille, two hours away, with BMI Baby, BA, EasyJet, Ryanair or Air France

12 Les Bruyères, Luberon, Provence
£1,048, sleeps 6
It’s rare to find a detached country house for this price in the Luberon Valley. It’s not luxurious, but it has bags of character and a pleasant, bookish feel, with lots of handsome wooden furniture and a big old fireplace in the dining room. 0845 268 0760, cottages4you.co.uk ; fly to Marseille, 90 minutes away, with BMI Baby, BA, EasyJet, Ryanair or Air France

13A Chjova, Calvi, Corsica
£695, sleeps 4
This small apartment doesn’t have a garden, and there’s only one balcony, but who cares when it’s air-conditioned and set in the heart of the pretty harbour town of Calvi? Everything is on your doorstep — restaurants, cobbled streets, markets and beaches — and it’s just a short drive away from the wild, mountainous Corsican interior. 0845 330 2059, corsica.co.uk ; fly to Bastia, 90 minutes away, with EasyJet or Thomson Airways

14 L’Hacienda Luis, Calvi, Corsica
£700, sleeps 4
This ground-floor apartment offers comfortable, modern accommodation and a shared pool. It’s part of a low-rise villa development (the owner lives upstairs) and provides the perfect base for a family who want to get out and explore the island, but fancy being lazy now and again, too. 0871 231 4050, simplytravel.co.uk ; fly to Bastia, 90 minutes away, with EasyJet or Thomson Airways


15 Old Saas-Fee, Saas-Fee, Valais
£1,067, sleeps 6
Set in an exquisite old Saas-Fee house, this compact apartment is a recent conversion, and pretty stylish, too, but you won’t spend much time indoors. The traffic-free village is one of the prettiest in Switzerland, and the perfect playground for an energetic family, with an indoor pool, outdoor tennis courts, mountain-biking, hiking and summer skiing all on hand. 020 8780 6633, interhome.co.uk ; CH3906.710.1. Fly to Geneva, three hours away, with BA, BMI Baby, Flybe, Jet2, Swiss or EasyJet

16 Edith’s farmhouse, Sörenberg, Luzern
£1,098, sleeps 6
The family vacates its farmhouse each summer for three months to give people staying in their apartment more privacy. It wouldn’t matter if they stayed, though: up here, in an unfashionable but spectacular part of Switzerland, there’s plenty of room for everyone. The village has an indoor pool for rainy days, tennis courts and mountain bikes for hire. 01653 617949, inntravel.co.uk ; fly to Zurich, three hours away, with BA, BMI, EasyJet or Swiss


17 Isabel, Kitzbühel, Tyrol
£400, sleeps 2
There’s a sofa bed in the main room (which also contains the kitchenette), but for this price you can keep it folded. The apartment is set in a converted house, two miles out of town, and the interior is neat and snug. Outside, classic Alpine scenery awaits, as well as one of the smartest resorts in Austria, with great hiking, biking and (surprisingly) golf. 020 8780 6633,interhome.co.uk ; AT6370.300.1. Fly to Munich, two hours away, with BA, EasyJet or Lufthansa


18 Casa Rocio, Potes, Cantabria
£840, sleeps 6
Casa Rocio is a mountain house, set between steep and wooded hills on the edge of the Picos de Europa, in northern Spain. It’s been split into two spruce and spacious apartments, which are comfortable enough; but with a large pool and a big, covered pool house beckoning, the chances are you’ll spend most of your time out of doors. Hiking or mountain-biking in the Picos is a must, as is the odd day at the beach. 020 7385 8127, www.spanishaffair.com ; fly to Santander, 90 minutes away, with Ryanair

19 La Casona, San Vicente del Monte, Cantabria
£860, sleeps 6
Can’t decide between sea and sky? Then La Casona is the place for you. It’s barely 10 miles from the beach, but within sight of the Picos de Europa, too. The house itself is a treat — built from the local stone, nicely furnished and on the edge of a hilltop village. It has a small enclosed garden and a lovely shady balcony for hot summer days. 01223 328721, www.casas.co.uk ; fly to Santander, an hour away, with Ryanair

20 Casa Picona, San Vicente do Grove, Galicia
£574, sleeps 6
A tiny traditional Galician cottage in the fishing village of San Vicente, Casa Picona is built from great blocks of granite, which are a prominent feature in the living room. There’s a small garden with flowers and trees, and the nearest beach is a 15-minute walk. The medieval splendours of Santiago de Compostela are an easy day trip. 0845 612 9000, secretdestinations.com ; fly to Santiago de Compostela, an hour away, with Ryanair

21 Mas d’en Cholvi, Horta de Sant Joan, Catalonia
£1,995, sleeps 12
Once your party size hits a dozen, economies of scale kick in. Take Mas d’en Cholvi, for example. A recently converted, fortress-like farmhouse, it neither looks nor feels low-budget. It’s full of wonderful rustic features, with a decent-sized pool, several terraces and 200 acres of land. The coast is an hour away, though it’s unlikely you’ll want to leave your retreat to see it. 0845 344 0460, vintagetravel.co.uk; 154. Fly to Reus, 90 minutes away, with Ryanair, Thomson Airways or Thomas Cook Airlines

22 Masia, Castelltercol, Catalonia
£595, sleeps 4
About as rough-hewn as they get, this, as the hallway of the 12th-century building has been carved out of solid rock. It’s one of four converted properties on a working organic farm, which share a pool and a large, lawned garden. Barcelona is within easy day-tripping distance. 0800 316 0244, northspainvillas.com ; 118. Fly to Barcelona, an hour away, with BMI Baby, BA, Jet2, Flyglobespan, Monarch or EasyJet

23 Barraca L’Illa, Ebro Delta, Catalonia
£1,100, sleeps 6
The costa crowd will hate this: a barraca, built of rammed earth and thatch, amid rice fields and lagoons. It’s a traditional fisherman’s home; as well as fishing, you can use it as a base for bird-watching, canoeing and cycling. The nearest beach is three miles away. 01653 617949, www.inntravel.co.uk ; fly to Reus, 90 minutes away, with Ryanair, Thomson Airways or Thomas Cook Airlines

24 Casa Maria Zorrilla, Montejaque, Andalusia
£720, sleeps 4
This cute village house is tucked down an alleyway choked with hanging baskets and looks out across terracotta rooftops to crags and cliffs beyond. Montejaque is a treat in its own right, as well as a base for trips to Ronda, Setenil and Granada. 0845 604 3877, www.individualtravellers.com ; AM312. Fly to Malaga, 90 minutes away, with BA, EasyJet, Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines, Monarch or Flyglobespan

25 Ca’n Oliver, Pollensa, Mallorca
£800, sleeps 6
I’m afraid our budget won’t stretch far on Mallorca — but it will buy you a week at this townhouse in Pollensa, four miles from the beach, with two bedrooms and a sofa bed in the living room. It has a plunge pool, air conditioning, exposed stone walls and a rooftop terrace for long, languid suppers. 0845 604 3877, www.individualtravellers.com ; MM161. Fly to Palma, 45 minutes away, with BMI Baby, EasyJet, Flybe, Flyglobespan, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook Airlines or Thomson Airways


26 Villa Valenca, Valenca, Minho
£1,133, sleeps 6
This rustic, stone-built farmhouse is a far cry from the concrete pillboxes of the Algarve, but you won’t exactly be roughing it. Recently renovated, it has its own pool and a big garden and terrace. The sandy surfing beaches of northern Portugal are 15 miles away, and across the border in Spain, you can hunt out bottles of delicious albariño white wine. 020 7385 4775, www.portugueseaffair.com ; 737. Fly to Porto, 90 minutes away, with TAP or Ryanair

27 Casa da Roma, Orbacem, Minho
£1,495, sleeps 8
Superb value for money: a house of character, with exposed stonework indoors and its own pool. It’s set in a lush farming valley, but the beach is only 15 minutes’ drive away. Nearby Vila Praia de Ancora is the place to go for fish restaurants, or buy your own and grill it on the purpose-built barbecue. 0845 344 0460, vintagetravel.co.uk ; 313. Fly to Porto, 90 minutes away, with TAP or Ryanair

28 Quinta das Brolhas, Valdigem, Viseu
£1,250, sleeps 8
This salt-and-pepper stone farmhouse has been expensively renovated and furnished with simple but high-quality furniture. It’s wine-growing country, near the Douro, and the vines come right up to the house. There’s a good-sized pool in the garden, as well as balconies and lawns. 0845 604 3877, www.individualtravellers.com ; PV104. Fly to Porto, 90 minutes away, with TAP or Ryanair


29 Torrepietro, Pratolino, Tuscany
£768, sleeps 4
Not your average holiday let: this is a 13th-century lookout tower, set in the Florentine hills and sharing its lofty perch with a 19th-century villa. The interior is crisp and neat, with white walls rather than exposed stone. You’ll be sharing the garden with another party, staying in the villa, but hey, it’s a 13th-century tower! Florence is only 11 miles away. 00 39 0577 576310, www.cuendet.com ; ITB406. Fly to Pisa, 90 minutes away, with BA, Jet2, EasyJet or Ryanair

30 Casa Silvia, Loro Ciuffena, Tuscany
£840, sleeps 5
A higgledy-piggeldy stone house, blessed with stunning views and a terraced garden, full of fragrant plants. There’s shade if you want it, sun if you need it and a deep sense of calm. You can walk to the village (20 minutes) or drive, and the nearest station is 20 minutes away, with connections to Florence and Siena. The only drawback: the single bedroom is a bit small. 020 8444 9500, invitationtotuscany.com ; fly to Pisa, two hours away, with BA, Jet2, EasyJet or Ryanair

31 La Capanna, Stigliano, Tuscany
£896, sleeps 5
Part of a conversion of a 12th-century watchtower and its adjoining hamlet, La Capanna used to be the barn, but now provides wonderfully rustic accommodation. It’s not big, but it’s set apart from the other buildings and has its own terrace and garden, from which you can see distant Siena. There’s a shared pool. 020 8444 9500, invitationtotuscany.com ; fly to Pisa, two hours away, with BA, Jet2, EasyJet or Ryanair

32 Casa Maria Fiorenza, Vinci, Tuscany
£798, sleeps 4
A recently refurbished farmhouse, the property is now split into two apartments. Downstairs, there’s room for four in neat accommodation, but the main attraction is the shared pool outside, edged with vineyards and enjoying lovely views to Montalbano. Vinci — the birthplace of Leonardo — is two miles away, and there are good rail connections with Florence. 015394 31120, tuscanholidays.co.uk ; 650. Fly to Pisa, two hours away, with BA, Jet2, EasyJet or Ryanair

33 Monte Santa Maria, Tiberina, Umbria
£780, sleeps 4
Our £200pp budget doesn’t buy a lot of space in a hilltop Umbrian village — but it can get you an astounding view, which is the main feature of this small apartment set in an ancient stone house. It’s really a springboard, not a hideaway — use it as a base for exploring the gorgeous Renaissance towns of Arezzo and Urbino. 0845 268 0760, www.cottages4you.com ; TUN106. Fly to Perugia, 45 minutes away, with Ryanair

34 Villino l’Orlandino, Sant’Agata, Neapolitan Riviera
£770, sleeps 4
No doubt about the best feature here: a sun-drenched rooftop terrace with views to the sea and Vesuvius. There’s a balcony right along the front of the stone-built house, too, which is shaded by olive trees, but if you really need to cool down, it’s best to go indoors to the air conditioning. The nearest beach is five miles away, and at least one day in Pompeii is a must. 01622 775236, www.cottagestocastles.com ; fly to Naples, an hour away, with BA, BMI, Monarch or EasyJet

35 Trullo Mandorla, Cisternino, Puglia
£784, sleeps 4
Trulli are the traditional witch’s-hat houses of Apulia, and Mandorla is a classic of the genre, with cool rough-stone interiors, vaulted ceilings and good-quality, unfussy furniture. Outside, you’ll find lots of olive trees and terracing, along with a barbecue. Nearby Cisternino has an excellent market and there are plenty of beaches within half an hour’s drive. 01694 722193, long-travel.co.uk ; fly to Brindisi or Bari, an hour away, with Ryanair

36 Orione, Lecce, Puglia
£1,094, sleeps 6
Not one for a family with young children, but what a treat for everyone else: a restored baroque apartment in Lecce, an easy amble from the castle, cathedral and Roman amphitheatre. The coast is 20 minutes away. 00 39 0577 576310, www.cuendet. com ; fly to Brindisi, 30 minutes away, with Ryanair

37 Il Paesino, Canicattini Bagni, Sicily
£930, sleeps 5
Part of a working farm that cultivates 2,500 olive trees, Il Paesino is a development of self-contained apartments created from an old farm. The style is bright, crisp and clean, and there’s a big shared pool outside, girdled with lawns and dry-stone walls. Nearby, you can explore the limestone canyon at Cava Grande and the ancient Greek remains at Syracuse. 01694 722193, long-travel.co.uk ; fly to Catania, 90 minutes away, with Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines or Air Malta

38 Skopelos, Scopello, Sicily
£1,179, sleeps 6
Two of you will have to sleep on the sofa bed; but it will be worth it to spend a week on this particular clifftop, looking northwest across the Gulf of Castellammare. The sea stacks of Scopello are within view, and the nearest beach is a couple of miles away, but it would be a crime to stay here and not visit the Doric temple at Segesta. 00 39 0577 576310, www.cuendet.com ; fly to Palermo, an hour away, with EasyJet or Ryanair


39 Villa Stiniva, Stiniva, Dalmatia
£586, sleeps 4
No frills, no fuss — just a stunning location, looking across the bay of Stiniva to the island of Hvar. This is a basic house, and it lies more than a mile down an unsurfaced track. It is also just 50 yards from the shoreline, and — get this — the rental price includes a boat. In other words, for an energetic, sun-loving and resourceful family, it’s the perfect launch pad for a summer adventure. 020 7385 7111, www.croatianaffair.com ; 1437. Fly to Dubrovnik, three hours away, with BA, Croatia Airlines, Flybe, EasyJet, Thomas Cook Airlines, Jet2 or Thomson Airways

40 Garden Cottage, Sosici, Istria
£1,090, sleeps 6
A pretty, stone-built, semi-detached house, set in open countryside and blessed with a shady garden. Air-conditioned and simply furnished, the property is six miles from Rovinj — once an important base for the Venetian fleet. It’s now the prettiest town on the Istrian coast, and home to an imposing baroque cathedral. 0845 268 0760, www.cottages4you.com ; TCIV170. Fly to Trieste, 90 minutes away, with Ryanair

41 Villa Visnija, Seget Vranjica, Dalmatia
£342, sleeps 2
This is a simple ground-floor apartment in a pretty villa near the sea. You could happily idle away a week here, reading on the shady terrace or stretching out on the little beach, just across the road. Most people, though, will want to day-trip — to the Kornati islands, the waterfalls at Krka and the beautiful old town at Sibenik. The town of Trogir, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is a couple of miles away too. 020 8888 6655, croatianvillas.com ; TG003C. Fly to Split, 30 minutes away, with EasyJet


42 Ta’Kikita, Gharb, Gozo
£1,106, sleeps 6
Set right in the heart of the village of Gharb, this compact stone-built house has a dramatic vaulted sitting room and its own pocket-sized pool. Local sightseeing highlights include the fabulous concave-fronted baroque basilica in the village square, and there’s a beach three miles away at Marsalforn. 0871 855 1565, vividmalta.co.uk ; fly to Malta, an hour away, with Air Malta, BA, EasyJet, Ryanair or Thomson Airways

43 St Patrick, Gharb, Gozo
£1,550, sleeps 8
Yes, I know it’s in the same village as Ta’Kikita, above — but who cares when the property is this good? The views from the terraces at the top of the house, across farmland to the coast, are lovely, but the most exciting room is on the ground floor, where a four-poster bed rests beneath a sequence of five stone arches. The only drawback is that one of the bedrooms has two bunk beds — though that means it’s an excellent option for a party with four children. 0845 344 0460, vintagetravel.co.uk ; fly to Malta, an hour away, with Air Malta, BA, EasyJet, Ryanair or Thomson Airways


44 Villa Kamelia, Kotor Bay, Montenegro
£1,852, sleeps 12
On this budget, you’ll have to think laterally if you want a really stunning seaside location. So turn your mind to Montenegro, and this 18th-century stone house right beside the waters of a spectacular fjord. The house has just been renovated and has air conditioning in most rooms, though not all: its Unesco World Heritage listing won’t allow it in some. The walled town of Kotor is nearby. 020 7108 1131, holidaylets.net ; MW30088. Fly to Dubrovnik, 15 miles away, with EasyJet, Croatia Airlines, BA or Thomson Airways


45 Metochi House, Metochi, Pelion
£563, sleeps 4
This is just what you’d hope for from a simple stone-built Greek house — newly renovated, uncluttered, bright and airy. The location, however, is more than you’d dare dream of — set on an elevated stone terrace, with views over the surrounding woodland to the sparkling waters of the Pagasitic Gulf. If you’re looking for lazy days on sheltered beaches, and mellow nights in harbour cafes, then look no further. 020 7359 3938, realholidays.co.uk ; fly to Volos, about 45 minutes away, with Monarch, or to Skiathos with Thomson Airways or Thomas Cook Airlines; from there, it’s a short ferry across to the Pelion peninsula

46 House of Hermes, Lakka, Paxos
£950, sleeps 5
Think of the House of Hermes as a launch pad, rather than a hideaway. Shaded by olive trees and serenaded by cicadas, it’s furnished with interesting antiques and has a big, sunny terrace — but with the best beaches on Paxos only 10 minutes’ walk away, and the bars and tavernas of Lakka beckoning each evening, you’re bound to spend at least as much time out as in. 020 8232 9780, www.greekislandsclub.com ; Paxos is 2¼ hours from Corfu by ferry. Fly to Corfu with EasyJet, Monarch, Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines or Jet2

47 Seasons Villas, Ai Helis, Cephalonia
£1,200, sleeps 6
Ai Helis is a sandy beach, backed by low cliffs and surrounded by luxury villas. So what’s the catch? Well, to stay here for £200pp a week, two of you will have to sleep on the sofa bed, and you’ll have to share the pool with three other villas. It’s a big pool, mind, and each air-conditioned villa is, for the money, rather swanky. Doesn’t sound much like a sacrifice, does it? 0800 091 1601, sunisle.co.uk ; the villa is 10 minutes from the island’s airport, served by Olympic, Monarch and Thomson Airways

48 St George’s Studios, Naxos Town, Naxos
£400, sleeps 2
You won’t be seeing the St George’s Studios in The World of Interiors any time soon — but they’re clean, neat and air-conditioned. They’re also three minutes’ walk from the beach and another 10 minutes from the harbour. This is a great base for day-tripping to the empty east coast and exploring the villages in the island’s mountainous interior. 020 8758 4707, hidden-greece.co.uk ; the studios are 10 minutes from the island’s airport, served by Olympic via Athens

49 Spyros’s Apartments, Antiparos
£575; sleeps 4
These are simple, unpretentious apartments on a simple, unpretentious island — Antiparos is no longer the big secret of the Cyclades, but it’s still much quieter than most, and is a haven for anyone who needs to let their head cool in hot sunshine. If you find yourself missing modern life, then take the boat over to Paros. Chances are, you won’t. 020 8758 4707, hidden-greece.co.uk ; fly to Athens with Aegean Airlines, BA or EasyJet, then take the ferry from Piraeus (via Paros). Alternatively, fly to neighbouring Paros, via Athens, then take the ferry from Pounda

50 Emilio’s House, Agia Paraskevi, Crete
£550, sleeps 4
The perfect antidote to the kiss-me-quick resorts of eastern Crete — Emilio’s House is a remote, do-nothing place, looking out across the sea. It’s built into a rocky buttress at one end of the village square and the crag forms one of the sitting-room walls. The nearest beach is a five-minute drive and there’s a shared pool in the village. 0845 094 8871, freelance-holidays.co.uk . Fly to Chania, 2½ hours away, with Thomson Airways, Monarch or Thomas Cook Airlines

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