There is nothing more relaxing than escaping the rat race and taking a holiday deep in the heart of unspoilt countryside to revive our senses. Getting back to basics in nature doesn’t mean you need to skimp on luxury and comfort, however. In fact, escaping mass tourism is made more appealing when you have your own exclusive villa to immerse yourself, your friends and family in peaceful seclusion with all modern comforts. High-end property rental companies maintain very strict criteria for selecting luxury villa rentals and ensure a relaxing environment and impeccable service for guests while on holiday. The handpicked luxury rural villas below stand out for their special features, location and ambience, each of which will ensure a memorable holiday.
1. Villa Zia, Ibiza
Designed by a renowned architect in a modernist style, Villa Zia is a cutting-edge hill-top retreat that once experienced, you’ll never forget. The light-flooded, airy interior is the epitome of artistic sophistication: not one room looks the same with interesting and rustic pieces of artwork sitting comfortably alongside modern furniture and trendy lighting. The eclectic rooms contain lots of surprising hideaways, such as the cinema room and outdoor sunken chill-out zone, furnished with oversized cushions and a fire to keep cosy around after sundown. Arguably the best feature of the property is the roof terrace where sea and sunset views can be enjoyed with cocktails. However, huge panoramic windows that open completely are present throughout the villa, so that guests are never far from the beautiful nature outside, whether it’s rolling countryside or the Mediterranean. Villa Zia is set within its own peaceful grounds with a heated infinity pool, so you never need to leave the property or experience Ibiza’s party island reputation.
2. Casa Biondi, Tuscany
Casa Biondi is an idyllic rural retreat in Tuscany’s beautiful Val d’Orcia region. It can accommodate up to ten guests in five bedrooms designed and sumptuously furnished in a contemporary-rustic style. The shared living spaces feature original, terracotta vaulted ceilings, wood beams, antiquities and luxurious modern amenities. The stone building itself is traditional and sits in its own land among cypress trees and rolling Tuscan hills evoking a feeling of utter tranquility. The views can be appreciated from the impressive pool area where it would be easy to spend entire days lounging, unless you’d prefer to while away an afternoon in the library. Villa Biondi is part of Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, a 5,000-acre estate immersed in the UNESCO-listed Val d’ Orcia Natural Park, just outside Siena. It is part of a nature reserve with the possibility of seeing deer, pheasants and wild boar, but also just a stroll away from a castle, church and the estate’s restaurant and spa facilities.
3. Villa Scorpio, Corsica
Villa Scorpio sits in blissful seclusion in the mountainous south coast of Corsica, just a short walk away from Palombaggia beach. Its location is jaw-dropping, with ocean views to match, and the villa is designed in such a sprawling way that makes it impossible not to admire the view from one of its many large windows. Built in a traditional style, the property blends into its surroundings and opens out onto the garden area with various sun terraces and a large heated outdoor pool. The interior is beautifully designed with a contemporary feel and comfort is made the number one priority. It has a vast array of modern features including a gym and private cinema, yet the bedrooms take the deluxe theme to a new level with each one having a DVD player, plasma screen and iPod docking station. Two of its five bedrooms even have their own exterior hot tubs, which are perfect for luxuriously lounging under the stars.
4. La Fraissinede, Languedoc
This converted 18th-century wine store is a unique and characterful villa that is full of rustic charm. La Fraissinede is located near the picture postcard city of Carcassonne, amid 120 acres of land including an all-weather tennis court, pool and outdoor dining and barbecue area. The villa is just 11km from the pretty medieval village of Lagrasse and the surrounding landscape is full of vineyards and hills. The property’s grounds, which are filled with olive trees and lavender, are a sight to behold. The property rental sleeps up to 14 guests across 6 bedrooms and it provides the perfect venue to host a private party for friends, with a dedicated party room that is complete with a bar. This fits in perfectly with its wine-related heritage; although the interior is contemporary, the living space incorporates vast empty wine tanks alongside original fireplaces to evoke a rich past. The property is suitable for both summer and winter rental with underfloor heating and roaring fires.
5. La Bergerie Terre Blanche, Provence
La Bergerie de Terre Blanche is a classical villa that instantly amazes those who witness its majesty. Situated within the grounds of a five-star golf and spa hotel in scenic Provence, this regal villa enjoys a prime position with spectacular views across beautiful landscaped gardens. The spacious, light and airy villa sleeps up to 12 people in 6 ensuite bedrooms, three of which have balconies overlooking a lake. La Bergerie is decorated in a contemporary yet understated style. Located just 45 minutes from Nice airport and 10 minutes from a helipad, it manages to be both secluded and accessible to both the Cote d’Azur beaches and the historic villages of Fayence, Seillans and Caillian. However, you might never want to leave the grounds, as your family spends days napping by the pool, watching movies in the home cinema and enjoying gourmet dishes prepared by the resident chef.