Holiday inspiration off the beaten path

Ideas you won't find in the guidebook

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A holiday ‘off the beaten path’ doesn’t have to mean in the middle of nowhere, where no person has ever before stepped foot. It can simply be a trip to a lesser known area that you may not have of heard of before, which perhaps offers an alternative experience to your typical choice of holiday.

We’ve pulled together a selection of four villas that we think are perfect for an off the beaten path holiday.

L’Uliveto, Tuscany

A former village school thoughtfully transformed to become a quaint holiday home in the Tuscan countryside, L’Uliveto forms part of a private wine and oil estate with impressive views over Siena. 

The villa is located just 7km from Siena, a city distinguished by its medieval brick buildings and an interesting alternative to the perhaps more popular city of Florence. Galleries, artisanal boutiques and charming restaurants fill the streets, while the cathedral is a remarkable site. 

The villa is also close enough to visit the delights of Montechiaro, a nearby village, where active types can enjoy horse riding, mountain biking and go-karting. On the contrary, guests looking for a more relaxing holiday experience can visit a thermal spa resort. 

Find out more about L’Uliveto 

Quinta Oleandro, Douro Valley

Quinta Oleandro

Set in the hills of the Douro Valley, Quinta Oleandro is in a truly relaxing rural setting surrounded by lush olive groves and tiers of carved terraces that form the UNESCO world heritage site. 

As the villa is built on a wine estate, this means guests are offered the privilege of a winery tour during their stay, which of course would not be complete without a spot of wine tasting. True oenophiles can even take part in a bespoke four-day wine making weekend.

Aside of all the exciting wine related activities; the villa itself is perfect for a family get-together or a relaxing retreat for friends complete with a lovely heated pool, table tennis and accompanying views that are hard to beat.

Find out more about Quinta Oleandro

Bolgheri Beach House, Tuscany

Bolgheri Beach House

This charming house is peacefully secluded, surrounded by tall trees and beautifully manicured lawns. Bolgheri Beach House, despite feeling perfectly private, has a footpath leading through the pines to the golden sands of Marina di Bibbona beach complete with a rustic cabana to relax in. 

The precious village of Bolgheri is truly picturesque, with majestic cypress tree lined streets and is one of the most prestigious wine-growing areas of Tuscany. Sample delicious local wine in one of many excellent restaurants, or purchase a bottle from the supermarket to enjoy back at the villa for total relaxation.

Find out more about Bolgheri Beach House

Azure Point, Lefkada

Azure Point

The unique setting of Azure Point is really rather spectacular. Poised almost at the water’s edge with panoramic sea views, this villa is a wonderful choice for a relaxing waterside retreat.

Looking out to sea it may feel like this house is truly isolated, when actually the resort of Vassiliki is just 2km away. Here there is a great beach, with gently shelving making it suitable for children, as well as a number of restaurants and bars to choose from for lunch. 

Vassiliki is actually one of the windsurfing capitals of Europe and there are windsurfing schools offering lessons for active teenagers or parents alike.

Back at the villa, there are a number of areas to relax in both inside and out on the spacious terrace, or take a dip in the incredible infinity pool while you take in those matchless views.

Find out more about Azure Point