These private Mediterranean pads come with secluded pools, shaded pine forests and sandy pathways leading to the sea.
Take one measure of privacy, add a sprinkling of hotel-style perks, throw in a location of immense beauty and (frankly) almost cliché good looks – and what do you get? The perfect summer holiday, of course. These stand-out villas on the nature-blessed island of Sardinia avoid all the pitfalls of a potential wrong turn, with a parade of pools, al fresco terraces and even a restaurant or two, if you want to leave the cooking to the professionals. This is an outpost in Italy, after all.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
This villa offers the best of both worlds: privacy within its cool, tiled quarters, plus the benefits of a surrounding holiday park and hotel. It sleeps up to eight in a mixture of doubles and bunks that kids will love (there are even surfboards on standby, propped against the villa’s walls). Out front, there’s a small grassed garden with loungers angled towards the sea, and you can reap the benefits of a restaurant, pool and a 27-hole golf course, if a moment of exertion strikes. Pretty Pula is only a 10-minute drive away, with some of the best beaches on Sardinia’s south coast.
If you go down to the woods today, you’ll find this secluded villa, set within an enchanting pine forest, on the Sardinian coast. Open the doors to let in fresh salty sea air from the coast, only 150 metres (500ft) away, or bask in the ample outdoor spots – including a private garden, large veranda and wood-fired barbecue area – during languid al fresco meals. The interiors are simple, the price tag affordable – it’s the stuff of summer holiday dreams.
This rose-hued villa sleeps up to 10 guests in the coastal town of Pula, steps away from Riva dei Pini beach. The house is decorated with cool, clean colours and splashed with coral-motif artworks that riff on the villa’s name and nautical shades that nod to the sea. Embroidered bed linens add homely touches, but it’s the outside where this villa really excels. There’s a private garden, with several shaded terraces for dining beneath matchstick pines, plus a rooftop patio for lazy glasses of wine, chased down with cool evening breezes.
If you think a holiday home should be more than a place to crash after a long day at the beach, you’ll appreciate the personal touches of these villas. Straw hats hang beside bright mural-painted walls, minimalist design furniture dots the space and compact kitchens are tucked discreetly to one side. Best of all, the apartments are located in a locanda (small Italian inn), with its own mountain-backed pool, garden-championing restaurant and shaded outdoor seating set amid the olive groves – plus Nora Beach is only an eight-minute drive away (since we’re counting).
North-west Sardinia’s coastline is famous for its emerald waters and eye-catching white beaches, but it also boasts endless hiking trails, ancient ruins and picturesque fishing villages, such as Stintino, where this resort is located. Here, you’ll find apartments for couples, as well as luxury Sardinian-style villas, sleeping up to 10 people, realised in petal-pink plaster with terracotta tiles and timber-beamed ceilings. Perks include sea-spying verandas, three communal pools and the Al Borgo restaurant, with its sunset-ready terrace and views of the Mare di Fuori.
If your ideal holiday includes quality time with family and friends, then this beach-side villa ticks all the boxes. It sleeps up to 14 people and boasts several indoor and outdoor lounges, where you can gather for sun-bathing, wine sipping, food guzzling and spying of endless sea views. From the main terrace, decked with a long lemon-graced, Mediterranean-style table, you’ll spy a sandy pathway that leads down to Li Mindi Beach. The infinity pool, ringed by sunbeds, is also a bit of a showstopper.
Palau is one of Sardinia’s top jet-set destinations and the gateway to the Costa Smeralda. This home is only a 12-minute stroll away from the town’s port, where you can board a yacht to one of the heavenly islands of La Maddalena archipelago, making it a great basecamp for beach bums and luxury day trippers. The villa itself is not too bad, either: with a private pool, rooftop terrace, sea-facing sunbeds and a made-to-order breakfast – you might think twice about leaving at all.
Conveniently located near Olbia’s waterfront – the main harbour and airport in northern Sardinia – this sea-view apartment puts you a pebble’s throw from the island’s whitest beaches and bluest waters. It can host up to six people and is particularly primed for families with its safe, glass-walled private pool and adjoining terrace, where parents can keep a close eye. When you’re not gawping at the sea, there are mountain views and slopes shouldering the island’s fragrant maquis shrub to contend with.
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meet our Local Insider
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.