by Nick Trend
31 May 2014
Petradi, a comfortable two-bedroom house (sleeping four) with a plunge pool, flower terraces and superb views, is in Spetses, one of the Saronic Islands just off the Peloponnese. Baby sitting and extra help with cooking are available on request, and the equipment provided includes a highchair and a playpen. There is a gated swimming pool. Ferry from Piraeus takes just less than two hours.
Petradi, ref. GR18 >>
France seems expensive with the cost of a week's accommodatin averaging £985, but this masks one of the broadest geographical spreads, with the cheapest regions, Normandy (£600) and Burgundy (£670) looking excellent value. Unsurprisinglly the Côte d'Azur is much more expensive at £1,650 and accommodation in inland Provence comes in at £1,200. The villa specialist, Dominique's Villas, says you can expect to pay nearly a third less for a large villa sleeping 10 in the Lot-et-Garonne compared with what you would pay for a similar-sized property just inland from Nice. Generally, the farther north your stay, the cheaper the accommodation, through exceptions to this rule include Languedoc-Roussillon and Aquitaine (which includes the Dordogne), which were well below the average price of £730 and £820 respectively. In Languedoc-Roussillon and Aquitaine, prices in August can be up to 28% more than in June, and in the central, western region of Poitou Charentes there is a peak-season hike of nearly 40%.
by Fred Mawer
Dominique's Villas has been going for a quarter of a century. Its 160 French rentals include a mouth-watering selection of châteaux, manors and top-end villas, virtually all with pools, across the main regions. Recent previous bookers get five per cent discount.
In these rarefied spheres, companies compete on exquisiteness - private chefs, fabulous locations, pools the size of the Atlantic. Dominique's Villas generally delivers the goods, with châteaux, manors and extravagantly-equipped villas in most main regions.
by Fred Mawer
Upmarket specialists, Dominique's Villas has about 130 châteaux, farmhouses and modern villas across most classic regions, with a concentration in Provence. Most have pools (more this year are heated), some are very large, and all are checked out by the company's owner.