Find an original luxury villa in Spain

For many, a luxury villa in Spain is all about the pool and the sunshine. There are some luxury rentals that are a little out of the ordinary though. Some of Spain's most elegant old mansions and country houses have been converted into holiday rentals that reflect the culture and history of their regions.

Living in style and grace

A luxury villa in Spain is becoming more affordable, with prices dropping in recent summers. Even if you plan to spend all your holiday sipping sangria by the pool, it can make your break all the more special if your villa has some character.

In the south, particularly Andalusia, a Cortijo is a traditional country farmhouse. Many of these elegant old homes have been restored and modernised as luxury rental villas. They often retain elements of the old Andalusian lifestyle, with noticeable Moorish influences. Some of the most luxurious enjoy spectacular vistas over olive or almond groves, their terraces shaded with vines or lemon trees.

A Masia is a traditional Catalan or Aragonese country dwelling, many of them originating in the Middle Ages. Their layout was often based on the even more ancient Roman villas that were once common in the region. These impressive stone dwellings make stylish large villas and ideal bases for exploring the nearby Pyrenees.

In Galicia in the north-west, a Pazo, or palace, was the impressive name given to stylish country houses. Constructed from local stone, they have aged gracefully. Many have now been refurbished with the addition of landscaped gardens and swimming pools to make comfortable luxury villas suitable for large groups.

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A possible downside of this type of luxury villa in Spain is that they are often located in splendid isolation. Although a tranquil rural setting might seem appealing initially, it can be annoying to have to drive half an hour down a narrow track every time you want to buy bread and milk for breakfast.

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