With its mix of Moorish, Norman and Baroque architecture, Sicily has long been a destination for city breaks. However, Sicily also boasts volcanic landscapes, a dramatic coastline and mile upon mile of vineyards and olive groves, making it the perfect place for a relaxing stay in the countryside. With this blend of attractions Sicily villas are on a par with the best rural vacations in Europe.
At the luxury end of the market, Think Sicily are world-renowned for their range of sumptuous rental villas. The Baia dei Turchi villa, near the historic town of Siracusa, for instance, features an expansive decking area overlooking the sea, as well as an infinity pool, turkish bath and jacuzzi hot tub. The interior includes seven bedrooms and five bathrooms for a maximum of thirteen guests. The villa is available year-round with rates beginning at £4520 per week.
Sicily villas with sea views are always in high demand, and an affordable option is the palatial Villa Silvia just a few minutes north of Catania. Available through the website Di Casa in Sicilia, this property has four bedrooms and affords spectacular views across the sea and to Mount Etna. Price is on request.
For a more rustic experience, Sicily Cottages offer the one-bedroom Villa Melleduci, a 160 year old farmhouse set within thirty acres of fruit orchards within easy reach of Catania. Guests are welcome to pick the apricots, lemons, oranges and cherries that grow in the grounds or take a walk to the beach, which is only fifteen minutes away. A spacious outdoor terrace looks out onto a nearby stream and a range of rugged hills. Rates for the villa start from £450 per week.
Finally, Sicily Cottages also offer the small Cuballino house, up near the foothills of Mount Etna. Cuballino has two bedrooms and is nestled within the ruins of an ancient Byzantine church. The cottage is very secluded, so it is perfect for a quiet and romantic retreat, and is surrounded by hazelnut trees and vineyards. Prices begin at £358 for the week.
Sicily villas are the perfect option for those seeking a weekend away, a bit of sun during winter months, or a quiet alternative to the busier tourist resorts of the Mediterranean.
(photo © Palermo)