Inspiration - 5 min read

Six of the best European villas with pools

By Ella Perryman

Nothing beats relaxing by the pool on a sun-filled holiday; your new book is in one hand whilst a glass of something chilled is in the other. You’ll find plenty of stunning European villas with pools in our collection, each one inspected and loved by our team of in-country experts. We select five of our favourite below: from one-of-a-kind château stays, to renovated barns and stylish fincas.


Le Mas, Dordogne, France

At the end of a country lane curving through forest and field, a cluster of 16th-century farm buildings has been transformed into a luxurious retreat. You stay in the honey-hued stone farmhouse – light and spacious with a big kitchen for group cooking (although the private chef is popular), a table made for long conversations, toys and games for children and heaps of books. 

Outside find fruit trees, a veg and herb garden, which you can help yourselves to. Cook in the sheltered summer kitchen, float in a private heated pool, gaze at wonderful views and breathe in the scent of lavender and jasmine. Inside, it’s all about the natural textures and materials. Find exposed stone walls, wooden beams, free-standing bath tubs and lovely furnishings. It’s hard to beat as one of the best European villas with pools.

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La Buia Villa, Perugia, Italy

This is a hugely welcoming place where you’re spoiled from the moment you arrive. Inside, imagine beamed ceilings, terracotta floors, harmonious colours and paintings gracing the walls; outside, the views are splendid and the extensive gardens with their tempting pathways and secret corners are glorious to roam. As the best European villas with pools go, this is one of the prettiest. Your private pool is fringed by olive trees, rosemary and lavender, and there are plenty of sun loungers around to sit back and relax.

Upstairs are three stylish bedrooms, each with their own character and gorgeous views. Enjoy breakfasts out on the terrace and plan the day ahead; hop in the car to visit nearby medieval towns, stroll through hamlets and peruse the local markets. Return to a dinner of locally grown Umbrian cuisine then sit out and sip a glass of Sagrantino under a starry sky.

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Quinta Lusitana, Algarve, Portugal

When you’re looking for the best European villas with pools, nothing beats a serene eco retreat. Bask on terraces in sun or shade, and slip into the pool where plants keep the water pure. This serene eco house, awash with light, has been built in the local style. It stands on a small hilltop near pastures, and the view from the roof terrace is 360 degrees. This is the edge of the amazing Ria Formosa, a series of lagoons teeming with wildlife, protected by islands of white sands. 

Inside, everything has been kept light and bright, with homely furnishings. Sit back with a book on one of the many sun loungers, take walks through the nearby hills and enjoy lunches out on the sunny terrace. You’re just 5km from the wonderful town of Olhão – where you can discover a hidden network of cobbled backstreets, pick up fresh local seafood and gaze out at sea views.

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El Botanico de Sagra, Alicante, Spain

This very peaceful eco-lodge is a short distance from the coast between Valencia and Alicante and has an exotic feel, with bedrooms scattered between five brightly coloured houses. Spend dreamy days outside: by the swimming pool listening to birdsong, wandering through avocado, lychee, mango and guava trees in the orchard or visiting the chickens and goats at the back of the garden. The boho-chic seating area has been kitted out with sofas, parasols, cushions and more – it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a sundowner or two.

As some of the best European villas with pools, not only do you get the privacy of your own space, you also have the added bonus of joining in on group activities to boot. Time your visit and you can join one of Catherine’s yoga or Ayurvedic retreats! There are sandy beaches a 20-minute drive: where you can go scuba diving, kite surfing or rent a boat for the day!

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Villa Val di Noto, Sicily, Italy

This stylish Italian villa is situated in an ancient landscape of stoney outcrops and grazing cattle. The valley road curves round to the plain above, high and glorious with great views. The house, elegant in its simplicity, is whiter than white with pale turquoise shutters. A large marble-topped table is protected by a gazebo, a striped hammock is slung between the trees, sleek loungers flank a big pool, and there’s a play area shaded by olives. 

Inside, all sparkles, from the sitting room with books, wood-burner and white leather sofa, to the well-equipped kitchen with a pizza oven! The bedrooms ooze serenity, with white-washed walls, tasteful pops of colour and mediterranean styled rugs. Civilisation is a seven-minute drive, but there’s no other dwelling in sight; so this is the perfect place for those who love silence.

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Chateau de Bardouly, Dordogne, France

It’s not often you get to experience what life’s like living in a grand château in sleepy Dordogne. It’s rural and peaceful with barely the sound of a tractor humming over birdsong. All that surrounds you are gardens with a touch of the wild side, rolling pastures and woodlands. Fill your days canoeing in Sainte Foy nature reserve, vineyard visits and hot air balloon rides. 

Back home there are plenty of spaces to escape to: work up a sweat on the outdoor yoga platform, have a game of tennis followed by a massage, relax in the zen garden or heated saltwater pool. Gather everyone on one of the outdoor terraces for cassoulet and a bottle of red. If you don’t fancy cooking, Lisa can arrange a chef to prepare and serve the occasional dinner or even three square meals – a veritable Provençal feast. 

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