There may well be nothing that occupies a more treasured place in the British traveller’s heart than a villa in the south of France. It conjures dreams of cool water, hot sand and sunshine that fades into wine and warm evenings on terraces fringed with flowers.
A great villa should give you and whoever you take along plenty of space to spread out, but also to come together, resting, eating and playing indoors and out. We’ve personally inspected every place we work with, looking for the villas that match the dream. You’ll find beautiful places, in stunning locations, created with care by owners who want you to have an unforgettable stay.
Our most popular places to stay in the South of France
Where to stay
A few articles to inspire your next villa holiday
Nicky de Bouille, our in-country manager in France, looks back on the origins and pleasures of the villa as a place of relaxation and indulgence.
To match the elegance and charm of their surroundings, here are our favourite villas with stylish interiors, guaranteed to inspire your own design dreams.
We started our 25 years in travel with French walking tours, so we know a great villa in the south of France when we see one, whether it’s a grand château or a more contemporary conversion.
Whether you’re hoping to get away with your nearest and dearest, or bring along a wider group, our holiday villas all have that special ‘home from home’ feeling (with added sunshine!) Here are five of our favourite villas in France with a pool.
The French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, is quite possibly the glitziest stretch of Mediterranean coast. Our luxurious collection ticks all the boxes for stylish design, classic architecture and charming character. Here are a few that wowed our inspectors.
Here are our dream villas with private pools – from splash pools to full length (not Olympic!) – for a sun-drenched summer holiday in the south of France.
Our villas in France
While you might think of villas as belonging exclusively to the sloping terroir of vineyard country in the south of France, ours are dotted about all over the country. They range from the cool, white and modern to the simply rustic, and old homes filled with art and colour gathered over years. They’re mostly for small groups of around six, but there are some grand palaces if you’ve got a lot of people on the invitation list. Each is totally unique, so it’s up to you if you want a villa with a pool, a hot tub, or just plenty of kitchen space, garden space and a good sweep of French countryside.
Our favourite places to visit in France
We have to be careful when we ask our France expert Nicky where to visit. Living on the banks of the Loire, she always puts in a word for the vineyards and valleys of her own glorious backyard, but with very little prodding, she’ll happily expound on everything from Normandy to Nice. The former for its cider and beaches, the latter for its art galleries and architecture. In between there’s the forested beauty of the Ardeche, the oenophile’s paradise of Bordeaux and the dramatic Alps, which are as stunning in summer as they are super for snow sports in winter.
Why do we inspect all our places in person?
There are a few reasons that we go and visit every single place we feature. The first is the most obvious one – we need to know that it’s good enough to add to our collection and we know how misleading photos can be. The second is that we’re looking for something more than facilities and features. A villa in the south of France should have a certain feeling, a relaxed magic that’s a combination of style, scenery and an indefinable air of hospitable warmth. You certainly don’t get that from a photo. The third and maybe most important, is that we like to get to know the owners, forming personal relationships that last many years and go beyond our desire to support them as independent businesses in a world of mass-market holiday lets.
France – our first love
We have places all over the UK and Europe, but we’ll always have a soft spot for France, because that’s where it all began for us. Over 25 years ago, our founder Alastair Sawday was running walking tours, leading groups of curious travellers deep into the French countryside and meeting incredible people who welcomed hikers into their home. He turned his tour notes into a book, then several more books, and then this website, which now features more villas in the south of France than you could comfortably walk round but, we like to think, still feels like you’re wandering round beautiful parts of France with a charming guide.