Choosing the best villa holidays in Spain

So, you're pining for Spain? In a twirl of Andalusian flamenco and a sizzle of seafood paella, this guide ranges from the Basque Country to the volcano-spiked isles of the Canaries to find some of the most enticing destinations to consider renting a villa in Spain. It's also laden with some handy booking tips and hints.

Choose villa holidays in Spain near the beach

A marina on lively Menorca

Spain's seas glitter blue and turquoise between the Costa del Sol and the wave-spattered Canarian shores. There are all sorts of places where you can seek out deluxe villas just a stone's throw from the water.

Get a villa in Spain on the Costa Blanca

Whether you're whizzing down the slides of Torrevieja Aquopolis or uncovering centuries-old tales of salt harvesting at the Museum of the Sea and Salt, the southern end of the Costa Blanca – one of Spain's premier regions for families – is usually plenty of fun. You can rent a house anywhere around the city of Alicante, where you'll discover a strong Moorish castle on the peaks above, or a little inland where Murcia villas give glistening swimming pools near grand Baroque cathedrals.

Villa holidays in Spain to the Canary Islands

There are more stunning beaches and soaring cliffs ringing the Canary Islands than you could ever want. Traditional sunbathing holidays can be had in lively resorts like Playa de las Americas, while party nights can unfold along the shorelines of Las Palmas, and even surfers can find wild waves to conquer around Tenerife's north shore.

A villa in the Balearic Islands

Some of the chicest villas in Spain coalesce close to the promenades of buzzing Ibiza Town, where world-famous clubs thump out EDM until the early hours. Just over the straits are an altogether different bunch of holiday rentals, offering a pad for families by the handsome harboursides of sleepy Mahon on Menorca island. The upshot is that this archipelago has seaside homes away from home to suit all sorts.

Villas in Spain inland

Filled with mystery and adventure, Spain's inland regions crank up the culture and the isolation in ways that the popular coast simply can't. The sierras and gorges, olive-clad valleys and rolling vineyards that create the Iberian mosaic here are host to oodles of villas, some with private pools, others with palm-shaded gardens. Check below for suggestions on where to look.

Homes in La Mancha

The sparsely populated region of La Mancha is written into the culture of Spain thanks to the roaming knight, Don Quixote, who did battles with windmills and saved princesses in these parts. These days, the landscapes are quintessential Iberia, with pine-studded slopes that drop to white-painted villages, all interspersed now and then with large villas that are both remote and luxurious, usually offering a private pool.

Villa holidays in Spain's Andalusia

Andalusia might be home to the iconic Costa del Sol, yacht-bobbing Marbella and beach-fringed Malaga, but it's also a vast region of mountains and forests. Head inland from the coast and you could soon be settling in an old farmhouse with views of shimmering towns like Gaucin or Ronda, which hide between steep-sided gorges with their cantina-clinking plazas and historic bullrings.

A typical scene inland in Andalusia

A place in the Serra de Tramuntana

The wilds of Mallorca are dominated by the rising limestone edifices of the Serra de Tramuntana. It's a glorious mountain range that's designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hiding fairy-tale villages like Soller between its sculpted peaks and citrus groves. The villas found inside promise to take you away from the lively resorts of Magaluf and Cala d'Or, up to ancient farms and winding bridle trails.

How to get a cheap villa in Spain

The gorge in Ronda, Andalusia

That family getaway or Spanish honeymoon doesn't have to break the bank. Follow these top tips to keep costs low when you come to book the perfect holiday home.

Ensure you bag your villas in Spain early

Spain still reigns as one of the most attractive summertime villa escapes in the world. However, despite the abundance of holiday rentals on offer, the best bargains will often sell out fast. To be in the running for the best-priced homes, whether on the sierras of Andalusia or the beaches of the Balearic Isles, it's always a good idea to book your home as far in advance as you can.

Consider lesser-known parts of the country

Spain has plenty of unknown and untrodden corners where the villa rentals are never going to be as in demand as along the Costa del Sol, the Costa Blanca or on Tenerife, for example. If you're keen to bag cheaper homes somewhere near the sea, the Costa Brava north of Barcelona might be a great pick. If you prefer Spanish countryside, consider delving into the green ridges of the Basque Country or Galicia.

Discover villas in Spain off season

Spain is blessed with some regions that are known for their year-round warmth and sun. Heading south to the Atlantic Ocean and the Canaries means you can often find balmy temperatures and winter rays, not to mention cheaper rates between November and March. What's more, even the popular haunts closer to Spain proper, from Ibiza to the Costa del Sol, can stay hot throughout September, which is also when you might unearth house rentals for considerably less.