Choose your villas abroad with this guide

Villas abroad come in all shapes and sizes. From chic Balinese cabanas with infinity pools spilling into the surf to rural Italian farmhouses with cypress trees shading their terraces, there's a whole kaleidoscope of stays to consider when booking. Cue this guide, which offers insights into the sort of homes you can discover in some of the world's most enticing holiday destinations.

Discover villas to rent abroad in Europe

From the sky-blue waters of the Aegean Sea to the soaring summits of the Alps, Europe is a wonderland just waiting to be explored. Villa rentals are all over the place here, offering a slice of R&R close to culture and adventure.

Spain has loads of villas abroad

Families, couples, groups, golfers and partiers will all find something to write home about in the villas of Spain. Sun-splashed sands are always on offer down in the Canaries, even if it's November. Meanwhile, the Costa del Sol has Marbella's buzzing bars and Menorca comes with cute coves primed for soaking up the rays.

Italy beckons with its rentals

If your escape to a villa abroad is about good food, good wine and unwinding with a view, Italy should be top of the list. Tuscany is clad in vineyards that give the famous grapes of Chianti and Montepulciano, interspersed with hilltop settlements like Cortona where farmers' markets buzz with porchetta and buffalo mozzarella come Saturday and Sunday.

A villa holiday in Greece

While a villa clutching the steep-sided caldera of Santorini might be a great choice for the honeymooners in search of jaw-dropping sunset shows, Greece's other islands and mainland have plenty of homes suited to families. Try the Peloponnese, where you can score larger rentals for a fraction of the price, all near amazing ancient sites like the Corinth Acropolis, the sanctuary of Epidaurus and 4,000-year-old Mycenae.

Find villas to rent abroad in Asia

Add a sense of exoticism and mystery to your stay in a villa abroad by searching for a pad in Asia. It's a land of sizzling noodles, tropical beaches and bath-warm sea waters.

Get villas abroad in Bali

Bali's whirlwind of enthralling Hindu culture and gnarly surf life strikes a fine balance between relaxation and adventure. Up in the rice paddy-clad hills around Ubud, you'll smell incense twisting and turning from the shrines of the Goa Gajah elephant temple. Down by the coast in Canggu and Kuta, you can splash in your pool while watching pro surfers carve over the swells.

Choose Lombok for hidden villas

Lombok is the next island over from Bali in the central Indonesian chain known as the Lesser Sunda. It's an altogether quieter and folksier place than its surf-mad compadre, with smoke-belching Mount Rinjani crowning its horizon and the idyllic Shangri-La of Sendang Gile waterfall lurking in the misty forests. The Gili Islands – think white-sand beaches and multicoloured coral gardens – also await just offshore.

Enticing villas abroad in Thailand

Thailand's not short on villas to rent abroad. The islands of the south have long been a popular pick for those who want a bout of tropical sun and sand and hedonism. Koh Samui is a regular favourite, hosting the stunning beaches of Lamai and Chaweng. On the western coast, the Andaman, cliff-ringed Koh Phi Phi is a photographer's dream, but Koh Lanta and Jum have quieter stays where you can rest to the sound of chirping egrets and drongos.

Get your villas abroad in the USA

Hop across the Atlantic Ocean and you can discover a whole load of villas in Los Angeles, along the Californian coast, by the sun-splashed beaches of Florida and in plenty of places in between. Here are 3 spots where you might want to consider making that USA trip to a home away from home this year.

Choose villas in Los Angeles and beyond

The fabled City of Angels isn't just a throbbing metropolis where you can tread in the footsteps of A-listers and wonder at the Hollywood Sign. It's also the gateway to California's cool, surfer shores. They hit a zenith with uber-swish Malibu just outside of Santa Monica, where high-perched homes have infinity pools gazing across the Pacific Ocean, backed by wineries and chaparral-clad peaks.

Explore villas in Florida

There's really no end to the delights of choosing villas abroad in Florida. Of course, the corkscrewing rollercoasters of the Magic Kingdom and the fairy-tale spires of Cinderella Castle usually top the bill. But other days away from your pad could be about whizzing over crocodile-infested swamps to see the famous Everglades, spotting dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico or swinging in a hammock on the resplendent Florida Keys.

An escape to San Diego

With the stunning seaside retreats of La Jolla and Torrey Pines up its sleeve, San Diego is a fine place to seek out a little luxury on the Pacific. World-class golf courses spill down to wave-bashed surfer beaches in those parts, while the endless draws of Mission Bay – aquariums, fairgrounds – all await next door.