Top places in Southern Europe to rent a villa next summer

The old expression that the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain never seems to ring hollow as despite the recession, thousands of tourists continue to head for the Iberian coastline summer after summer.

The enviable sunny climate and blue seas, as well as low-cost accommodation and entertaining, make both Spain and its smaller neighbour Portugal, great fuss-free holiday destinations.

Although there are plenty of hotels dotting the coastlines of both countries, the ideal thing to do when staying in Spain or Portugal is to rent a villa. If you have more than two people in your group, you’re likely to find that it offers much better value for money, as well as offering more privacy and a perhaps higher quality of accommodation. Just imagine having your own private pool in the garden! Midnight swim, anyone?

So, with so many great destinations on offer, which one is right for you and your group to when looking for villas to rent in Spain and Portugal?

Albufeira: For those of you who enjoy a dynamic environment, the lively nightlife scene at Albufeira, across the Spanish border in Portugal, is the place to be. One of the biggest and best-loved resorts in the Algarve, Albufeira has something for everyone. The old town is a series of winding cobbled streets centred around a bustling market, while a nearby marina gives the town a cosmopolitan edge. Shunning hotels is the thing to do here, because villas in Albufeira are renowned for their individual charm and comfort.

Andalucia: Away from the main tourist stretches Andalucia, home to vibrant fiestas, colourful flamencos and ancient folklore is a destination that should be explored. Andalucia’s charm rests in the perfect whitewashed villages and extravagant Moorish palaces that dot its landscape and influence the architecture of its historic cities of Seville, Cordoba and Granada. Although popular with tourists, vast, unspoilt areas of natural beauty remain, alongside its passion for the traditional Spanish way of life.

Costa del Sol: The legendary Costa del Sol has a comprehensive choice of villas, sun-drenched beaches, top quality restaurants and plenty ofentertainment for young and old. Situated on Spain’s most southerly shoreline, the Costa del Sol is the place to go if you are a devoted sun worshipper and are serious about having fun in the sun. Marbella is one of the most famous resorts along the Costa del Sol and is world renowned for attracting aglamorous crowd. It's also one of the most popular places to rent villas in Spain.

Costa Blanca: For less expensive villas you may want to consider the Costa Blanca, the stretch of coastal beaches that runs alongside Spain’s eastern shores. The atmospheric cities of Alicante and Javea are two of the most populated areas of the Costa Blanca, where finding a villa to rent for an inexpensive self-catering holiday is not difficult. The Costa Blanca’s winning card is its remarkably clean and beautiful beaches.

Costa Brava: Spain’s ‘brave coast’ comprises of 300 kilometres of intensely beautiful coastline, backed by breathtakingly picturesque pine-clad hills and mountains. For those wanting to rent a villa in the midst of clubs, bars, restaurants and youthful vibrancy, then Costa Brava’s celebrated Lloret de Mar could be the place for you. Those looking for a more relaxing, cultural and tranquil holiday may prefer the peaceful Catalan village of Rupit.

Whichever destination you chose for your villa holidays, in Southern Europe you can rely on one thing. The weather.