The best villas to book in Europe — with sensational pools

Long afternoons flicking through the sun-cracked pages of a novel, poolside; al fresco dinners rustled together from local market jaunts; endless games of cards into the still evening, always to a lazy cicada chorus. There is nothing quite like a Mediterranean summer holiday, when you forget what day it is and while away hours on a sun lounger or on morning ambles for fresh bread.

It recalls the delicious boredom of childhood – one technology cruelly wrenched from us – where the crunch of brittle grass underfoot is observed and the eye is afforded time to trace the outline of the hills and soak in the surrounding bucolic oomph. Sleek, otter-like bodies surge from pools and flop onto warm towels, and along the coast, friends nurse gin and tonics with tight, sun-kissed skin as the water in the bay turns still and tar-like.


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