Holiday villas you can enjoy WITHOUT renting a car, from Majorca to Portugal

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Holiday villas you can enjoy WITHOUT renting a car, from Majorca to Portugal

Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: c

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Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: car-free holiday villas.

Demand is soaring for villas across Europe that families can enjoy without the need for a hire car – so they can avoid the huge price hikes expected at airport rental desks this summer.

It’s certainly a trend noticed by Stephen Ellison of villas-with-pools specialist Vintage Travel. 

‘Interest in our “car not essential” villas started to rise in January when Which? warned car hire prices are set to be higher than ever this summer,’ he says. ‘Now we’ve expanded the collection as so many guests realise it’s more relaxing to take a taxi to their villa and then just walk or cycle to local shops, restaurants and beaches every day.’

Spain’s Balearic and Canary Islands, the Italian islands and Portugal’s Algarve are set to see the highest car rental costs, according to Which?, blamed on a lack of vehicles. But car-free villas can be found in each.

No car needed! Ses Cases Noves villa on Majorca’s western coast is an easy stroll to the coastal village of Banyalbufar

No car needed! Ses Cases Noves villa on Majorca’s western coast is an easy stroll to the coastal village of Banyalbufar

No car needed! Ses Cases Noves villa on Majorca’s western coast is an easy stroll to the coastal village of Banyalbufar

A top choice in the Balearics includes Vintage’s new-for-2023 Ses Cases Noves villa on Majorca’s western coast, a £35 taxi ride from Palma airport. 

The country-chic villa sleeps eight, with four large bedrooms spread over three floors. Freshly renovated, the building features old stone walls and Juliet balconies plus a modern, fully equipped kitchen and contemporary furnishings throughout.

Fruit trees surround the pool and it’s an easy stroll to the coastal village of Banyalbufar for groceries, meals and sunset aperitifs by the sea. The village hosts open-air jazz concerts in summer and a gastronomic walking tour takes in local bars and restaurants. A week costs from £5,298 (vintagetravel.co.uk).

Admirers of mid-century modern architecture can enjoy a car-free holiday on Lanzarote at the sleek white Villa Sibisse, near the popular resort of Playa Blanca. It’s a 30-minute, £50 taxi ride from the airport. The recently completed villa has three en suite bedrooms, a big, open-plan kitchen and living area, private terrace, garden and pool. A bakery and supermarket are a ten-minute walk away, as are the bars, restaurants and upmarket shops of Rubicon Marina. From £2,321 a week in mid-summer (villaplus.com).

Park here: Above is the pool at Lanzarote’s Villa Sibisse, which is a 10-minute walk from the bars, restaurants and upmarket shops of Rubicon Marina

Park here: Above is the pool at Lanzarote’s Villa Sibisse, which is a 10-minute walk from the bars, restaurants and upmarket shops of Rubicon Marina

Park here: Above is the pool at Lanzarote’s Villa Sibisse, which is a 10-minute walk from the bars, restaurants and upmarket shops of Rubicon Marina

Villa Sibisse will appeal to admirers of mid-century modern architecture

Villa Sibisse will appeal to admirers of mid-century modern architecture

Villa Sibisse will appeal to admirers of mid-century modern architecture

Villa Sibisse is set near the popular resort of Playa Blanca (pictured)

Villa Sibisse is set near the popular resort of Playa Blanca (pictured)

Villa Sibisse is set near the popular resort of Playa Blanca (pictured)

The Italian island of Capri is equally idyllic for car-free holidays. After a sunny hour on the ferry from Naples, the cliffside Villa Bougainvillea is just a ten-minute, £40 taxi ride from the pretty port. A top tip to make your arrival even more special is to book an open-top taxi, through the villa’s owner.

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom property offers sparkling sea and mountain views from its wraparound terrace and gardens. 

Collect supplies from a grocery store five minutes away, or stroll ten minutes to La Piazzetta, the fashionable, historic square in the heart of Capri town. Costs from £200 per night (travelstaytion.com).

Villa Bougainvillea is a 10-minute walk from La Piazzetta, the fashionable, historic square in the heart of Capri town

Villa Bougainvillea is a 10-minute walk from La Piazzetta, the fashionable, historic square in the heart of Capri town

Villa Bougainvillea is a 10-minute walk from La Piazzetta, the fashionable, historic square in the heart of Capri town 

Villa Bougainvillea offers sea and mountain views from its wraparound terrace and gardens

Villa Bougainvillea offers sea and mountain views from its wraparound terrace and gardens

Villa Bougainvillea offers sea and mountain views from its wraparound terrace and gardens

A top tip to make your arrival at Villa Bougainvillea even more special is to book an open-top taxi, through the villa’s owner

A top tip to make your arrival at Villa Bougainvillea even more special is to book an open-top taxi, through the villa’s owner

A top tip to make your arrival at Villa Bougainvillea even more special is to book an open-top taxi, through the villa’s owner

Villa Sibisse costs from £200 per night. Above is one of the three guest rooms

Villa Sibisse costs from £200 per night. Above is one of the three guest rooms

Villa Sibisse costs from £200 per night. Above is one of the three guest rooms 

Sporty parents and active teenagers need look no further than Portugal’s Algarve.

A £30 taxi ride from Faro airport takes guests to a string of two-bedroom, white-walled villas set in the grounds of the Four Seasons Fairways resort.

Each private villa has a kitchen, sun terrace, hot tub or pool, while guests can use the tennis courts, golf course, gym and yoga studio in the nearby hotel and resort.

A stylish food market offers freshly made bread and local wines, cheeses, meats and vegetables, while in-villa massages can be booked as extra treats. 

Book a self-catering villa to sleep up to four from £1,950 per week (fourseasonsfairways.com).

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