Rome, Paris, Sicily or Spain? Check out this week’s Grazia magazine for the low-down on Seriously Smoochy Weekends for Valentine’s Day.
Visit the Unesco protected old town of Dubrovnik in February or March when you can wander round the city walls and enjoy leisurely coffee stops in medieval squares and cobbled streets that are free from cruise ship passengers. A Croatian Villa Holidays’ short-break in Dubrovnik was one of several ideas in MSN Travel’s recent round-up of child-friendly February half-term breaks.
Brush up on your Greek drama this summer when the Greek Theatre Festival in Syracuse, Italy’s most important classical theatre event, celebrates its centenary anniversary with a programme of classical plays that includes Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Coephori and Eumenides and Aristophanes’ The Wasps. For an extra dose of culture, spend your days exploring the Greek, Byzantine and Norman architecture of Syracuse and visit the magnificent baroque towns of Noto, Modica and Ragusa. Read more here
Don’t come much more romantic than soloSicily’s pretty 16th century Badia Tower, just outside Marsala and set amidst lush gardens on the vast Badia Estate.
The appropriately-named Venus Castle, built on the ruins of the ancient Temple of Venus at the nearby medieval town of Erice, boasts the best views of the Egadi Islands. Check it out in the February issue of Marie Claire.
Villa features dominated the weekend press with great exposure for several clients and encouraging reports of busy phone lines.
Croatian Villa Holidays was featured in the Guardian’s 100 Beach Houses while the fabulous Villa Solaris from its sister programme, Montenegro Villa Holidays, appeared in the Times’ ‘50 Best Mediterranean Beach Villas’ feature and took centre stage on the front page of the paper’s Weekend section. Croatian Villa Holidays’ Villa Mimosa also appeared in the Sunday Times’ Ultimate 100 Holidays for 2014.
Sicily villa specialist soloSicily also grabbed a slot in the Sunday Times: Ultimate 100 holidays round-up with the latest addition to its programme, Giada, a beachfront villa in the south east of the island. soloSicily’s Apolline, another villa in the south east of the island, also appeared in the Guardian’s 100 Beach Houses.
A memorable swim in the bay of Bobovisce on Croatia’s Brac island last year was enough to convince me – Croatia’s coastline needs exploring, bay by bay and island by island. Several of the little fishing villages, hilltop towns and larger towns on the Istrian peninsula feature high on the must-see list but that inviting almost translucent sea remains the no. 1 attraction.
Croatia specialists are popping up all over the place but one to watch is Croatian Villa Holidays with their huge range of villas and apartments and infinite knowledge of each property, beach, village and town. Read more here
Are the Christmas festivities already beginning to get to you? Is it all feeling a little claustrophobic even before Christmas Eve has arrived?
It’s never too early to hatch an escape plan for next year, particularly if you’re tempted by the idea of ditching the turkey and trimmings in favour of pizza made on your own wood-burning oven. December temperatures in Sicily can be mild and it’s also a great month for some serious sightseeing, minus the tourists and with the added attraction of twinkly lights and nativity scenes in many of the local villages and towns. Read more here
A newly-launched flight straight into south east Sicily and an expanding portfolio of some great villas has ensured that client soloSicily has stayed in the news this autumn.
Ryanair’s new flight to Comiso led to Sicily being tipped as one of AOL’s holiday hotspots for 2014, Cosmopolitan highlighted the attractions of the island’s south eastern corner in its Ciao Sicily! feature and the Times’ Travel Doctor recommended south east Sicily as a good location for a family looking for a venue for a special celebration holiday next Spring.
Last but not least, in You & Your Wedding, senior writer Julia Scirrotto advocates the charm and benefits of honeymooning in Sicily rather than travelling long haul.
Sample the best of gastronomic Sicily, including mountain hams, salami, strong-flavoured cheeses and olives at the Festa dei Sapori Madoniti (mid-October) in Sicily’s pretty Petralia Sottana in the Madonie mountains.
Foodie events on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula throughout October include truffle festivals in and around the inland towns of Livade, Motovun and Buzet, and the Marunada Festival which celebrates the ‘maruni’ (sweet chestnuts) that grow on Istria’s Opatija Riviera. Check out Croatian Villa Holidays selection of villas in the region. Read more here
If you’re lucky enough to be in south east Sicily in early October, make sure you stop off in Ragusa to watch a bit of street action at the Ragusa Ibla Buskers festival from 3-6 October, as featured in yesterday’s Sunday Times. Now in its nineteenth year, the festival brings the streets of Ragusa to life with acrobats, clowns, singers, fire-eaters and jugglers, all performing at allocated times and sites around town. Ryanair’s new flight to south east Sicily takes you to Comiso, just a half-hour away from Ragusa. See Sunday Times article here.