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Image by VIP Greek Villas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vipgreekvillas/)

How to live it up in the Med for less

Why splash money on a hotel when you could holiday in style at your own private villa? Here’s how to have a chic retreat in the Med without breaking the bank….

Opting for luxury villas in Greece or Spain rather than a hotel can not only save you a considerable amount of money but will also provide you with a relaxing haven away from the madding crowds. In fact, checking into a self-catering villa is one of the smartest ways to bag a very stylish holiday for less.

Luxury Villa Lefki Thea Corfu Greece
Image by VIP Greek Villas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vipgreekvillas/)

Choose a villa with a private pool tucked away from prying eyes but close enough to resorts to hit the nightspots when the mood takes you, and you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds.

You’ll find a great choice of luxury villas in and close to the most upmarket resorts in the Med, which offer modern, fully-equipped kitchens and multiple bathrooms as well as sun terraces, barbecue areas and shady gardens.

Going self-catering rather than being restricted by hotel mealtimes means you can dine whenever you feel like it – many villas offer a free grocery delivery service as well as a daily maid service. And foraging in the colourful local markets for specialities and treats to stock up your larder is all part of the fun.

If you’ve got babies or kids under 12, the ability to sterilize bottles, prepare snacks whenever they want them and cook their favourite dishes rather than endure stressful family meals in restaurants can be a major boon. Having access to your own washing machine also comes in very handy! And the fact that the kids can play safely in the private grounds of your villa means that you can relax and enjoy get some peaceful time too.

Cost wise, it’s a case of the more the merrier, and the more affordable. As many of the larger villas in Majorca, Spain and Greece sleep up to 12 people, whether you’re looking for a holiday home for your extended family or a pad that’s big enough to accommodate all your mates, group villas holidays offer luxury stays for very attractive prices.

The chicest retreats in the Med

If you’re looking for luxury villas in Greece, check out the charming resorts of Avlaki and Aghios Stefanos in Corfu, the chic harbourfront town of Fiskardo in Kefalonia or luxurious Elounda in Crete. Villas in Majorca come in all shapes and sizes but you’ll find the best upmarket havens in the resorts of Cala d’Or and Pollensa. And don’t miss the latest deals on new luxury villas in Costa Blanca. Hotspots include the charming resorts of Javea and Moraira – far from the crowds and skyscrapers of Benidorm.

Natalie Walsh is a freelance travel journalist and also produces travel content for luxury villa holidays specialists Meon Villas.