10 amazing car-free villa holidays in Europe

Let’s face it: renting a car adds a serious complication to your vacation. First, there is the stress of speeding down freeways in an unfamiliar vehicle and crawling up dangerous hills on the “wrong” side of the road. Then the second glass of a sparkling Albariño is suddenly out of the question. Finally, there’s that nagging sense of dread that every little dent or dent on the chassis could cost you as much as your trip.

And this summer, securing a vehicle is even more stressful than usual. A perfect rental car storm — a combination of rising traveler numbers, rental car companies reducing their fleets during the pandemic and a lack of new car production — means vacationers are significantly have to pay more than before the pre-pandemic era.

research by whom? Travel earlier this year found that the average cost of a seven-day car rental had risen from £119 in 2019 to £280 in 2022. Some of the most amazing prizes included a £734 fee for a Skoda Octavia Rome hire and £764 a week for a Ford Escape in Florida. Both prizes were back during the Easter holidays; In the high season in summer they are likely to be even higher.

Rental cars have traditionally proven themselves for the classic European villa vacation. They land, pack the family into a gleaming Seat Leon, and make their way to a delightfully secluded spot with sea views, a pool, and a supermarket within driving distance. However, with rental car fees suddenly making this seem significantly less affordable, it’s time to consider properties that allow you to stay in without the hassle of four wheels.

Choices on this list range from elegant villas just a short stroll away to laid-back fishing villages and car-free Greek island options. Others offer more variety and are located on the outskirts of the French wine towns of Dubrovnik or on the shores of Lake Como. Read on for your hassle-free summer vacation without a car.

Villa Clarisse, Costa Brava, Spain

Perfect for a car-free holiday, this grand design style villa on the Catalan coast is just a 10-minute walk from the port village of Tamariu. A favorite weekend getaway for wealthy Barcelona residents, its Blue Flag beach is surrounded by chic cafes and open-air restaurants. Back in the villa, each of the four bedrooms opens onto a sun terrace overlooking the pool and the pine trees beyond. You will need to book an airport transfer as Girona is an hour away or check local bus timetables.

The details: sleep seven From £3,298 for seven nights (

Villa Eugenia, Meganisi, Greece

You don’t need a car on Meganisi – this small Greek island is only a few kilometers wide. The nearest airport is Aktion (which has direct flights to the UK) and from here you can take a boat transfer direct to the island. Once there, the main ports of Vathi and Spilia are the places to head for seaside taverns and there are many secret coves to explore. Villa Eugenia is an elegant option with a saltwater pool, sea views, and earthy interiors. For a group of up to 30 people there are two other villas on the same property, each with a pool and access to a private beach a three-minute walk away.

The details: 10 people. From £5,100 for seven nights ( 10 amazing car-free villa holidays in Europe

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