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20 fab villas WITH POOLS; Where to take the plunge with out breaking the bank.

Byline: By GILL WILLIAMS

COTE D'AZUR

PLAY spot-the-movie stars in Cannes when you take over Villa Miramar overlooking La Figurette The villa has a private pool and sea views from every room.

There are three bed rooms, three bath rooms, a library and sunny terraces. It's an easy walk down to the beach. The National Park de l' Esterel is right on your doorstep for hiking and cycling

HOW MUCH?

A week's rental for six from pounds 366pp Goto www.holidaylets.net or call 01234 756945

COSTA BLANCA

A JACUZZI and pool make for a glamorous holiday when you take all the gang to Villa Helandda at Mutxamel, on the north Costa Blanca in Spain. There are also table tennis and pool tables plus Play-Station games. The house sleeps 10 in five bed rooms and is a short drive from El Campello beach and the airport at Alicante.

HOW MUCH? A week in mid-May costs pounds 847. Go towww.perfectgetaways.co.uk

TUSCANY

TUCKED away on a 15-acre estate with a dreamy pool is Ragnana, a restored farm house The villa sleeps eight with plenty of room for everybody to spread out. Go for a bop in the nearby village of Radi-condol where there are open-air dances through the summer on Saturday nights. The village also has plenty of good restaurants.

CRETE

A VERY secluded villa tucked away in the village of Livadia near Chania in western Crete The three-bed house is ultramodern and architect designed with rooms looking out to the pool -L-shaped and 23 metres long - and sea beyond. If you can tear yourself away from the sun loungers, there are great walking paths into the countryside around Livadia.

HOW MUCH?

A week from pounds 1,000 to pounds 2,400 (pounds 166 topounds 400pp, for six) Go to www.holidaylets.net/prop/7637

MALLORCA

YOU'RE only a 15-minutewalk from a great sandy beach - if you can bear to leave the pool at DinizI, a modern villa in the Playa de Mura area of Alcudia. Shops and restaurants are five minutes' walk so you don't need a hire car for this villa. Keep up with the football results on satellite telly Sleeps six

HOW MUCH?

Take over the villa on April 19 for a week from pounds 163pp including flights from Stansted. Go towww.jamesvillas.co.uk

FRANCE

VIEWS across the River Elle are yours when youstay at former artists' retreat Randonneur in Brittany. The house is an easy walk from the bar and shops at Locunole.

It has an open-plan living area with a wood-burning stove and two bedrooms. The pool has roman steps and night lighting for after-dark dips.

HOW MUCH?

A week between May 2 and June 26 costspounds 459, up to pounds 724 in peak season. Go to www.brittany.co.ukfor more information.

FRANCE

ALL those British retirees buying second homes in the Dordogne means there are great bargains to be had on holiday homes in France this year. Two families can takeover the enormous Benromain the Dordogne during the main school hols for just pounds 139per person. The house has been recently renovated and now sleeps 11 people. It hasa designer pool and a games room. Make day trips to the lakes at St Estep he (seven miles away) and St Mathieu(111miles away).

HOW MUCH? A week in thepeak summer season costspounds 1,533 - pounds 139pp - when11 people share. Go towww.hoseasons.co.uk or call0844 847 1170.

CRETE

IN summer you can laze by the private pool, quaffing retzina as you take in views over the olive groves down to the sea beyond. Go hiking in the countryside then comeback to Villa Artemis for dinner in front of a roaring fire in winter or a barbecue in summer. The villa was built three years ago on a terraced hill side. There's a patio, pool and barbecue area. Art emis is a mile from the town of Vrisses. The owners also recommend the cafe/bar in the tiny village of Maza for authentic Greek food.

HOW MUCH?A week for nine people on May 6, 13 or 20costs pounds 620. Go to www.freelance-holidays.co.uk or call 01789 297705.

PORTUGAL

TAKE home bottles of port from neighbourhood vineyards when you stay at glam O Vergel stone house on the Costa Verde. The house is in a small village near the border with Spain. The seaside at Caminh a is only a 10-minutedrive away. A short ferry crossing from Caminh a takes you to the sandy beaches of Galicia. O Vergel has four bedrooms and as many bathrooms. Step out to a pool with terraced gardens and a covered barbecue area.

HOW MUCH? A week for upto eight costs pounds 695 from May2, 9 and 16. Or four can takeover from pounds 595. Go to www.vintagetravel.co.uk or call0845 344 0420.

MAJORCA

LOCALS Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas wouldn't turn their noses up at the luxury five-star Villa Aumadrava. The sprawling houses outside posh Pollenca has its own freedom pool, jaicuzzi and mature gareden There's a table tennis table and PlayStation games to keep the kids entertained and covered barbecue area for al fresco lunches. And you're only a mile form the beach. The house sleeps eight in four bedrooms And forget about cleaning-the villa comes with maid service.

HOW MUCH ? A week in June is pounds 1,500 (pounds 187pp). Go to wwww.thebestvillaspollensa.com ref 034/08445611217.

FRANCE

BUY wine, cheese and baguettes for lunch al fresco when you stay at the Villa Saint Marty outside Castelnau-de-Levis. The house is in the French Pyrenees with sweepingviews across the countryside and woods from the terrace. Inside, there's a huge fireplace and exposed beams.

The house sleeps six in three bedrooms while the pool has a separate and safe kids'section. Bring your hiking boots for country walks.

HOW MUCH?A week starting May 7 costs pounds 675. October rental prices (during the grape harvest) rise to pounds 695 per week. Go to www.vintagetravel.co.uk or call 0845344 0460.

CYPRUS

KEEP up with the soaps on satellite telly when you stay at the Villa Michelle Marie in Coral Bay. The villa has all the mod-cons, including a dishwasher.

There's an enormous swimming pool and barbecue area - temperatures in April are already in the mid-20s, perfect for dining under the stars. Spend an evening in then ear by village of Pevia where the tavern a does a classic Cypriot meze. Michelle Marie sleeps eight in four bed rooms with four bath rooms.

HOW MUCH? A week this month costs pounds 829 (pounds 103.60pp)for eight. If four travel, the price for villa plus flights from Gatwick is pounds 396pp. Go towww.jamesvillas.co.uk

SPAIN

ESCAPE the crowds in busy Moraira when you stay in a private villa with pool a milef rom the town cent re.

Buenavista lives up to its name - and the best views of all are from your lilo in thes wimming pool. Shop in Moraira's weekly market for fish fresh from the net, olives from groves around town and bottles of Rioja - at a fraction of the UK cost. Go for picnicsin hidden coves along the Med coast and wander around the Moraira marina to gawp at the luxury yachts.

HOW MUCH? A week in the four-bed house costs pounds 875during the summer. Go towww.hoseasons.co.uk or call0844 847 1170.

CYPRUS

IF Aphrodite rose from the water these days it would probably be from a glam swimming pool just like the one at Villa Cassandra. The villa is in the Paphos region of Cyprus, legendary birthplace of the Greek goddess of lurve. The house sleeps eight people in four bedrooms with two bathrooms. There is a barbecue for eating out on hot summer nights and you can shop for fresh fish and Greek goodies like halloumi and sun-ripened tomatoes in near by Paphos.

HOW MUCH? The price for eight people sharing starts from pounds 1,000 per week. Go to www.premier-holidays.com or call 0800 047 0400.

TURKEY

HOW about an infinity pool with sunset views over the Mediterranean?

All this is yours when you book the Villa Xanthos.

You're only minutes by dolmus bus from the centre of the tradition al town of K as on the Cukarberg Peninsula yet very private - screened by palm and lemon trees, bougainvillea and jasmine. Drag your self away from the pool for a dip at nearby Patara Beach.

HOW MUCH?

Week April 28 to June 1 costs pounds 885. Go to www.perfectgetaways.co.uk or call 0845 021 2211.

TUSCANY

LIVE like an Italian noble on a private estate with its own lake when you stay at La Leccia. The sprawling farmhouse has a large pool and Is reached by a track with views of cypress grove sand sunflowers. You'll need a car - the shops are five miles away in the medieval hill top village of Montecatini Valdi Cedina. The four-bed, four-bath villa sleeps eight.

HOW MUCH?

A week in July costs pounds 1,909 (pounds 238.62pp).Go to www.jamesvillas.co.uk, villa number 1462.

ALGARVE

HOT and cold running pools are yours when you take over Casa Oasis at Estoi. There's as an outdoor pool and an eco-friendly indoor pool-so the villa works well all year. Sip a glass of port on the terrace watching the sun go down across the sea. Sleeps six in three bedrooms and three bath rooms.

HOW MUCH?

A week costs pounds 629 total in May (pounds 104pp) or pounds 289 ppincl flights from Luton when four share. Go towww.jamesvillas.co.uk, quoting reference 2586.

SPAIN

NOMINATE a driver to visit the bodegas (vineyardco-ops) when you stay in the Jalon Valley The moscatel costs just pounds 1.20 a litre - enjoy it on your terrace at Casa Gadea. The stone house has a free-form pool over looking vines and citrus groves.

HOW MUCH?

The four-bed/three-bath villa costs pounds 1,495in July or pounds 505pp for the villa and flights from Gatwickto Alicante when four share. Go to www.jamesvillas.co.uk, property reference 2085 - or call 0800 074 0177.

LANZAROTE

SOLAR heating means you can use the pool at Las Colorades early in the season when the sea is still a bit nippy. The house is stylish and modern with patio doors opening to the south facing pool terrace and views across the mountains. On the other side is a terrace over looking the sea. Las Colorades is in a quiet corner of Playa Blanca, a short stroll from the Marina Rubicon.

HOW MUCH?

The villa sleeps four and costs pounds 395 per week (pounds 98.75pp) Go to www.holiday-rentals.co.uk

SRI LANKA

DINNER for two beneath the stars is cooked by your staff when you stay at The Beach Hut near Galle in Sri Lanka. The luxury villa sleeps two, has a big dining and living room opening on to the garden. There's a large pool and sea views from the master bedroom terrace upstairs. A perfect honeymoon getaway.

HOW MUCH?

A week at the Beach Hut costs from pounds 648ppbased on two sharing in early December. Flights can be arranged. Go to www.srilankaportfolio.co.uk

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The pool at Villa Cassandra in Paphosis fit for a goddess
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 13, 2008
Words:1893
Previous Article:BETWEEN THE SHEETS; Inside our hotel of the week.
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