There’s nothing quite like the countryside in summer. It’s the ideal place to unwind, surrounding by breathtaking vistas of rolling fields, vineyards and forests and to the sound of chirping birds, gurgling brooks and a gentle breeze rustling the tree branches. Restored farmhouses in Italy and England, refined historic manors in Provence, vast estates in the lake districts of Canada and Austria, experience the delights of summer in the country at one of these sublime luxury villa rentals.

Ca di Pesa – Tuscany, Italy

This private estate by Homebase Abroad is located in the heart of Chianti and features elegant accommodation for up to 18 guests overlooking the owner’s award-winning vineyards and olive groves.

The site has been inhabited for over a thousand years, when a medieval ‘borgo,’ or small village gradually evolved here, built in the traditional style of stone structures with an interior courtyard. It has been carefully restored and improved over the years and today is an idyllic base for enjoying all the pleasures of Tuscany.

The ground floor has a double living room with three arched double doors opening to the front garden and drive. Guests had relax indoors in one of three refined seating areas, including one before large, working hearth and savor delicious Italian meals, prepared by chef Anna in the adjacent semi-professional kitchen, in the dining room which seats 18 or the outdoor dining pergola draped in wisteria vines. There is also a children’s room with a wall-mounted flat-screen plasma TV, with satellite and DVD player and a library with a working fireplace and honor bar.

Of the ten bedrooms four are suites and all are air-conditioned. The master bedroom suite includes a double bedroom with an antique, king-sized Indonesian bed, a sitting room, a dressing room and en-suite bath with a tub and shower stall. Each of the other rooms has its own uniqueness, like the “Mermaid Room” adorned with wall frescoes of fanciful sea creatures or the “Jungle Room” a colorful double bedroom ideal for one or two smaller children and is connected with other double rooms.

Exceptional views of the Pesa Valley can be admired from virtually any vantage point of the villa’s inviting outdoor spaces. There is a stone patio with a barbecue and open grill for outdoor cooking, a ‘forno a legna’ for pizza parties (arranged with the staff) and a large vegetable garden available to guests. All ages enjoy testing out the bocce court or cooling off in the fresh-water pool (15 x 7 meters, stairs, retractable cover) with tented pergola, hammock and additional seating for lounging in the shade or sun. Next to it is a pool house with changing rooms, a full bath and outdoor shower.

A highlight for wine lovers will be testing the estates excellent Chianti Classico wines made from the grapes grown in the surrounding vineyards. Visits and tastings can be arranged and as guests you have priority for purchasing some of this prestigious limited edition wines to sample during your holiday or to have shipped home.

The estate is perfect for day trips to explore the cultural heritage of Tuscany including Florence, Siena, nearby Panzano and other ancient hill-towns of Chianti. At the end of the day, retreat to your private tranquil paradise at the Ca di Pesa.

Contact Homebase Abroad here for more information on renting this sublime villa.

Saint Louis Cruise – Gascony, France

Enjoy the very best of the French countryside through the unique means of a Barge Lady canal cruise. With upscale accommodations and amenities, a dedicated crew to cater to your every need, and under-the-radar cruise routes deep in the rural regions of France, barges are truly the perfect traveling French villa.

“With 2017 availability still on offer in July and August, the six-passenger Saint Louis is the quintessential floating county retreat,” describes Stephanie Sack of Barge Lady Cruises. “Cruising in Gascony, the Saint Louis gently plies the canals in an area where time seems to have stood still. Awash in sunflower fields, verdant forests, and placid lakes, Gascony’s natural prisms of changing colors reflect the idyllic turnings of the seasons.”

Situated in southwest France at the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, just east of the French Basque coast and on the Spanish border, Gascony’s relaxed and rural lifestyles are aligned with the daily pleasures of food and wine. Here, the rich flavors of the region’s signature foie gras is proudly paired with the craft production of small batch brandy known as Armagnac.

As this is the least populated area of France, beautiful towpaths beckon for leisurely walking and exhilarating cycling. The pursuit of everyday pleasures in culture and cuisine are embraced as a key part of the Gascon lifestyle, extending to the freshest of locally-sourced ingredients and a newly enlivened wine production. Charming villages, idyllic scenery, and gorgeous greenery also abound.

Day trips off the boat explore the region’s arts and spirits. Admire the collection of Goya masterpieces in the Fine Arts Museum of Agen. Explore the famous Lily Gardens at Temple sur Lot. Spend a day in St. Emilion, France’s top wine village. Visit an Armagnac producer situated in a 12th Century Monastery and enjoy a tasting of the region’s signature spirit. Sample the sweet wines found from the vineyards of Sauternes. The Saint Louis offers an authentic view and taste of France.

Discover the Saint Louis and other French canal cruises on offer through the Barge Lady here

Schloss Kogl – Salzkammergut, Austria

Once the playground of Austria’s aristocracy, including the Emperor and the country’s intellectual and artistic elite, the spectacular Salzkammergut Lake District boasts pristine lakes, pre-alpine mountains, dense forests and quaint villages. Within this stunning setting is Schloss Kogl, an enchanting baroque castle nestled amidst the country’s largest private forest.

Built in 1750, the castle has been in the family of the Barons of Mayr-Melnhof since 1872 (discover more in this article). Comprehensive renovations where undertaken in the early 2000s to meticulously restore the castle to its previous glory. It is decorated and furnished in an elegant fin-du-siècle style. Guests will enjoy a summertime exploring its verdant grounds, swimming in summer the pool or playing a few rounds in the historic bowling lane.

It is also the perfect base for discovering the many natural and cultural sites of the area, including nearby Salzburg, hiking in some fabulous national parks and boat trip and other watersports on the lakes.

Experience the pleasures of Austria in summer at the superb Schloss Kogl at this link.

Canada Mansion – Ontario, Canada

There’s nothing quite like the summertime on the lake in Canada and our expert Sylvia Delvaille Jones of Villas and Apartments Abroad has the perfect luxury lakefront property. Located close to Niagara Falls, the exquisite eight-bedroom estate sits on a 16-acre peninsula on Bucks Bay with 1590 linear feet of total waterfront.

“There are close to 2000 islands of various sizes that can be found along the Saint Lawrence River, belonging to both the Canadian and the United States,” explains Sylvia. “On one single island, one side could be owned by Canada and the other side by the US. This is where the wealthy bankers and other industrialists from around the country owned mansions and where they came to spend summers with their families, entertaining other important bold name families.”

One of these is this supremely private family retreat, surrounded by thick forest. Entering the estate you are greeted by the sound of gentle waterfalls and the sight and scents of a wonderful array of fragrant flowers. There is a vast 14,000 sq. ft. main residence and a separate guest/staff house. The interiors are accented with beautiful woods, local stones and marble. Its various gathering areas include the refined living room and formal dining room.

Guests can relax outdoors on the generous deck and patio areas, a two-level covered area with summer kitchen and a fire pit and in the heated swimming pool with natural waterfall and rocky elements. They can also take to the water with the use of various boats for boating, skiing, fishing, exploring various islands as well as other water sports equipment at guests disposal. In the area are several public golf courses for all levels of play. There are biking trails as well as scenic walks, scuba diving as well as swimming.

“In summertime there are many restaurants found on nearby islands,” adds Sylvia. “At dusk, it is a tradition that people channel their boats to one place where they listen to music, drink beer and wine and just have a fun evening before going out to dinner.”

Make the most of an amazing summer on the lake in Canada with Villas and Apartments Abroad here.

Villa Traguardo – Apulia, Italy

For a truly unique summer escape, consider this beautifully restored group of four traditional “trullo” buildings which can accommodate up to 18 guests and are set around a wonderful pool and encircled by five hectares of olive groves. Located in Apulia, the last great unspoiled summer place in Italy, you can have a private and supremely relaxing holiday while you take in the charms of Puglia in their most concentrated form.

A ‘trullo’ is a traditional Apulian dry stone house with a conical roof. This particular property, in the repertoire of Excellence.villas by Trust and Travel, was discovered and carefully restored by a Roman architect from Rome who has successfully retained its historic character with a clean contemporary look with touches of modern art. The series of rooms includes two kitchens, three living rooms, eight bathrooms and eight bedrooms (one bedroom with two bunk beds for 4 children).

There is easy flow between indoors and outdoors and guests have a number of terraces and covered porches, among which is a lovely shaded area next to the 16 x 5 m pool. Guests can enjoy meals on the two dining terraces with an outdoor fireplace, pizza oven and barbecue.

Off the villa you’ll be swept up by the area’s endless olive tree fields, rolling vineyards, stunning beaches and amazing restaurants in the charming towns like Ostuni and Ceglie Messapica and Cisternino and Locorotondo.

To further tempt you to this authentic part of Italy, Trust & Travel is offering this unique rental at the special rate of €7,000/week from June 10th-24th, 2017. You can read more information on this offer and contact Trust+Travel at this link.

 

Chateau Mireille – Provence, France

Provence is one of the most picturesque places to enjoy a summer holiday and this refined seven-bedroom 18th-century manor, or bastide, is the ideal villa for a private and peaceful stay within the vicinity of the lovely village of St-Rémy-de-Provence.

Available through Haven In, the manor exudes quintessential French tradition and style with elegant antiques, original artwork, and historic architectural features like terracotta tiles, wood beams and high ceilings. There are two refined living rooms/seating areas, a fully equipped kitchen with modern appliances, a formal dining room with large fireplace, an office, a master bedroom and three of the other bedrooms have en-suites.

The fabulous grounds are glorious in summer. They feature a formal garden with topiary, a wonderful in-ground pool with a terrace overlooking the gardens, a tennis court, and a variety of outdoor seating and dining areas. All the charms of the region are at the villa’s footsteps: from vibrant lavender fields to rolling vineyards and from bustling villages to the gorgeous Parc Naturel Régional des Alpilles.

A housekeeper is included in the rent who will prepare breakfast for your group and tidy up the house, allowing you to sit back and savor the best of this intimate Provencal setting.

Learn more about this exceptional villa by reaching out to Haven In here.

Rocky Creek Ranch – Montana, USA

Set on on conservation easement of 200 acres, this fabulous newly built lodge by Mountain Home has breathtaking views out over the local mountain ranges. Tucked up into the hills, you feel a world away, but are actually just a five minute drive to the main street of the hip Western town of Bozeman. With five bedrooms, including a huge kids’ bunk room, it can comfortably accommodate up to 16 guests making it the perfect place for a large family gathering.

Designed in the Arts and Crafts style of the early 1900s and filled with Mission antique and reproduction furniture, wood floors, rugs and original artwork, you will have the feel of being in an authentic log and timber home. It has 5,500 sq ft of indoor living space, plus two large outdoor decks with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

The great room has an fabulous wall of windows looking out on the valley,a vaulted ceiling, a massive stone wood burning fireplace, and comfortable seating. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen with custom Shaker cabinets and granite countertops, a family room with a 52” flat screen TV, 5.1 Surround Sound, and large Blu-Ray collection, plus a room adjacent to it with a 16 ft. competition shuffleboard table and a loft for taking in a quiet moment reading. Each of the five bedrooms has a different theme from the “Moose” and “Glacier National Park” master bedrooms to the fun “Bunk Room” with three custom-crafted bunk bed sets, each with a double bottom bed and twin top.

The property and the area offer an immense range of outdoor summer activities including hiking, biking, golf, fishing and whitewater rafting. Bozeman’s historic downtown is also worth visiting or a trip to the fun western town of Livingston. Yellowstone National Park is an hour away and kids adore the gold mining town Virginia City, only a 90 minute drive away.

Enjoy the best of the great outdoors this summer in Montana with Mountain Home at this link.

Dryhill Farmhouse – Cotswolds, England

The Cotswolds are undoubtedly one of the loveliest places for a summertime country escape in England and this beautiful, five-bedroom luxury estate offers the ideal hideaway to enjoy the best of the season in this gorgeous region. Situated near the charming Regency town of Cheltenham, this exquisite country home by Luxury Cotswold Rentals has stunning views across to the Black Mountains, graceful gardens, bathing lakes and a recently planted vineyard and down to the bathing lakes in the wooded glade.

The four hundred-year-old restored farmhouse was built on the site of an ancient Roman villa and vineyard. The current owners are reviving its original purpose by having just replanted 2000 vines. The interiors have been tastefully decorated with a mix of classy modern furniture and artwork from the owner’s travels to India, Africa and beyond. A wonderful gathering place for friends and family, it has six reception rooms and a large kitchen breakfast room.

Long summer days can be enjoyed outdoors exploring its mature terraced gardens, 14 acres of rural property and wooded glade, taking a dip in one of the two small spring-fed lakes or soaking in the hot tub. Evening meals can be prepared in the pizza oven or at the hidden barbecue area with a safari tent and the most spectacular sunsets. Nature lovers will also want to admire the natural beauty of the historic Crickley Hill Country Park and the famous Cotswold Way.
Accommodate for a total of 12 guests can be achieved by also renting its sister one bedroom Dryhill Cottage. Experience the best of the English countryside this summer with Luxury Cotswold Rentals at this link.

The Country Retreat – Tuscany, Italy

Frequented by celebrities and high-end discerning travelers, this elegant five-bedroom country home, available through Papavero Villa Rentals, is located just 10 minutes from enchanting Lucca, 30 minutes for the chic beaches of Forte dei Marmi and only one and a half hours to Florence.
The serene tranquility of the Tuscan countryside envelops you as soon as you enter through the green picket fence of this elegant yet understated house. It sits back at the end of a long driveway bordered by the lush gardens and sprawling lawns of this 40 acre estate. The extremely private backyard has lovely pergolas, flag stone patios, a swimming pool and incredible panoramic views reach over the valleys green hills and olive groves, extended as far as the mountain peaks.

The interiors are adored with historic features like its lovely original floor and wooden beamed ceiling which have been well paired with a neutral color palette of the furniture, fabric and wall paint. There is a comfortable sitting area with flat screen TV and fireplace, spacious dining area, games area and a fully equipped kitchen. Every room opens onto the terrace through French doors. There is also a well stocked library and bright and spacious office. All bedrooms have en-suite bathroom with either or both a tub and shower, while some also have fireplaces and office areas. 

The personal service and charm of this luxurious country home makes it a popular villa experience. Contact Papavero Villa Rentals here for more information and to book.

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Villa Ventoux – Provence, France

Wine lovers looking for a French country retreat this summer will adore this vast historic estate set on 30 hectares of vineyards within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, represented by Carpe Diem Luxury Travel.

Situated in northern Provence, the villa offers spectacular views of Mont Ventoux and rolling hills covered in vines, olive groves, apricot orchards and lavender fields. At the heart of the property is a magnificent 9th-century priory and an 18th-century bastide, both of which have been meticulously restored in a rustic luxury style.

The main villa includes four bedrooms suites, a grand vaulted hall and other reception rooms and the bastide building has three other bedrooms. Each room is decorated to a different Provençal theme and with a combination of contemporary furnishings, local antiques and family heirlooms. The house is fully staffed with a fabulous chef, heated pool, tennis-court and petanque pitch and a grand piano.

In addition to visiting the cellars, winemaking facilities and the vines of the villa, guests can partake in wine and cheese tastings directly on the estate, with cheese coming from an award-winning local fromagerie. Further wine tasting can be enjoyed at the vineyards of nearby Vosne La Romaine, Orange and Carpentras.

Design your perfect Provence summer getaway with Carpe Diem Travel at this link.

Duchess County Estate – New York, U.S.A. 

This classic New York seven-bedroom country estate, available through Villas and Apartments Abroad, is found only 2.5 hours from Manhattan and a few minutes outside of beautiful Rhinebeck. It offers a fabulous summer getaway where low keyed affluent and sophisticated Americans own estates to escape the summer heat and the crowds.

Built as an inn in the 18th century, it is thought that important Americans, including George Washington, stayed at the estate. It features historic character with a hand-chiseled triple height barn and numerous old fireplaces, however, all it has been brought up to 21st century standards with modern luxury amenities and comforts. The interior includes several dining areas, an antique barroom, a large TV room with 70” flatscreen and a sitting room with floor to ceiling bookshelves. The master bedroom has a king bed, fireplace, sitting area, and a marbled master bath while two of the other bedrooms have king beds, three rooms have queen beds, and the last bedroom has a twin.

Guest can savor the warm summer days strolling the 29 acre estate with both manicured gardens and thick wild woods accessed by a wooden bridge over the stream. There are various outdoor areas for entertaining and relaxing including around a beautiful swimming pool carved out of the natural rocks. For guests who do not want to cook, a wonderful chef can be hired to prepare fabulous summer meals using vegetables, fruits and herbs straight from the garden. The area also has excellent restaurants in the area.

Relax in the countryside within easy reach of Manhattan this summer with the assistance of Villas and Apartments Abroad at this link.

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