Corsica in Spring is a perfect combination. Known as the Island of Beauty by the people of France, many think of it in its historic context as a place associated with Napoleon. Alternately, many think of it simply as an island off the coastal area of France and Italy. That location alone says a lot about it, and ensures it is one of the most cosmopolitan and unique spots in the region. Offering up a blend of cultures, cuisines, and perfect weather, it is quickly becoming a hot spot for spring vacations.

With its many luxury rentals to ensure the finest experience possible, it makes sense to consider Corsica for your upcoming spring vacation. A recent article in The New York Times said as much, noting the “island is wildly beautiful — imagine alpine mountains rising from Mediterranean shores — so [Corsicans] assume that whichever pink granite inlet, mountaintop lake or boulder-strewn valley you do see, even if it’s not the best known, will be among the most wondrous sights…”

Villa U Fragnu, Domaine de Murtoli, Spring in Corsica
Villa U Fragnu, Domaine de Murtoli

Explaining that Corsicans are well-aware of the magic their island holds, they do not supply many visitors with itineraries or even suggestions about where to go or what to do. This makes it the perfect destination for the eager explorer or adventurous couple, family or group looking to find natural beauty, delicious foods, wonderful sights, and more.

One expert in Corsican travel said that there are several excellent reasons to visit in the spring, including the mild climate in which the heat of the summer is not yet arrived and the light at sunrise and sunset its most magnificent, the low or shoulder season time in which the floods of summer guests have yet to arrive, and the roads.

Roads in Corsica are something to consider as they are exceedingly winding and meant to be savored and enjoyed. As another travel enthusiast noted: “There are few straight roads, either literal or figurative. Everything squiggles,” and yet that same author notes that the roads hug the coast and promise an endless array of sea, cliff, and island views.

The citadel of Calvi in the Balagne region of Corsica sitting on the deep blue Mediterranean and framed by an old pine tree. Spring in Corsica
The Citadel of Calvi, What to See and Do

What to See and Do

Some of the finest luxury rentals available on Corsica will be found in the south, offering sea views and glimpses of Sardinia in the distance. It is not a large island and is described as 2/3 the size of the state of Connecticut. Yet, for being small it is full of varied landscapes and geographies. You will find desert areas, lush and verdant lowlands, sandy beaches, high mountains and sea cliffs, and valleys packed with pine forests.

The eastern coastal area is the most tourist-friendly. However, to the west, the charming town of Calvi is considered a must-see location. You will want to spend time exploring it for its garden-like surroundings, its beautiful red granite cliffs, and its historic sites. Its amazing bay is home to that unforgettable site of the bald-faced red granite rock topped by the ancient Genoese fortress (also known as the Citadel) boldly standing out at the top. The colorful town below is a visual spectacle, and a wonder to explore. There are churches and cafes, narrow streets with all kinds of shops, and more.

During the spring season there are road rallies right in the heart of town, but you may also want to explore nearby spots like L’ile Rouse, which is a seaside village with historic significance, the Desert des Agriates, which is an amazing landscape of low-growing natural flowers and shrubs, and St. Florent, which is a charming port town easily overlooked, but a big miss if you don’t pay a visit. Up in the hills above Calvi is the village of Oletta, which is also a charming spot with wonderful views.

Beautiful setting at Domaine de Murtoli, Spring in Corsica
Beautiful setting at Domaine de Murtoli

If you are headed to the southern area of the island, though, it is to Bonifacio where many make a visit. This sits at the far southern tip of Corsica and features a charming medieval town at the water’s edge as well as high above in the red granite cliffs. It too has a citadel that is a real show-stopper.

A Must-See List

It is always astonishing to first-time visitors to learn how many destinations such a small island as Corsica might offer. There are the spots already mentioned above, as well as the following must-see locations:

  • Calanques de Piana – Thought of as a top destination, they are on the western coast of the island, and you enjoy them as you drive from Calvi to Ajaccio. They are remarkably mountains and spires of natural stone with an amazing number of pull-off spaces to stop and take a photo. In the spring, the “Sentier Muletier is a path that follows a ridge high above the D81,” and looks its very best covered with early wildflowers.
  • Plage de Palombaggia – Often described as the best beach on the island, it is made of white sand and features shallow waters that make wading a delight. It is a quiet spot that is remarkably tranquil in the spring.
  • Napoleon’s Birthplace – The home in which he was born on the island still stands and is a popular museum in Ajaccio.
  • Aiguilles de Bavella – In the southern area of the island (in the Zonza region), you will be astonished by the sight of these spire-like mountains and ridges that provide an amazing backdrop to the rolling hills, forests, and villages.
  • Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Serra– Between Calvi and Galeria, the mountain top chapel is lovely and offers amazing sea views of the entire Bay of Calvi.

Old fence and beautiful valley view.

You will also want to visit sites like the lovely Gorges de la Restonica in the Corte area, the Scandola Reserve close to Galeria, the Cavu River in the Sainte Lucie De Porto Vecchio area, and the tortoise and turtle museum known as A Cupulatta (in Ucciani) is quite a charming and fascinating spot.

There is much more to see, do and enjoy in Corsica, and the spring season gives you the roads to yourself and allows you to savor the best the island has to offer during much milder weather.

The Easter holiday is not just one Sunday, but is a series of religious events that lead up to the day itself, and if you are looking to enjoy the most meaningful experience of Easter this year, you may want to do so from the comfort of your own luxury villa in Italy.

As a nation that is majority Catholic, the Easter holidays are a hugely significant annual event. As one travel expert said, “Easter is one of Italy’s biggest and most important holidays. Vatican City is a major draw for visitors during Holy Week, but all over Italy there are religious processions and services,” and that means you can pay a visit to Tuscany, Umbria, and Sardinia, among other areas, and enjoy access to gorgeous luxury rentals and the many Easter events in the area.

Easter in Italy

And what events can you count on? Again, as that one Italian travel expert noted, Easter Sunday is important, but “Holy Week begins the Sunday before, on Palm Sunday, and there are religious services and processions throughout the week leading up to Easter.” If you are in Rome, you can see the Stations of the Cross led by the sitting Pope. If you are in Sicily, you can head to Enna and watch thousands of friars carrying iconic statutes of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. If you want to witness the oldest procession in the country, head to Chieti where there are thousands of friars marching with an orchestra and singing traditional melodies.

If you are savvy enough to book your luxury villa in the Florence area for the Easter holiday, you will be able to witness one of the most unique and unforgettable celebrations. Known as the Explosion of the Cart, it is a 350 year-old tradition that is exactly as its name implies. It is a controlled fireworks event in which an antique cart is loaded decoratively with fireworks in front of the cathedral. A parade precedes the lighting of the fireworks, and the bigger the explosion, the better the year ahead for all who witness it!

If you take a luxury villa int the area around Sardinia, you might enjoy watching for one of the most peculiar Easter celebrations or activities. It is known as Scrocifissione in Oliena, and it is a time when groups of people visit churches in the area every day until the Saturday before Easter. They are seeking the Resurrected Christ, and their search comes to an end when they reach Nuroro on Easter morning to find the statue of Christ.

Colomba di Pasqua, Italian traditional Easter cake. Easter in Italy
Colomba di Pasqua, Italian traditional Easter cake

Easter and Food

However, anywhere in Italy is going to be an idyllic spot for the Easter holidays since the entire nation is busy preparing traditional foods and enjoying the non-religious, European traditions like consuming a lot of chocolate, and making plans for Easter Monday – or pasquetta – which is a day usually spent outdoors with friends.

And for the foodies of the world, Italy is already a hotspot, but around Easter it should be seen as even more appealing since Italians and the abundance of restaurants throughout the country are all focused on seasonal specialties. The usual dishes emphasize lamb or seafood, especially “grilled lamb (abbacchio), which will be on pretty much every menu in any restaurant in Italy worth its salt.” You will also find lamb in another way – as almond paste because there are also some unusual cakes and sweets made only at Easter.

The Colomba di Pasqua cakes (Easter Doves) are shaped like the delicate birds and full of candied peel and almonds. The Florentines have their own Easter treat, the schiacciata alla Fiorentina, a yellow cake in the chape of a fleur-de-lis and filled with cream and covered in cocoa powder. However, as another travel expert said, travelers will “find something special in every bar and bakery across the country, so indulge a little. Also, the window displays are gorgeous.”

Naturally, with so much food and the abundance of the spring season, there are also a lot of events and festivals to consider. At Easter, specifically, the Pallia dell’uovo or Egg Festival takes place in Tredozio and is a full day dedicated to eggs. There is an egg eating contest, lots of games, and many other activities all focused on eggs as part of the celebration.

Alfresco dining area at villa Dulfa, Umbria. Easter in Italy
Beautiful Alfresco dining area at villa Dulfa, Umbria

The Landscape at Easter

Of course, if you are paying a visit to Italy during the Easter season, you might already know that the weather is some of the finest you might ever encounter. The days grow longer and the first wild flowers and blooms will dot the stunning landscape, making a private villa an even wiser option. After all, the Easter Monday holidays are just as important to modern Italians as the religious celebrations, but many take the opportunity to head out into the countryside, to the sea, or into the mountains to enjoy the fine weather.

While this means you can get into almost any of the major museums and sights without the crowds, (as one expert said, most “major museums and sights will be open on Easter Sunday and Monday – That includes the Colosseum in Rome, the Doge’s Palace in Venice, and the Uffizi in Florence”), it also means that some of the finest areas for picnicking may be busy with natives enjoying the holiday. Having your own gardens and grounds, terrace, and verandah where you can sit and soak up the sun would be an ideal option.

Whether you have thought of going away for the upcoming Easter holidays or you are eager to experience Italy in the spring, now is the ideal time to book a villa for the week leading up to and following this major event. You will see sights, hear music, enjoy food, and explore the landscape as it wakes from the winter. And if you can use one of the luxury rentals as your base, you are only going to enhance the entire experience.

There is that old phrase about “killing two birds with one stone,” and if you are looking for a unique spot to enjoy your Easter holidays, AND you want to get one last good skiing holiday under your belt before the season ends, consider spending Easter in the Alps.

As the travel team at The Telegraph explained recently, “Easter Sunday falls on April 12 this year, and while some lower ski resorts close before this, a good many, particularly in Europe, are still open for business into May. While sunny conditions have been the hallmark of recent weeks in the Alps, plentiful snowfall at the beginning of the season means there is a good snow base on the pistes.”

And while good conditions are always appreciated, the opportunity to stay in a premium villa and close to villages with lots of Easter celebrations and activities is also a great option. The most highly recommended spots for late Spring skiing over the Easter holidays include:

There are many myths about skiing around the Easter season (i.e. the resorts are closed, or everything is overcrowded because of school holidays, or the snow is there but not ideal), and yet all of them are false. The only persistent rumor that is true is that the weather can be bright and comfortable, making a ski holiday even more enjoyable.

St Anton, Chalet Tschoder, Easter in the Alps
St Anton, Chalet Tschoder

St Anton

For those unfamiliar with St Anton in Austria, it is time to familiarize yourself with this expert-level destination. As the team at The Telegraph noted, it has “cult status” among snowboarders and skiers because of its amazing amounts of snow. It is also described as the “spiritual home” of apres ski because of its two famous bars and over the top night life. Yet, if you want European charm, the small downtown area is really just a quaint village with one may thoroughfare heavily lined with old inns and charming hotels, lots of cafes, and many little shops.

Another expert said there are many reasons to book at St Anton for the Easter holidays and they include the option for enjoying the “milder temperatures, blue skies and sunshine. The perfect conditions for late extended lunches that last to après-ski…” This same expert also noted that it is the perfect time for younger families because of the great temperatures and the softer spring snow that make it a good time for novices. There are also two Easter-specific events – an Easter Egg Hunt on the Savonnette nursery slope and an Alpine Easter Mass in the heart of the nearby village’s Baroque church.

Val d'Isere, Chalet Elephant Blanc . Easter in the Alps
Val d’Isere, Chalet Elephant Blanc

Val D’Isere

Another article from The Telegraph noted that the “lifties” of the Val D’Isere area always work hard to hide Easter eggs on the resort’s nursery slope and make their free Easter Monday egg hunt a popular event. That alone is enough to consider it as a good spot for your Easter holiday, however, just as St Anton has idyllic conditions, Val D’Isere does too. In fact, it is often said that spring is “probably the best time of year to head to Val d’Isère and in particular for those with younger families. In contrast to the often harsh temperatures that can be experienced during the February Half Term, which can be very uninviting for little ones and parents alike, spring weather delivers more frequent bluebirds days and sunshine.” It too has softer snows and thinner crowds.

The Val D’Isere area is not as expert-specific as St Anton, and its variety of terrains means that a family can find something for everyone. There are the nursery areas and gentler slopes without the need for lifts, and every lift is free of charge to ensure your beginning skiers feel comfortable. The days of later winter or spring are ideal for snowshoeing adventures. As one enthusiast explained, “Take the Solaise bubble on a pedestrian pass and head to the top of the mountain. Off the back of where the bubble exits lies a beautiful lake, Lac Ouellette… In the depth of winter, the lake is a frozen flatland of snow towered by white giants, a spectacle in itself. However, come Spring a new beauty begins to reveal itself as life creeps back to the mountains. A lovely activity for a sunny day, going for a stroll along the path circling the lake.”

Here too, there is the Alpine Easter Mass at the Val D’Isere church, an 11th Century beauty that features an Alpine choir, horns, and bells that will be sure to enhance any Easter Sunday.

Verbier, Chalet Les Etrennes, Easter in the Alps
Verbier, Chalet Les Etrennes


Noted for its amazingly luxurious chalets and its dynamic apres ski culture, it is also at one of the highest altitudes, making Verbier the ideal spot for a late winter or Easter getaway. While there are many expert runs, there are also a lot of gentler routes for novices and children to enjoy. The altitude does make it one of the top choices during the later season holidays, but it is also a great spot for taking the kids who enjoy the many Easter themed activities that take place during the entire holiday week.

As one enthusiast noted, “themed activities throughout the week including egg hunts on and around the slopes and resort, an Easter egg race and the increasingly famous Easter themed après ski parties.” The temperatures are incredibly comfortable ensuring you can sit outside at one of the many restaurants with verandahs and enjoy the view and the special Easter dishes and treats.

So, whether you are eager to enjoy some late winter or spring skiing, and you have some time during the Easter holidays in which to do so, the three spots above are great options. With lots of holiday-themed activities for people of all ages, great conditions, nicer weather, and thinner crowds (for the most part), they are each a good choice. The fact that all three are homes to luxury rentals make them even more appealing, and the option for enjoying a sunny day on your own terrace, in your pool, or lounging by the fire will make any holiday even better.

Did you know that the Caribbean island of Anguilla is famous for its food scene? As one travel expert noted, it has “dozens of restaurants available within the island’s 33 square miles… the foodiest of foodies would be perfectly content” experiencing. And while it sounds like “dozens” of restaurants may make it fairly easy for you to decide where to dine during a day of exploring the island, you need to understand that Anguilla’s dozens of restaurants are broken out into scores of categories. Just consider that there are:

  • Beach BBQ shacks
  • Romantic Restaurants
  • Beachfront Eateries
  • Family Restaurants
  • Local Favorites
  • Breakfast Spots
  • Lunch Spots
  • Small Plate Spots
  • Burger and Beer Joints, and more…

Naturally, there are also luxurious spots like the eateries of the Four Seasons’ resort property. That leaves most travelers with an overabundance of choices. To help you with this, we’ve identified a few of the “must try” spots in each of the categories above, and listed them below.

Beach BBQ Stands and Shacks

Beach BBQ shacks will have to include B&D’s barbecue. As the experts at Travel & Leisure said of the shack, on “an island with dozens of roadside grill stands, this local standout is known for its smoky pork ribs to go.”

Others recommend Sunshine Shack as an island favorite close to the sands of Rendezvous Bay and offering lobster, snapper, ribs or chicken alongside favorite side dishes. The shack offers up free use of beach chairs and towels so you can take your feast to the beach. Ken’s Pork is not a beachfront shack but is a popular spot for BBQ in the Valley area of the island. Specializing in ribs, it also roasts chickens and typically features a long line waiting for their combination platters with some rice and peas alongside garlic bread. BBQ Grill is another shack with some of the delicious sliced pork, and it features a lemon and lime rub that most describe as unforgettable.

Romantic Dining

If it is a romantic meal you need to enjoy during your stay, there are lost of seaside choices. The best for couples would include the French meals available from Jacala, the Italian specialties from Dolce Vita, or the traditional Caribbean fare available at Straw Hat. One of the most famous for romantic dining is Mango’s Restaurant, which is a famous open air eatery offering the very best in local seafood right along the waterfront.

Waterfront Lunches and Dinners

While a beachfront meal is usually romantic if enjoyed with a beloved, there are also a lot of oceanfront restaurants in Anguilla that are well-suited to any sort of traveler. They include the Shoal Bay West restaurant known as Trattoria Tramonto, which emphasizes gourmet Italian dishes and a great cellar. The seafood restaurant Da Vida along Crocus Bay offers a mahi salad that many describe as unforgettable, and Tropicial Sunset is another Shoal Bay East restaurant tucked along the sands and offering traditional island dishes. You may also want to pay a visit to Ocean Echo along Meads Bay where five-star dining is the order of the day and where their chefs specialize in Caribbean dishes with a European flair.

Family-Friendly Eateries

Traveling to foreign lands with kids is always a bit of a gamble, and many kids seek comfort in familiar foods. Because of that, the following restaurants in Anguilla may be a good choice for those traveling with younger kids. Blanchard’s Beach Shack has a great environment, and a kid-friendly menu that includes burgers, hot dogs, nachos, tacos and more. In Sandy Ground, the Sandbar is directly on the beach and allows kids to play and run freely while adults dine. When it comes time to tucking into a meal, they offer shareable platters with lots of kid-friendly favorites. Artisan Pizza ticks all of the boxes because it allows to-go orders as well as in-house dining at the Island Harbour location. Pizza is a classic and this thin-crust version has all of the toppings that a kid crave.

Local Favorites

We’ve already touched on a few of the local beach shacks that islanders frequent, but if you want someplace that is authentic and preferred by people who live on Anguilla year round, it is like that E’s Oven is for you. They specialize in West Indian cuisine and Creole classics, and their chef relies on the same recipes and methods that his mother used (as head chef) for years before. A low-key and casual spot, it is likely to become a new favorite. Sharky’s is also another local favorite and housed in the chef’s front yard!

Breakfast Spots

While a visit to Anguilla may mean making breakfast in the kitchen of your luxury villa each day, you will want to visit a few of the island’s breakfast gems. They include Village Bakehouse offering island-themed pastries. There is also Tasty’s with its traditional breakfast menu, and the Straw Hat Restaurant with its beachfront setting and hearty breakfast options.

Lunches, Beers & Burgers

If you are eager for a quick bite or good lunch the Ferry Boat Inn is a popular choice along with Roy’s Bayside Grill. Both offer a nice array of beers from which to choose (on tap and in cans or bottles) and both also specialize in traditional “pub” fare like burgers and fries. You’ll find memorable lunch items like “handhelds” (sandwiches) and salads, too.

There are options for small plates at Sandbar and Blanchard’s (both already mentioned), and most experienced travelers to Anguilla would say that an evening meal at KoalKeel is an absolute essential. As the Travel and Leisure experts explained, it is a “limestone cottage built in the 18th century by Dutch sugarcane planters. Chef Gwendolyn Smith’s menu includes crayfish ravioli, pigeon-pea soup, lamb medallions with pumpkin gratin, and—for a sweet finale—the rum truffle tower.” If that doesn’t get you booking a table, little else will.

Whether in Anguilla for a long weekend or lengthier visit, you’ll find more than enough to enjoy at meal time, and we hope you give some of our recommendations a try.

With its location so close to Italy and Sicily, as well as mainland Greece, the island of Corfu is a wonderful spot for the foodies of the world to visit. In fact, gastronomes from all parts of the world make a point of visiting Corfu because of its diverse and unique cuisine. As one of them recently wrote, it is untouched “by the Ottoman Turks and conquered instead by the Venetians, French and the English, Corfu’s gastronomic offerings reflect its rich history.”

The Must-Try Dishes

If you are headed to Corfu, and staying in a luxury villa, chances are you have access to a full, gourmet kitchen. That is a wise choice because there are some native ingredients and foods you will want to purchase and prepare on your own, as well as some wonderful treats you’ll savor from local markets. Before we start exploring some of the best eateries on the island, though, let’s familiarize you with the dishes that are considered iconic in all areas of Corfu.

They include stifado, which is a unique Venetian recipe that involves a slow-cooked meat (including rabbit, octopus or beef) and tomato stew. It will feature spices and wine an be serve atop pasta, and should be considered a dish that is representative of Corfu and a “must” when you sit down at any of the best restaurants.

A runner up to stifado is the fish and tomato dish known as bourdeto. If that is not on the menu, you are quite likely to find some sort of fish that is served alongside tsigareli. This is a remarkably spicy dish made with wild greens and very reflective of the “Corfiot” love of hot and spicy foods.

The Telegraph’s food writers noted that you will want to try the Corfiot versio of sofrito (made with veal), pastitsada (which, unlike the sound of its name, is actually a veal, beef or cockerlel casserole), bianco (a local variant of fish or seafood stew), and any spot that describes itself as a  mezedopolia, because that is where you’ll enjoy tons of bite-sized edibles.

As another foodie traveling in Corfu said, the native diet is “one of the healthiest and tastiest on the planet. Fresh, locally grown ingredients are key to Corfiot cuisine,” and so anything that features ingredients “in season” is likely to be delicious. The average menu is heavy with game, fresh seafood, and lots of lamb. There is a common love for “shared” platters and “mezze” like options. You will see that most menus feature a lot of local olive oil and wine, and if you look closely, you’ll see that the influences on the menu are mostly modern Greek innovations.

There are also a lot of regional influences on the cuisine. As those same writers from the Telegraph explained, “on the coastline, waterfront tavernas specialising in fish and seafood naturally reign supreme. Inland is where you’ll find no-frills slow food joints focusing mostly on meat.”

And where are some of the top spots? Let’s consider them by location:

Old Town

Avli is a local favorite that specializes in Greek dishes and classics. Their “bouyiourdi (baked feta with spicy peppers tomatoes and paprika) and agioritiki tigania (a chicken and pork sausage dish with onions and white wine)” are some of their biggest hits, and you will be able to dine outdoors and take in views of the nearby fortress as well as the sea.

The Venetian Well is a bistro along Kremasti Square and emphasizes creative takes on classic Mediterranean. There is slow baked lamb with smoked eggplant, as well as a fresh pasta with summer truffle sauce. The cellar is also a widely-kept local secret and one to try.

Another Old Town favorite is Corfu Sailing Restaurant, which we suggest whenever you are enjoying a special event or celebration. It is on the northern end of the Old Fortress and sits directly at the water’s edge. It is a Mediterranean restaurant that focuses heavily on seafood and fresh fish.

Pomo D’Oro is home to a formally trained chef and sits along the edge of Skaramanga square. The dishes “reference” classic Greek items, but reflect the chef’s international training. As an example, one dish mentioned in The Telegraph is the chef’s “take on a now-rare local salad is a divine blend of beetroot, orange, almonds, spring onion, olives, saffron mayonnaise and olive oil.”

Marina’s Tavern is also another popular Old Town favorite and has only five tables set out along the cobblestones in a quiet alleyway in the town’s old Jewish quarter. Focused on fresh fish an island produce, the eggplant casserole is described as a must.

Agni Bay

Toulas is a widely celebrate eatery on the northeast coast and a choice of the British royal family as well as the jet set crowd. The food is distinctly Corfiot in style and emphasizes the very best of the daily catch and the finest island produce. Views of Albania across the water and a constantly changing menu of elegant dishes make it a must.

Marathias Beach

Heading south, you find Sirens Beach Bar that has a dramatic setting and views, a garden surrounding it, and the beach to enjoy. The menu features unique dishes that include walnut and chocolate soaked pancakes, unique burgers served with oregano potatoes, and more.


In the charming former fishing village along the southern coast, Klimataria Bellos is an island institution. It is all about Corfiot cuisine and yet it also emphasizes seasonal fare. One of their most famous dishes is the octopus macaronada full of spices and flavor.

Old Perithia

At the base of Mount Pantokrator is the Merchant’s House. This is a guesthouse that serves amazing breakfasts to guests and visitors alike. They have homemade sourdough baked goods that draw larger crowds, and they serve it up alongside preserves mae with local honey and produce.

There are so many other eateries you must enjoy during a visit to Corfu. Don’t forget to stock your luxury rentals with some of those tastier ingredients to bring home, and give as the most unforgettable souvenirs.

Let’s cut to the chase and answer the question posed in the title above. The answer is a resounding yes – yes, you can enjoy a destination wedding (and all of its associated activities and events) right on the grounds of a luxury villa. There are a few caveats to that, however, and we’ll consider them below.

To Destination or Not to Destination…

Destination weddings are still a popular way to enjoy a wedding day that is much more than a single day of fun and activity. For instance, most destination weddings involve fewer guests because they are designed to be more intimate and involve only the closest family and friends. Most involve several nights’ stay in a destination, and most include such activities as rehearsal events, the wedding day events, and a few days at either end in which there are formal meals or other casual gatherings.

Most destination weddings, according to Wedding Wire are “are held during the day. One of the main reasons couples choose a destination wedding location is because of its amazing scenery—and they want their guests to actually see and experience it!” This is not written in stone, but since most choose a beautiful spot, the daytime festivities make perfect sense. However, it is important to remember that you don’t want to find yourself calling it a day in the early evening hours of your wedding day.

That is one of the main reasons that a luxury villa makes the perfect choice for your wedding or other destination event. It is a spacious and opulent place where you can rise in your master suite, have all of the services you require brought to you, and then just head to the garden, beach or other area of the villa’s private grounds to start the day’s events. You can also host that breakfast for all of your guests the next day right on the premises, and even have a spa day a few days in advance, a bachelor or bachelorette event on the grounds, and more.

One thing you will want to ensure is that you have access to a wedding planner, concierge, and perhaps even an entire household staff. After all, what fun is it to host a destination wedding if you also worry about who is making meals, doing laundry, and tidying up the living areas?

Important Questions to Ask

If you speak with the experts at Brides Magazine, they will all agree that there are a handful of points to consider as you are beginning to make your destination wedding plans. They include:

Is the location meaningful?

It is lovely to plan a wedding in a gorgeous spot like the Caribbean or different parts of Europe, Asia or North America. However, your destination event is far more likely to be even more significant if you and your soon-to-be-spouse have a connection to it. Why not try out a few of those destinations before making the choice. There are lots of smaller luxury rentals in the best locations, and you can start to build memories while finding that ideal spot.

Will you be able to give adequate advance notice?

Heading to a destination wedding is something a lot of people want to do but find themselves unable to do simply because they did not get enough advance warning of the date. After all, there is airfare to book, holiday time to request at the office, and household things to organize. Be sure you give at least a few months’ time to your family and friends.

Are you embracing the destination?

As those experts at Brides said, you should embrace your setting, “by incorporating local blooms—think olive branches and grape leaves in Tuscany or exotic flowers and plants in the tropics—and serve local specialties at the reception, like conch fritters in the Bahamas or carnitas in Cabo.” Not only is this cost-effective, but it gives a taste of the setting.

Don’t forget that you can look for luxury villas that ensure you pair those taste experiences with the surroundings by offering you private chefs or catering services specifically designed for weddings.

Can you accommodate guests?

Did you know that there are many luxury villas with space for groups of ten or more? You might find a property with multiple villas on a single site or you can find a series of beachfront villas that can be combined to make a flawless event. As you plan a destination wedding, remember that your closest family and friends may want to be just that – close to you – for the big day, and what better way to achieve it than by having them stay right in the villa?

Are your garments a good match to the space?

A lot of people forget that a tropical location might be very warm and their long sleeves a bit too much. There are the opposite ends of the spectrum and that luxury destination wedding in the Alps may be too chilly for the lightweight materials. Brides may want to think about the weight of materials, the necklines or design of the gown, and more. (NOTE: When traveling with wedding clothing, it is best to carry it with you and never check it as you board the plane. There are many sad stories of gorgeous gowns and garments going astray and wedding plans ruined by that one single decision to check it).

Getting Started

If all of these hints and tips have gotten you thinking of a destination wedding, you’ll want to set the stage properly and begin by exploring your options in wedding villas. It may seem unlikely, but there are hundreds of large and luxurious properties just waiting to be chosen for your event. Whether you are thinking of a waterfront wedding in a private estate in Jamaica, or a similar option in Antigua, but there are also amazing properties in Europe, such as a collection of stone cottages on Corsica, or an expansive estate in Tuscany, or even renting the famous Necker Island that belongs to Richard Branson!

Start with the “where,” and then make your flawless plans for an unforgettable destination wedding in a luxurious villa.

Spring break is not a fixed set of dates and is quite a dated concept. As one college site explained, the concept “of spring break began in 1938 with a swim forum event in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. By around 1960, however, students had begun to come to the town in great numbers, and local businesses took advantage of this influx by offering specials…” Today, spring break is a period of time recognized around the globe.

You will hear it spoken of as Easter vacation, April break, spring vacation, midterm holidays, study week, and more. Students and everyday people from Asia, Europe, North America, South America and even the Pacific regions all participate in the spring break concept. For some, it is all about a party scene and lots of singles mingling. For others, it is a chance to get away during a lovely time of year and during a short respite from work or studies.

There are trends that come and go in spring break activities, and even destinations. For example, Ft. Lauderdale remains a popular destination with college students and young adults, but not so much for others. That is why there are so many family-friendly locations for spring break, and why the option for renting a family villa or luxury villa is a great idea.

The Locations for Luxury Villas and Family-Friendly Spring Break

When considering any sort of spring break with the family, it is important to choose a location that promises the good weather and scenery that has made the whole concept of spring break a popular one. For example, you might consider the Caribbean region, Mexico, parts of Europe, Oceania, and more.

The next part of the decision making process is to choose the sort of accommodation you want, and the amenities that matter the most. For instance, the following factors can be worked into your criteria:

  • Beachfront?
  • Pool?
  • Resort-like amenities?
  • Household staff?
  • Proximity to a popular town or destination?
  • Electronics?
  • Design and décor?
  • Concierge services?

Those are just some of the basics you can require for your optimal spring break with family or friends, and once you have those basics in mind, you can get a bit more refined. As an example, let’s say you opt to head to the Caribbean and choose the super-cosmopolitan island of St. Martin. Will you opt for the Dutch or French side? Do you want to be in the hills or down by the water? Will you want to be in a resort-like setting or in a free-standing luxury villa?

After that, it is merely a matter of working your way through the options available through a trusted provider of family vacation rentals.

Luxury Villas Choice

For the 2020 Spring Break season, the following family-friendly, luxury villas are highly recommended:

The pool at villa Lea, Croatia

Villa Lea

Located along the Split Riviera in Omis, Croatia, this gorgeous four-bedroom gem sits between Makarska and Split. It looks out over the dazzling waters below and yet features an array of onsite amenities that make it an ideal option for the group or family seeking the ultimate spring break.

There is a huge and private pool terrace, outdoor shower, and large garden. Upper level balconies offer al fresco living and dining spaces, and the modern interiors are welcoming but remarkably stylish with a modern edge. There is a home cinema, a fully-equipped gourmet kitchen, and the four stylish bedrooms all have large and elegantly appointed ensuite baths.

Villa Escapade

Part of the coveted Marigot area of St Barts, the three-bedroom luxury villa is a short walk to the beach, but offers its own stunning swimming pool area. Furnished as an outdoor living room and dining space (with barbecue), it also has an enormous, shaded verandah that serves as another al fresco space to relax.

With floor to ceiling doors that open all of the way towards the view, you enjoy sea breezes whether in the great room or the back sun terrace. There is a huge living room with entertainment system, a formal dining space, and the full-sized, gourmet kitchen. The villa has those three large bedrooms with private baths, but you’ll find you spend most of your time outdoors beneath the gazebo, lounging in or by the pool and soaking up that amazing scenery.

Minutes to town, you can dine at one of the many excellent restaurants or beach shacks, do tons of shopping, and sightseeing, or just savor your family’s company in a luxurious and beautiful setting.

Villa Amalfi

Give the family an educational and beautiful spring break with a stay in this Tulum area villa in the Riviera Maya region. Close to ancient pyramids that hover above the sea cliffs, this five-bedroom masterpiece is the ultimate jungle hideaway.

As a collection of huts and buildings, it erases the lines between the interior and exterior spaces. You’ll love the intimacy of the private pool surrounded by gardens and screening of trees and palms. There is a dining space beneath the verandah, a lounge area and the open-air kitchen. With its floor to ceiling wall and bold turquoise palette, it is an inspired spot to whip up meals or drinks.

The use of natural materials for the building and furnishing gives this a wonderfully rustic and yet modern feel. There is an open air upper terrace and the stylish interiors include a home cinema, enormous lounge, and formal dining spot.

That is only three options in three areas of the world that are not the typical spring break destinations. Don’t limit yourself to the usual spring break spots with their crowds and party atmosphere. If you crave privacy and luxury just steps from the best sightseeing and dining options, then consider a spring break in one of the luxury rentals above. Choose correctly and you might enjoy the services of a private chef or a catered meal or two each day, the use of a car or driver, and more.

The Riviera Maya (or Mayan Riviera) is, as one expert explained, an area stretching “over nearly 100 miles of coastline with beautiful white-sand beaches and brilliant turquoise colored water just south of Cancun. This world-renowned paradise is home to mangroves and lagoons, ancient Mayan cities, ecological reserves and adventure parks, and the world’s second largest coral reef.”

Clearly, it is an ideal spot for a holiday at any time of the year, but even more so during the spring season. Whether you are considering a visit during the “shoulder season” that comes just before the beginning of peak travel, or you want an alternative spot for spring break, it is difficult to match the amazing beauty and tranquility that the Riviera Maya promises.

While it is home to some of the best resorts, it is also home to amazing luxury rentals that tuck you right into the gorgeous jungle or beachfront setting. If you head to the southern part of the Riviera Maya, you encounter the area known as Tulum that has some of the finest white sand beaches and ancient Mayan sites. You can find world-class shopping in the Playa del Carmen area or you can get into lots of watersports in areas like Akumal or Puerto Aventuras.

It is important to note that lots of divers and snorkeling enthusiasts head to this region at any time of year, and the Riviera Maya is also home to Xel-Há, the world’s largest natural aquarium.

The Geography

Before we start pointing you towards all of the things you can see and do during your visit to the Riviera Maya, let’s just revisit the geography so you get a good portrait of it in your mind’s eye. The area begins around 20 miles, or so, south of the world-famous area known as Cancun, Mexico. The first town considered to be within the Riviera Maya is Puerto Morelos, and though many think of it as a gateway alone, it has a lot of appealing villas and destinations to enjoy.

From there you head all of the way down to Punta Allen, where the famous Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve awaits those who might want to spend a holiday doing some hiking and exploring. The Riviera Maya ends here, and the Costa Maya begins.

The location and pristine nature of the region make it a popular choice among eco-tourists who want to see the biodiversity of the area as well as its historical sites.

Top Spots to Visit

If you are planning your spring break to the region, we suggest you consider looking for your luxury villa in the following areas:

Playa del Carmen

Once a fishing village, it is now the largest town in the entire Riviera Maya region. Don’t worry, though, because it is not a city. It is a walker’s paradise, as well as a shopper’s haven, and it delivers great access to excellent beaches.


Equally famous, it is an island just offshore from Playa del Carmen and noted for its watersports, particularly its diving and snorkeling. You can see clear down 200 feet in most areas, and it is home to a jungle and lagoons offering home to many endemic species. It is also where Chankanaab National Park is found.


Once a secret in the world of luxury travel, it is now a noted spot of beauty and historical significance. The former Mayan trading port, and ceremonial complex, retains a lot of its ancient mystery thanks to the presence of actual pyramids that seem to hover at the ocean’s edge from the cliffs above. The town was once a budget destination that is now a favorite of the world’s jet set and celebrities.

If you are eager to enjoy luxury travel, all three of these regions promise lots of options in luxury rentals and resort accommodations.

What to Do During Your Riviera Maya Holiday

One of the most highly enjoyable activities during a visit to the region (and something you rarely find elsewhere) is to go and visit at least one cenote. A cenote, according to one expert, is “a deep, water-filled sinkhole in limestone that is created when the roof of an underground cavern collapses,” and then fills with rain and water flowing in from above and underground.

The word is Mayan in origin and means simply “well”. While some are water-filled shafts, many others are caves with underground passages and pools to swim in. The cenotes were important to the ancient Mayans and there is a particularly notable one at Chichen Itza in the Riviera Maya region.

If you want to experience the very best of them during a visit to the Riviera Maya, we suggest:

  • Cenote Dos Ojos, Tulum
  • Grand Cenote, Tulum
  • Cenote Chaak Tun, Playa del Carmen
  • Cenote Ik Kil, Chichén Itzá
  • Cenote X’Canche, Valladolid
  • Cenote Jardin del Eden, Puerto Aventuras
  • Cenote Samula, Valladolid
  • Cenote Suytun, Valladolid

If diving in caverns is not your thing, but you want to see all of the amazing natural landscape or preserves, there are many parks in the Riviera Maya. They include the Xcaret Eco Theme Park which is ideal for families on a spring holiday as it has plenty of natural and man-made areas to enjoy. There is the Xel-Ha Park which has lots of water themed activities, and even a dolphin experience.

If you want out of the man-made settings, Aktun Chen has authentic rainforest acreage, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (mentioned earlier) is one of the “largest protected areas in Mexico and has 2500 square miles of unspoiled natural beauty with unexcavated Mayan ruins, fresh water canals, mangroves, lagoons and inlets”, and the Xaman Ha Aviary is also a great spot for seeing wildlife.

There is much to see and do in the beauty of the Riviera Maya. You will want to book your spring getaway early and choose the best luxury rentals in the region. Whether you choose Playa del Carmen, Tulum or another area, you won’t regret heading to this exotic, accessible, and truly unforgettable part of the world for your next spring break.

Say Croatia, and most people envision a chilly Eastern European spot tucked somewhere between Slovenia and Bosnia an Herzegovina. While it is true that it is part of Eastern Europe and the Balkans area, it also has an immense stretch of coastline along the Adriatic Sea and is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes imaginable. It is a place of biodiversity with the gorgeous Plitvice Lakes and the high ranges of the Dinaric Alps. Its coastal area is home to thousands of islands and it rivers like the Danube and Drava pass through some of its cities. There are low mountains and forested highlands, and it is a place of rich natural resources.

Why Choose Croatia for Your Spring Getaway?

Croatia is also one of the most picturesque spots to visit during the spring. In fact, travel experts agree that Croatia is a little-known secret at any time of the year, but that spring is an especially appealing moment to pay a visit. The main reasons for this include:


Though the spring may be a bit too early for you to spend days at the many beaches that line the western edge of Croatia, it is an ideal moment to enjoy things like hiking and biking. It is a perfect time to head to Plitvice Lakes (mentioned earlier) since the seasonal crowds have yet to appear and yet the scenery and views will still be breathtaking. The winter brings rain and cold to most areas, but as March arrives, this transitions into sunny and welcoming days ideal for being outdoors and sightseeing in the city or countryside.


Spring is when the country has its annual festival of oysters along the Peljesac Peninsula, and when the oysters taste the best that they will all year. It is warm enough for most restaurants and cafes to begin outdoor service, and it is when wild asparagus first makes its appearance on menus. You are welcome to join locals and forage for it, too. It is also when Festiwine takes place in the city of Dubrovnik and you can try lots of vintages along with spring food favorites in the Old Town area.

One of the travertine features at the UNESCO listed Plitvice lakes national park in Croatia. Spring Getaway to Croatia
Travertine waterfall, Plitvice Lakes


The landscape comes to life quickly during the spring season in Croatia and whether you opt to enjoy the blossoms on display at events like the Flower Fair of Zadar, the International Garden Show in Zagreb, or the Festival of Flowers in Split, you’ll be amaze. However, most agree that spring in any part of the country is likely to be inspiring as the trees and flowers all seem to wake at once. Zagreb is noted as being particularly appealing in the spring, and many even head to the Zagreb Mirogoj cemetery because it is a visually stunning spot. As we already noted Plitvice Lakes and Krka National Parks are two of the most popular (and crowded) during summer holidays. In the spring, the waterfalls are at capacity and yet you will not encounter the same crowds. (There are 11 national parks, and spring is ideal for visiting any).


In addition to the festivals already mentioned, Croatia is also host to a lot of spring festivals that include the International Street Festival in Zagreb, the Easter celebrations in Hvar are famous an include a Following the Cross event, but Easter in general is viewed as the start of spring and many Croatians enjoy a seaside visit during that time.

Dubrovnik’s and Split’s Tranquility

The spring season is the quiet time in these two lovely cities, and if you want to get the best chance to explore them, a visit in the spring gives you a rare chance to wander quieter streets and savoring a wide array of open tables at the many cafes.


It is not widely known that Croatia is home to those many hundreds of beaches as well as many luxury rentals. However, you will be surprised to learn that there are an amazing number of these accommodations to choose from and enjoy during a spring visit.

Makarska Riviera View, villa Allure

The Rivieras of Croatia

Another lesser known fact about Croatia is that its coastal areas are often described using the word Riviera. This includes the Dubrovnik Riviera, as well as the Split Riviera, and many other regions. They will all feature premium furnishing and décor, and it is simply a matter of choosing the setting that appeals to you the most.

For example, a larger family or a group of friends may want to enjoy the beauty of the Makarska Riviera and the Villa Allure is a perfect option. Setting above the town and at the foot of Biokovo Mountain, it is a four-bedroom gem of modern architecture and design. At the main living level is an immense pool terrace, and multiple balconies and terraces offer complete privacy and amazing scenery all just minutes from town and the shore.

Villa Violet is also a four-bedroom villa, but in the Brac Island area. Another masterwork of modern design, it sits at the water’s edge and yet also features a large pool terrace, private dock, and a surrounding garden of mature pines. It gazes out towards an impossibly lovely view of the mountains and the water, while inside the fantastic design and décor makes for a rejuvenating stay.

Villa Big Lagoon, Brac Island. Spring Getaway to Croatia
Villa Big Lagoon, Brac Island

The Villa Big Lagoon is also in the Brac Island area and features five-bedrooms and is also right along the waterfront. With room for 12, it is a perfect choice for a group getaway or even a destination event. You are only moments from the best beaches and the convenience of town, and this might easily prove your new and favorite European destination.

If a new springtime destination is on your “to do” list, make Croatia a priority. The coastal region is alive and thriving as spring arrives, but so too are the interior regions with the many national parks an amazing scenery waiting to be discovered. Whether you go for the food, the views, the events, or a combination of them all, staying in a luxury villa enhances your experience and lets you enjoy the very best Croatia has to offer.

Most seasoned travelers have heard of the Cayman Islands, and yet not all have enjoyed a visit. This year is the perfect time to introduce yourself to this unique group of islands that are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. Tucked into the Caribbean, they include three main islands (Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac).

The Cayman Islands are, like all other Caribbean Islands, unique. They are mostly low lying with just central bluffs rather than mountains. They have amazing beaches and coral reefs, and Grand Cayman takes its name from being the largest of the three. Surprisingly enough, Cayman Brac is the next biggest, and Little Cayman is the smallest. The islands have no rivers or lakes, though mangrove swamps are quite prevalent on the islands.

All three islands typically promise travelers a comfortable tropical climate all year long, and native food sources are abundant with banana and mango groves numbering equally to citrus groves. The islands are home to mahogany forests and some unusual palms, and a variety of indigenous species, including beautiful green sea turtles, different kinds of lizards, and many birds.

So, you can start to understand why travelers have flocked to the islands for many centuries, and today it is also known as an international banking and finance hub, which is why there are so many excellent luxury rentals available to travelers.

In fact, the Cayman Islands are such a great spot for a holiday that Reader’s Digest said they “tick all of the boxes you’d expect of a Caribbean getaway, and that there is more to the area “sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and classic rum cocktails.” They point out that the food served in most restaurants is of the “locally-grown, meticulously-prepared” kind and that its beaches and waters are some of the finest in the world.

Where to stay in the Cayman Islands?

First and foremost is to book yourself one of the many luxury Cayman villas. You’ll find them in spots as diverse as Boden Town, Cayman Kai, East End, West Bay and more. Most, like White Cottage, Stepping Stone, and Oceanus sit right along the sand. They will place you near to town and surround you with luxuries as diverse as a household staff (including private chef), as well as indoor and outdoor living spaces, private pools and terraces, and much more.

What to do on Grand Cayman?

Then it is time to begin enjoying the many world-class experiences that the Cayman Islands offer, including:

  • Starfish Point – Note as an ideal spot to sunbathe, it is more appropriate if your goal is to swim with starfish. As one expert explained, the “warm, crystal-clear waters just off the shore play host to hordes of colorful starfish that trawl the shallows in search of food. These fascinating five-legged creatures don’t seem to mind sharing their habitat with curious beachcombers, so long as they’re left under the water’s surface”. You might also pay a visit Stingray City and swim among the lovely and elegant rays that call it home.
  • Rum Point – This is a Grand Cayman favorite and close to Starfish Point, making it a perfect part of your itinerary. It is home to some of the best mudslides on the island (and claims to be the source of the recipe), though it is also popular for its picnics. Cayman Kai is also home to beach bars, Kaibo and The Wreck.
  • Seven Mile Beach – Another Grand Cayman destination, this is the spot for those who want to experience one of the best beaches in the world. It is less than seven miles in length, an often quite crowded, but its silky sands and flawless waters will make even the avid non-sea swimmer a sudden beach fan. Those who visit in the winter may also want to see if the famous Cayman Cookout is going on at the beach.
  • Crystal Caves – Located at Old Many Bay on Grand Cayman, these are not for everyone (but even if going underground is not your thing, it is well worth trying for the amazing sights to be found). The Crystal Caves are just that – natural caves full of calcium-based crystals. There are stalactites and stalagmites to enjoy, and it is even rumored that the caverns are home to an undiscovered pirate’s treasure.
  • Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park – Yet another Grand Cayman site, it is home to authentically endangered and indigenous species, including the massive Cayman Blue Iguanas. Described as “as close as it gets to a real-life dragon,” these were once almost extinct but have started to recover (transitioning from a population of three to more than 700). The park is also home to an annual Orchid Show every February and one that is noted for its amazing array of blooms.
  • Shops at Camana Bay – While we might not usually identify a specific spot to do some shopping, this Grand Cayman destination consistently gets thumbs’ up from its visitors. It is in the George Town area and covers hundreds of acres. It has scores of shops and eateries, a weekly farmer’s market, and is home to the West Indies Winery. NOTE: If you are eager for the very best sunset views while on Grand Cayman, it will be from the quirky and appealing Observation Tower built here in the center of the shopping area. Over 75 feet tall, it has a great Top Deck designed for a flawless sunset photo.
  • Cayman Turtle Center – Learn all about the adorable green Cayman Turtles and experience their touch tanks. There are also lots of observation areas with a Predator Reef full of sharks, lots of iguanas and birds to discover, and more.
  • Cayman Brac’s Limestone Bluff – As luxury rentals explained, the bluff “rises 140 feet at its highest point on the island’s northeastern tip. Intrepid rock climbers have long considered the Brac one of the world’s leading exotic challenges.” Today, however, you can work with expert climbers and outfitters that can help you experience and succeed at the challenge. Don’t forget a visit to Skull Cave while on Cayman Brac.

There is so much more to see and do in the Cayman Islands, so why not get a start on doing so this year and find out exactly why so many have loved traveling to this part of the Caribbean for centuries.