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We speak to one of our team members, Jane, about her family villa holiday with SPL Villas this year, giving an insider’s view on the reality of travel in 2021.

Jane and her family flew to Rethmyno, Crete in Greece.

Q: When did you book? 

Jane: I booked back in February, when it felt like travel restrictions were starting to lift.  The free cancellation and refund policy that SPL Villas offer allowed me to book with confidence should the rules change.  We really were not sure if we were going until close to our travel date, with the additional costs to consider such as the PCR tests that were required. It was good peace of mind to know we had flexibility to defer if needed.

View of church, overlooking Villa Lucas, Crete
Villa Lucas, Rethymno, Crete

Q: Who did you go with? 

J:  We are long term villa holiday lovers, having had my first villa holiday in my early twenties, so with my son starting uni this year, and my daughter starting her final year at uni also, we thought it would be great to all have a holiday together.  Now that we don’t have to go in the school holidays, early September was perfect, and the flights were a little cheaper.  We had 10 days holiday, which is a perfect duration for us as 1 week is never long enough.  Villa Lucas has two separate living parts to the villa, both of which share a courtyard, which worked well as my son and daughter sleep in late and we all had our own space.

Q: What were your 5 favourite things about the villa? 

J: 1. I love a villa holiday as you know your sunbed is waiting for you by your private pool, ideal for a relaxing pool day. 
2. This villa was in the centre of the village, so we had a Taverna within walking distance, which was lovely and very convenient to enjoy a long lunch.
3. The freedom that you get with a villa is perfect, not having to vacate a hotel room for housekeeping for example. We can come and go as we please!
4. The additional space you get with a villa, compared to apartments or hotel rooms, it truly is home from home.
5. The friendly welcome from the owners, we were welcomed with a welcome pack, and they came by the following day the check everything was as we wanted with a home-baked traditional Cretan cake.  They also leave you in peace also to enjoy your stay.

Q: Tell us about a typical day on a villa holiday?

J:  I know Crete well, so know of some great restaurants that I had been previously taken to by people I know that live in Crete, so we made sure we had our reservations made in advance. We went and visited the local caves as my daughter is an Archaeology student, so this was really good for her. We always hire a car, so we made good use of this to explore the island and go for days out, for lunch or maybe just a walk on the beach. If we didn’t fancy heading out one day, we enjoyed lazing by the private pool and utilising the free wi fi.

Restaurants in Rethymno, Crete
Dining out in Rethymno, Crete

Q: Did you dine in or out?

J: We ate out every night, apart from where we made use of the villa’s barbecue, either locally or in Rethymno. Panormos is a great little village overlooking the sea with fabulous restaurants.  Whether for a lunch or evening meal. When we did eat at the villa, we sourced local produce and enjoyed eating as the locals do. 

Q. What was your standout moment of the holiday?

There were too many to count! Stephanie was the owner at the local Taverna and loved to have a dance in the square. Her enthusiasm and joy were incredibly infectious!
I love wandering around the Old Town of Rethymno, looking at the local jewellery, olive oils and other local goods.  The port of Rethymno is a beautiful place to be, watching the boats while having a cocktail. The bars are lively, so this was good fun for a night out.

Q: What is it that keeps you choosing Villa Holidays year after year? 

I would choose a hotel for a short break city stay, but for a relaxing sun holiday, a villa wins every time. The freedom, flexibility, and space a villa offers you is unrivalled. You don’t have to queue for anything, you can come and goes as you please and for families with small children or for families like mine with older children, they are ideal for all your needs.  Once you have had a villa holiday, there is no going back!

Our villa holidays

Sand beach, Crete

We have a range of villas across the Mediterranean, many of which are close to beaches and perfectly positioned for a family villa holiday. Our villa holidays are not just for families, we have larger villas that are perfect for groups of friends looking to seek a long awaited reunion, or smaller villas which would suit couples who are looking to get away too.

We have villa holidays on sale for 2022 and 2023, find your perfect destination and villa today either via our interactive website or by contacting us via telephone on +44 (0)204 580 1178 or via email at We would be happy to help provide you with an enjoyable villa holiday experience like Jane had.