Alfresco dining at Villa Sunset Dream, a leading luxury self-catered villa in Mykonos

For foodies, there’s nothing quite like discovering the soul of a destination through its cuisine. There’s arguably nowhere better to dine on the finest foods available than Europe! Nibble your way through the Balearics with morsels of tapas and paella, or tuck into classic Italian polenta in the hills of Umbria… There’s a seemingly endless stream of delicious cuisines hiding in every nook of this vibrant continent. Of course, to experience the most of a destination’s gastronomy, you must opt for a luxury self catered villa holiday in one of the top foodie destinations in Europe!

For travellers who want both the ultimate in luxury accommodation, and the freedom to explore the best local restaurants and culinary experiences, self catering villa holidays are for you. Read on to discover five of our favourite luxury self catered villa rentals in Europe…

#1 Villa Sunset Dream, Mykonos

Sunset view over the pool and ocean at Villa Sunset Dream. A great view for some self catered alfresco dining in Mykonos.

Less than 15 minutes’ drive from Mykonos Town’s fantastic restaurant scene, including the infamous ‘Little Venice’ area, is Villa Sunset Dream. A truly gorgeous luxury self catered villa in Mykonos, it effortlessly highlights the island’s iconic whitewashed architecture. Moreover, this aspect is elevated through stylish design, stunning views, an infinity pool, and a spacious terrace. Sleeping up to 18 guests, Villa Sunset Dream is a great choice for large families, or groups of friends looking to make the most of the famous nightlife on the island. For nights in, the sunset views are unforgettable. The alfresco dining area, complete with a BBQ, is the perfect spot to rustle up banquets of locally caught seafood in your Mykonos luxury villa.

In Mykonos Town, just 12 minutes by car, restaurant M-Eating harmonises Mykonian tradition with modern innovations. With locally-sourced ingredients, a fantastic chef, and a menu celebrating the best of the island’s heritage with contemporary flair, it’s a bucket list restaurant for luxury villa holidays in Mykonos. Efisia is also ready to reform your view of Greek cuisine, less than a 15-minute drive away. This fine dining restaurant in Mykonos showcases not only mind-blowing marinated fresh fish carpaccio and pan-fried orange scallops, but also mouth-watering Mykonian slow-cooked lamb, perhaps the most staple meat across Greece. Whether dining on your villa’s terrace, or in the town, a self catering luxury villa holiday in Mykonos offers endless dining delights in one of the best food destinations in Europe.

#2 Villa Penna, Umbria

The main house and annexe of the beautiful Villa Penna in Umbria, features hillside views and an alfresco dining space to enjoy a self-catered villa holiday.

Umbria is Italy’s ultimate hidden gem. It boasts the very best of a serene rural idyll: stunning landscapes, exclusive experiences, incredible luxury villas, and delicious cuisine. In the heart of the region is the magnificent Villa Penna, located in the expansive grounds of The Murlo Estate. This traditional farmhouse has undergone a sympathetic restoration with a clean, high-end finish. Sleeping 8 guests across the main house and annexe, you’ll never want to leave this self catered villa in Umbria. Explore the wider estate’s beautiful walks and natural pools, revelling in nature’s undeniably luscious offerings. In the evening, relax in the lush gardens, admiring the far-reaching views from the infinity pool. Who doesn’t want a villa with a pool to relax in on their luxury Italian holiday?

For an elevated dining experience highlighting Umbria’s true soul, Ristorante Il Caldaro is a stylish restaurant with a laid-back sensibility. Whether basking under the evening sun on the terrace, or cosying up in the traditional interior, it’s the perfect way to explore Italian classics with a modern twist. They also sell quality local produce, homemade on The Murlo Estate! This includes freshly baked breads, as well as pasta sauces, for guests to enjoy in the comfort of their villa during a luxury self catering villa holiday in Umbria. Foodie holidays in Europe really do have it all, from homemade comforts to extravagant dining!

#3 Villa Mas de Cinq Sous, Provence

View across the stunning landscaped gardens to the main house of Villa Mas de Cinq Sous, one of the top luxury self catered villa rentals in Provence.

Located within Alpilles National Park, just a 10-minute drive from the stunning Saint-Rémy-de-Provence village, you’ll find Villa Mas de Cinq Sous. Boasting 5 hectares of land with lush, landscaped gardens, this luxury villa rental in Provence offers a unique view of the Alpilles massif. Enjoy an apéritif on the terrace or a spot of alfresco dining, after a game of Pétanque on the villa’s courts! However, the biggest highlight might be this luxury French villa’s private natural pool. This unique feature provides a chemical-free haven for cooling off after exploring Provence’s best restaurants! The property easily lends itself to unforgettable family villa holidays, sleeping 8 guests with plenty of space for children and adults alike to explore.

The local area is similarly enchanting; Provence is renowned for its dining as much as its charm. There are 80 Michelin-star restaurants in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, with 5 of these located within 20 minutes drive of Villa Mas de Cinq Sous. For elevated traditional Provençal cuisine, Maison Hache is a must-visit, with local produce at the forefront of this restaurant. The 3-Michelin-starred restaurant L’Oustau de Baumanière is another legendary establishment, featured as a top experience in our guide to Provence. Since gaining its 3rd star in 1954, the gourmet excellence of this restaurant has been a bucket-list feature for gastronomes. Needless to say, there are innumerable options for wining and dining on this luxury self catered villa holiday in France.

#4 Son Balagueret, Mallorca

Drone shot of the Son Balagueret Villa, including pool, table tennis, large garden, and main house in the hillside of Mallorca.

On the north-west coast of Mallorca lies Son Balagueret, a luxury self catered villa in the heart of a private estate. Boasting beautiful views over rugged coastlines, as well as a private swimming pool, Son Balagueret is the perfect self catering villa rental for families who are looking for a luxurious escape. Sleeping 8 guests, this historical villa features a 13th century turret, showcasing a traditional Balearic style. The wider estate offers numerous options for entertainment; guests can enjoy scenic cycling using the property’s bikes, or hike in the Serra de Tramuntana UNESCO site. Alternatively, there are tennis courts available to ignite your competitive spirit. Locally, discover watersports including kayaking and yachting. To slow it down and begin your gourmet experiences, enjoy wine-tasting at local vineyards, followed by a relaxing spa treatment.

There are 8 Michelin-starred restaurants across the island, making Mallorca the perfect destination for a luxury self catered villa holiday. Something of a gastronomic hot spot, there are many local specialities to sample, in particular the iconic Ensaimada pastry. Traditional Mallorcan flavours are local Chef Santi Taura’s speciality at his eponymous restaurant in Palma. In their own words, they ‘cook history’. For something different, Zaranda Restaurant, also in Palma, has a marvellous tasting menu showcasing unusual flavours with Arabian influences. For foodie holidays in Europe where relaxation pairs with culinary magic, a self catering luxury villa in Mallorca will certainly impress!

#5 Villa El Zafiro, Ibiza

The shaded terrace by the pool, laden with flowers, at Villa El Zafiro, Ibiza. A stunning spot to take in the view while dining on a luxury self catered villa holiday in the Balearic Islands.

Ibiza’s reputation as an iconic summer holiday destination precedes it, thanks to its thriving nightlife, gorgeous beaches, and luxury villas. At Villa El Zafiro, all these expectations are exceeded and rewritten. This luxury self catered villa in Ibiza Town is close to some of the finest restaurants on the island, and is also home to its own private alfresco terraces and BBQ area; Ibicencan dining without leaving your porch on self catering villa holidays in the Balearics! Not to mention the pool view from Villa El Zafiro, which beautifully compliments the secluded paradisal atmosphere. With the main house and guest house combined, this luxury villa in Ibiza sleeps 12 guests across 6 bedrooms.

When you’re not sampling the local Hierbas liqueur at Ibiza’s beach bars, food is the star of the show. One of the most famous fine-dining restaurants in Ibiza is La Gaia, led by Oscar Molina. Championing environmental responsibility, this Michelin-starred restaurant aims to “transcend gastronomy” with a “blend of haute cuisine and artistic expression”. Seeking something a little lighter? Junglebowls offers a playful and healthy fusion lunch spot, with photo-worthy décor and a fantastic seafront location.

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For the ultimate summer villa holiday, do consider our luxury self catering villas in Europe. Opulence and freedom come together at a self catered villa. For many, food is the best way to discover a destination’s unique heart. Luxury self catering villas offer that opportunity; relax in style during the day, and try the best restaurants in Europe every evening.

If you’re interested in booking a self catered villa holiday in Europe, our Travel Advisors are ready to help. Give us a call on +44 (0)1202 203656 or send us an email. Be sure to keep up to date with our InstagramFacebook, and other blog posts for more inspiration.