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The best travel experiences for wine lovers in Europe and South Africa

With the recent rise of duty tax on alcohol in the UK, wine lovers will now be feeling the pinch when it comes to sampling their favourite vintages at home. However, with the weather continuing to be unpredictable this summer with more rain than blue skies, there’s no better time to combine the search for sunshine with a vineyard experience, swapping the British pub for the destinations from which these delicious wines originate.

With experiential travel maintaining momentum, and guests booking hyper-localised experiences when on holiday, more and more people are looking to delve further into a destination to discover more about a place than just its beaches.

For many travellers, this may now include discovering new wines and venturing on a behind-the-scenes look at how their preferred tipples are created. Family run villa specialist The Luxury Travel Book has a selection of unique villas set within these stunning vineyards. From European escapes such as Portugal and Greece to the more far-flung reaches of the Western Cape, these vineyard properties allow for guests to ditch the import taxes and experience these wines first-hand. Wine lovers can leave the supermarket wine aisle and head to the aisles of the vineyards at these stunning properties.

Franschhoek Residence, Cape Winelands, South Africa, 12 guests, 6 bedrooms

A luxury villa rental located at the foot of the Simonsberg mountains in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Franschhoek Residence was built in 2009 as the owner’s family home, with the farm dating back to 1688, blending history as well as French and African contemporary aesthetics. The property is surrounded by vineyards, weeping willows and a scenic dam, showcasing incredible views of the Franschhoek mountains in the distance. The villa embodies a feeling of homeliness while on vacation.

A magnificently comfortable 6 bedroom home with modern amenities, luxury facilities and state-of-the-art technology, Franschhoek Residence is ideal for a family or a group looking to relax and spend time together. It lends itself equally well to summer months, with a large pool and air conditioning and under-floor heating and a large wood burning fireplace in the colder months.

The luxury villa also boasts a private gym, equipped with a treadmill, exercise bike and weights as well as a treatment room with 2 massage beds, where a therapist can be arranged to provide massages and beauty treatments, this space also lends itself well to yoga sessions. For little ones, there is a welcoming playground area and expansive grounds for kids to enjoy.

Pyrgos Vineyard Villa, Santorini, Greece, 16 guests, 8 bedrooms

The Pyrgos Vineyard luxury villa is situated in the traditional village of Pyrgos in Santorini. Lying on a gentle slope and surrounded by vineyards, the property faces southwest with views over the winery and sea beyond.

The property has three different parts – a main villa with four bedrooms, an adjacent guest house with three bedrooms, and an exclusive studio with one bedroom, and the property can be rented with either use of the 4, 7 or 8 bedrooms.

Blending into its surroundings, the villa features earth-toned plaster the exterior walls, as well as the floors, enabling a cool temperature throughout. White plaster and white mosaic has also been used for interior surfaces, while natural wood and marble have been used for both interior and exterior furniture, showcasing a sleek and elegant look. Mediterranean plants and cacti complement the integration of the building with the surrounding Grecian landscape. There is a swimming pool and large exterior sea view terrace, with multiple levels equipped with loungers, sunbeds, large cushions and an outdoor shaded dining area.

Rio Torto, Douro Valley, Portugal, 12 guests, 5 bedrooms

From its location at the heart of the Douro World Heritage Site in Portugal, this luxury villa is available for guests to rent in the Douro Valley. Situated on an organic vineyard estate and producing a vast selection of premium wine, it is located on a high plateau on the banks of the river Rio Torto, a tributary that runs south of the Douro River.

Over 100 years old, the villa has been recently renovated and offers the perfect relaxing retreat for a family or group of friends to enjoy the sunshine, as well as indulge in some of Portugal’s best food and wine. Being a wine producing estate, the rental of the luxury villa in the Douro Valley includes a guided tour of the winery, as well as a tasting. The estate also produces olive oil for guests to enjoy during their stay, as well as fruit trees, with delicious seasonal fresh fruit such as cherries, figs, damsons, peaches, apples, pears, oranges and lemons.

The very well-equipped and comfortable interiors opens onto a vine-covered pergola area for outdoor dining with a barbecue. It also features an expansive swimming pool, as well as a table tennis and a football table.

About The Luxury Travel Book

The Luxury Travel Book is a family run business providing villa rentals and premium city apartments in the world’s most desirable destinations. From UK staycation properties to incredible villas across Europe including Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Croatia and Portugal, to further flung winter sun destinations, South Africa and Sri Lanka. With exclusive concierge services available, The Luxury Travel Book can help plan weddings, arrange private jet travel and create impressive bespoke itineraries featuring the destination’s most unique experiences. For more information, please visit https://theluxurytravelbook.com/.