Do you want to get away from it all? From Lucca to the Loire, we pick dream homes for sale this Christmas.
Now’s the time of year to look overseas for brighter skies – and maybe somewhere to put down some roots. Whether you prefer sun or snow, here are our top locations that will help you escape the dreary weather this festive season.
Loire, France £1.9m
This fairy-tale chateau near Tours sits in 46 acres of woodland and terraced gardens, with a pretty gatehouse. Plenty of space to work off the after-dinner festive fug. The grand reception rooms are crying out for a large house party and there are 11 bedrooms to cater for all your guests.
Lucca, Tuscany, Italy POA
If you’re stuck for Christmas present ideas, this property would solve your problem. It produces organic wine and olive oil from its 50 acres of land. But, better than that, its gardens are among the 100 top gardens in the world. Santa can even have his own grotto here – there’s a 16th century one with gargoyles spraying water into a pool. The main villa has two bedrooms, and there’s a guest villa and a caretaker’s house, too.
Morillon, Haute Savoie, France £2.12m
If your idea of Christmas involves powdery snow and sleigh bells, what better place to get away from it all than the Alps? This little village has good slopes for beginners and links to the huge ski area of the Grand Massif. It’s easy to get to the other, livelier resorts which have great shops and restaurants. This eight-bedroom chalet sits at the bottom of one of the 69 ski lifts and the living space has plenty of headroom for a big Christmas tree.
Naples, Florida, USA £580,000 - £1.3m
Naples, on the Sunshine State’s west coast, is famous for its powdery white sand, shops and sunny weather. This beach community offers a choice of new-build villas in a luxury gated development. The country club facilities extend to two championship golf courses, swimming pools, tennis courts, a fitness centre and spa. The villas come with many design options and finishes. There’s even a chimney for Santa.
Roquebrune Cap Martin, Cote d’Azur, France £6.5m
If your Christmas involves heavy entertaining, this fabulous modern villa has stunning views over the Med, yet is close enough to the Alps for winter sports at most times of year. As well as four en-suite bedrooms, there’s a separate apartment and parking for eight cars. Just along the bay is glittering Monte Carlo, which sparkles even more at Christmas.
Nr Maussane, Les Alpilles, France £1.8m
Arles celebrates Christmas in an unusual style with its Droles de Noels (Funny Christmas). Street artists, circus acts, puppeteers and magicians perform all over the city. There’s a more conventional crafts market, too, and Aix en Provence and Avignon both have pretty lights, festive stalls and plenty of entertainment. This 17th century farmhouse is an amalgamation of three buildings that interconnect and can be used separately or together. Double height ceilings make huge Christmas trees essential and the reception rooms have large stone fireplaces.
Estepona, Spain £10.8m
This country villa is totally secluded yet just 15 minutes from the luxury marina at Puerto Banus and 3km from the coast. Its Moorish serenity is matched by its fine finishes and glorious gardens. Puerto Banus is a gem on the Costa del Sol, full of restaurants and shops. The Spaniards love Christmas and celebrate for a full fortnight, with processions, fiestas and family fun.
Lucca, Tuscany, Italy £1.3m
Just 30 minutes from Pisa airport, this elegant villa sits in the hills above Lucca. This charming walled city sports a skating rink in the Piazza Napoleone, along with illuminations and traditional Christmas stalls, which are open until January 9. The property has great views, six bedrooms and four reception rooms, as well as a decent kitchen if you prefer to cook your own festive meals.