When the weather starts to heat up, everyone's thoughts turn to escaping their home city for an idyllic break in a sunlit land. If you're looking for the holiday of a lifetime, consider our E&V selection of four locations that stand out as some of the most desirable holiday destinations for travellers. Each one combines an area of outstanding natural beauty with the world's finest restaurants, astonishing historic sights and captivating wildlife - as well as some sought-after luxury real estate.
Lake Como, Italy
The tranquil waters of Lake Como lie surrounded by mountains at the heart of the Italian Lake District. The area has played host to the nation's elite since the days of the Roman Empire, and with numerous celebrities listed among its summertime residents, its popularity shows no signs of diminishing. The best way to explore the local towns and villages is to join one of the regular cruises, which depart from picturesque Bellagio, or to charter your own yacht. The hamlet of Nesso, with its stone churches and stunning waterfall, is still a well-kept secret and constitutes the ideal stop-off between Como and Bellagio. The winding alleyways of Varenna also provide a welcome escape from the crowds, leading visitors down towards gourmet cuisine and waterfront views at Ristorante Vecchia Varenna. If your holidays aren't complete without a shopping trip, the charming market by the mediaeval walls of Como is a treasure trove of fresh Mediterranean food and local products.
If you like the view in the picture, take a look at the charming Italian villa overlooking Lake Como.
In sun-soaked Athens, the hilltop Acropolis stands as an evocative remnant of one of the definitive epochs of western civilisation. This remarkable citadel rises above the forest-covered Hill of the Nymphs and overlooks the historic city in its entirety. Immediately below the Acropolis, travellers can immerse themselves in Greek history and culture at the Herodes Atticus theatre, a huge amphitheatre that dates back to the second century. The Athens Art Festival is held here annually, along with regular performances of ancient tragedies.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Often described as Africa's economic powerhouse, Johannesburg is the cultural epicentre of vibrant South Africa. Amidst a packed landscape of iconic skyscrapers, visitors can wander past some of the tallest structures on the entire continent, including the Sentech Tower, Hillbrow Tower and Ponte City Apartments, all situated around the business district. The Carlton Centre observation deck offers panoramic views of the skyline, while the Africa Museum provides fascinating insights into the cultural fabric of the continent. Adventure seekers should head northwest to Kruger National Park for an exclusive safari, followed by an opulent stay in a luxury lodge.
California, United States
With Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the exclusive beaches of Orange County all within a few hours’ drive of each other, southern California is a truly irresistible destination. Start your visit in the City of Angels, take a roadtrip along the coastline, then sail over to Catalina Island for some well-earned relaxation. Unwind with a glass of champagne at a coastal bar before taking a trip to Catalina Island Conservancy, a rich nature reserve that can be explored by boat, jeep, or even private airplane.
With shops in Cernobbio, Athens, Rhodes, Los Angeles, Westlake Village, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and all over South Africa, Engel & Völkers are ideally situated to help you find a holiday home in one of these exclusive holiday destinations. Visit our website for more information.