Monthly Archives: September 2019

Protect Your Skin Against Harmful Rays

The truth about aftersun

When we make our plans for a sunny holiday, most of us have a bottle of aftersun high on the ‘must buy’ list.

Although awareness of the damage caused by UV rays has grown significantly over the last few years, dermatologists are concerned that we still misunderstand the role of aftersun.

Many sun bathers still believe that aftersun can reverse the damaging effect of the sun’s rays. But doctors want to holidaymakers to understand that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest this is true. Aftersun has no ‘repairing ‘effect’ or restorative qualities.

In reality, the sun’s rays cause damage by mutating the skins DNA. There is no way that a cream can reverse this damage.

Although aftersun can cool, moisturise and sooth your skin, It will NOT protect your from the effects of harmful rays and it will NOT reverse the effects of sun damage

To protect you skin effectively, Dermatologists strongly recommend that sun worshippers follow these simple guidelines:

  • Apply sunscreen on every day that you intend to be in the sun. Or may end up in the sun.

  • Make sure you apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure to the sun.

  • Top up or reapply every two hours after that.

  • Always reapply after you have been in the water. Even if you are using water resistant sunscreen.

  • Don’t forget all the hard to reach and easy to forget areas like feet, ears, back of your neck etc.

  • Stay with the higher factor. Do not be tempted to use a lower SPF factor or to reduce the amount you apply as you start to tan.

  • Cover up or head for the shade during the hottest times of the day.

  • Apply lip balm with high factor sun protection.

  • Always used category 3 sunglasses which block out the harmful UV rays.

Surfs up In Western Algarve.

Next summer brings with it the World’s biggest sporting spectacle.  The Tokyo Olympics.
For the first time, surfing will be on the list of Olympic events, showcasing an exciting, fast-growing sport which carries with it a long cultural, musical and spiritual heritage. The increase in exposure will no doubt bring a boost in interest in this unique sport.

For those based in the UK, who would like to learn to surf, there is an increasing array of locations and options on offer. But in a similar way to skiing, few destinations offer consistent or predictable conditions. In order to maximise the potential of your surf holiday, you’ll need to choose wisely. From absolute beginner to seasoned veteran, The Algarve makes an excellent choice for surfers of all levels and is a destination that attracts surfers from all over the world. Here are just a few of the reasons why it is so popular with surfers.

Guaranteed Waves In The Algarve.

Situated on the Atlantic coast, The Algarve can boast good waves almost every day of the year.

The Portuguese tourist Authority are so confident in that claim, they even offer free holidays for surfers who failed to find waves of more than 50 centimetres on 3 consecutive days, on one of the 28 listed beaches.

The Algarve’s Beautiful Water

The water in the Algarve is clear, blue and beautiful. Although the water temperature varies throughout the year, even in winter it is comfortably warm in a wetsuit.

A Massive Choice Of Beaches

The Algarve offers a massive range of beaches. Each one with its own benefits and characteristics, which allows you to choose a surf venue that suits your aspirations perfectly

If you book with a surf school, coach or guide, they will always advise you on the best beach for the conditions and your level of ability.

family surfing in the algarve

Year Round Warmth

Even in winter, the weather is similar to British spring temperatures, making it perfect for surfing. Surfing is possible all year round, although many surf schools close in January and February.  Whether you choose to enjoy the heat of the summer sun, or the excitement of the winter waves, you will always need to pack plenty of sunscreen.

The Algarve’s Welcoming Culture

Lovely people and a community that is always child friendly and a rich and fascinating culture, all combined with great food and wine.  Which all goes together to make the perfect active holiday.

surfing in the algarve

Surf Lessons, Courses Or Holidays

Villa Retreat’s partner organisation,  Watersmile can arrange surf lessons or individual coaching with surf board hire for any number of days during your holiday. There are also options for family days out or multi-day family surf holidays.

For Villa Retreats customers, simply mention “Villa Retreats” to Mauro who runs the company and you will receive a 10% discount on your surf booking.

Aside from surfing they offer other exciting water base activities including Stand Up Paddleboarding, Kaykaing and Coasteering.

Check out WaterSmile’s website here:

Here are a few photos from Water Smile’s’ Surf School

Whether you choose to enroll on a surfing course or just add a day of surfing to your holiday, we have a number of villas in this area which would make the perfect base.

Check them out here:

Mykonos In The Autumn Sun

What’s So Special About Mykonos?

Billed as a liberal blend of St Tropez and Ibiza, Mykonos has a glamorous image and has been an A-listers playground many years. But what else does this beautiful Island have to offer and why should you pay a visit?

Sizzling Hot Weather

If you like it hot, you will love Mykonos. Whilst it is scorching in the summer. The temperature stays warm all year round with September and October throwing up some wonderful late-season weather.

October Sun In Mykonos

Beautiful white washed walls

The Iconic, white washed towns and villages on Mykonos feel as if  they have been plucked from picture postcards. These idyllic streets make a tranquil and romantic backdrop to any holiday and provide endless photographic opportunities.

Whait washed walls of Sardinia

Food Glorious Food

Whether you are looking for local authenticity or upmarket elegance, the restaurants on Mykonos will not disappoint. Seafood is a specialty with the octopus often topping the list of chef’s special dishes.

Beacehs in Mykonos

Beaches Galore

The beaches in Mykonos are as plentiful as they are beautiful. There are lots of them and there really is something for everyone.

For a more family orientated beach, head for Ornos, which has a fanstastic range of restaurants and bars nearby. The shallow water and usually calm sea makes this an ideal choice for families with young children.

If you’d rather dance than dig sand castles, beaches like Paradise and Super Paradise, are in full swing from four in the afternoon with parties every day.
In peak-season you can expect the parties to last until daybreak and to attract some of the world’s top DJs.



With warm, blue water at every turn, golden beaches and rugged mountains at your disposal, this island is an outdoor playground waiting to be explored. Sailing, windsurfing kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, snorkelling, diving, cycling and hiking are all easily available and within easy reach wherever you decide to stay on Mykonos.

For a special adventure try splashing through the waves on horseback on a beachside horse riding trip or mountain biking through the vineyards on a guided cycling tour.

Mykonos In The Autumn Sun

History and Heritage

This island is rich with culture and history. The architecture in the villages is a sheer joy to behold and the churches are utterly fascinating. The Aegean Maritime Museum and the Folk Museum of Mykonos provide a deep insight into Greek heritage and the Archaeological Museum has a breath-taking display of ancient jewellery including pieces dating back to 6,000 BC.

Retail Therapy

The shopping on Mykonos is simply endless. With chic, cave-like boutiques and high-end fashion shops tucked away in every corner, this is retail heaven. The clothing and jewellery  stores stay open until midnight and offer a truly captivating experience for the style-conscious shopper.

shopping in mykonos

Glamour On A Budget

In stark contradiction to its upmarket, glamorous image, Mykonos can be a very affordable destination. During the late season including September and October, Travel costs can be significantly reduced.

Luxury Accommodation

This sophisticated island oozes style and this is reflected in the villas on offer.

We have a range of jaw-dropping, opulent villas which can turn your trip into a relaxing, stylish dream-holiday.

Here are a few examples:

Mykonos Villas For 2 Guests

Mykonos Villas For 4 Guests

Mykonos Villas for 6 Guests

Mykonos Villas for 8 Guests





Villa Holidays in Sardinia

8 Good Reasons To Visit Sardinia In The Late Season

If you’re looking for a late break in September or October, Sardinia is a tough choice to beat. Here are just a few of the benefits this late-season paradise has to offer.

  1. It’s still Lovely And Warm

    Late season temperature ranges between 27 and 23 degrees at this time of year which is warm enough for the pool or the beach but also not too hot for walking or other activities.

  2. Everything is Quieter

    The villages and beaches are quieter at this time of year and the type of visitor can be a little quieter too. Things have slowed down a little and there should be increased availability in restaurants, bars, cafes and other facilities.

    Sardinia In September

  3. The Sea Is At Its Best

    Having warmed up through the hottest months, the sea is at its warmest in the late season. Snorkelers and divers will be able to enjoy the improved visibility which comes with the late season and benefit from the warmer water.

  4. The Roads Are Quiet

    If you choose to hire a car, the roads should be nice and quiet, making getting around much more straightforward. Parking can be much easier and often care-hire rates can be significantly more affordable than during the peak season.

  5. The Perfect Time For Young Children

    For families with pre-school children, this can be a great time to visit. The sun is not as powerful (although you should always use high factor sunscreen) and the water is warmer, making it even more fun for children.

    Evening In a Luxury Villa in Sardinia

  6. Cooler Evenings

    The evenings are cooler and it goes darker earlier, making sleeping, or even just snuggling up, altogether more appealing.

  7. Flights Can be More Affordable

    Off peak times often lead to more affordable flight costs. Whilst this can’t always be guaranteed, it is well worth exploring carefully to find the best deals on offer.

  8. The Food Festival Season

    Many of the island’s Food and Drink festivals are in September and October which can be an absolute cultural delight for foodies.

    Sardinia in October We have a number of Villas with late availability during this years’ late season. Why not grab yourself a last minute bargain and jet off for Sardinia to enjoy some late sun.

Check out our villas in Sardinia here