For those whose idea of a perfect getaway involves ample space, tranquility, and the feeling of a home away from home, there’s nothing quite like renting out a luxurious villa. Self-contained and able to host entire families, couples or groups of friends, such properties provide a holiday in of themselves. Of course, Portugal has many to choose from – you need only decide on the what and the where. Here are some of the best.

Casa Na Areia, Comporta

An hour south of Lisbon sits Comporta: a picturesque village flanked by white sand beaches and aqueous rice fields. It’s here that you’ll find Casa Na Areia, a unique villa that lives up to its name (literally “House in the Sand”) and does so with stunning effect. Designed by architect Manuel Aires Mateus this much-acclaimed project features two houses made from wood and reeds and two constructed in white concrete – all with rustic thatched roofs. Guests can dine in a beautifully decorated living room with sand floors. If you cherish the act of kicking off your shoes and feeling the sand between your toes, you’ll adore Casa Na Areia. It may just be one of the few places you can do it in the comfort of home – a temporary home though it may be.

Casa Alegre Vista, Alcalar

Up to 8 people at a time can find retreat at the luxurious Casa Alegre in Alcalar in Portugal’s south. The spacious living room, four large double bedrooms and four bathrooms are decorated in an eclectic mix of French, Moroccan and Balinese furnishings, creating a mood of warmth and comfort rather than cold uniformity. Outside, a covered terrace overlooks the sparkling blue swimming pool and beyond, with views of the Monchique mountains. Casa Alegre also has everything you’d need for a self-sufficient and self-contained break: wifi, a laundry room with washing machine, kitchen with triple fridge and freezer, and entertainment area with flat screen TV and DVD player. You’d almost never have to leave – and most likely wouldn’t want to.

Casas Caiadas, Alentejo

Not all luxury villas in Portugal need to be at or near to the ocean: there’s more than enough beauty to be found inland. Luxury villas in the Alentejo region can offer tranquility, untouched nature, and breathtaking landscapes smattered with olive and cork trees.  Casas Caiadas is one such place that aims to take visitors away from it all. The property is comprised of three houses for rental to up to 8 people – the largest of the three featuring a terrace that connects to the swimming pool, a 70 square meter living and dining area, and a fully equipped kitchen. At the request of the guests a local chef can also be brought in to prepare gourmet meals. In a historic space that mixes traditional Portuguese elements with modern amenities, villas like Casas Caiadas are a perfect way to experience the magic of Alentejo.

Casa Abelha, Loulé

Located in Loulé in the southern Portuguese district of Faro, Casa Abelha is a four-bedroom villa with balconies overlooking the sweeping Algarve countryside. The house itself has been lovingly restored by the owners and now marries traditional details with modern comforts. Terracotta floors and fresh bright walls, for example, give the place a light, bright, and airy feel. Far removed from the bustle of city life, this villa is ideal for relaxing and enjoying the company of friends: those who stay can take advantage of a 12×6 meter infinity pool, sun lounges, outdoor balcony dining, and barbecue area.

You know sometimes, you just have to do it in style!