With news international travel may resume in time for a sunny escape, Sarah Marshall recommends the top private holiday stays.

It felt like it might never happen, but finally foreign travel can once again become more than just a distant fantasy. Soon after the roadmap to recovery was announced, agents have reported a flood of holiday enquiries, with villa bookings proving most popular.

As bookings come in thick and fast, here are some of the fantastic properties still available…

Villa Baroniblei, Sicily, Italy

According to Massimo Villas, which specialises in Italy, sexy, modern spaces with up-to-date tech are in vogue. Wifi, in particular, is a priority request, especially for a new breed of digital nomads looking to combine work and play, booking stays of up to eight weeks.

A Bond-esque beauty wrapped by the sandy beaches of east Sicily, four-bedroom property Villa Baroniblei is a perfect embodiment of the new trend. Low-lying and angular, it’s an architectural treat. Aquamarine tiles match the seascape, while floating beds conjure up a fantasy escape.

How: A seven-night stay costs from £415pp (10 sharing), excluding flights. Visit massimovillas.com or call 020 3529 8773.

Le Mas des Chenes Verts, Provence, France

As families seek to reconnect with one another, demand for large villas has been high, according to Abercrombie & Kent’s specialist villa division. A grand French farmhouse with modern trims, this six en-suite bedroom house is the fit for a multi-generational summer break.

Sleeping areas have a touch of Regency style, while an open-plan kitchen and dining room invite family get-togethers. Outside, meals can be taken on north or south facing verandas with views of the Luberon Valley and Mont Ventoux, and there’s a semi-covered space for barbecues next to the pool.

How: A seven-night stay in June costs from £1,025pp (12 sharing), excluding flights. Visit akvillas.com or call 01242 547 705.

Villa Isidora, Crete, Greece

Since Greek tourism minister Haris Theoharis announced vaccinated Brits will be able to travel to Greece without the need to self-isolate, interest in the destination has shot up.

Simpson Travel recommend Villa Isidora, a three en-suite bedroom property on the rugged far eastern side of Crete. Ideal for families with older children, the contemporary property is decorated in coastal colours and has a pool and a gym.

It overlooks low-key town Sita, where pretty tavernas line the seafront. Backed by the only palm tree forest in Europe, beautiful beach Vai is a 30-minute drive away.

How: A seven-night stay costs from £795pp (six sharing), travelling on May 25, including flights and car hire. Visit simpsontravel.com or call 020 8003 6557.

Villa Kalypso, Kefalonia, Greece

Making up for lost time, many people are booking longer than usual stays this summer. Paul Fogg, managing director of Freelance Villas, reports their average bookings are for 16 nights.

Accessible with direct flights from the UK, Kefalonia is proving to be popular. Fogg recommends three-bedroom Villa Kalypso, brand new to the market, near Spartia on the south coast. Located at the foot of the headland, a fixed ladder leads to the water and one best snorkelling sites in the Ionian Sea.

With no through-road and no tavernas, there are very few day-trippers, making this is one of the quietest corners of the island.

How: A seven-night stay in shoulder season starts from £225pp (six sharing), excluding flights. Visit freelancevillas.com or call 01789 297 705.

Casa Majada, Ronda, Spain

With a number of holidays rolled over from last year, many villas are already taken for key periods. Victoria Hooberman, founder of luxury villa company Scott Williams, says July is the busiest month, although unusually, August has more availability, as many of those holidays took place last year.

Properties new to the market are more likely to have space, such as Casa Majada, a finca renovated by a renowned Spanish architect.

Two of the four en-suite bedrooms open onto an inner courtyard covered by trellises with vines. The addition of a pool, pizza oven and barbecue mean there’s little reason to venture far, although anyone seeking a cultural fix can visit Seville, Cordoba or Granada, an hour’s drive away.

How: A seven-night stay costs from £1,000pp (eight sharing), excluding flights. Visit scottwilliams.co.uk or call 01749 812 721.

La Poderina, Siena, Italy

Celebrity holiday fixer and Italy specialist Merrion Charles, who counts Jude Law and Stella McCartney among her A-list clients, has seen an increase in the number of people wanting to stay outside cities in remote pockets – but still be within reach of restaurants and culture.

She recommends classic Tuscan villa La Poderina, a revamped ruin surrounded by olive groves, only 5km from Siena, and also within easy reach of several small villages.

Sleeping 10, the property has a pool, wine cellar, orchard, pizza oven, cook service and daily housekeeping. Any excess calories can be worked off in a gym with Pilates reformer set-up, and in-house yoga.

How: A seven-night stay costs from £893pp (10 sharing), excluding flights. Visit merrioncharles.com or call +39 0585 92098.