Picture the perfect vacation spot, and what do you see? Chances are if you love laid-back luxury, it is sun-kissed Sicily, just off the south coast of boot-shaped Italy.

Boasting everything from beguiling Baroque towns and monumental architecture to golden soft-sand beaches and acres of picturesque vineyards, the Italian island of Sicily is a real Mecca for luxury travelers, high-profile vacationers, beach lovers as well as everyone in between.

Whether you are looking for an intimate getaway with loved ones, or a light, warm, and inviting space to enjoy with a group of friends, you can never go wrong with a week or two in a self-catering holiday home in sunny Sicily. Below, we have picked seven of the finest villas available across the island, so you can get an idea of where your next dream vacation will be.

Essence, Menfi-Porto Palo, south-western Sicily Villa

Essence, Menfi-Porto Palo, south-western Sicily

Located in Menfi-Porto Palo, in the heart of southwest Sicily’s pristine coastal landscape, Essence is like a window to paradise. Designed for lovers of contemporary living, this exquisite three-bedroom modernist villa offers a seductive blend of sophisticated luxury, stunning interior decor, and spellbinding views of the sea and the verdant vineyards.

With its contemporary design, state-of-the-art amenities, billiard table, super-fast Wi-Fi, and 20×40 foot pool surrounded by lush palm trees, Essence is a top range luxury villa that lacks for nothing.

A short drive west is the picture-perfect, never-busy blue-flag Porto Palo beach. To the east is the five-star Verdura Golf and Spa Resort, the largest elite golfing venue in the south of Italy.

Villa Acropolis, Selinunte, south-western Sicily

Villa Acropolis, Selinunte, south-western Sicily

Immersed in perfectly-manicured gardens, Villa Acropolis has just about everything you could desire from a holiday home in Sicily. Its combination of comfortable, homely interiors, postcard-worthy views, sea-facing terraces, and a vast, inviting 20×40 foot swimming pool makes for an extremely relaxing holiday experience.

If you can tear yourself up from your fancy sun lounger, the Selinunte Archaeological Park is just down the road… Sitting on a high plain overlooking the crystal azure sea, it is the largest archaeological site in Europe, with some of the best-preserved remnants of the Greek empire.

Aquamarine Villa, Palermo, West Sicily

Aquamarine, Palermo, West Sicily

If proximity to the beach is your primary concern, look no further than Aquamarine. This exclusive beach villa is a shell’s throw from the shimmering azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Located in Palermo, the capital of the Italian island of Sicily, Aquamarine is a chic, luminous three-bedroom villa that can house up to six guests.

Modern comfort, coupled with a peaceful ambiance and direct access to the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean Sea, make this an ideal choice for fun and relaxing break in the sun. An easy path leads from the garden gate down to a rocky beach and the crystal clear waters beyond.

Villa Perla, Castellammare del Golfo, north-western Sicily

Villa Perla, Castellammare del Golfo, north-western Sicily

Ideally located for discovering all that north-west Sicily has to offer, Villa Perla offers the privacy, flexibility, and comfort of a private rental, within a short walk of the excellent fish restaurants, sugar-sand beaches and gentle bustle of the historic town of Castellammare del Golfo, in the province of Trapani.

Ideal for a family stay, this spacious four-bedroom vacation home exudes casual elegance. It offers guests an inviting 16×36 foot pool, a barbecue pit for BBQ parties, satellite TV, and a table tennis table for the kids to enjoy.

Seven Islands Villa, Marsala, West Sicily

Seven Islands, Marsala, West Sicily

Luxury knows no bounds at Seven Islands, a top-of-the-range sea-view villa, set in a privileged, panoramic position that is hard to match.

Named after the little islands it overlooks, this five-bedroom ultra-luxe villa capitalizes on its prime location with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and easy access to a dreamy sea-facing terrace. Add to this a cozy, wooden sauna, spacious, light-filled interiors and a large, panoramic pool with awe-inspiring views of the Egadi archipelago, and one quickly realizes that Seven Islands is an ideal retreat for those who love harmonious, high-end luxury.

It is an atmosphere made for lingering, and the spectacular panoramic views of the Egadi Islands, scattered like the petals of a flower in the wind, will soothe you. Just a few miles away is the charming Baroque town of Marsala, known for its richly colored fortified wine.

La Casuzza Villa, Scicli, East Sicily

La Casuzza, Scicli, East Sicily

Utterly charming in every way, La Casazza is a lovingly restored, beautifully appointed villa offering the perfect base from which to explore the UNESCO-listed Baroque towns of south-east Sicily.

The authentic spirit of this typical Sicilian mansion blends harmoniously with luxurious design details. Interiors have vintage and contemporary furniture, and there’s room for six guests across the property. Beautiful views of the undulating hills carpeted with carob and olive trees down to the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea abound.

Head a few miles east, and you will arrive at the fabled town of Scicli (pronounced sheek-ly), a Baroque jewel rather off-the-beaten-track compared with its more famous neighbors Noto, Ragusa, Modica, and Catania.

Villa Le Cicale, Menfi-Porto Palo, south-western Sicily

Villa Le Cicale, Menfi-Porto Palo, south-western Sicily

From the minute you arrive, Villa Le Cicale takes your breath away. We could write paragraphs on the to-die-for views of the lush vineyards of world-renowned producer Planeta tumbling down to the glistening Mediterranean from this luxury retreat, and even more on its refined interiors furnished with luxurious facilities.

Designed to make the most of its far-reaching views, this romantically vine-shrouded, four-bedroom villa encapsulates all that is desirable in a summer house: lots of light, dream-come-true amenities, a fabulous swimming pool and an abundance of outdoor space.

All of these villas in Sicily by the sea are available for rent through Select Sicily, a vacation-rental company based in Castelvetrano, in the province of Trapani. Dreaming of having a beach villa all to yourself? Visit the company’s website www.selectsicilyvillas.com.