Top ten holiday destinations around the world

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Photo: Montuno, Pantano de Río Verde, Espagne

Malta, Spain
This small Mediterranean island nation just off the Italian coast offers quiet retreats and a laidback lifestyle. Its other major draws are easy access from most European cities and a sunny climate. Because it is so small, everything is also within easy access. The residential market offers both a lot of highend and luxury properties as well as more modest traditional farmhouses. One in three buyers here are foreign and the region is particularly popular with Britons. English is both widely spoken and an official language.

Tarn, France
Named after the Tarn River, this coastal area in southern France offers breathtaking sights and picturesque villages. With easy access from Toulouse, it has long been a popular tourist destination. It is the oldest wine-producing region in France and offers plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities such as canoeing and kayaking. The Tarn region has long had a stable realm estate market with accommodation for every need and taste, and vacation home-hunters can be sure to make a solid investment.

Bodrum region, Turkey
This region known as the ‘Turkish St. Tropez’ has a splendid coastline that seems to go on and on. Vacation-home hunters have flocked here for the beautiful beaches with crystal-clear water, the shop-lined streets, historical attractions and panoramic scenery. The Bodrum region has long been a prime holiday-home destination, with most buyers from Germany, Ireland and the U.K.

Marbella, Spain
Vacation home buyers looking for luxury and comfort can be sure to find something to suit them in this coastal city between the Sierra Blanca and the Mediterranean. Famed for its fine beaches, five-star restaurants and many golf clubs, this area of the Costa del Sol is very much an exclusive destination offering a vibrant, international scene. As a second-home destination, Marbella is particularly popular with northern Europeans. The market includes everything from colonialstyle mansions to more modern beachfront homes.

Tuscany, Italy
With its rolling hills, rustic farmhouses, tiny historic towns and great food, this sun-baked region offers the very best of the Italian countryside. It also boasts many famous wineries, protected nature reserves and Unesco World Heritage sites. Tuscany has long been a top second-home destination for those who are drawn by the particular pleasures of la dolce vita. About half of the vacation homes here are sold to foreigners, primarily British, German and Dutch.