Out of Florida’s famous Ten Thousand Islands, one shines brightest. Marco Island is the largest and only island on Florida's Paradise Coast that boasts luxury resorts, untouched beaches and a tonne of activities perfect for a sun-soaked holiday.
A year-round destination, Marco Island is an ideal base for visiting the fun downtown area of nearby Naples for shopping, restaurants and nightlife, or for a trip out to the stunning Everglades - all while returning to postcard-perfect island life.
Despite being just 24 square miles, there’s an array of beautiful places to stay on Marco Island, and where better to slip into tranquillity than from the comfort and convenience of a Marco Island villa...
Popular Marco Island Villa Communities
Swaying palm trees, soft white sand and luxury amenities come as standard in all of the most popular Marco Island resorts and communities, so if you’re searching for villas to rent in Marco Island for a Florida holiday then look no further.
The Hideaway Beach Club
Although its name is Hideaway Beach Club
, this modern community on the northern stretch of Marco Island is so much more than just a club. Aptly named, it holds its own slice of paradise overlooking the crystalline waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Coconut Island out to sea. Covering 300 acres, the gated community offers one of the finest selections of condos, houses and villas on Marco Island, which come fully kitted out with living, dining and outdoor space, plus private parking.
Within the area, winding boardwalks lead to sparkling lagoons and a private beach lined with chickee huts, where you can spot dolphins splashing in the waves. Hideaway Beach Club also offers its own Sports Centre, with a selection of courts, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a nine-hole Golf Club. That’s on top of the swimming pool, spa and beachfront Clubhouse restaurant and bar, where you can sip smoothies in the sunshine.
Marco Island Lakeside Inn
Set inland from the beach, Marco Island Lakeside Inn
lies on the island’s only freshwater lake, meaning lakeshore views and the nearby beaches are on the doorstep. Its location trumps many beachfront properties thanks to its proximity to restaurants, galleries, shops and marinas, and at only 20 minutes from Naples, it’s just the spot for those keen to explore the area. Their 25 spacious Marco Island villas and rooms include 1-bedroom suites and homely poolside studios with kitchen, living and outdoor spaces.
While staying here, guests can look forward to a heated swimming pool, private lakefront beach and landscaped grounds - although each residence has a sun-drenched porch, balcony or veranda if you’d rather not stray too far. Marco Island Lakeside Inn is brimming with charming decor and plentiful amenities in a prime yet peaceful location.
Tigertail Beachfront Villas
Tigertail Beach is arguably one of Florida’s most spectacular, wild and undisturbed beaches. A swathe of white sand, this Collier County park is a haven for relaxation, fishing, exploring tidal pools and catching dreamy sunsets. Its protected status along with its jaw-dropping beauty makes the surrounding area a popular residential area, with many of the best Marco Island villas on the beach being luxe private rentals.
Expect expansive one-storey villas that can accommodate large families, offering private, shady swimming pools, conservatories and lush green gardens just a short stroll from the beach. The most popular properties have waterfront views, outdoor dining space and all the mod-cons. The added benefit of privately owned villas lies in the local knowledge, stocked fridges and homely decor provided, just a few short minutes away from the water sports, wildlife and natural beauty of Tigertail Beach.
Eagle’s Nest Beach Resort
Hilton is synonymous with luxury and they know exactly how to do high-end private villas on Marco Island. Sitting virtually on the golden sands of Marco Beach, Eagle’s Nest Beach Resort’s
red clay roofs, ocean views and Mediterranean architecture is like a European escape on the Florida coast. The one and two-bed timeshare suites at Eagle’s Nest Beach Resort can sleep up to six people, and come with balconies, ensuite bathrooms, spacious living and dining areas and a fully-equipped kitchen.
Also amongst the beautifully manicured gardens is a private resort-style pool, fitness centre and kids recreation programme, along with tennis, pickleball, racquetball and basketball courts. Direct access to the beach means you can feel sand between your toes and an ocean breeze within minutes.
The Charter Club of Marco Beach
Another sleek Hilton-owned resort, The Charter Club of Marco Beach
is one of the island’s longest-standing resorts that long ago perfected the recipe for the perfect beachfront holiday home. With its gently swaying palm trees, winding rivers and oceanfront pool, it has gorgeous Marco Island holiday rentals like nowhere else. The two-bedroom suites are big enough for six guests and are decked out in airy island designs, with billowing white curtains leading to private balconies, along with living and dining rooms and a large kitchen. The Charter Club is within walking distance of Marco Island’s best shops and restaurants and Marco Beach itself - loungers, umbrellas and water sports gear can also be organised for an activity-filled holiday.
There’s more than enough to do within the grounds however, from relaxing by the pool to getting active at the gym and tennis court, all while the kids enjoy an action-packed recreation programme. If that wasn’t enough, the Charter Club also organises a dizzying array of tours and excursions for the whole family, including scavenger hunts, fishing trips and sailing lessons. Its unrivalled location is perfect for a private, relaxing holiday where you can swim with dolphins, enjoy world-class dining and watch the sunset from your private terrace all in the same afternoon.
Best Attractions on a Marco Island Villa Holiday
Being so close to the city of Naples whilst also having its own great shopping, restaurants and activities means there are almost endless things to see and do on Marco Island.
Explore the waterways
- And we don’t just mean by boat; kayaks and SUPs are also fun ways to check out Marco Island’s stunning beaches, along with the other uninhabited Ten Thousand Islands. Home to a wildlife refuge, you can spot all kinds of wildlife, from dolphins just offshore, to manatees, otters and rare birds in the mangrove forests. Also consider doing a sunset cruise or renting other equipment such as jet skis, fishing gear and self-driven boats for a more active holiday for the whole family, with lots of rentals available both on public beaches and when staying at a Marco Island holiday villa.
Take off on a day trip
- In and around Marco Island itself, day trips are all part of the fun. Dolphin-watching cruises, a visit to Sand Dollar Spit or a boat trip to the untouched Keewaydin Island are perfect for sunseekers. Further afield, the Everglades, Fort Myers, the Florida Keys and Miami are just a couple of hours’ drive from Marco Island making it ideal for exploring some of Florida’s most famous cities and attractions. Staying in a holiday villa on Marco Island also means you’ll have the flexibility and security to travel to nearby destinations while having a gorgeous property to return to.
Tee off island style
- Marco Island is home to more than one beautiful golf course. Smaller ones are often on the grounds of private villas, or you can book an 18-hole round for the day at larger resorts. Aside from the ocean views and palm-tree-lined course, lessons are also available to practice your technique or if you have a budding golfer in the group, spend an afternoon in the sun at the driving range.
Shopping, drinking and dining
- Marco Island has an excellent selection of outlets where visitors can pick up souvenirs and summer clothing such as at The Esplanade Shoppes, but with a rental car, you can also explore off-island. Downtown Naples has its own Outlet Centre, perfect for buying something you’ve forgotten or a new staple piece. The city also has eateries serving worldwide cuisines, whether you’re in the mood for pizza or sushi. We recommend trying some of the local restaurants and beach bars on Marco Island itself, such as Sale e Pepe and The Oyster Society, where you can order fresh seafood accompanied by sweeping ocean views.
Marco Island Villa Holiday FAQs
Marco Island is an open secret among locals who know it as one of the best Florida beach getaways, but if you’re not familiar with the region, you may have a few questions before booking your dream holiday or villa on Marco Island.
Where is Marco Island?
Marco Island is located in southwest Florida, on the Sunshine State’s picturesque Paradise Coast, right on the Gulf of Mexico. Just a short 30-minute drive from the nearby city of Naples, Marco Island sits within Collier County and is the largest of Florida's Ten Thousand Islands that stretch from its sandy shores to Cape Sable. A brief 45-minute drive from one of Florida’s most famous natural landscapes, Marco Island is also often considered the gateway to the Everglades, while significant Floridian cities like Miami, Tampa and even Orlando can be reached in a few hours by car.
What is the best beach on Marco Island?
Despite its small size, Marco Island has over six miles of beaches to enjoy - but which one is the best? All of them promise sugar-white sand, gently lapping waves and palm trees dancing in the breeze, along with a great variety of beachside restaurants and bars, water sports and shady umbrellas for setting up camp for the day.
Only two beaches on the island are open to the public, so staying in one of the many stunning holiday villas will guarantee you access to some of the best. Just as impressive as the private ones, however, are Tigertail Beach and South Marco Beach. Tigertail is truly unique and perfect for families, with calm waters and its own lagoon, picnic area and a small sandy island, known as Sand Dollar Spit. South Marco Beach has fewer amenities but is also quieter, making it ideal for those craving a quiet day by the water.
What is the closest airport to Marco Island?
Marco Island is around 16 miles south of Naples on Florida’s southwest Gulf Coast. The closest airport to this sunkissed island is Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, which lies 45 miles north of Marco Island, with a drive time of just under an hour. With a rental car or transfers, you can reach Marco Island from a variety of other major Florida destinations such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International and Miami International are approximately 2 hours from Marco Island, while Tampa Airport is a 3-hour drive away. All of these popular airports offer a variety of rental services and shuttles to and from Marco Island.
Are there sharks on the Gulf Coast?
Florida is well known for its shark populations and this may cause a little concern for those hoping to swim, dive, snorkel and do other activities in the crystal clear waters off Marco Island. However, although there is a high shark population, the chances of seeing sharks are low, particularly any dangerous ones! If you plan to go diving in the Gulf of Mexico, you might be lucky enough to spot a rare bull or hammerhead shark down in the deep blue, but in the shallows and at popular snorkelling spots, you might just about catch sight of a lemon or blacktip shark amongst the coral.
If you haven’t already started browsing beachfront villas on Marco Island, what are you waiting for? An island getaway that’s perfect for families, Marco Island’s accessible location, great shopping, dining and attractions make it perfect for a tropical Florida holiday. Get ready for walks in the surf, fresh seafood and a daily dose of adventure.
Book your 2024 Marco Island holiday with expert guidance.