Vacation Rentals in Europe

I love the notion of finding vacation rentals when traveling to Europe. In fact, the last time our family vacationed in Spain, we rented two different places to stay.

In Malaga, along the Costa del Sol, we rented a three-bedroom villa on a hillside overlooking the Mediterranean. Then, when we got to Barcelona, we rented an apartment for the remainder of our vacation. It was located near the Plaza de Espana and the Magic Fountain. In fact, our apartment overlooked the plaza.

plaza de espana barcelona.
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.

There were five of us traveling so we needed a pretty big place. Plus, we discovered it was actually cheaper to book a vacation rental than a hotel room.

What helped keep the costs down was the fact that each place had a full kitchen. The villa in Malaga even had a balcony with that aforementioned water view where we could enjoy our home cooked breakfast before heading out to see the sights, including a day trip to Gibraltar and another to Seville.

I wish we’d also planned to visit La Alhambra as well so we could have tacked on a Granada food tour, too. I’ll bet we would have enjoyed amazing tapas and gazpacho.

Vacation rentals in Europe

Why did I decide to write this article on vacation rentals I’ve used in Europe as well as the others below? Because VRBO recently revealed its top summer holiday vacation rental villas in Europe.

Its criteria?

  • Having a 4.9 or higher star rating
  • Number of guest reviews
  • Premier Host status
  • Standout amenities and spaces for spending time together with family and friends

This is an eclectic mix of homes all around the European Union as well in the United Kingdom. There are six locations in all, many of which are on my must-visit list for future European vacations.

These countries are:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Scotland
  • Spain
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So, read on for vacation rentals in these European countries that are sure to wow you.

Vacation rental in Provence, France

According to VRBO, this home in Provence is 200 years old. However, it’s not old and creepy. Instead, this spacious villa went through a complete renovation and interior redesign just a few years ago.

The home has six bedrooms that can sleep 13, plus multiple terraces that overlook the 500-year-old olive grove that surrounds the home. Also, there’s a pool.

Finally, you can cook at home in the chef’s kitchen. On the other hand, Antibes and Cannes are a short drive away for a night out on the town.

Sardinia, Italy villa to rent

This vacation rental on the island of Sardinia has its own name. Called Villa Corallo, it sits on a hill on the Sardinian north coast. You can take in the breathtaking coastal landscape from almost every corner of the home.

Up to 15 guests can stay here, thanks to seven bedrooms and six bathrooms. The ideal itinerary? Soaking up the sun by the pool by day and relaxing on the terrace after dinner at night.

Corfu, Greece vacation rental

VRBO says that you should be prepared to be dazzled by House of the Rocks in Corfu, Greece. It’s a modern stone home that is located quite literally on the rocky landscape above Kaminaki Beach on the northeast coast of Corfu.

This is the perfect place for multi-generational groups or families to vacation together. It has three bedrooms that are all private. Plus, there are plenty of public spaces, including an infinity pool, for hanging out together.

Costa del Sol villa rental in Spain

Let me just say that while the villa we rented in Malaga was nice, this one listed on VRBO is significantly nicer. Wish I’d known about it when we’d planned our trip.

It’s much larger–with five bedrooms that can sleep up to 10. Also, the villa centers around a patio with a library, sauna and jacuzzi, cinema room and a gym. Plus, there’s a mini-grand piano, pool table and tennis table inside.

There are also gorgeous VRBO homes in the Canary Islands, which is part of Spain. This includes Fuerteventura. In fact, if you’re visiting Fuerteventura with kids, booking a vacation rental versus a hotel, is a great way to go.

Vacation rental in Portugal

VRBO calls this vacation rental in Portugal a luxury villa in Algarve. Once you look at the pictures on its VRBO listing, you’ll understand why.

For starters, there are seven bedrooms. Then, there are two living rooms perfect for entertaining, an indoor and outdoor dining area in the courtyard garden and a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean.

Finally, there is a pool plus three hot tubs. Also, there is a game room with snooker, a ping pong table and much more.

If you’re going to be driving on your vacation, here’s what you need to know about car rental in Portugal.

Edinburgh, Scotland rental

The Old Millhouse, as this Scottish vacation rental is called, was once in ruins. Literally, it was ruins. Then, it was lovingly restored into a tranquil base about 20 minutes from the Edinburgh city center.

The house comes with its own concierge service. You can use it to hire a private chef, set up fishing lessons on the home’s stretch of river or use their driver for Scottish tours.

Looking to create some photographic memories of your trip? Here are the best photo spots in Edinburgh.

If that tour happens to include a trip to Scottish islands, this Isle of Skye itinerary is a must to follow.

Finally, if you’re already going to be in the British Isles with your family, why not take the kids to London, too.

Final thoughts on European vacation rentals

I think I’ve done a pretty good job of making the case for renting a vacation home when you go away. As I mentioned at the top of this article, it’s what our family did on a trip to Spain.

And it’s what I contine to try to do when vacationing on this side of the Atlantic. In fact, we rented a dog-friendly AirBnB in North Carolina for a trip this summer. Plus, thanks to our Peloton obsession, we always try to book vacation rentals with a Peloton (though the place in North Carolina doesn’t have a bike). Now if we could just find as many of them in European vacation rentals, well, then, that would be amazing.

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