Nothing beats renting a cottage, right? Well what about your very own windmill? The next time you’re travelling the gorgeous countryside of one of these locales, why not check out one of these old world, multi-story buildings, complete with incredible histories and ready to welcome guests.
The Algarve, Portugal
Not one, but two windmills overlook the interior of Portugal’s Algarve region, best known for its beautiful beaches. Ideal for a group—the two mills sleep four to six people between them—the property also features a pool, private garden, and terrace with barbecue. Plus, the gorgeous beaches of Apulia are a short drive away, as is Silves, once the capital of the Iberian peninsula’s medieval Muslim empire. More info: www.algarvehousing.net
If simplicity is what you’re looking for, this eighteenth-century windmill close to the southwestern coast of France is ideal. With no running water or electricity, this remote property uses solar energy and a rainwater recovery system to keep you comfortable. The location is a short drive away from the conveniences of town, but you may not be able to tear yourself away from the panoramic countryside views. More info: www.airbnb.com
A short walk from Stavros beach with a stunning view of the sea, this traditional windmill on the island of Tinos is also within walking distance from the town centre. If you don’t feel like relaxing on the beach or exploring the town, this three-storey building is a short boat ride away from Mykonos and only 1.5 hours from Athens—perfect for a day trip. More info: www.airbnb.com
This eighteenth-century windmill in the seaside resort town of Scarborough, in the north of England, offers two two-floor suites in the windmill itself and two self-catering cottages on the ground level. Enjoy the beach (in the summer), grab a snack of cockles, mussels and whelks from a roadside stand, and wander through the multi-level Italian gardens. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb up to Scarborough Castle for some breathtaking views of the sea. More info: www.scarborough-windmill.co.uk
This quirky B&B was a working windmill for a short period in the nineteenth century, but its Gothic windows and ornate spiral staircase are evidence that it was meant that function wasn’t the structure’s top purpose. Hosts Peter and Priscilla Roberts provide a range of breakfast choices, including Continental, Healthy, Horribly Healthy, and English—designed to appeal to different tastes, with four vegetarian and one vegan option. One of the bedrooms features a three-metre-long curtained gallery bed, perfect for sleeping children toe-to-toe. More info: www.bradfordoldwindmill.co.uk