A London flat. Beach bungalow in the Caribbean. Penthouse apartment in New York City. These seem to always be high on people’s bucket list of luxurious vacation ideas. But there is one more to be mentioned; European castles. There may be no better place to feel like you’ve “made it” than vacationing in a castle in Europe. The regal feel, captivating history, and touches of modern comfort that are often staples of these properties create a unique atmosphere and a once-in-a-lifetime feeling. With the help of AllTheRooms, the world’s first vacation rental search engine, we’ve rounded up our favorite European castles that are also vacation rentals and awaiting your booking.
Located within an hour from the famous wine-producing city of Bordeaux, this castle for rent actually sits on its own vineyard. Besides enjoying wines made on the property, guests are also granted views of the river and quaint nearby town, with comfortable living quarters for up to 11 guests, and even some love from the two dogs that call the castle home.
Loire Valley Castle
Some may argue that the main building of this rental outside of Saint-Georges-sur-Cher is more château than castle, but the grounds it sits on are nothing short of royalty. The property has a massive private park, which includes over 100 different species of flowers, a beautiful heated pool, and horses that graze the fields beyond the lawn. The countryside manor is only a 75-minute train ride away from Paris.
Château Saint Georges Grasse
Perched above the famously chic Mediterranean city of Cannes, this stunning rental has beautiful views and lush grounds accented by palm and olive trees and sculptures. However, it is the interior of Chateau Saint Georges that gives off true castle vibes. From its gilded moldings to marble fireplaces and lovely chandeliers, it’s easy to see why this spot is often rented for formal occasions such as weddings.
French Island of Paradise
Truly one of the most remarkable vacation rental properties in the world, this castle is surrounded by small rivers and moat-like waterways that make it extremely private. With no other buildings on the island, it’s possible that the only people guests encounter are the site are the chef, maid, and butler. The grounds have four main buildings, including two that are available to rent. The spaciousness of the property is truly incredible, as the host markets the space to accommodate 16 to 45 people.
Château Bordeaux and Vignoble
With a very traditional French look and vineyard surroundings, it would be easy to assume that this castle might be a bit stuffy. On the contrary, the interior and some of the amenities provided are quite modern. Inside, much of the decorations are bright and modern and intertwine with the ancient bones of the building’s structure. Other flairs of modernity include a barroom and yoga on the grounds.
Scottish Castle in The Glen
Built in the 1500s, the castle was opened to guests for the first time in 464 years in 2014. The owners recently closed the castle to give it a bit of a facelift, but as of June 2019, it is back open for business. Despite standing at the Kilmartin Glen since 1550, the current hosts are only the fourth owners in the castle’s history.
Dairsie, more so than the other properties listed, has a fascinating history. According to the owners, it “has been the location of secret Scottish parliaments, military sieges, and a safe haven for escapee monarchs (James VI and I in 1583).” The castle eventually fell into ruin but was restored in 1992 with modern comforts that continue to make it a great place to stay. Just 15 minutes from the famed university St. Andrews (the castle used to be home to St. Andrews’ archbishop), there is plenty to explore in the surrounding area.
Borgia Castle, in the famous Tuscany region of Italy, is built upon some nine hectares of parkland that include a small lake. Built from local stone, the façade is convincingly castle-like with heavy wood and steel doors, turrets, and torch-style lighting. The castle has ample opportunities for fun as there is a large swimming pool, a billiards room, and tennis courts.
This castle that dates back to the 12th century is located in a portion of Ireland known as the Golden Vale. The area and the nearby town of Adare is celebrated for its scenery, which is stereotypically Irish. This, of course, means rolling green hills spotted by grazing livestock. The Gothic castle is family-friendly too, as there is a library of children’s books and lots of room to play.
Standing since the 1400s, this castle tops the list as the most authentic in the sense that not all the expected creature comforts have been modernized. For example, much of the heat comes from great stone fireplaces, toilets are carved from the limestone walls, and the only bath is located in the living room. Regardless of some of its quirks, it is a fantastic stay in a picturesque part of Ireland.
While the castle’s name is definitely a mouthful, the Polish property outside of Wroclaw is one of our favorites as it provides the most bang for your buck. Suited for 10 people, the price per person can easily be under $50, depending on the season. Surrounded by a moat, the home is accessed via a small bridge that leads to the front door. Also on the grounds, guests can explore the rental’s private forest. A visit is sure to be memorable, but returning to a home that just has a backyard instead of a private forest may be difficult.
Zack is a recovering technical recruiter who traded in his suit and tie in Silicon Valley for a new life of travel in Medellin, Colombia. When not writing for the vacation rental search engine, AllTheRooms, you can find Zack with his nose in a book, puttering around nature, or getting ultra-competitive while watching Jeopardy.