Top places in Europe to buy a holiday home

So many of us dream about having a holiday home to escape to – and retirement is a time when we can make the dream come true.

Written by

Sheila Frampton

Post-Brexit, there are a number of considerations to take into account – it’s more difficult to spend time abroad but it’s not impossible. The following information provides a guide only – if you’re thinking of buying abroad, please research carefully and take legal advice.  Any prices mentioned are guidelines only and their accuracy is not guaranteed.

Common Post-Brexit travel questions

Before Brexit, we could travel, live, holiday or even work anywhere in the EU without special visas or permits.  We could holiday in any EU country for as long as we liked – although in some countries we were required to report our presence after staying for three months. Buying a property wasn’t a problem and the popularity of programs like ‘Place in The Sun’ revealed the high level of interest in holiday home ownership. From 1 January 2021, when the new post-Brexit deal began, everything changed.  Whilst you are still able to buy a holiday home abroad, spending long periods there is not as simple as it was.

Our top 7 places to buy a holiday home in Europe

1) Barcelona, Spain

This is one of the most popular of Spanish cities and a focus of international investment with a wealth of arts, culture, sports and cuisine.  From sandy beaches to world-class architecture, from shopping to sports, Barcelona has it all. 

2) Italian Lakes, Lombardy

This area is one of Italy’s most popular holiday locations with breath-taking views and a great selection of villas, houses and apartments on offer.  Lakes Como, Garda and Maggiore are the most popular, but there are plenty of small towns and villages in the area which are delightful holiday locations.  You’ll be able to walk, hike, play tennis and golf, enjoy water sports and skiing in this area.

3) Crete, Greece

The most-loved stretch of Greece for property buyers is the northern coast. Crete is the biggest island with plenty of choice for home buyers. Agios Nikolaos and Elounda in the north-east are worth a look as is the pretty village of Adele near Rethymnon in the north-west. Chania is also a popular tourist area.

4) The Algarve, Portugal

Many Britons, especially the retired, head to the friendly and relaxed Algarve and now 10% of the population in towns like Albufeira are British. There are some high-class golf communities but you’ll still find affordable property in the coastal villages. The Algarve provides beautiful beaches and world class golf resorts and Faro airport is an easy drive away. As an alternative, take a look at the coast north of Lisbon, known as the Silver Coast. Its most famous town is the medieval walled city of Obidos, renowned for its golf courses.

5) Paphos, Cyprus 

Cyprus has gorgeous Mediterranean beaches and a wealth of ancient history – as well as reasonably priced property.  The island is just a little smaller than Devon and Cornwall combined and the most popular place for British buyers is around Paphos, in the south west which has an airport with direct, year-round flights.

6) St Emilion, France

A great place if you love wine. This beautiful medieval village is surrounded by some of the most highly regarded vineyards in the world. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage site with cobbled streets and beautiful views. Bordeaux airport is 45 minutes away and St Emilion has some fantastic restaurants. The beach is 90 minutes away to the west and the ski slopes are two hours to the south.

7) Fuerteventura, Canary Islands 

This is a stunning volcanic island which is one of the Europe’s most popular destinations for beach holidays. The main centre of the island is Corralejo, with a lively shopping centre, bars and restaurants. El Cotillo, a fishing village on the northernmost part of the island is a quiet spot, surrounded by fine beaches – a lovely place for a relaxed retirement.

Want to feel more comfortable locking up and leaving when you go on holiday?

When you’re away, spending time visiting friends and family, holidaying abroad or perhaps even ‘locking up and leaving’ to live at a second property for part of the year,  it’s very reassuring to know that someone is keeping a watchful eye on your home. Even making sure the post isn’t piling up and that, if you have a private garden, you don’t come home to knee-deep grass.  Wouldn't it also be nice to never have to arrange to have your external windows cleaned – and have it all done for you.

Here at Beechcroft, one of our benefits is our Estate Management service, and each estate will have a friendly face to keep an eye on your property whilst you're away.

Find out more


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