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Where to rent a house for 1 or 2 months during summer in Europe

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Nov 7th, 2013, 02:26 PM
  #1
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Where to rent a house for 1 or 2 months during summer in Europe

I would like to narrow down possible areas for spending a couple of months in a rental house under the following conditions:
- rental budget is up to 2000 euro per month, maybe 3k if it's really great
- A/C and internet are a must, with at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths (visitors expected)
- own pool would be nice.
- countries in order of preference: France, Spain, Portugal, Italy (I would consider Greece as an alternative)
- not very touristy, busy, expensive area such as Cinque Terre, Amalfi coast, or Cote d'Azur. Also not Tuscany, we've been there and I'm looking for something else.
- rural area preferred, definitely not large city
- no mosquitos and nasty bugs, - if possible
- within 1-2 hrs of an airport with decent connections to a major hub such as Frankfurt.
- fairly close to a nice not-too-rocky beach, let's say up to 15 minutes drive or 1 km walk. On the beach would be ideal but that's pushing it.
- laid-back, inexpensive area but still not too far from some attractions or a nice city.
- activities to include: hiking or long walks, biking, maybe some wineries, visiting small, quaint and charming villages, good markets, food, and red wine. Access to a mountain for hiking would be awesome.

I have a couple of areas in mind that maybe meet at least some of my criteria: La Rochelle in France and Algarve in Portugal, but I was wondering if fodorites here have any other suggestions. The more specific the better (not "south of Italy" please) I should also mention that we're a family of three from Canada, been to Europe a few times before and done the crazy city hopping, and would like to take it slow for a change. And yes we'll be driving a rental car. Many thanks!
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Nov 7th, 2013, 02:58 PM
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Check out the Dordogne - from Pyrenees to ocean, from river boating to vineyards, small towns and historic towns, historic caves, it's got it all. For house or part-house rentals look to www.gites-de-france.com -usually from Sat. to Sat., the properties vary greatly so take your time to scope them out, with a detailed map close at hand.
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Nov 7th, 2013, 03:02 PM
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Leatherworker in Florence once told me why Italian leatherworkers had to import leather hides: "In Italy, we have chicken and mosquito but no cows."

Thinking bug-free life would require relocation to a different planet.

By its nature, rural is not beach.

Why not the Adriatic Coast in Italy or the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia?
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Nov 7th, 2013, 03:13 PM
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If it were me, Britanny, Pays Basque, Northern Portugal, and Asturias,Galicia, Cantabria or Pais Vasco, Spain.or Peloponnesean Pen or Crete,Greece.
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Nov 7th, 2013, 03:14 PM
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We're going to Dordogne for a few days on our next trip to France, so yes we'll see if we want to go back for a longer period. But it's not that close to the sea, isn't it? At least not for frequent day trips to the beach.
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Nov 7th, 2013, 03:24 PM
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BigRuss, yes I was thinking of the Tuscan mosquitos in August when I said "no bugs please". Not THAT many mosquitos would be preferable. A few I can handle, but not being able to enjoy a drink on the terrace or having some sleep at night without poisoning the room first can ruin one's vacation.
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Nov 7th, 2013, 05:11 PM
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From the Dordogne to the ocean is a few hours drive.

The Basque country might be a better choice--it has mountains and ocean close to each other.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 02:29 AM
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If by summer you mean 2014, you are wise to start your search now as of course July and August are peak season. Your criteria may take you out of your price range, but sounds like you are willing to compromise on either requirements or price.

For comparison, here's the website of the gîtes in our village, a gorgeous place but their two gîtes are each two bedroom, one bath. The pool is shared by the two gîtes and two b&b rooms. This area is as inexpensive as it gets--there are good markets, weekly in Salies du Salat and a small one twice weekly in Aspet. Shops are a 10-minute drive. The coast is an hour, 45 min. drive, again am just showing for reference.

http://www.gitedefigarol.com/figarol_en.html

These prices are typical in this area, closer to the coast, prices get steeper. If character bulidings aren't important, look at the beach communites around Collioure on the Med, Argelès sur Mer, for example, mostly new builds but gorgeous beaches. You might look in and around Biarritz or St Jean de Luz, not my favorites, but may suit what you want.

I would have a look at the many options on the official gitesdefrance website, as well as websites such as www.homeaway.uk or www.vrbo.com or countless others.

As for bugs, we have virtually no mosquitos where we live, there's no still water in the area. Flies can be a nuisance as you can't count on screens in a rental. But, they go away in he evening--June, July, August we eat most evening meals on the terrace. On the coasts we've never had any problem with bugs when VERY near the water.

I suppose I should add a disclaimer that we are friends with the Dutch couple who own Gîte de Figarol, we have used them for our friends. Am not specifically recommending them for you as they don't have a large enough gîte.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 02:48 AM
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In many areas you will pay your monthly rental for a week in July and August for properties meeting your requirements.

You need to search now - many places will already be booked up for at least some of the summer weeks. You would be more likely to be able to rent for that period of time in the shoulder seasons, so May June, or September October. Owners can make a lot of money from weekly rentals at €800-2000 pw in the high season, and would be more prepared to rent for a longer period outside those two months.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 07:52 AM
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I'd consider the southeast coast of Italy, somewhere between the achilles tendon and the heel.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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I don't know other countries, but I think your price range is pretty unrealistic for France for what you want. YOu want to spend 500 euro a week for a place with AC and a pool in peak season? I presume it is peak season (summer) or you wouldn't have said AC was a must, nor wanted a pool. SO you think you can get a 3 BR, 2 bath place or bigger in Provence, say, with AC and a pool in peak season for 500 euro a week? Look at that link above, that is a pretty basic place and it is about 700 euro a week in summer.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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I agree that your budget is way too low for a luxury property (that's what you're describing - with AC and a private pool) - and right near the beach - prices are even higher. (We looked 2 years ago in southern France in early june and places were $2500 per week and up.)

Your budget might cover a small cottage in the countryside - but no beach and no pool.

And for a real sand beach in europe - versus rocks or pebbles - that is probably the place to start. Not too many of those except in resorts that have brought in the sand.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 12:38 PM
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Your requirements, budget in particular, are unrealistic. Just for example, in the Dordogne in peak season a house with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (not common) and a pool (never mind A/C, which hardly anyone has) will cost you 1,000 euros or more a week. On Ile de Ré you can easily spend two or three times that.

There are mosquitos everywhere, Ile de Ré is no exception. And Ile de Ré is totally touristy, busy, and expensive beyond belief at that time of year.

You need to be looking at areas like the Lozère or parts of the Corrèze or Quercy or Lot or Languedoc-Roussillon. Anywhere you'd find pleasant for hiking and biking will have bugs, though. For beaches, check out places in Les Landes - you might find something cheap there, as it's not a wildly popular area.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 01:44 PM
  #14
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Many thanks for your suggestions, I'll look them up. Yes, budget is not set in stone and I will increase it if necessary. I was just thinking 500-750 euro per week or so would be doable in a less expensive area, especially when renting long term, since we're paying about 900 for a 2 bdr apt in Cannes in June 2014. A few years ago my wife was looking online into some rural areas in France and she found very cheap weekly or monthly rentals for small houses or villas. Granted not close to a beach or in a touristy area, but up to 1000 per month. But as they say, look and you shall find, so I'll keep looking. Keep your suggestions coming please, we'll come up with a short list and post it here as I'm sure many people will find it useful.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 05:59 PM
  #15
 
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Well prices now are going to be more than several years ago. And in high season they are unlikely to give reductions for longer rentals - when they can rent to other people a week at a time for full price.

If you were going off season - you might well get monthly reductions in April or Oct - but not in midsummer.
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Nov 9th, 2013, 04:56 AM
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Yes, would like to see your short list and if you like the Cannes rental, please share info as that is a good price.
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Nov 9th, 2013, 04:58 AM
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I think you could find something in a small area not close to a beach or any tourist attractions, that is a small house without AC and without a pool, but your stated desires for that budget were a different kind of rental, I thought.
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Nov 9th, 2013, 06:15 AM
  #18
 
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Those cheaper prices may have been for longer term rentals (6 months plus) with utilities and local taxes likely to be paid on top. For two months (specially in the summer) you'll still be paying tourist rental prices in most places.

Touristy and busy isn't always the same as expensive - which is more important to you to avoid?
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Aug 29th, 2014, 09:22 AM
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Another vote for the Spanish Basque Country. Many fine small towns along the rugged Atlantic coastline, excellent beaches and close to fabulous and very diverse cities such as San Sebastian and Bilbao (as well as Pamplona, Vitoria and Burgos). Spectacular food and a favourite for Spanish and French summer visitors for some 150 years. http://www.euskoguide.com/
http://tourism.euskadi.net/en/
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Aug 29th, 2014, 12:31 PM
  #20
 
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Given the date of the original inquiry I think it's likely that the OP has already completed their vacation. Let's hope they report back on what they found and how it all turned out.
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