Europe is a place of fairy tales because of its numerous castles and palaces. Among the most famous are England’s Windsor Castle, the oldest occupied castle in the world; the Alnwick Castle, which was made even more famous by the Harry Potter film franchise; and Buckingham Palace, which does not need any introductions.
Many European castles are open to the public, with some turned into museums, restaurants, and even hotels. Heritage travel is becoming popular, and these imposing structures are among the favorite stops of travelers.
However, aside from castles, other European attractions waiting to be discovered include villas, manors, estates, and vintage houses. Visiting them will lead tourists beyond the happy-ever-after.
9 Ballyvolane House Has A Witch Legend
Ireland’s Ballyvolane House was built in 1728 and remained under the ownership of one family until 1953. What started as a Georgian country house focused on gardening and farming, the Ballyvolane turned into accommodation in the 1980s under the management of its new owners. The house has a charming garden perfect for weddings, but it has dark stories to share. First, it is near an area believed to be the site of the last witch burning in Ireland. Also, in the 18th century, the house had additional flooring where a couple was murdered, and a piece of evidence remains on the property. That and Ballyvolane House’s beauty are enough to pique a tourist’s interest.
8 Casa dell'Abate Naldi Is A Historical Family Home That Still Welcomes Guests
Italy’s Casa dell'Abate Naldi was built in the 17th century by the doctor of Pope Alexander VII. In 1684, it became the property of art expert Angelo Simonelli, and from then on, it remained under the ownership of his descendants. The resident Simonelli welcomes guests to the house, sharing how it changed through the centuries – a silent witness to world events. Aside from guided tours, this Tuscany landmark also has a culinary school where visitors can satisfy their tummies after filling their eyes with the home’s beautiful decorations.
7 Ballysallagh Is A Rare Irish House
What makes the Ballysallagh a rare property in Ireland is its unspoiled vintage house and its intact surroundings. This humble home dates back to the early Georgian period and was neglected past 1940. When it was purchased by its new owners in the late 1980s, they restored it authentically, resulting in a simple yet elegant abode. Inside, it's filled with intimate decorations and period pieces that are sure to wow visitors. Outside, it has a welcoming garden where guests can enjoy a fine tea. Ballysallagh House means business when it comes to time travel, sort of.
6 Enniscoe Is A Hidden Heritage House
Enniscoe House is perfect for tourists who want serenity. This Irish country house was built in the 1790s, hidden by the woods at the foot of Mount Nephin. Its location makes it an ideal spot for soul-searching or just a good night's sleep. Nicknamed “the last Great House of North Mayo,” the Enniscoe offers guests stunning views of a lake. Country life is best enjoyed in this heritage house not just because of its pleasing interiors but because of its delectable food. The house is surrounded by woodlands and pastures, perfect for morning and afternoon walks. It’s always a good day in Enniscoe House.
5 Malmgard Estate And Its Organic Farming
What’s the best way to finish a trip to Finland? It’s when tourists stay in Malmgard Estate, a place where organic farming is not just a word but a way of life. The house has been around since 1885, where elegance can easily be seen. First, it has a French renaissance influence and is teeming with paintings from its walls to the ceiling. The charming garden, meanwhile, is English-inspired. They are also proud to have the first organic farms in the country, and visitors will not just learn about it but taste good food in an exquisite setting.
4 Villa Valmarana Ai Nani Has Statues Of Dwarves
In Veneto, Italy, there’s a villa decorated with dwarves, making it one of the most-visited attractions in the region. Snow White would probably love staying in Villa Valmarana ai Nani. Other than that, its rooms have frescoes considered masterpieces of 18th-century Venetian painting. The villa's oldest building dates back to 1669, an enticing prospect for tourists who love history. Add the welcoming garden and the open-air theater to the itinerary, and a visit to this villa is vivacious. It’s the perfect place for lovers of fine arts.
3 Manors Teeming With Flora And Fauna: Iford And Rumene
Tourists who love to stay in manors alongside lush surroundings should consider the Iford in England or the Rumene in Latvia. Staying in any of these places will give them the chance to have history and nature as travel companions.
2 Villa Bell’Aspetto Has Dungeons
Another Italian gem, Villa Bell’Aspetto, was built in 1647 and has been considered a hunting lodge for a long time. Its location near the Tyrrhenian Sea makes it a charming destination for sun-worshippers. During World War II, its dungeons were used by the American Army, adding to the historical value of the place. Before that, it was visited by very important people like two popes and Queen Christina of Sweden. Its garden has exotic plants, and there’s even an orangery. The salty air is inviting in this beautiful villa.
1 Finca Fitor Is Fenceless
Finca Fitor in Spain is a forest estate; hence it's fenceless. The area is the site of an ancient trail, which was used as a trade route until the 1850s. The estate's history, however, started in 1947 when its new owners decided to purchase tracts of lands with abandoned ancestral homes. From then on, it has become a place of heritage. A lush Mediterranean forest, cultural spots, ancient farmhouses, and a thriving cork production industry. That’s what tourists can expect in Finca Fitor – where happiness is fenceless.