The Cosiest Airbnbs and Unusual Rentals to Book in Europe this Winter

Your own island | Courtesy Airbnb
Your own island | Courtesy Airbnb

Baby, it’s cold outside. But when you book into an Airbnb-style holiday apartment, rather than a hotel, you’ll get all kinds of cosy: roaring fires, frothing hot tubs and the chance to whip up hot chocolate at the first suggestion of flurries. So, whether you’re heading to France, Iceland or even Portugal, here are the cosiest Airbnbs, holiday apartments and rentals to book with Culture Trip this winter.

A chic chalet in France’s Trois Vallées

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Chalet Belle Roche
Courtesy of Chalet Belle Roche / Expedia
After a fresh dusting of snow, this four-bedroom chalet in France’s Trois Vallées ski area looks plucked straight from a fairytale, with its wood-panelled exterior and backdrop of pine-carpeted peaks. Sleeping up to 10, the interior is just as inviting with beamed ceilings, button-back sofas and honey-hued bedrooms overlooking the powder. You’re just an eight-minute walk from the nearest ski lift, Les Etablons, so spend all day carving the slopes before returning for a hearty homemade dinner of cheesy tartiflette.

A treehouse for two in the Vaucluse

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La Cabane Perchee
Courtesy of La Cabane Perchee / Expedia
You might not see snow – this is the south of France, after all – but that doesn’t mean this treehouse-style stay north of Aix-en-Provence isn’t cosy, especially in winter months. Built on stilts above the ground and coddled by trees, it feels like a squirrelled-away love nest – and, fittingly, it sleeps two perfectly. Built from light woods and furnished simply with safari-style prints and flashes of foliage, it’s gently inspired by an African lodge. Don’t miss the chance to meet the ostriches nearby.

Geodesic domes near Iceland’s capital

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Reykjavik Domes
Courtesy of Reykjavik Domes / Expedia
Ever wondered what it might feel like to sleep in an igloo? These glamping domes, set just outside the centre of Reykjavik, mimic the feeling. Sleeping two or three, their creamy pod-like interiors are warmed by a wood burner, and come with views out to a frozen landscape of trees and mountain ridges. You’ll want for nothing: free toiletries, memory-foam beds, a minibar and even Netflix are included – plus a private outdoor hot tub to thaw your limbs after a day exploring Iceland.

A cosy Lisbon casa close to the Tagus

Short-term Rental
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Amazing Baixa Collection Apartment
Courtesy of Amazing Baixa Collection Apartment / Expedia
Lisbon can do cosy. This one-bedroom apartment in historic Baixa, sleeps four and has an intimate feel for a couple or small family with its furry cushions, metallic-gold accents, warm lighting and snug heating for winter months. The charming old apartment building has views out to photogenic rooftops and the water, while an array of restaurants are on your doorstep if you don’t fancy cooking. Wrap up warm; the city gets surprisingly chilly in the evenings – especially with the sea breezes from the Tagus, just at the end of the road.

An inviting villa in Venice’s Lido

Short-term Rental
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Courtesy of Inviting Villa in the Heart of Venice With Whirlpool / Expedia
The bubbling whirlpool bath is enticing enough; but there’s plenty more to love about this Venetian villa stay in winter, from the cosy wood-beamed ceilings and farmhouse-style kitchen tiles to the colourful art (and the crowd-free streets outside). Sleeping up to seven across three bedrooms, it’s an ideal pick for families who want to be walking distance from Saint Mark’s Basilica or Rialto Bridge. On a blue-sky winter’s day, take your morning coffee to the private balcony for sipping.

A cool Santorini cave house

Short-term Rental
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NK Cave House Villa
Courtesy of NK Cave House Villa / Expedia
Sea views out to the glittering Aegean from a private hot tub… Is there anything else you really need to know? This one-bedroom pad, sleeping up to four, lets you keep warm even on the chilliest of Greek winter days. While Santorini is in its sleepy season, take the opportunity to live like a local and enjoy homemade breakfasts on the terrace or spend lazy afternoons reading in the whitewashed lounge. It feels like it has been built carved right into the cliff face, so it couldn’t be much cosier.

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  • A Budapest base for a seasonal city break

    Short-term Rental
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    Mamaison Residence Izabella Budapest
    Courtesy of Mamaison Residence Izabella Budapest / Expedia
    Between its rambling fringed Christmas Market (one of Europe’s best), romantic castle and steaming thermal baths, historic Budapest comes into its own in winter. And this set of apartments – sleeping two, four or six over one or two bedrooms – is the perfect place to escape the seasonal chill. Curl up on the sofa and plan your sightseeing with one of the provided guidebooks; make your own mulled wine in the open-plan kitchen; or visit the onsite health club.

    An adults-only Austrian lakeside hideaway

    Short-term Rental
    Map View
    Hallstatt Hideaway - Adults only
    Courtesy of Hallstatt Hideaway - Adults only / Expedia
    ‘Hideaway’ is the right name for this Austrian pad, because once you check into these studio apartments overlooking glassy Lake Hallstatt, outside Salzburg, you won’t want to leave. Sleeping two in stylish alabaster-hued interiors accented with natural woods and the occasional block of colour, almost all feature either a roaring fireplace or hot tub to keep you cosy. The best bit? Waking up after a fresh snowfall to spy powder-dusted mountains from your balcony.

    An American-style airstream in Andalusia

    Short-term Rental
    Map View

    While camping might be the last thing on your mind in the depths of winter, glamping is another thing entirely. A five-star experience in the middle of nature, this 1930s-style Airstream is an incredible place to stay in the middle of the Sierra de las Nieves, in Andalusia, Southern Spain.

    These recommendations were updated on April 20, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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