Southern European holiday in small towns — where to find accommodations?
January 23, 2017 3:28 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I have twice had a great vacation in a town in southern Portugal. We've stayed two to three weeks and it's been a nice, low-key working holiday. Where might we look for accommodations for a similar holiday next time?

We'd like to duplicate this holiday elsewhere in Europe, probably in Spain, Italy or Portugal, and probably for three or four weeks. But we're ready to move on from this specific town. (Part of us would really be happy to come back, but there's the feeling that we might be missing out on other places, too...)

We found this town in Portugal and this flat through a family connection, which was great but not really repeatable.

The question: Which websites might we look at to find small-town accommodations?

We've seen, but are there any other sites — maybe country-specific sites for Spain, Italy or Portugal — that we should be checking out?
posted by veggieboy to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
AirBnB. Yes, I know it's obvious.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:37 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

I always use Agoda, which is mostly useful for hotels and guesthouses and less so for whole apartments. That said, when I do this kind of working vacation [staying in one place for a while, trying to have an ordinary life], I usually book a hotel room for the first few nights and immediately spend the first day or two walking around and looking at places that are advertised on the street. I found a lovely apartment in Chang Mai with a small kitchen that was $62/wk this way, much cheaper than the offerings on AirBnB. Still, it's a very hit-or-miss approach!
posted by tapir-whorf at 4:08 AM on January 23, 2017

I live in Italy, which is obviously a popular holiday destination. I follow several Facebook expat groups for work reasons. They are full of queries like this which generally receive several helpful replies from expats on the spot who are either active in the holiday trade themselves, or happy to pass on success stories and ripoff warnings. Expats are also better aware of what non-Italians need, and (maybe more important) what they absolutely don't need. I suggest you look for example at these pages: "Brits and other expats in Italy", "Expats in Italy". Also typing the words "expat" and the town or region you're interested in will turn up several more groups, like e.g. "****Expats living in Rome" (although I know you're interested in smaller towns), as well as individual posts on the town/area.
posted by aqsakal at 5:46 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Brittany Ferries is primarily a ferry operator between the UK and France/Spain, but they also advertise a selection of vacation properties in France, Spain and Portugal.
posted by terretu at 6:35 AM on January 23, 2017

Since posting my comment above, I happened to come across this page.
posted by aqsakal at 6:41 AM on January 25, 2017

aqsakal, I'm not allowed to see that page. Maybe I have to be part of the group? If that's the case, can you tell me what to search for to try to join? Thank you.
posted by veggieboy at 2:30 PM on January 25, 2017

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