By Lucy Richardson, Editor

If you know where to look and are savvy about planning it, you can grab yourself a summer holiday in Europe that’s super affordable and super stylish to boot. Here are 10 of the best cheap hotels and holiday rentals in our handpicked collection, plus 5 top tips for keeping travel costs down.


1 Convento, Algarve

the i-escape blog | Cheap hotels and rentals in Europe: 10 places from under £100 per night | Convento

Convento is a perennial favourite here at i-escape. Why? Because it ticks so many boxes for an affordable beach holiday. Cheap but stylish rooms, delicious breakfasts included in the rate, a sunny rooftop with a heated pool, and easy access to the Ria Formosa’s spectacular island beaches. Plus, it’s beautiful inside, set around a sweet Moorish courtyard, with Olhao’s cobbled streets and simple restaurants right outside.

Prices: From £84 per room (peak summer months from £125)
Get there: Olhao’s proximity to Faro Airport is one if its selling points – just 20 minutes by car or taxi. Getting around without a hire car is easy too: taxi-boats speed back and forth between the Ria Formosa’s island beaches.

 

2 Cocorico Guesthouse, Porto

the i-escape blog | Cheap hotels and rentals in Europe: 10 places from under £100 per night | Cocorico Guesthouse

Cities are often the cheapest places to travel because they’re easy to get to, you can get by without a vehicle, and the wide variety of hotels means more competitive prices. And if the city is on the coast, even better! You certainly won’t be scrimping on style if you opt for Cocorico Guesthouse in the centre of Porto. Parisian vibes flow throughout: rooms are decorated with French antiques, wrought iron frames and original features, and there’s a bistro serving French fare. When you’re ready to explore, Porto’s iconic sites are within easy strolling distance.

Prices: From £95 per room (peak summer months from £124)
Get there: Fly into Porto, which is well-served by budget airlines from across Europe. Then take a taxi or hop on the metro to São Bento station, a five-minute walk from Cocorico Guesthouse.

 

3 StayCatalina, Palma de Mallorca

the i-escape blog | Cheap hotels and rentals in Europe: 10 places from under £100 per night | StayCatalina Boutique Apartments

Located in a hip district of Palma, the StayCatalina apartments (for 2-5) are great value. They come with one or two bedrooms, kitchenettes, and private patios/terraces. Prices include free bikes for exploring the town or pedalling to local beaches, and there’s a covered market 2 mins’ walk away, for picking up groceries. It’s an easy stroll to the harbour and historic centre from here, so if one evening you decide not to self-cater, you’ll find plenty of restaurants to suit all budgets.

Prices: From £84 per apartment (peak summer months from £121)
Get there: Fly into Palma de Mallorca (11.5km), then take a taxi, or catch Airport Bus 1 to Avenida Argentina, 300m from the apart-hotel. Easy.

 

4 Hotel Torre de Villademoros, Asturias

the i-escape blog | Cheap hotels and rentals in Europe: 10 places from under £100 per night | Hotel Torre de Villademoros

The key to finding a cheap holiday destination is to look for somewhere undiscovered but easy to reach. Hotel Torre de Villademoros, set on the Asturian coast, has no civilisation in sight. You’re steps from a deserted beach, and the surroundings are green, rugged and lush. Walk to time-lost villages or along a stretch of the Camino de Santiago pilgrims’ trail, stopping for fresh seafood and tapas as you go. It’s a far cry from the crowded costas of the south.

Prices: From £75 per room (peak summer months from £92)
Get there: Asturias airport is the closest (38km), or you could fly into Santander (245km). Airport transfers are available, but you’ll probably want a car to get around. Brittany Ferries run services from Plymouth and Portsmouth to Santander.

 

5 Fattoria Barbialla Nuova, Tuscany

the i-escape blog | Cheap hotels and rentals in Europe: 10 places from under £100 per night | Fattoria Barbialla Nuova

Fattoria Barbialla Nuova, a sprawling agriturismo in the blissful Tuscan hills, is a fab option for cheap family holidays. Its nine apartments (for 2-8) all feature kitchens, so you can self-cater to save on eating out. Pick ingredients fresh from the garden, and stock up on staples at the organic shop (perhaps take some goodies home with you as low-cost souvenirs for loved ones?). There are various shared swimming pools on site, plus marked woodland walks and a bunch of outdoor activities. Siena, Florence and Pisa are all within easy day-trip distance.

Prices: From £60 per apartment
Get there: Fly into Pisa (or Florence), which is well-served by budget airlines from the UK. You will need a hire car to reach the hotel. Tip: Get car hire excess insurance separately online, it’s far cheaper than buying it at the car hire desk.

 

6 Hotel Gutkowski, Sicily

the i-escape blog | Cheap hotels and rentals in Europe: 10 places from under £100 per night | Hotel Gutkowski

Here’s a strong contender for a low-cost beach holiday. Hotel Gutkowski sits right on the waterfront in Ortigia, the historical centre of Siracusa. Head up to its sun-dappled roof terraces to drink in the turquoise views over fresh OJ at breakfast or Aperol Spritz at sunset (you get one free if you book through i-escape). Ortigia’s UNESCO-listed centre has impressive Greek and Roman ruins, and the beaches just down the coast are some of Sicily’s best. Rooms here are a total steal, so you’ll need to book early if coming in the height of summer.

Prices: From £59 per room (peak summer months from £75)
Get there: Fly into Catania (60km), then either rent a car and make the easy one-hour journey south along the motorway, or avoid car hire costs and hop on a train or intercity bus (the latter being slightly quicker) direct to Siracusa.

 

7 Perivoli Country Hotel, Peloponnese

the i-escape blog | Cheap hotels and rentals in Europe: 10 places from under £100 per night | Perivoli Country Hotel

Here’s another good option for a cheap family holiday this summer. Perivoli is a friendly agro-hotel set among orange and lemon groves that tumble down to the shore. Come for spectacular views from the large, sunny pool deck and warm, smiling service from the owners. The handsome, neoclassical town of Napflio is just below, along with a string of other ancient towns and settlements. For beaches, try sheltered Karathonas or long and sandy Iria.

Prices: From £75 per room (peak summer months from £104)
Get there: Athens (170km) is the best bet. You will need to rent a car, but it’s an easy journey, mostly on motorways. Use price comparison sites to find the cheapest rental options.

 

8 La Maison Blanche, Provence

the i-escape blog | Cheap hotels and rentals in Europe: 10 places from under £100 per night | La Maison Blanche

Set in pretty Provencal countryside, La Maison Blanche is the picture of rural bliss in the south of France: beautiful golden-stone house, gorgeous countryside setting, fab food and a quaint and sleepy local village. It oozes charm. Bring a loved one and spend days cycling in the countryside, or explore Medieval Uzes, the famous Pont du Gard and Roman Arles – all nearby.

Prices: From £92 per room (peak summer months from £108)
Get there: Lots of options. You could fly into Avignon, Nimes, Montpellier or Marseille, or catch the Eurostar to Avignon (30km away) – go via Lille to avoid crowds in Paris. You’ll need to hire a car for the last leg. Or, if you’ve got time, come via ferry and bring your own car.

 

9 Chateau d’Olmet, Languedoc-Roussillon

the i-escape blog | Cheap hotels and rentals in Europe: 10 places from under £100 per night | Chateau d'Olmet

Chateau d’Olmet perches on a hilltop in a tiny hamlet (population: 14) in southern France – you’d never believe you’re only 45 minutes from international airports. The adults-only retreat sits within a gorgeous honey-coloured building with pastel-blue shutters and features just five beautifully styled rooms – which are fantastic value considering how spacious they are. You get sweeping countryside views and a shared pool for dipping in, and there’s excellent hiking and wine tasting nearby.

Prices: From £92 per room (peak summer months from £113)
Get there: Fly into Beziers or Montpellier, then rent a car from the airport. Eurostar to Montpellier or Avignon is also an option. The B&B’s close proximity to airports makes this an easy destination for a long weekend.

 

10 Hidden House, Hvar

the i-escape blog | Cheap hotels and rentals in Europe: 10 places from under £100 per night | Hidden House

It’s not easy to find cheap accommodation on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, so the gorgeous self-contained suites at Hidden House (for 2-4 each) are a rarity. Each features a well-equipped kitchen for self-catering. Extra beds/sofabeds can accommodate 1-2 children, so this is a super-affordable option for families. Stari Grad’s waterfront is just one block away; the town beach is 10 mins’ walk away. A concierge service offers culinary experiences, island activities and transfers, and – the cherry on the cake – there’s a cocktail school and wine tasting venue on the ground floor of the building.

Prices: From £76 per suite (peak summer months from £137)
Get there: Fly into Split, take a taxi to the port, then a ferry (1.5-2 hrs) or catamaran (50 mins) to Hvar. You won’t need a car on the island – the owners collect you from the port, and the town is on your doorstep.

 


Our money-saving travel tips:

1 Travel at unpopular times. Transport routes are often cheaper if you’re willing to travel on weekdays, particularly if it’s late evening or overnight. And if you can, visit outside peak season – even June & September are often 20-30% cheaper than July-August.

2 Don’t fall into the budget airline trap. They lure you in with low fares and then catch you with big fees when it comes to the add-ons. Pack light, get your travel insurance separately, opt for a randomly allocated seat, and take food on the plane with you. It tends to be cheaper if you add a bag later in the booking process rather than selecting one of the premium fares (which include luggage).

3 Self-cater. Rentals get snapped up quickly, so look for apart-hotels too, where rooms come with kitchens/kitchenettes. They might only have basic cooking facilities, but you’ll have enough equipment for preparing breakfast, lunch and perhaps a few simple dinners, which will save you a fortune on food.

4 Be savvy about where you eat out. It might look appealing to have lunch overlooking a famous landmark, but you’ll be ripped off. Walk away from the tourist trail and you’ll find the food is cheaper and often better. Keep an eye out for ‘menu of the day’ options: set 2/3-course meals, usually with a drink, that are incredible value and showcase local dishes.

5 Use app-based banks when abroad. Using your regular bank card is likely to incur hefty fees. Monzo give you free cash withdrawals overseas (capped at £200 over a 30-day period). Revolut offer fee-free transactions abroad using the interbank exchange rate.

BONUS TIP: Don’t buy souvenirs at the airport. Prices are inflated and items are tat. Instead, pick up local items from grocery shops or markets, such as spices or teas.