So, you're planning a hop across the Pond? Great choice. Europe's filled with wonders. Medieval hill towns overlook rustic vineyards in Italy. Denmark, Sweden, and Norway have carved fjords topped by ice fields and peppered with timber-built Viking villages. The UK is laced with thatched-roof hamlets and wild coastal escapes. Portugal has surfer cabins and rustic posadas by golden beaches. This guide to B&Bs in Europe starts in the Land of Fire and Ice, offering tips on booking bed and breakfasts in Iceland and beyond…
The meaning of remote – bed and breakfasts in Iceland
The mystical isle of Iceland isn't just on the fringes of Europe. It can feel like it's on the fringes of the Earth itself. On the cusp of the cold Arctic Circle, this is somewhere you can leave any vestiges of civilization behind. And there are bed and breakfasts in Iceland that help you do just that. They huddle with the snowdrifts around the wild inlets of Akureyri, with big skylights that gaze at the Aurora Borealis. They nestle in homey Reykjavik, between steaming geothermal pools and monstrous mountain ridges.
Bed and breakfasts Copenhagen with a stylish edge
CPH isn't hailed as the design capital of the world for nothing. In fact, in the country that gave the world LEGO and Hans Christian Andersen's fantastical tales, there are guest houses that you're likely never to forget. There are age-old hotels tucked between the cobbled plazas and rotunda towers of the Indre By medieval center. There are B&Bs in Copenhagen's bohemian Christianshavn area, spilling into canals and minimalist coffee shops. And there are others dotting the salty sands of Amager Strand with views of the Baltic Sea.
Between oceans and beautiful cities with B&Bs in Portugal
Choose a bed and breakfast in Lisbon and you'll be immersed in a great city of explorers and seafarers, where grand maritime museums verge on the Tagus Estuary and mighty Moor's castles crown the miradors. Go for a guest house in Porto, further north, and there are hillside lanes that hide blues and jazz bars, open-air port distilleries on the river, and the gorgeous green undulations of the Douro Valley to get through. Other B&Bs in Portugal are rustic posada homestays clad in azulejo tiles right by wild surfer beaches.
The Bavarian charms of bed and breakfasts in Germany
Some of the most enticing bed and breakfasts in Germany are in the far south. That's where the Alps rise to snow-tipped summits, shadowing mountain towns like Garmisch-Partenkirchen with the craggy tops of the Zugspitze. In these parts, you're likely to be greeted by lederhosen-touting proprietors with a Bavarian beer in one hand and an Oompah album in the other. The stays are usually traditional ferienwohnung – guest houses with a handful of rooms, communal breakfast halls, and – often – ski trails and hiking routes just outside the door.
All about B&Bs in the United Kingdom
The UK is one darn fine place to consider a bed and breakfast in Europe. Some say it's where this classic style of homey accommodation first started, so there are certainly loads to pick from. In England, there are romantic getaways with hot tubs under the pikes of the Lake District, or bed and breakfasts in Oxford that are crammed between Gothic spires and leafy canals. A bed and breakfast in Wales, meanwhile, could be your ticket to a crooked miner's cottage by misty peaks of mystical Snowdonia, or the puffin-filled shores of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
A bed and breakfast in Switzerland – Alps and Alpine lakes
Yes, there are some bed and breakfasts in Switzerland that cram into the church-topped heart of historic Geneva, or sit in the suburbs of internationalist Zurich. But those buzzing business towns are usually more about slick hotels. To get the folksy Swiss stays that ooze authenticity, you can hop on the Glacier Express to Zermatt and find wood-built lodges under the gnarled Matterhorn. Or, you can find cabins by the banks of Lake Lucerne, amid vineyards and snow-mantled peaks that crash upwards to the sheer faces of the Eiger in the next valley.
Whitewashed bed and breakfasts in Greece
You can often see the cottage-style bed and breakfasts of Greece glowing brilliant white on the tips of mountainous Aegean islands long before you pull intro the marina. Santorini is a hub for them, with cave homes that emerge onto panoramic patios with sweeping vistas of sunken volcanos from their infinity pools – a honeymoon spot, perhaps? Then there are the taverna-side B&Bs of lively Mykonos, and the Venetian-styled homestays of pastel-painted Symi. And even that's only a taster.