A whopping two-thirds of Spaniards live in apartments – more so than anywhere else in Europe – but this wasn’t always the case.
Back when the population was more rurally based, the wealthier members of society lived in some pretty splendid houses, each cultural region developing its own particular design and idiosyncrasies for its staple home.
So if flat-dwelling in Spain isn’t for you and you’re willing to sacrifice some of the perks of living in the city, these historic casas may be what you didn’t know you were actually after.
Granted most of them don’t come cheap and others may be in desperate need of renovation, but as we said in the title, these casas are “the stuff of dreams”.
(We’ll include links to actual listings if available)
Spain’s lush, Celtic region of Galicia in the northwest of the country has more rain than Andalusia but these chateaux-like homes really make up for it.
Photo: Deposit Photos
Once the homes of Galician nobility, many pazos are on sale currently, the more stately going for just under €3 million and the more modest (but still magnificent) are on sale for around €200,000. Check Idealista's pazo listings here as well as Galician Country Homes, an English-language estate agency offering some good deals on pazo homes.
Photo: Rodrigo Teijeira/Wikimedia
These triangular, often elongated houses are still found across rural Valencia, Catalonia and some parts of Murcia. They’re cosier and quainter than Galician pazos but that is also reflected in the price.
Barracas were traditionally the homes of Valencian farmers so the houses often come with an orchard or plot of land.
If you’d rather live a simpler life an hour or so from Valencia or Alicante, here are some barracas on sale.
Photo: Joan Banjo/Wikimedia
A masía is the name given to a country house in Catalonia. Traditionally they have a distinctive Romanesque design and are made of stone.
Masías are warm and full of character, but house prices in the region aren’t the cheapest in Spain, with most of these rustic homes going for a few million euros.
Photo: Can Moriscot/Wikimedia
Spain’s Basque Country and Navarre regions have some of the country’s most pristine wilderness, a perfect setting if you want to live a rural life in Spain (although your elderly neighbours may only speak Basque to you).
Caseríos, the traditional farmhouses of the regions, are robust stone structures of usually three floors. Again, given Navarre and the Basque Country's higher rent per capita, caseríos don’t come that cheap.
Photo: Enrique Domingo/Flickr
The house pictured may look a bit rough around the edges but it still illustrates the grandieur and Moorish style of Andalusian architecture.
Cortijos, the traditional homes of landowners in sun-drenched Andalusia, often include larges plots of land, plenty of rooms and ornate inside patios.
Photo: Ventura Carmona/Flickr
Many have been revamped, so it’s up to you if you want to find a bargain cortijo and give it the ‘Grand Designs’ treatment.
These quintessentially southern Spanish homes (also found in Extremadura) are listed more often as “finca rústica” than cortijos, in case you want to find out more about them.