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Windmills have been used for centuries to complete tasks like grinding up flour and pumping water. From Asia to Europe, the technology has been used, and in some forms is still relevant to this day. But what about those mills that are no longer operational? Did they get torn down? Maybe some, but a wealth have survived to live on as luxurious or historical accommodations, either listed on sites like Airbnb or independently as their own bed and breakfast. Windmills offer a unique experience to travelers, and below are our absolute favorite ones.
Just when you thought the Azores in Portugal couldn’t get any better, you find out one can stay in a windmill with 360 views from the top floor. Many updated amenities from a sleek bathroom, kitchen and plush bedroom make the space more than accommodating. However, the 19th-century aesthetics still shine through.
Also in Portugal, this structure served as a windmill in the 1850s. Today it overlooks the Tejo River, providing stellar accommodations complete with a kitchen and vibrantly tiled bathroom. Gaze from the top floor and admire the well-preserved details of the Airbnb Plus.
Offering a classic windmill look on the exterior, the interior is richly accented with chunky wood beams, a fireplace and elegant furnishings. Actually quite spacious, about six guests can spread out comfortably. Just miles from Amsterdam, the traditional beauty is a cool place to bunk.
Located in La Louviere, Belgium, this old windmill features a factory style aesthetic that’s been further enhanced to its full potential. Glorious brick walls encircle three floors of awesomeness, including a kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. Even a sauna is available for use. Enjoy the touches of history around every corner.
While not as old as our other picks so far, this red beauty operated all the way until the 1980s, and is still largely intact. Inside are refined accommodations that can house up to 15 guests, so this could be a cool family reunion location in Germany! Bike the grounds, warm up by the fireplace and just enjoy lounging within this piece of history.
Another German windmill Airbnb, the wooden structure still has its iconic blades, unlike a number of other converted ones. Inside is oh so cozy with the most detailed furniture and lots of wooden accents. Pops of color here and there add to the charm of the three floors. A kitchen, bath and two bedrooms are amongst the accommodations.
Once processing wheat flour before machines began to dominate, this windmill is a reminder of the past in this quaint part of Greece. Stone walls contrast beautifully against the fixtures of the three floors, and the upstairs bedroom offers incredible views of the surrounding landscape.
The Windmill bed and breakfast was built in the 18th century and has been a fixture in Scarborough for hundreds of years. Today it’s a bustling inn that pampers guests within age-old accommodations. A handful of apartments are available within the windmill itself and are most suitable for couples or solo travelers. You’ll fall in love with the four-poster beds, and pretty courtyard space.
Santorini Windmill Villas takes a different approach, with newly constructed windmills that comprise a small resort overlooking the Aegean Sea. Instead of a rustic experience, guests are drenched in full-blown luxury while staying in their posh accommodations, or while lounging by their very own pristine pool and jacuzzi. Every villa is also equipped with its own separate gardens. Everything we love about the windmill experience, other than enriching history, has been enhanced at this jaw-dropping resort. Up to five people can comfortably stay in each one.
Cley Windmill is in the United Kingdom and delights guests with a variation of cottage decorated suites, within its indulgent interior. With five stories, there’s plenty of room for guests not to feel too close together. The building as a whole has been lovingly kept up over the years by a list of devoted owners, and today guests still can enjoy the past. Gardens, lovely meals and homey touches make this one really magical.