Self-catering is popular for family holidays in Europe – better value than staying in a hotel, with more flexibility and freedom. Even if you don’t want to cook on holiday, kitchens/kitchenettes are useful for the odd meal, especially breakfast, heating bottles and baby food, and making snacks and picnics. They also give you an excuse to buy yummy local produce from markets and farm shops, and can be handy for those with picky children.
Self-catering in Europe is a particularly useful option for holidays with grandparents, extended family, or another family or families – clubbing together often means you can get more space and better facilities, and you can share chores and give one another a break.
Classic self-catering options in Europe are cottages/gîtes, villas and apartments (particularly for city breaks and for ski holidays). Apart-hotels, combining extra space and kitchen facilities with some of the facilities of a hotel (pool, restaurant, launderette, cleaning service, kids’ club…) are also increasingly popular, or some resorts have self-catering accommodation in addition to rooms. Alternatively, try a farmstay (a cottage in old farm buildings or a glamping tent), a campsite, holiday park or holiday village (staying in your own tent, a ready set-up yurt, safari tent or similar, or a mobile home) or a home swap.
See our special offers and latest deals with self-catering partners:
Pierre & Vacances: Self-catering holiday villages and residences around Europe, including the French Alps.
Cottages.com: Family-friendly rental properties in France and Italy, available at an exclusive discount for our newsletter subscribers (sign up at the bottom of this page).
Canvas: Long-established camping and holiday park operator.
James Villas: Hand-picked family-friendly properties around Europe.
Simpson Holidays: Child-friendly villas in the Mediterranean, some in boutique complexes.
Center Parcs Europe: Holiday villages with on-site activities in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.