Country houses for sale

Three mesmerising historic homes for sale across the Continent, from a Venetian palazzo to a villa with its own aqueduct

With interest in international properties making a surprisingly strong showing, Carla Passino picks out three beautiful houses in popular destinations.

Not even these unprecedented times can dent British appetite for a property abroad. Whether it’s because growing numbers of people think that, if they have to work from home, they may as well do so in the sunshine or because the pandemic gave many of us a new urgency to carry out stalled plans, agents are noticing a strong interest for many international destinations.

As an example, Jelena Cvjetkovic of Savills reports a 55% increase in enquiries over the past year, with peaks of 61% in the Alps and record months for the company’s South-West France and Algarve associates.

Among the most popular locations are traditional favourites, such as Italy (especially Tuscany), Portugal (the Algarve), France and Barbados (the latter helped matters along by introducing a new visa that makes it easier for incomers to work remotely from the island), as well as some parts of Spain.

Charente, France — €1.308 million

It’s hard to tell what’s more enticing about this 16th-century château — the parkland, the turreted building or the interiors that exude a sense of history.

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The ground floor has an atmospheric salon and a dining room watched over by a majestic fireplace (one of many the property boasts).

Bedrooms are vast, the stone staircase has an almost monumental feel, exposed beams abound and the long gallery library can fulfil every bookworm’s dream.

For sale via Leggett Prestige — see more details

Mallorca, Spain — €4.2 million

If you long for a feature that will set your home apart from the rest, this stone property near Pollensa is hard to beat: it has a built-in aqueduct. The fixture is a relic from the times when the building was a Moorish watermill.

The interiors have many other appealing details, too, from welcoming fireplaces to exposed beams, as well as fine mountain views.

Additional space is available in a two-bedroom guest house.

The lovely gardens and terraces combine exotic plants with orange and lemon orchards, outdoor entertaining areas and a heated pool.

For sale via Engel & Völkers — see more details.

Venice, Italy — €3.5 million

An independent entrance gives access to this striking Venetian apartment, which occupies the third and fourth floor (with lift) of a historic palazzo in Dorsoduro.

Painstakingly renovated, it stretches across 3,444sq ft, with a balconied reception room and three bedrooms on the third floor and, on the fourth floor, which is linked by a marble staircase, the living areas, a dining room and a large kitchen.

A wooden staircase leads to the attic and an altana roof terrace.

For sale via Knight Frank at €3.5m — see more details.