In Europe, increasing attention is being given to supporting the redevelopment of unique forms of accommodation that preserve local colour.
Farms, ancient monuments and former convents and monasteries are available today for travellers who are looking for something different.
Spain and Portugal, for example, have transformed some old architectural jewels into modern, comfortable and affordable places to stay. Called paradores in Spain and pousadas in Portugal, they are sometimes set in off-the-beaten track places best reached by car.
In some of the Central and Eastern European countries it is possible to find typical homes, ranging from modest farmers' houses with farmyards to fortified mansions in grand palatial styles.