From Treehouses to caves - our dream holiday properties

Cornwall treehouse

Forget two weeks in a hotel, we want something a bit more special for our holidays this year - and in many cases, we can actually have it.

We've spent most of the cold, dark, rainy months quietly dreaming, and booking our summer holidays. But while we sign ourselves up for a fortnight in a studio room with three children - and resign ourselves to dawn starts or sunbeds three rows from the pool, we're giving up on far more adventurous dreams.

Research from Airbnb looked at the properties most commonly added to wish lists around the world, to find the types of properties we'd most like to stay in. There weren't an awful lot of two-bedroom flats on the list, and the top ten was.

1. Treehouse
2. Igloo
3. Van
4. Lighthouse
5. Cave
6. Island
7. Yurt
8. Train
9. Loft
10. Cabin

Some of them sound frankly impossible, but in the mad world of Airbnb, you'll be surprised at the unusual kinds of properties you can stay in - and how affordable many of them can be. We have unearthed incredible ways you can stay in the top five.

Treehouses

There are plenty of treehouses available without you having to travel too far. There's Tree Sparrow House in Cornwall - accessible by ladder - which starts at £100 a night for two. Alternatively you could opt for a stunning treehouse built between two oaks in Andalusia, starting at £56 per night, or a fairytale treehouse in the grounds of the Castle of Graville in France - from £106 per night.

Igloo

Igloos are admittedly a bit thinner on the ground, and one hastily thrown together in New York during the coldest of the weather this year has been delisted by the site. If you're willing to be a bit flexible on the definition, you could always spend the night in a concrete 'igloo' on the beach in Cairns for £56 a night (for up to four people).

bread van

Van

Anyone who has endured a caravanning holiday is unlikely to be convinced by the attractions of a van, but Airbnb could change your mind. There's a 1960s bread van in the middle of a forest about half an hour from Oslo, complete with heating, a real bed and the internet, for £58 a night (they also offer a Swedish fire truck if the bread van is taken). Or there's a VW camper van parked up on a farm in the Netherlands, where the owner recommends a dip in the canal, for £59 a night.

Lighthouse

If you and seven friends fancy a trip to the US you can stay in Wings Neck Lighthouse for £358 a night and enjoy a 360 degree ocean view. If that seems a bit of a trek, then you and the same seven friends can stay in a lighthouse in Medulin in Croatia for £200 a night - although you'll have to get along pretty well as the nearest village is 4km away.

Santorini cave

Caves

There are even a few caves to choose from. There's the Lava Cave on Santorini, where three of you can stay for £399 a night. Among the attractions is the spa pool with the kind of cliff top view that sells postcards. Alternatively, there's a stunning cave house in Sassi, Italy, which sleeps two and costs just £79 a night; or a cave in a former winery in Greece for £56 a night - in among a number of caves in what is imaginatively called Caveland.

But what do you think? Would you give up your all-inclusive hotel for a holiday in a treehouse, a lighthouse or a cave? Or are these the kind of lovely dreams that would end up being uncomfortable and impractical in reality? Let us know in the comments.

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From Treehouses to caves - our dream holiday properties

The owner of a holiday home in Spain returned to inspect his property after he had let it to a group of young people in their 20s for two weeks, to find that they had created an indoor beach including sand and water to emulate the sea. The youngsters explained that the local beach “hadn’t lived up to their expectations”.

A slightly oblivious swan didn’t see what was coming his way. It was flying happily through the air, completely unaware of a set of high voltage power cables in its flight path which it duly hit. The swan had the shock of its life and dived straight for the roof of a holiday home underneath, crashing through the roof and leaving a massive hole in need of fixing.

At a holiday home in France, a cow walked over a swimming pool cover. As the cow was considerably heavier than the cover could hold, the cover broke and the unsuspecting cow took an involuntary dip in the pool; resulting in considerable damage to the pool and the need for a winch to rescue the distraught bovine.

Holiday guests staying in a Spanish property moved items of furniture from inside the holiday home they were renting, including a sofa, single bed and chest of drawers, into the shallow end of the swimming pool. The guests had been under the influence of alcohol when they’d decided to rearrange the furniture in such a way and claimed they "couldn’t remember" why they had done it.

A particularly passionate couple managed to not only badly scratch the wooden floor of their bedroom by causing the bed to move vehemently, but also caused the bed to break, as well as the bedside lamp and bedside table. The couple explained that all damage had been caused during one session of lovemaking and they apologised profusely.

Following a rental, a holiday home owner made a gory discovery; he found blood splattered all over carpets and walls. After further investigation, he discovered a makeshift cardboard coffin containing a pig’s head in the bin, suggesting that a sacrifice had taken place at his property.

A young couple tried to pursue a claim against the owner of their holiday apartment in Spain on the basis that both bed sheets and towels were "too hard" and caused scratches and irritations on the skin, which prevented them from using the pool and sunbathing comfortably.

A holiday cottage in Devon needed completely redecorating after the holiday guests had decided to have an indoor barbecue on the flagstone floor, as ‘the weather didn’t allow for having it outside’.

One unsuspecting holiday property owner in Italy was shocked to find out that his house had been turned into a brothel by his guests during a four week rental period, resulting in the need for a deep clean and replacement of soft furnishings.

A lady in her late 30s from Manchester sought compensation from the owner of her holiday home in Marbella as the gravel on the driveway "had wrecked" four pairs of her designer stilettos and forced her to replace them with new ones.

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