Designer Mediterranean homes from £200,000

Modern European holiday homes for buyers on a budget can be found across Spain and Portugal.

Good modern design can be hard to find in homes overseas. New-build properties, especially in Spain and Portugal, often follow a well-trodden "golf villa" style of identikit square buildings with terracotta tiles on pitched roofs - and little architectural flair.

For buyers on a budget who crave open-plan design filled with light, choice can be limited. Ann Adenius co-founded Modern Homes Worldwide because of her own passion for modern architecture. Her website features cutting-edge design by notable architects with prices from £149,000 for a beachfront apartment, for instance, at Icon Vallarta on Mexico's Pacific coast.

"More and more buyers are designminded," she says. "They like modern architecture's looks, but also its functionality, with spacious and flexible spaces and good integration between indoor and outdoor living areas."

Spanish modernism
At PGA Catalunya, a 300-acre resort near Girona frequently voted home to the best golf course in Spain, the decision was taken at the outset to showcase only contemporary design, centring on "straight lines, plenty of glass, lots of light and an easy flow from indoor to outdoor spaces", says the resort's Augustin La Rocca. "We employ a team of architects so while we have established design guidelines it is not formulaic. Every house is unique."

The decision to opt for contemporary design is all the more interesting as PGA Catalunya's owner, Irish businessman Denis O'Brien, also owns the very traditional upmarket Quinta do Lago golf resort in Portugal's Algarve.

PGA Catalunya's location, south of the Pyrenees, an hour from Barcelona and 10 minutes from Girona and the Costa Brava coastline, is also special. From there it's perfectly possible to play golf in the morning, swim in the Med in the afternoon and sample tapas in Barcelona in the evening.

Prices start at £304,500 for two- and three-bedroom flats with four per cent annual rental guarantees. Three-bedroom townhouses with Bulthaup kitchens and swimming pools overlooking the golf course are £568,300. Ninety of the planned 368 homes are sold to buyers from across Europe.

Costa Blanca's clean lines
Further south in Costa Blanca, an hour from Alicante, Las Colinas Golf & Country Club also has modern style running through its homes. London architects Wood Bagot have designed clean, light homes with white laminate kitchens, walls of glass and stylish, uncluttered bathrooms. Prices start from £186,700 for plots and £548,000 for 2,120sq ft villas overlooking the established golf course. New two-bedroom apartments are £203,000.

Portugal is in on the act
Portugal is also rewriting the rulebook. Bom Sucesso — Architecture Resort, Leisure and Golf, an hour north of Lisbon, has townhouses and villas designed by 23 contemporary architects including award-winning Briton David Chipperfield and Portuguese prizewinner Eduardo Souto de Moura. Prices start at £211,000 for a two-bedroom townhouse. There are 601 homes and plots for sale on the 400-acre resort, and 200 homes are built and sold so far.

All of the homes are contemporary design, 90 per cent are single storey and many have green roofs.

PGA Catalunya Resort: (00 34 972 472 577)
Modern Homes Worldwide 
Las Colinas:  (00 34 965 32 40 04) 
Bom Sucesso - through Resorts International

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