I was born and raised in Arizona where my family would often explore the desert landscape anytime we had time off school. The desert is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I love the colors of the sunsets and especially sunrises in the Sonoran Dessert. One of my most memorable family day-trips was when we went a couple of hours north to the Montezuma Castle National Monument. Hiking up to the homes carved into the mountains was amazing to me. Even more amazing is when we visited Colorado and the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park where an entire city is carved into the mountains. Seeing the ingenuity of the native people who built these homes into the cliffs over 1,000 years ago is awe-inspiring. Having grown up a desert, where it routinely passes 100 degrees as early as April, I was impressed by the practicality of these homes built into the mountains because of the natural cooling properties of the mountains in a time when air conditioning, let alone electricity, was not invented yet. However, the Native Americans that lived here for thousands of years are not the only people who built their homes right into the landscapes. Here are 30 modern-day versions of the ruins I enjoyed visiting as a child! Take a look at these incredible underground homes.
1. Hillside Home in Vals, Switzerland. I love how surprising the square windows and doors are in the round face of the home in the hillside.
2. Cave pool in Santorini, Greece. I’m not usually a fan of all white decor, but this is absolutely beautiful. It looks so clean, refreshing and inviting!
3. Talk about a sun-room! Having a natural skylight in a cave as a sitting room would just be amazing in this Sicily Cave Dwelling!
4. Domus Civita, Italy. I find it interesting that they basically have gravel as the floor covering in their home built into a cave.
5. Domus Civita, Italy. There’s just something screen about having a swimming pool built inside of a cave!
6. This Hogan in Arizona, which is a traditional home of the Navajo people.
7. Bad Blumau in Australia. I absolutely love the whimsical facade of the house with all the windows and different colors. From the front you would never realize the majority of the house is still lush green of a hillside.
8. Cave homes in Cappadocia, Turkey. It’s just so surprising to see glass windows complete with wood panes in a rock outcropping in the hillside.
9. House Cave in Sacromonte, Spain. this home is definitely rustic when it comes to the wall texture, but it would be so much fun to live in such an interesting space!
10. Rock houses in Iceland. Iceland is such a beautiful place and I love how these underground houses are a part of that beautiful landscape!
11. Beckham Creek Cave Lodge in Parthenon, Arkansas. This has to be one of my most favorite entrances. I would love that front door anywhere, however being an entrance into a house carved into the mountain makes it so much more special!
12. The Brochs of Coigach, Scotland. This is beautiful too, I love that the front of the house is stacked stone so it blends seamlessly into the hillside where the house is built.
13. Village of Kandovan, Iran. This is not what I had in mind when you hear some people live in caves…. I would live here.
14. Dietikon in Switzerland is a beautiful home in a grass covered hillside. I love that there are no sharp corners in this entire building, even the windows and doors are rounded.
15. Sala Silvermine in Sweden. This bedroom is in a mine that is open to tours, and of course you can rent this room for the night as well. If you have ever explored a cave or mine before they often turn off the lights to show what total darkness looks like. I don’t think I would be able to sleep here if they turned out the lights.
16. Nas Montanhas de Fafe in Portugal is a house built in between, as well as into, two huge boulders.
17. Aloni house in Antiparos Island, Greece has more than just a rooftop garden. It has a rooftop vineyard.
18. I couldn’t find where this cute little house in rock was located but it was too much fun not to include in this post.
19. Matmata Village in Tunisia. There are more than 2,000 residents who live in these types of homes where a pit is dug into the ground and then artificial caves are carved into the walls of the pit.
20. Malator in Druidstone, Whales. This little green house is so perfectly situated into the hill that it’s almost camouflaged with the choice of color.
21. Bolton Eco House, England. Not only is this house eco-friendly, it makes a beautiful picture from a bird’s-eye view as well.
22. House of Spiritual Retreat in Seville, Spain. This house has the best of both worlds, being mostly underground but also with a section built above ground too.
23. This Cave home in Troo, France is one of my favorites! I love how the house appears to seamlessly blend into the side of the cliff! It’s absolutely beautiful.
24. The OUTrial House in Poland is built right into a grassy hillside complete with a grass-covered rooftop.
Another view of the OUTrial House in Poland. I love how they have plenty of yard space right on top of their own house.
25. Dune House at Atlantic Beach. I think it’s appropriate that the windows of this home look like sunglasses as it looks out on the beach.
This is the entrance to the Dune House at Atlantic Beach.
26. Cave House in Festus Missouri. I’m not usually a fan of the contemporary style of house, but the juxtaposition of the contemporary house set inside the cliff of a mountain strikes the right cord with me. I think it looks awesome.
These homes are definitely examples of thinking outside the box and taking advantage of the landscape around you when it comes to building your home. It would be so much fun to be able to see these types of houses. However, it makes me wonder what people will think about the way “we” lived now when looking back at these homes long after the owners pass on, like we look at the ruins carved into the mountains at such places like Mesa Verde and Montezuma Castle.