This paper contributes to the growing literature on the uneven geography of second homes in three ways. First, the heterogeneous nature of second homes in a rural, mountainous area of the European periphery is identified. Second, a conceptual model is developed, relating this heterogeneity to different types of population mobility. Third, a category of property, termed ‘residual’ is shown to be a part of the second home typology within the study area, albeit with a varied and ambiguous role. The spatial patterns of different types of second home are analysed and their implications for the local impact of rural development policies discussed.