'La Retama' Cerro Del Esparto
Villa | 5 bedrooms | sleeps 10
This lovely family country house is charming and well located for enjoying the wealth of outdoor pursuits in this unspoilt and truly Andalusian area. Although it feels secluded in the heart of the rural campo, the grandeur of Granada is only a 30 minute drive away. Further afield are the hot springs of Alhama de Granada and the coast at Motril (about 1.5 hours drive). Gorgeous Montefrio is a 15 minute drive - a gem of classic Andalucian beauty: vibrant bars complement its elegance, winding streets lead up to the tiny whitewashed streets and the castle looking like a legend on top.
Sample traditional tapas in the bars and restaurants of friendly Illora or the classic beauty of Montefrio. Sierria Pelada riding stables are a few minutes drive away and a moonlight ride on the mountain is a must. There is excellent rock climbing to be had also - and Europe's longest skiing season is accessible in the nearby Sierra Nevada! There is a whole mountain of rambling possibilities through olive groves and woods. Or simply relax by the pool or read sheltered from the sun under the pergola...
|Size||Sleeps up to 10, 5 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Motril 60 km|
|Will consider||Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||6 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Granada 20 km, Nearest railway: Granada|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, TV, CD player, Satellite TV|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 En suites, Solarium or roof terrace|
|Furniture||1 Sofa beds, Single beds (4), Double beds (4), Cots (1), Dining seats for 12, Lounge seats for 12|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
The whole interior of the main Cortijo was redecorated before the 2012 season - and our guests loved it. The Cortijo is very much a family house, I do trust that guests will continue to care for the Cortijo and enjoy some of the precious objects that live there too.The beds are all new and comfortable, I added mattress toppers to them all in response a guest request from 2012 :)
Our kitchen is particularly generously equipped with solid oak cabinets & built in hob/cooker. Granite worktops.
Two dining tables - seats 8-12 together. Microwave. Extensively equipped - all pots pans, crockery etc. Large Fridge/Freezer in pantry plus fridge in Casita. There is a stereo with a selection of music and 'talking books'.
I like to leave fresh packets of pasta/rice oil spices etc for guests. Coffee, tea and a bottle of wine will be there too for the first summer guests. 2013 guests kept this generous spirit up throughout! Please feel free to use these and maybe leave some in your turn. Also please do use the suncream provided if you had to leave yours at customs (I still forget the 100ml rule!). The bathroom cupboards are stocked with first aid from plasters to rescue remedy. I provide a well stocked bookcase - maps, novels, games, guides to Granada and Alhambra.
There is one yoga mat If you need urgent clothing repairs please use the sewing cabinet.
The lounge has two large sofas and a sofa bed. There is a rattan sofa that can taken outside, two easy chairs and further seating. It has a flat screen TV with Free view channels, DVD player. Bring your iPod to plug in to the great speakers. The excellent large wood burner is easy to light and well stocked with locally sourced olive wood. Cosy feel - cool in summer, warm in winter!
|Further details outdoors|
The large private pool is located on the lower terrace with a spacious patio area beside it. The view from the pool terrace is breathtaking - as you can see in the photos here. I don't think it is possible to do the views at dawn and sunset justice in a photo. There are 2 large covered pergolas on the lower terrace, with tables and chairs with a large sun parasol. There are 5 sunbeds for use on the patio.
Steps lead down to a lower garden - overgrown with wild flowers in spring. The adventurous can scramble down into my steep olive grove and find the hidden plunge pool!
There is a courtyard outside the main house also with a table and chairs and a tap and hose if you fancy watering our gorgeous roses. The barbecues are in the lower utility room - charcoal can be purchased from the great ferreteria in Illora!
My favorite place is the simple top terrace. It is a wonderful place to watch the sunrise, do yoga or tai chi. It is prettily tiled and has a safety rail around its perimeter.
Smokers outside only please.
The Andalucia region
Granada province is characterised by extreme variables in landscape and climate, so much so that it's possible to ski in the mountains and go diving in the sea in one day. When you've exhausted the magnificent city of Granada, there are countless other possibilities: from going underground in cave dwellings in a desolate desert-like area, climbing the Iberian Peninsula's highest mountains or losing yourself in the region's rich Moorish history and fortified palaces.
With its spectacular backdrop of the Sierra Nevada's snowy peaks, the provincial capital of Granada is dominated by the Alhambra, an exquisitely designed and decorated Moorish palace that exemplifies the zenith of Muslim art and architecture. But don't miss Granada's other fascinating sights, such as the winding, narrow streets of the Moorish quarter, the Albacín, the impressive Gothic chapel - the Capilla Real - that houses the tombs of the Catholic Monarchs and the adjacent Renaissance cathedral, as well as numerous great bars offering free tapas.
The second highest mountain range in Europe, the Sierra Nevada National Park is an uninhabited rugged wilderness with snow on its peaks for most of the year. It also has Europe's most southerly ski resort and has some superb climbing and mountaineering opportunities.
Illora is a typical and pretty inland Andalucian town, becoming increasingly popular with discerning travellers looking for more Spanish authenticity than is offered at the coast. The town is doted with historic monuments including the Alcazaba De Illora, a ruined castle/fortress on the specacular rocky outcrop that towers over the town. Also look out for the stunning church Inglesia De Encarnacion below the Alcazaba... walk down the hill front the church's front door and 20metres on your right you will find the easily missed entrance to my favourite bar and restaurant - invisible from the street is a courtyard area lush with vines and flowers, and with the giant barbeque on the go all summer. Take your children as late as you like - they will always be welcome!
Signposted off the road to Illora, about 7km east of Montefrío, is an intriguing and unmissable archaeological site, the Penas de los Gitanos, which has evidence of human settlement from Neolithic times to the Bronze Age. Excavations here have unearthed numerous artefacts including combs made from bone, flint arrowheads and shards of decorative ceramics in the collection of prehistoric dolmens and cave dwellings, one of which has primitve rock paintings. Also here is a Medieval citadel, the remains of a Roman fort and, in the gorge below, six water mills.
Please speak to our representative at the house about local rock climbing which can easily be arranged on the the rugged Parrapanda. This mountain is the setting for grand views or tranquil walks - leave at dawn in the summer months to scramble up to the view point of the Sierra Nevada a couple of kilometres wander up through the olive groves to the West of 'La Retama'. If you make it to the top of the cliffs that you can see clearly through the kitchen window then you can share your picnic with eagles and wild boar!
Nearby Montefrio is charming and has been noted as a local favourite by several of my guests. Located off the tourist trail in the north-western corner of Granada province near the Cordoba border, this friendly village enjoys one of the region's most striking settings, with one of its churches perched on top of a bare, rocky pinnacle, overlooking the town and its surrounding hillsides clothed in olive groves and fields of cereal crops. It nestles between two memorable hilltop churches; you can't miss either of them since they dominate the skyline.
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16 Aug 2013
"A lovely rural retreat - perfect for relaxing by the pool"
We spent a fabulous week here with another family. A lovely, well presented villa in traditional Andalusian country. A car is essential as it is about a 10 minute drive up from the village of Illora… More
23 Oct 2012
"Lovely house amazing views perfect retreat."
We stayed here early October weather really hot so made good use of the wonderful pool with amazing views.Loved this house, the best stocked store cupboard in any house we have stayed in,could have cooked a meal right away if needed.
Almost everything about this house was perfect only negative bumpy driveway to property, you need a robust car !!! The village of Illora is about a 10 minute drive away and has lots of bars & cafe's, a couple of small supermarkets & a good selection of other shops. The people of the village are very friendly & helpful. If you want a perfect chill out holiday then this is the place for you we will definitely stay here again. Even though we are "older people". I have not ticked the box for older visitors as you really need to be mobile to stay here. Many thanks to Sonja for sharing her house with us.
7 Dec 2011
"Great place for extended family/friends group"
Big house with annexe that comfortably sleeps 12 with spsce for a cot or 2. Well appointed with a good size pool and large adjacent seating area. Flat roofed annexe was lovely for eating an evening me… More
1 Nov 2011
"Lazy poolside holiday in traditional part of Andalucia"
We spent a very happy fortnight here, in the baking sun. The accommodation comprises a traditional two-bedroomed cottage, with modern additions of two bedrooms, a kitchen/dining room, a new bathroom, and a self-contained 'cassetta' comprising bedroom and bathroom. The place is furnished as a family home, with satellite tv, dial-up internet access, paintings on the walls, and decent kitchen equipment. There were some curious idiosyncrasies - the water tank leaked and needed refilling, and it took us a while to work out the swimming pool's filtration system! This is a very quiet part of Spain, and the car was essential. The house is a comfortable two hours' drive from Malaga airport, about 45 minutes from the city of Granada, and about 10 minutes from the local town, Illora. The locals are friendly, but don't speak much English, but we did meet more ex-pats than we expected. I'd recommend this place for families or a group of friends. For the active, there are lots of nearby opportunities for hiking or horse-riding, Granada and the hilltop towns provide cultural destinations, or you could just idle the hours away by the pool.
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