House | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 6
The house is in the village of Argés 6 kms outside Toledo ( pronounced Arhes). Toledo is lively and busy throughout the year. Its hotels can be costly. Choosing to stay in here will give you a real insight into Spanish life. After a day visiting Toledo, it makes a welcome change to return to the tranquility of Argés and to relax with all 'mod-cons' in the comfort of our home. The Argés locals are famously warm and hospitable.
We bought our home new nine years ago. It´s a linked-property on a very small development. My husband now works in London. This is why we have decided to rent it out to discerning visitors who we hope will respect and enjoy its pleasing location and all the amenities which it offers.
Let me say straight away that the house is unashamedly modern, and although a typical tourist may at first prefer the idea of an old rustic mill off the beaten track, please let me stress that I too like 'old' but my Spanish husband (a civil engineer who knows and cares about such things) soon squashed my romantic notions by showing me one or two 'old and rustic' hideaways! Our house, on the contrary, is wonderfully comfortable and everything works. In Spain that is sometimes not always the case! So it's ideal as a holiday getaway. We have lashings of hot water, electricity, comfortable furniture, good beds, clean linen and all the usual mod cons.
We want you to enjoy your holiday and to remember Toledo and our home. We want this to be home from home for you. It's very comfortable, not some spruced-up holiday let, with stick furniture, too many ants and nylon sheets!
The fully fitted kitchen comes complete with all the usual crockery and utensils and we are happy to arrange a welcome pack on arrival at a cost of 40€ which includes wine, fresh milk, teabags, coffee, sugar, water, biscuits, bread, cheese and cold meats. Please confirm when making your reservation.
We have 3 good-sized bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (two with full-size baths and fitted showers and one which is a beautiful and newly-fitted shower room downstairs) and a living room with the usual accoutrements including a splendid dining table. We have a cot available.
Our patio at the back of the house is small and walled, a wonderful sanctuary where we have spent many a summer evening enjoying a glass of chilled cava and dinner al fresco. The patio is a private haven.
We use a professional cleaning firm to keep the property immaculate before and after your visit. Your beds will be made up with freshly laundered bed linen and clean bathroom towels.
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 3 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Madrid 70 km, Nearest railway: Toledo 4 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|General||Central heating, TV, CD player|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms, 1 En suites and 1 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Double beds (3), Cots (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
The Castilla La Mancha region
The Alcazar is one of Toledo´s best known landmarks. Dating back to the Roman period, inside it houses a wonderful library. Take the lift to the top floor café to see the magnificent views looking down over Toledo and beyond.
A less touristic museum, well worth a visit is the home and workshop of sculptor Victorio Macho. The gardens have unsurpassed views of the river Tajo.
One of the most outstanding buildings is the Cathedral built between 1226 and 1492. Entrance fee is around 7€ per person and no photos are allowed, but go as there is a collection of paintings by El Greco and Goya. El Greco´s house and Museum exhibits some of his finest works which helped put Toledo on the map.
Toledo had one of the largest Jewish populations in Spain. The Synagogue Santa María La Blanca, was built in 1180. The synagogue is almost two centuries older than the more elaborate and touristy Tránsito synagogue. Next door there is an Arab tearoom.
Another fun thing to do is to wind your way down to the river Tajo. It´s a hidden gem and you can walk along the river. Enjoy a picnic or feed the ducks down by the jetty. There is a bar with an old shaggy dog (friendlier than its owners I must add), and an ice cream kiosk (typically Spanish – rarely open). The former diamond merchant used to live here and you will see his attractive Toledano home.
You can buy swords, as well as furniture and every type of decorative item. I can personally recommend a lovely leather shop, Angel Serrano, next toSan Juan de los Reyes church. I bought a handbag. It cost 68€ and it would be marked up at double that in Harrods. The owner is the designer, and the shop has been in the family for generations. What I love about it is the quality of the goods. That smell of real leather. They have created a clever mix of classic and contemporary designs.
Be sure to splash out on a 6€ box of very sweet handmade marzipan from one of the convents. The nuns make it to a secret recipe. I once asked them for it, and they started giggling, telling me it was top secret and only they and God knew. That must be why it tastes so scrumptious – its authenticity! Try a small piece and you will see that it is impossible not to fall for this famous sugary Toledo delight.
Traditional restaurants do not serve lunch until 1.30pm.
Cigarrales were former wealthy landowner estates which have since been converted into excellent eating haunts. Take your camera. The views looking down over Toledo are sensational. It´s a mecca for photographers, artists and tourists from dawn till dusk. You will need to take a taxi from the house to get to the Cigarrales (a 10 minute journey), but once there they are all bunched together so you can walk from one to the other.
Cigarral de Los Caravantes is an elegant spot to enjoy a drink on the terraza soaking up the last of the warm La Mancha sunshine. It´s sophisticated, yet relaxed. From Los Caravantes you can walk to Cigarral Venta del Alma. Owned by a famous Toledano poet it´s enjoyed by Toledo´s jet-set. At weekends it brims with Toledanos enjoying cava and mojitos. After midnight the courtyard turns into a super-cool, late-night haunt with strobe lighting and music.
If you do hire a car there are loads of places to visit all within an easy drive. Cuenca, Aranjuez (where the Spanish Royal family have a Summer residence), Segovia, Avila, Salamanca, all World Heritage cities, and each one of them is historically, culturally and architecturally, an absolute pearl. Don't, of course, forget Madrid – just a whistle-stop away on the train – and one of the most lovely and lively capital cities in the world.
Toledo, Castilla La Mancha
After a day visiting Toledo, it makes a welcome change to return to the tranquility of Argés and to relax with all 'mod-cons' in the comfort of our home. The Argés locals are famously warm and hospitable. Make sure you visit the market selling fresh produce every Wednesday morning. The square itself is always bustling with locals. There are lots of little very inexpensive places where you can eat, sip coffee or have a drink with tapas. Everything revolves around the Square, where there are four or five little bars and eating places and where the entire world and its family gather most evenings (very Spanish) to laugh and to gossip and to have the occasional caña (light draught beer) or glass of locally grown and quite delicious rosé.
Just up the road in Layos, there's an excellent riding school and a new and very lovely 18-hole golf course where you can play a round for prices that are unbelievably low compared with most other parts of Europe. Just 5 minutes by car. The hotel there offers spa day packages for non-golfers.
Walk amongst the olive trees to the reservoir. It´ll take a couple of hours but you can sit on one of the benches en route.
From June-September the Argés public swimming pool is open. It´s a nice place to relax, unwind and cool off for a few hours. The children will love it. There´s a bar that serves lunchtime home cooked food. Tip: Go when it opens at 11am or at 2pm when the Spanish eat – to avoid the crowds. The water is cleaned regularly.
You can hire a car locally at Toledo train station or fly to Madrid, say, and hire one there and then drive to Argés. It'll take about an hour to drive. Many prefer to hop on the super- fast and comfortable AVE train from Madrid Atocha to Toledo (about 25 minutes and around 18 Euros return) which makes most British trains look desperately shabby, limp and unreliable. From there it's a 12 Euro taxi ride to Argés.
There's a regular bus service from Argés to Toledo and back (timetable on fridge). It's fun and cheap (about 2 Euros) and very enjoyable (even my husband likes it, and he's no fan of buses). Bus stops at Toledo bus station and then you can walk up into the old town. It´s uphill so be sure to wear good walking shoes. Or catch the bus to the main square named Zocodover.
If you do hire a car there are loads of places to visit all within an easy drive. Cuenca, Aranjuez (where the Spanish Royal family have a Summer residence), Segovia, Avila, Salamanca (all World Heritage cities) and each one of them is historically, culturally and architecturally, an absolute pearl. Don't, of course, forget Madrid – just a whistle-stop away on the train – and one of the most lovely and lively capital cities in the world.
Do pass through Layos and other villages and stop at the “leather village”. It´s an unattractive, nondescript road (like any in Spain) but with leather shops and factories on either side. The leather products are made by hand and great for presents. Cheaper to buy here than in Toledo. A hidden gem to visit. Try not to spend too much.
Visit the famous Don Quixote windmills in Consuegra. Approximately 20 minutes from Argés. Having studied Spanish literature at University I was fascinated by the Man from La Mancha – the famous Don Quixote, written by Cervantes. He dons an old suit of armour and begins his mad-capped adventures that begin here, in Castilla La Mancha aboard his very thin, old horse named Rocinante. Quixote is wildly idealistic due to all the cavalry books he read day in day out before his wild adventures. His sidekick, Sancho Panza, is pot-bellied, faithful and loved Quixote dearly. In the end, he was courageous enough to tell Quixote that he might be imagining things, and that the windmill sails were neither enemies nor giants. Hence the English idiom: Tilting at windmills. In every Spanish household you will find the adventures of Don Quixote but when I ask friends if they have read its entirety, they respond “Hell No!” then roar with laughter.