Frequently Asked Questions
Click on any one of the questions, below, and you will find an answer which we hope you will find useful.
What will the weather be like?
This is what the Met Office says:
Spring By late spring, all of Southern Spain is experiencing settled warm weather, but nights can still be quite cool. Average maximum temperatures will have risen to about 20 °C in the high mountain villages, 25 degrees at lower altitudes. Average dry days will have increased to 26 per month, and average sunshine hours to about 11 per day.
Summer In the summer, the Spanish coastline enjoys sea breezes, keeping the temperatures bearable. Daytime maximum average temperatures reach 30 - 32 °C, a good 11 or 12 hours of sunshine can be expected each day and there are, on average, 28 dry days each month. It's a typically Mediterranean climate, with a very dry summer, some months having no rain at all. From time to time it can get hotter still, sometimes rising to 40 - 45 °C, particularly inland (Sevilla is the hottest city in Europe, with Córdoba and Granada not so far behind). In the higher mountains it is usually a very pleasant few degrees cooler.
Autumn The early part of Autumn is normally a very agreeable extension of Summer, daytime maxima still well up at about 28 °C on the coast and at low altitudes (a few degrees cooler higher up in the sierras) and the sea is still very warm. By November, the daytime maxima have fallen back to about 20 °C, daily sunshine values will be about 6 hours, coupled with about 24 dry days each month.
Winter In general, Andalucía has a warm dry winter, although higher up in the mountains it can be cold, especially at night. Average maximum temperatures vary from 10 °C in the higher mountain villages to 17 °C along the Mediterranean coast. About 23 days per month are dry and typically, six hours of sunshine can be expected each day. Snow falls in the high mountains, where it can be very cold, but is extremely rare or even unheard of at lower altitudes. Winters in the Sierras of Grazalema and Aracena and around Gibraltar are usually considerably wetter than the rest of Southern Spain due to exposure from Atlantic storms.
Click here for current weather forecasts for Andalucía.
When is the best time to travel ?
Local weather conditions are never entirely predictable and there are no hard and fast rules. The following are general guidelines which you may wish to consider:
In the late Spring you will find the countryside lush, green and colourful, a myriad of wild flowers carpeting the meadows and the roadsides. It's possible that the weather might be cold, you may see some rain, but it's much more likely to be perfect travelling weather, a warm sun on your back in the daytime, perhaps a sweater needed when the sun goes down. It's an ideal time for walking and horse riding. There are relatively few other tourists around so you will probably get a more authentic experience of what life is all about here.
High Season brings the warmest weather, the sun shining from blue, cloudless skies. It's most unlikely to rain, and if you just want to relax by the pool and around the barbecue, nowhere could be better. It can be very warm indeed, especially at low altitudes, and the countryside gradually loses its spring lustre. Our tip is to live as the Spanish do because they know how to deal with summer: they take long siestas during the day and come out only after sundown to enjoy the balmy evening air (and probably a cold beer or two) with friends. Nobody ever seems to go to bed, even less so when the village fiestas start up in earnest! It may not be the most beautiful time of year but it's a very agreeable lifestyle and lots of fun.
The late season has another atmosphere all its own. The mellow sunshine of Autumn creates wonderful light and colours. Again it's a fabulous time for walking or riding in the hills. It might rain, there may be a chilly snap but warm pleasant days are usually the order of the day.
Many who live here all year round will tell you that their favourite time of all is the winter. It's certainly the most dramatic, with snow falling on the high mountains, occasional rains and amazing cloud 'dragons' swirling up the valleys. The sunsets are a joy. Late January sees the first swathes of blossom: pink and white almonds heralding in the spring. A log fire at night is a must, so, make sure you are staying somewhere that is properly equipped for winter living.
One other thing you should be aware of is the village fiestas. For most people these are occasions of great enjoyment and festivity, dancing the night away in the village plaza, a great holiday experience. But some don't care for the noise, and there's plenty of it! The music can be eardrum shattering and often goes on throughout the night, so if you are booking a holiday with us in, or close to, a village and you are looking for peace and quiet, please check with us first about the fiesta dates.
Do bookings start and finish on Saturdays?
Most of our holiday homes and villas have Saturday as their changeover day in high season. There are one or two exceptions, some with Friday or Sunday starting and finishing dates, others are happy to take bookings starting and finishing on any day of the week.
Property owners are usually more flexible about arrival and departure days in off-peak months, so please ask us if you wish to start and finish your booking on a different day.
Can I book for less than a week?
The quick answer is yes, but it does depend on the time of year and on the particular property. Generally, bookings in our holiday villas are for one - or more - full weeks. In off-peak times of the year it may be possible to book just four nights but we will need to agree this with the property owner.
Unfortunately Rustic Blue cannot accept any bookings which are less than four days duration.
How do I book my holiday?
This is explained on our page How to Book. There is a link to it on the footer information at the bottom of every page on this web site.
How do I get there?
Most of our overseas clients fly to Málaga or one of the other local airports in Andalucía (Sevilla, Granada, Almería, Jerez or Gibraltar) and then drive to their holiday destination by hire car. We do, of course, send you detailed directions (and maps) from the relevant airport to your destination when you book.
Can I hire a car from Rustic Blue?
These days it's cheaper - and probably easier - for you to book your car hire directly with the supplier so we no longer offer this service. However we do offer a few recommendations of suppliers who offer a good service and competitive prices.
Full details are on our Car Hire page.
When can I arrive and when do I have to leave?
On the "changeover day", following the departure of the previous guests in the morning, the accommodation will be properly cleaned and prepared prior to your arrival.
It will not, generally, be ready for you before 5pm. If you are arriving earlier, it may sometimes be possible for you to, for example, leave your luggage at the property whilst the cleaning is being finished. Please check with us and we will do our best to help.
The latest reasonable arrival time is 10pm unless special arrangements have been made beforehand.
In the week prior to the start of your holiday, please let us know your estimated time of arrival, so that we can pass this information on to the house owner or key holder. This will help them to organise their day properly and to ensure that they are there to meet you at the agreed time.
If your arrival is significantly delayed for any reason (for example, there is a flight delay), please contact us so that we can advise the house owner or key holder of the change. We are always contactable, either at the office, or on our mobile phone at weekends when the office is closed. These telephone numbers are shown on your directions to the property.
On your day of departure, unless prior agreement has been made, you should vacate the property by 10 am. Owners, and their cleaning staff, appreciate it if you can leave the house reasonably tidy.
How is the access to the property?
Many of our holiday homes in the countryside are accessed via tracks. Most are well maintained but some are rutted or steep or have unprotected drops to their side. Their condition also depends on the recent weather conditions and on how well organised the local community are at maintaining the track. This is rural Andalucía ...
Wherever possible we give our opinion of the condition of the track in our property descriptions.
If a 4 wheel drive or high wheelbase car is required this is always made clear in our property descriptions. But this is rare; almost all of them are passable in an ordinary car (albeit sometimes slowly, with care and in low gear). Anyone who considers that this type of access could seriously effect the enjoyment of their holiday should enquire about the current state of the track before making their booking with us.
Some properties have access which may be difficult for disabled or elderly people. Please check the suitability of the property with us if your party includes anyone who may be inconvenienced.
Where do I park?
Parking is rarely a problem in the countryside or the rural villages of Andalucía. In the cities, as elsewhere in the world, it's more problematic, although there are usually plenty of attended underground car parks.
In the smaller towns and villages there is usually no problem finding somewhere to park, either in a car park or just in the street. There are very few restrictions and, as far as we are aware, no traffic wardens!
Thefts of, and from, cars in the countryside are rare but if you do leave your car in a public place it is always advisable not to leave anything valuable in it, and certainly not where it's clearly visible. You should be especially careful of this in the cities. Hire cars are considered easy pickings.
Our countryside properties which are on their own private estates almost always have somewhere where you can park, either alongside the house or nearby.
How many of us can come?
The maximum number of people accepted at a rental property at any one time is stipulated in the description heading of each property and it is a condition of booking that this must be respected.
Where the property description indicates two numbers eg. 4/6 this means that we consider that four people can be accommodated comfortably but that an additional two can also be accommodated, either on sofa-beds or supplementary beds, in bedrooms which sleep more than two people, or where the extra sleeping accommodation consists of bunk beds.
What facilities can I expect in my holiday home?
The facilities which are available at each property are listed on its property description. The following are a few general points:
Gas, electricity and water Gas, electricity and water for normal domestic consumption are included in the rental price. In some parts of Andalucía the water is not considered suitable for drinking and you will need to purchase bottled water.
A few of our more remote properties do not have mains electricity and use solar power or batteries to provide lighting. This is always indicated in the property description. Where this is the case, there is always 24-hour lighting and (gas) refrigeration, but unless it is a sophisticated system or there is generator back-up, appliances such as washing machines, irons, food processors, hair dryers, cannot usually be operated in these properties.
Refuse (Rubbish) & recycling collection As many of our properties are in rural areas, there is no municipal rubbish/recycling collection service. There are normally designated areas either near the property or in the local village where rubbish/recycling should be deposited. Please check for details at the property or ask the owner/housekeeper where rubbish/recycling should be placed during and at the end of your stay. Please do not leave your rubbish or recycling behind on departure or you may be charged for its removal.
Heating Firewood is not normally included in the rental price and you will have to purchase it locally. The owner or key holder will be able to advise you where. Properties that include a reasonable amount of firewood in the price have this fact indicated in the property description (trees being a valuable resource, this will not necessarily be an unlimited supply).
When central heating is indicated in the property description, it is included in the rental price unless stated otherwise. If it is not included, you will be charged for your consumption by the house owner at the end of your stay.
Air conditioning Relatively few properties in rural Spain have air conditioning as the air is generally very dry and humidity levels very low once one is a few miles inland from the coast. So, the summer heat is rarely uncomfortable. If properties have A/C this is always mentioned in the property description. Usually there will be an additional charge if this is required.
Bed linen and towels Bed linen and bathroom towels are included at all properties. Whether or not beach and pool towels (for outdoor use) are supplied is mentioned in the list of property facilities. If they are not, you will need to bring them with you. Cot linen is not normally provided and you are asked to bring this with you.
Telephones Only very few of our properties have telephones. If a phone or fax is a requirement, please check with us at the time of booking. Many properties now have internet connection (usually WiFi see below) and this is mentioned in the property facilities. Most, but not all, have reasonable mobile phone cover.
Internet/WIFI Many of the properties have internet access, with most that have this also including a WIFI connection, this is mentioned on the villa page in the property facilities section. As many of the properties are rural, we cannot guarantee the speed of the connection, and it is essential that you ensure that your own equipment is fully protected (against any malicious software, viruses etc.) as other guests will have used the connection before you; their actions being outside of our (or the owners) control.
Televisions Most properties have one or more televisions and you can view the details about the system the villa has in the "Details" section (under Entertainment) of each villa page. Whilst some properties have satellite TV and offer English channels, currently we cannot guarantee that these will be available during your holiday. The UK satellite providers have indicated that they are changing the way they broadcast and that this may have an impact on viewing UK channels here in Spain. This is outside of our control and although currently UK channels are still available in many of our villas, this may not be the case on your arrival.
Swimming Pools All of the swimming pools at our properties are filtered. Some of them can be heated (usually there is an additional charge if this is requested).
Ovens It was not customary in Spain for houses to be equipped with an oven as cooking was traditionally done on the open fire. Even today, probably the majority of local people never cook in an oven. Roasting is not part of Andalucian cuisine and most dishes are prepared either on the hob or on an electric griddle.
Having said that, almost all of our properties have an oven; there are only one or two which don't. If an oven is important to you, please double check the Facilities section on the property page before booking.
If you would like more detailed information about facilities at individual properties please ask us.
Pets and other animals in rural properties?
Some owners allow pets, some do not. Prior arrangements must be made with us, as we will need to seek permission from the owner. Sometimes an additional charge or deposit will apply.
Please note that many of our rural properties may have outdoor cats living in the surrounding area. Please keep this in mind if you are considering bringing your own pet(s) or have allergies to cats or other animals.
Many of our properties are also situated in countryside settings and this being the case, there is always the possibility of encountering some of the local wildlife. Most of the time, the local creatures keep their distance and will be long gone before you ever knew they were there, but occasionally they do mistakenly cross your path (maybe even in the house). If this happens, then you can contact the owner/caretaker (or Rustic Blue if you have no response from the owner) who will be able remedy the situation. We want all our guests to enjoy their holiday, so if you do have phobias or concerns about unexpected guests from the "campo", then please bear this in mind when considering your property choice.
A few properties, whilst in the countryside, are also in areas which continue with traditional farming practices. Local farms may have dogs, sheep or goats for example, or may work the olives during the day with the use of a tractor. Whilst this does not create a large amount of noise, it is something to bear in mind.
Please ask for more help if you have concerns.
Is there a cot and / or a high chair?
The majority of our holiday homes have cots available (and often high chairs too). Cot linen is not usually supplied (for hygiene reasons) and you will need to bring this with you.
Please check with us before booking if a cot is a requirement as a few properties do not offer these facilities.
Do I need holiday insurance?
We strongly recommend that all members of the holiday party obtain appropriate travel and personal insurance cover. Quite apart from the obvious protections it affords you (against accidents, illness, theft etc) it should also enable you to recover monies paid to us in the event of having to cancel your holiday due to ill health or other unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you check that this is the case with your insurance provider.
For our horse riding holidays, it is a condition of booking that all participants must take out holiday and accident insurance prior to commencing the ride.
For links to a selection of travel insurance company websites click here.
Spain has a National Health Service and it is important that participants from European Union countries obtain a European Health Card (this replaces the form E111 in the UK). For UK nationals this can be arranged through the government web site https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/home.do which will entitle you to free medical service while in Spain. Without this clients may be requested to pay in full for any medical treatment received in Spain.
Whilst every care is taken to ensure the safety of participants and their effects, Rustic Blue cannot accept responsibility for loss of personal belongings or injury.
What is the security deposit?
Some of our properties require a security deposit. Those that do (and the amount) are clearly shown below the price details on the relevant property description.
Where applicable, the appropriate amount will be charged shortly before your holiday is due to start. It will be refunded to you (provided there are no breakages or outstanding payments) at the end of the week following your departure, normally by re-crediting your credit card.
In some cases, the deposit is collected from you by the property owner when you arrive (in cash, of course!) and returned to you before you leave (provided there are no outstanding payments).