A simple, unpretentious holiday home in a wonderful setting above the lake at Zahara, a lovely spot on the edge of the Grazalema National Park ...
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Three (two doubles, one twin bedded).
Private swimming pool
8 m x 4 m, 0.9 - 1.8 m deep.
In open countryside, 2 km from Zahara de la Sierra in Los Pueblos Blancos region (Province of Cádiz).
From 650 € to 910 € per week.
The striking characteristic of this recently built holiday home is its stunning setting above the lake at Zahara.
Up in the hills, some two kilometres from the village of Zahara de la Sierra, one of the most attractive of all the pueblos blancos, this is a lovely part of the fabulous Grazalema National Park. Access from the Ronda to Sevilla road is quick and easy.
From Zahara a fabulous little road winds spectacularly over the mountains to Grazalema with sensational views over the lake far below. It's one of the most satisfying mountain roads to travel on anywhere in Spain; bend after bend, higher and higher, into the richly forested, rocky terrain. And always with the azure-blue lake far down below you.
Before it really starts to climb, just a short way out of the village (2 km), a farm track (in good condition) leads down the mountain slopes from the road to this property which is approached from the rear.
On the terrace immediately above the villa there is some rather unattractive "under-plastic" vegetable farming, some of the plastic a bit tattered after winter rains when we visited recently.
But it's at the back of the house, it doesn't cover a very big area, and apart from when you are entering or leaving the property it's our view that you will not even notice it (it is almost completely hidden from view from the rear windows, behind vines and other foliage which grows down the bank).
The house and its grounds, pool and gardens all face in the opposite direction, taking advantage of the magnificent views down the valley and across the azure-blue waters of the lake below, the mountains rising up again on the other side.
It's a tremendous panorama. There is plenty of room for children to play, there are swings and a gated swimming pool area.
The house is set apart from neighbours, nice and quiet - apart, possibly, for the chickens … there are about 20 of them roaming happily, free-range, on the land below and to the side of the pool terrace.
Children are always happy to see them and they can, if they wish, go each evening with the owners mother to collect the eggs! But the cockerel does wake up pretty early in the mornings … for some this may be an inconvenience.
For others, all part of the delight of being in the midst of authentic, working farmland in one of the most beautiful parts of Andalucía. The owners, a local Spanish family, will from time to time bring fresh produce from their fruit and vegetable gardens for guests to enjoy.
The swimming pool is flanked by a newly planted garden and has night lighting, as does the private parking area.
The house is on two floors, with the living / dining room and recently equipped kitchen downstairs, along with two of the three bedrooms.
Upstairs, the double bedroom has a half open-plan design, partially open to and overlooking the lounge below. It leads round to a comfortable sofa placed by a window to take advantage of the views.
Although the house is of recent construction, it's a design which reflect local tradition, especially the wooden and beamed ceilings in all rooms, even the bathrooms. Other examples are the grand open fireplace with its log mantelpiece, farm implements and a dramatic wild boar's head which adorn the walls.
It's very much the local Spanish style; many like it ("we had a fantastic holiday and the villa was super", said one client); for others it's not quite their cup of tea. Please note that, in common with most locally owned properties, there is no oven (they have no part in traditional Spanish cuisine) but there is a hob and a microwave.
Zahara de la Sierra is a delightful old-time village, one of the famous pueblos blancos in this very beautiful part of Andalucía.
Built on the slopes of the Grazalema mountain range, which rise spectacularly on all sides of the lake, its Moorish castle perched on a craggy outcrop at the very top, its a classic situation and a lovely place to enjoy a tapa or two or an authentic local meal. We haven't tried it ourselves (yet) but our spies in the area are sending rave reviews of restaurant 'Al Lago' which is just below the village.
From here it's easy to travel to Ronda, Arcos de la Frontera and Grazalema itself, all interesting, attractive towns surrounded by magnificent scenery.
All in all, a good value, simple, unpretentious family holiday home, good for kids with its fenced pool and plenty of room to play in the garden. And, best of all, it's in one of Spain's most delightful pastoral corners.
Weather permitting, the swimming pool will be open throughout the year (although, because it's not heated, the normal swimming season is from late April to September, inclusive)
Rentals for this property normally run from Saturday to Saturday although start and finish dates can be more flexible out of high season
There are about 20 chickens roaming happily, free-range, on the land below and to the side of the pool terrace. But the cockerel does wake up pretty early in the mornings … for some this may be an inconvenience.
A 250 Euro security deposit is required on each booking. This is held against your credit or debit card and will be cancelled one week after your holiday, subject to any reductions for breakages or damage. See Terms and Conditions for full details.
Costa del Sol 1½ hrs; Costa de la Luz 2 hrs.
Jerez 1½ hrs; Sevilla 1½ hrs; Málaga 1¾ hrs; Gibraltar 2¼ hrs
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