Surrounded by Spain's finest cork oak and chestnut forests, this is one of six lovely cottages providing quality accommodation and excellent facilities in truly sublime surroundings ...
"We had a lovely stay at ZH11(3) and our kids really enjoyed the donkey ride. The owners were really welcoming and helpful"
One double studio bedroom.
Shared swimming pool
11 m x 5.5 m, 1.4 m - 2.0 m deep.
In open countryside, 1 km from Alájar in La Sierra de Aracena region (Province of Huelva).
820 € per week.
Situated among some of the finest scenery to be found anywhere in Spain, amidst cork oak and chestnut forests, these six cottages provide an extremely comfortable retreat in a unique and very beautiful setting.
Winner of the Huelva Province Tourism Award for 2002 and accredited as "Quality Accommodation" by both the Spanish and Andalusian Tourist Boards, the six stone cottages horseshoe around the upper reaches of a broad sweep of garden, looking out to the verdant Alajar valley. Views over the valley and surrounding hills are as magnificent as they are seductive.
The Parque Natural Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Criss-crossed with ancient paths, some dating from Roman times, the area is a green oasis even during the hot Andalusian summer. This is an ideal starting point from which to explore this magnificent region.
Just twenty minutes (one kilometre) walk away from the very pretty village of Alajár, the cottages are traditional in design, rustic in style, beautifully furnished, well equipped and all have private terraces.
Enveloped in a wide bowl of densely wooded mountains, birds and crickets singing contentedly and not a car in sight (or in earshot), their secluded location in the midst of all this beauty is difficult to beat.
Shared facilities include a spacious and welcoming, wood-beamed communal room (the old Mill house) which has a sitting area in front of a large open fireplace, a table football machine and a large barbecue terrace.
The Mill House also has a wide selection of DVD's and music CD's to choose from, which you can take to your cottage to watch or listen to.
A little below the Mill House, you will find the splendid 11 x 5.5 metre swimming pool where you can enjoy a dip under the dappled shade of the ancient oak tree or enjoy the sunshine lounging on the grassy bank. There are sunloungers and deck chairs, of course, and the pool is walled and gated so secure for young children.
Alongside there's an excellent artificial grass tennis court too, with night lighting (there is a small charge if you want this switched on).
Please bring your own equipment (racquet, shoes etc) if you wish to use this facility. Bicycle hire can also be arranged, a great way to explore the beautiful country lanes all around.
You can pick your own fruit and vegetables (in season) from the the orchard and the carefully tended organic vegetable garden. Firewood is provided free of charge. Donkeys can be hired on an hourly basis for guided treks through the countryside.
The delightful, very friendly but unobtrusive Dutch owners have a knowledge of the area which is second to none and our clients always sing their praises for the kind, considerate hospitality they provide.
Detailed walking routes and itineraries are available. Typical regional meals can be ordered from a restaurant in Alajár for delivery to your house or for takeaway.
The six cottages, their thick walls built from local stones painstakingly collected from old houses and ruins, stand on raised ground overlooking the hills and valleys all around. Creating them was a labour of love for Peter and Monica, the Molino’s owners. All of the base elements were locally sourced; chestnut beamed and planked ceilings, terracotta floor tiles and walls of locally-quarried red sandstone which give the buildings a really warm, integrated feel.
Little pathways lead up from the communal room and the car park through the lawned surrounds. The abundance of greenery between the cottages guarantees your privacy.
Carefully designed and constructed to look and feel like they have been there for years, they are very pleasing on the eye and the attention to detail is superb.
One client described them as "like a film-set". The warm, amber light is enhanced by the dark golden and honey hues of chestnut beams and windows and the reddish tones of hand-made clay tiles.
It is obvious that great care has been taken over furnishings and comfort. They are decorated with an appealing mix of locally crafted and antique furniture.
And a good range of comforts too: underfloor heating (and a hearth or woodburner for winter); TV, DVD and CD player (you can borrow discs from the communal library); bedrooms are simple and rustic, with iron beds and colourful bedlinen; bathrooms have pretty hand-painted sinks and Moroccan-style rain showers. Little touches include a bottle of wine awaiting you on arrival; welcome packs are available on request.
Cottage El Buho
The smallest of the cottages, El Buho is a perfect retreat for a couple in search of rest, relaxation and rural ramblings.
All on the ground floor, the attractively furnished studio room combines living and sleeping space (it has a double bed). It is attractive, comfortable and well equipped with TV, CD/DVD player and telephone.
Music and movies can be borrowed from the common room, where there is a good collection to choose from. There is a wood burning stove to keep you toasty warm.
An archway leads through to a good sized and well equipped kitchen / diner with a five-ring gas hob, gas oven, fridge, microwave, cookware, cutlery and crockery.
The pretty, colourfully tiled bathroom has a walk-in shower.
The furnished terrace enjoys tranquil views over the gardens and the beautiful surroundings.
A short (20 minutes or so) walk from your cottage, along little country lanes lined with stone walls, will take you to the village of Alájar, as pretty as a picture postcard, with its white-washed houses and winding, cobbled streets.
There are bars and restaurants here which have both cosiness and character. High above the village towers La Peña de Arias Montano, a craggy cliff with the sixteenth century hermitage Nuestra Señora de los Angeles set on its peak.
Many consider it to be the most beautiful of all the region's villages. The name Alájar comes from the Arab word for stone, appropriate as it is this stony peak that dominates the village and presides over the life and doings of its 800 inhabitants. From here the village below shines whitely, like the cut-out silhouette of a giant lizard against the green of the surrounding forests and meadows.
This is an ideal starting point from which to explore the magnificent countryside of this wonderful part of Spain. The Parque Natural Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche is an area of outstanding natural beauty, criss-crossed by ancient paths which offer some of the best walking anywhere in Europe.
It's a land of glorious woodlands and far-reaching views, of soft, rolling hillsides and crystal-clear streams. The hills are thickly wooded with sweet chestnut and cork oak, giving the area a marvellously green and verdant feel.
The forests give way, here and there, to small groves of olives or walnuts and to orchards of apples, plums, peaches and figs. Distant, rocky escarpments are covered in cistus and heather. In Spring, an incredible profusion of wild flowers carpet the meadows and clumps of peonies grow in the shade of the chestnut trees. It is almost reminiscent of a perfect day in the English countryside.
Aracena is only a twenty minute drive along scenic roads. A pretty market town, it is relaxed and friendly like so many here, set on top of the Gruta de las Maravillas (Cave Of Wonders), one of Spain's most impressive caves, and dominated by its splendid Moorish castle on the hilltop above the town.
And even closer are two of the best restaurants to be found anywhere in Southern Spain. We wholeheartedly recommend Restaurante Arrieros in the nearby village of Linares and others speak just as highly of Mariscastaña (open at weekends only) in Castaño del Robledo, another little hamlet just a few kilometres away.
For a complete contrast, there's marvellous Sevilla, little more than an hour away from here. Cities don't come any more vibrant - or any more beautiful than this one. And, in the opposite direction, there's enchanting, beguiling Portugal, so, so different from Spain.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, you are guaranteed comfort and tranquillity when you return here.
Relax, read, swim, play tennis … to the accompaniment of crickets, birdsong and the water in the river below … It's a fabulous place!
Weather permitting, the swimming pool will be open from mid May to mid September
The owners have five very friendly, well behaved dogs who are around and about in the grounds and more than happy to be taken on walks. Great if you like dogs but we do not recommend this property to those who are allergic to dogs
Rental start and finish days for this property are flexible
Prices are inclusive of firewood and heating costs. Extra firewood is available for €10 per barrow
Welcome packs can be provided on request
Babysitting is available on request, payable locally
Prices are inclusive of firewood and heating costs in winter months
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.
Access is by a 400 metre track which is negotiable in an ordinary car but please note that it is very narrow, with stone walls either side ... not for the faint-hearted and certainly not for a seven-seater
In open countryside, 1 km from the village of Alajár (basic shopping, bars & restaurants) in La Sierra de Aracena region (Province of Huelva).
11 km from Aracena (all facilities; supermarkets, restaurants; banks etc).
Portuguese border 45 mins; Sevilla 1½ hrs; Huelva 1½ hrs; Atlantic coast 1½ hrs.
Sevilla 1½ hrs; Faro (on the Algarve Coast in Portugal) 2½ hrs; Jerez 2½ hrs; Málaga 3¾ hrs.
See our Links Page for web sites of airlines traveling to Andalucia from the UK.
Travelling through the little country lanes of the Sierra, it is almost reminiscent of a perfect day in the English countryside …
A delightful little village with white-washed houses and winding, cobbled streets. Many consider it the prettiest of all the lovely villages in La Sierra …