of Morocco and … that View!!
"As an extended family, ranging in age from 7 months to 81, we spent a wonderful 10 days at ZS11 in late September-October 2015. The location and view were unbeatable and the pool, a dream! The accommodation was more than adequate since each bedroom had its own spacious bathroom. the house and kitchen were fully equipped with all we needed. A clothes dryer would have been helpful (although we managed without). We enjoyed having our meals on the terrace and watching the spectacular sunset over the lake! In short, we returned home having had a taste of heaven on earth!"
"I have enjoyed two absolutely fabulous holidays at ZS11 and I hope to enjoy another in the future! Although the house has been fully renovated it keeps all of its traditional character while providing modern luxuries in the from of beautiful bathrooms and a fully fitted kitchen. The villa is very spacious so works perfectly for large groups. It's crowning glory is the pool area with picturesque views over the valley and reservoir. It is a truly peaceful villa providing complete relaxation from the outside world. "
"What a lovely place, the photos don't do it justice. The views are absolutely stunning from almost every window and terrace and from the pool. The pool itself is really well designed to give optimum bathing comfort, I spent many a long hour in the super comfy shady alcoves with the occasional foray into the water. We were a group of two families and friends, including four teenagers who really loved relaxing and playing in the pool, table football, etc. Our three girls shared a twin room which is now a triple room since the owners added an extra bunk - they loved all being together in there. It was very hot in Andalusia at this time of year but the gentle breeze which plays around the house helped to cool us down. Dinner on the kitchen terrace watching the sunset over the lake was a delight. My favourite thing of all was late afternoon siestas in the hammock with the scent of lavender wafted over by the breeze. Bliss. Great owners, very helpful indeed, and easy location for visiting attractions. We went to the Alhambra (awesome, but very hot, would recommend an evening visit), local pretty town of Iznajar (nice walk up the hilly streets to the fort), and also the beach at the lake, a bit tricky to find but actually only about 15 minutes drive away."
6 (4 double bedrooms, 2 twin bedrooms).
Gated and fenced, filtered private swimming pool
10 m x 5 m, 1.2 m - 3 m deep
In open countryside, 5 mins from Iznájar in La Subbética region (Province of Córdoba).
2,400 € per week.
You can't fail to be grabbed by a sense of adventure as you approach. Cutting north through the mountains from Málaga, then on through the rolling hills of Jaén, you cross a bridge over the eastern reaches of the Iznájar reservoir before following the narrowest of country lanes on up to this high, ridgetop perch.
From here the view is simply jaw-dropping: out across an endless sea of neatly planted olive groves to the glittering water of the reservoir and, at the far end of the water, to a jagged volcano-like peak: it's as if Andalucía's own Lake Atitlán had come home to roost!
Embraced by a beguiling Mediterranean garden this family home couldn't be more perfect for getting you way off the tourist-beaten track and to the heart of that much-touted Real Spain. Yet you're within comfortable driving distance of Málaga, Sevilla, Córdoba and Granada
When faced with such a stunning location the owners' mission statement was to celebrate those stunning vistas of the mountains and reservoir. So they cleverly positioned the six bedrooms on the lower floor, keeping the next level up for one huge living space with easy access to a series of outside terraces where much of your holiday will be spent barefoot and alfresco. It all works brilliantly.
After crossing a bougainvillea-clad courtyard, a steep staircase leads up to the open plan, upper floor where dining room, kitchen and living room all interconnect. All-white walls, pine windows and doors and shiny terracotta floor tiles feel authentically andaluz whilst brightly coloured rugs and cushions, appliqué lamps and lanterns and a multitude of objects from Morroco add a dash of pizzazz. Large collections of books, music and loads of original art work reflect on the fact that this is also a treasured family home for part of every year.
The kitchen reflects the same rustic/andaluz feel as the rest of the house. Its long, L-shaped run of pine cupboards is topped by a big sweep of dark marble worktop ensuring that you'll have masses of elbow room when it comes to prepping your meals. The high French windows leading out to the covered terrace dining area, together with the open plan layout, are both practical and conducive to a really convivial vibe for families and groups of friends.
The outside dining area – half of which is covered - lies immediately beyond the kitchen and can be accessed directly from the living room. Along with cushioned bench seats there's a large wooden dining table: it all looks really magical at night when the terrace is lit up by Moroccan lanterns and appliqué lamps. There's a second, much smaller terrace on a higher level where you'll find more cushioned bench seats: this could be the spot for evening cocktails with the sun setting beyond the Iznájar lake. The long lingering sunsets are ever varied and truly spectacular.
The dining room communicates directly with the open-sided kitchen where a mosaic-topped, wrought iron Moroccan table can sit up to eight. A Berber rug and bright cushions on the corner bench seat add a splash of colour. There's a wood burning stove slotted into the open hearth - you'll be unlikely to make much use of it – whilst you'll be much more likely to take advantage of the Casablanca-style fan during the summer months.
A Roman arch provides a visual border between the dining room and the sitting area where three sofas, topped with dark blue throws and sequinned cushions, wrap round a second hearth. There's more lantern-style and appliqué lighting and another North African rug along with posters of the bullfight: North Africa meets Spain.
To one side of the sitting room a door leads to a wooden-balcony: this would be a lovely spot to escape to the shade during the hotter part of a summer's day. At the room's opposite end French windows are flanked by bookshelves where you'll find plenty of holiday reading, lead out to the main terrace. There are leaflets and guidebooks about what's to be seen locally. There's also a great music system with really meaty speakers and two telescopes: with so few houses and zero light pollution within the vicinity this is an incredible spot for stargazing.
Four of the six bedrooms lead off the large Hall by which you enter the house on the ground floor. Two of these share a shower room: one has bunk beds and an extra single and lies to the rear of the house whilst the other is a twin with stable-style doors giving access to an outside terrace. Two more medium-sized double bedrooms with 2m x 1.5m beds also lead directly out to the lake-facing terrace. Both have lattice-fronted fitted wardrobes and en suite bathrooms - one with a tub, the other a shower - with freestanding sinks backed by dark mosaic tiles.
A fifth, ground floor bedroom, is slightly smaller with a double bed and its own shower room.
All of the bedrooms share a similar decorative cue: the same terracotta floor tiles that have been used throughout the house whilst the all-white decoration, with pine windows and doors, is given extra zest by the painted Moroccan tables, keyhole-arched mirrors and patterned rugs. All are heated via wall radiators.
The sixth and largest bedroom is independent of, though connected to, the main house. With a higher, beamed ceiling it comes with soaring views of the reservoir both from its sleeping area and en suite bath and shower room. There's plenty of space for a sitting area in front of its open hearth and the room is attractively decorated in blues and whites with framed posters, painted furniture and rugs collected by the owners in the souks of North Africa. It has access to a private terrace that, in turn, links in with the higher terraces that front the main house.
The terraced gardens feel utterly in keeping with their Mediterranean context. A towering holm oak stands sentinel to the house whilst a series of steeply banked terraces, created by the owners, have been planted out with agave, jasmine, fan palm, dama de noche, lavender and rosemary interspersed with evergreen oaks, citrus trees and vines. Watered by an elaborate system of drop irrigation the abundance of ground cover belies the fact that the garden is only about a dozen years old.
A narrow, stone-flagged path climbs steeply up through the terraces to the huge, drop-edged swimming pool, surrounded on three sides by oleander and jasmine. The pool terrace was conceived with summer comfort in mind and has two covered areas with cushioned bench seats whilst the focus of its day bed and numerous loungers is that incredible panorama of trees, hills, water and sky: this has to be one of the most spectacularly sited pools in southern Spain.
An unexpected treat comes in the form of a beautiful pétanque (boules) pitch on a terrace just beneath the pool whilst tucked round a corner from the main house, on another shaded terrace, you'll find table football, table tennis table and a hammock.
Given the beauty of the house, the gardens and the view you may be loathe to leave. But if you fancy eating out, there's plenty of scope. You could venture out on foot: within 15 minutes you can reach El Charcón, an authentically Andalusian roadside restaurant where food is wholesome rather than gourmet. In about the same time by car you can be down in Iznájar where Bar Juani is famed for its trad' Spanish cuisine, and its huge portions. For fine dining choose between an Arabian Night's experience at the 5 star Bobadilla – great food though with a hefty price tag – or drive a little further to sample the amazing nouvelle cuisine of Casa Piolas in Algarinejo, one of Andalucía's best kept dining secrets and, in our opinion, a must-visit whilst you're here.
And one advantage of being in the middle of nowhere is that you are reasonably close to just about everywhere! Granada is the obvious first choice when it comes to sightseeing with the incomparable Alhambra at the top of your what-to-see list (though be sure to book tickets a long way in advance). Córdoba and Sevilla can both be visited comfortably by car as day trips whilst north from the house the Parque Natural de las Sierras Subbétticas offers superb hiking as well as the chance to visit one of Andalucía's most extraordinary cave complexes, La Cueva de los Murcielagos. For amazing karst formations head off to visit the Torcal of Antequera and, should you tire of the pool, head down to the reservoir's artificial beach where you can rub shoulders with the locals.
Weather permitting, the swimming pool will be open from April to September, inclusive.
An additional charge of 40 Euros per day is payable if central heating is required.
A weekly change of linen and towels is included for rentals of more than one week
Rentals for this property normally run from Saturday to Saturday in high season
Additional services (cooking, babysitting etc) can be arranged on request (payable locally)
Additional cleaning can be arranged on request (payable locally)
An additional charge of 40 Euros per day is payable (locally) if central heating is required.
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.
Torremolinos (Mediterranean beaches) 1 hr; Sierra Nevada Ski Resort 1½ hrs.
Málaga 1 hr; Granada 1 hr; Sevilla 1¾ hrs.
See our Links Page for web sites of airlines traveling to Andalucia from the UK.
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