With views over a beautiful Mediterranean bay, this rambling, eccentric - but amazing - house on the cliffs is just above a small resort and fishing village. Three minutes walk to the beach ...
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Four (two doubles, one twin bedded, one single)
Private swimming pool
10 m x 4.5 m, 1.6 m - 1.75 m deep.
Immeadiately above La Herradura in La Costa Tropical region (Province of Granada).
1,990 € per week.
When you reach this property on the hillside above La Herradura, you just know you have arrived somewhere special.
It's a house full of history, much of it recuperated from centuries-old Moorish palaces and mansions which were being demolished at the time this house was being built, more than 30 years ago now. Even the huge entrance gate was once an Arab mill door, a mere 800 years old!
It's a truly remarkable property and all the more so because of its quite exceptional location.
La Herradura means "horseshoe" and gets its name from the contours of the beautiful bay which it graces.
All around, rugged hillsides descend to the shore and it is here, in the days when La Herradura was no more than a quaint little fishing village, that the English owner built the house of her dreams.
The owner and her family live here for most of the year (they go away in August and part of September so that's when it's available for rental) so it's very much a real, lived in house.
Maybe there will be the odd bit of chipped paint here, a dusty corner there and it's certainly cluttered with countless possessions. Water pressure can be low.
So, not an ideal rental for everyone but, if anything, its few imperfections and idiosyncrasies just add to its character. As one of her friends remarked, "it's one of my favourite places on Earth. It's funky!"
And what a position it enjoys. High above the village and completely hidden from it by huge trees and a jungle of beautiful nature, perhaps best of all is its unforgettable view across the bay.
Just three minutes walk to the beach, it's a wonderful situation.
In this day and age there are, of course, other villas around and about, but because of the superbly mature, semi-wild gardens which surround it (many of the trees are more than 30 metres high), it is completely unseen and totally private.
Once you enter its high walled grounds there is nothing - and nobody - else around. The beautiful silence is disturbed only by the gentle breeze rustling through the trees.
There is private parking (with plenty of space for two cars) on the side of the little road which winds up the hillside to the property, immediately opposite the gates.
Once inside the gates, steps lead down into the gardens which envelop the stone courtyard in front of the house.
And envelop they certainly do! It's a riot of huge trees, vast shrubs and tropical flowers - dates, cherimoya, oranges, lemons, figs, quince, mangos, avocados, plums, cypresses, and bougainvillea.
The owner obviously doesn't believe in pruning … everything grows wild and wonderful in unrestrained natural beauty. It's magical.
A pathway winds through the leafy greenery, passing a 500 year old olive tree, the odd giant stone pot or two strewn casually along the way, to the swimming pool.
It's a good sized pool (10 m x 4.5 m) more or less surrounded by verdant and glorious nature. One corner of the pool area backs onto a neighbouring house but you would never know that anyone lives there.
A small cane awning provides shade and there are deck chairs and sunbeds on the pool perimeter terrace. It's a lovely spot but it's not a pristine and immaculately groomed space - everything here is very casual with a lived-in feel. Outdoor furniture has seen better days.
The wild and wonderful gardens continue around and below the house - the pathway leading down into the undergrowth is an intrepid explorer's dream!
The less adventurous will take the higher path which runs along the front of the house to the dining terrace which is partly shaded by vines and a wooden awning.
There is both bench and more conventional seating around the tables. No matter which seating you prefer, you will love the sensational views through the trees and across the bay.
A wooden pergola at the side leads on to a lawned area, yet another beautiful, romantic place to be, yet another which enjoys fantastic glimpses of the sea through the pine trees. Wow!
Returning to the courtyard, in front of you stands the house, as traditional as you will ever find under its gorgeously weathered roof tiles. Huge, 800 year old Moorish doors welcome you inside.
The outer entrance hall, cool and serene, with its intricately cobbled floor and an antique daybed under a Moroccan lamp, is a mere foretaste of what's to come.
This leads through to the main hallway which is dominated on one side by a huge (2 metre high) ornate, antique mirror. Other spaces are crowded with rare books, an ancient globe and classical original paintings. It's as if time has stood still here.
A small laundry room and a guest cloakroom lead off.
As does the gorgeous, L shaped living / dining room. This is a thoroughly relaxing and tranquil space, completely at peace with itself.
Books, paintings, porcelain, china collections, artwork from China, a beautiful antique writing desk and bright splashes of colour from Moorish carpets and cushions all compete for the eye's attention but the overriding ambience is calm, cosy and comfortable.
A sofa and two plump armchairs are gathered around the fireplace. There is, of course, a grandfather clock! But there are concessions to modernism too - a big, flat screen TV (free-to-view) and DVD player, a HiFi system and lots of CD's and tapes to play.
One step down takes one to a second sitting area in front of the double doors which open to the dining terrace. As everywhere in this wonderful house, decorative pieces and furnishings are the sort that one just dreams about, chosen over a lifetime for their superb and intricate beauty.
One moves seamlessly through, past the dining area, to a big and attractive country-style kitchen. Under its beamed ceiling there are the usual mod cons - an electric oven, 4-ring gas hob, microwave et al. Doors also lead from here to the terraces outside.
Upstairs all rooms lead off from a central landing which, in itself, is another living space with its rocking chair and sofa in front of an open fireplace. Artworks adorn the walls.
Double doors open to the wonderful upper terrace which has the best views of all across the bay to the dramatic headland across the sea. With a vine clambering over the terrace this really is the place to watch the sun go down - the sunsets are incredible here.
It's idyllic, the sea shimmering gold as the sun disappears from view. It's almost as though one was on a tropical island!
The master double bedroom is both huge and beautifully furnished with its king-sized antique bed, a chaise-long, writing desk and colourful rugs and fabrics. Balcony windows open to the sea view.
It has a TV too although, as the owner says, they don't watch much telly, real-life high-definition is much better!
The en-suite bathroom is equally gorgeous (shower over bathtub) with its fabulous antique washbasin unit just one of its lovely features. There's a walk-in wardrobe too.
If the other three bedrooms suffer, it's only by comparison, because they are all rooms with bags of character, quality antique furnishings and lots of colour.
A second double bedroom enjoys views over the gardens at the front of the house; a twin room probably has the best views of all, both over the sea and the front gardens. A single bedroom (with a 4 poster single bed) is very sweet and colourful but, being at the back of the house, does miss out on the views.
These three bedrooms share a bathroom (shower over bathtub) between them.
Nothwithstanding a few imperfections here and there, this is a remarkable and delightfully eccentric property in a fabulous position. A house full of history and beauty.
The property is available for rental from late July until the first half of September. The swimming pool is open throughout this period
Please note that when the owner is living here (during the rest of the year) her dogs are also here. They move out (with her) in the summer but we do not recommend this property to anyone who is allergic to dogs.
Extra cleaning can be arranged, if required, payable locally
Rentals for this property normally run from Saturday to Saturday
The villa is only available for holiday rentals from late July to early September
A 300 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.
A few minutes walk from La Herradura (a small seaside resort with most facilities) in La Costa Tropical region (Province of Granada).
Almuñecar 10 mins; Nerja 20 mins; Málaga 50 mins
Málaga 50 mins; Granada 1 hr; Sevilla 3 hrs.
See our Links Page for web sites of airlines traveling to Andalucia from the UK.
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