ZL111 Fine old country house

Granada, El Valle de Lecrín

A rural retreat combining modern comfort with history and modern art in a peaceful and elegant ambience

The romantic traditions of this fine old house have been carefully retained. Completely refurbished with excellent taste, it is as if the mix of antique and mid-century furnishings have the ability to slow down time.

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A beautiful old farmhouse in a lovely rural location, now converted into a delightfully intimate country house holiday rental property of excellent quality.

In walking distance of the unpretentious white village of Albunuelas – and yet so peacefully
secluded that John Le Carré chose to stay here when writing his bestseller “The Constant
Gardener”

The cortijo has wonderfully serene atmosphere, it is as if the highly aesthetic mix of
antiques and mid-century furnishings have the ability to slow down time itself. The property has been completely refurbished and is run by sustainable green energy produced from its own solar panels and aero thermic facilities providing dual air conditioning and heating in all bedrooms as well as comfortable underfloor heating and cooling in the common areas of the ground floor.

There is a large sitting room downstairs where the original tiled floor and beamed ceiling have been retained, an attractive mix of rustic decor, original paintings and period furniture. The windows frame picturesque scenes of the gardens breathtaking views of the valley and village below.

Leading off the salon and dining room is a music lounge with the fireplace next to a
comfortable double ottoman inviting to read or listen to music. This space opens to a modern,
well equipped kitchen and a romantic rear patio for al fresco dinners with a large dining table
for up to 10 under a climbing rose pergola.

 

Times gone by

"Light colours on the walls balance the dark impact of the old wooden beams. Airy rooms, flowers and the use of crisp fabrics and delicious bedlinen induce a lovely colonial atmosphere".

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The bedrooms are located on the first floor, individually decorated in soft pastel colours and some with their original high, beamed ceilings. All have en-suite bath or shower rooms in delicate Granada tiles.

The Blue room is decorated in French powder blue and has twin beds which can be joined to a king-sized double bed. The windows over look the pool on one side and the olive groves on the other.

The Rose room is twin bedded and has splended views of the village and hills beyond.

The Ochre room “Vistalegre” has antique king-sized twin beds and a spacious sitting area
with a French balcony for gorgeous views of the village and hills beyond.

The double bedded Yellow room has a beamed ceiling and overlooks the rose filled patio below.

Large terrace with the natural pergola of a centennial Aleppo pine

The cobbled terrace at the front offers a tranquil sitting area under the shade of the magnificent Aleppo pine which rises high, high above the farmhouse.

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The wide, cobbled terrace at the front offers a cool, tranquil sitting area under the shade of the
magnificent, centennial Aleppo pine tree which rises high above the old farmhouse. Not only
is it the oldest and largest Aleppo pine of the region, registered as singular landmark of
Andalusia, it also casts delightful, dappled shade over the terrace.

Just one of many superb outside spaces here, this is a great place to take drinks and tapas in the evening, watching the sun sinking slowly over distant mountains, casting its beautiful evening rays over the village in the valley below.

Mature lush gardens include a secluded, flower-filled patio  behind the house with direct access from the kitchen just the perfect spot to take your meals al fresco.

Mature gardens

There are a variety of attractive garden areas to choose from, each with a different planting theme and ambience.

Here, an enormous glass table (it can seat 10) sits in a pergola bedecked with beautiful yellow roses which clamber all over. There’s a barbecue alongside and other casual seating too in this lovely patio, full of mature flowering shrubs and colourful pot plants.

The gated swimming pool is a delightful spot with its lawned surround and vistas over the joyous countryside beyond. Stairs lead down to orange and lemon groves This property has its own fruit and vegetable garden with oranges, lemons, granates, kakis, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and almond treas. Guests are invited to serve themselves and enrich their cooking with organically grown fruits and vegetables depending on the season.

The mature gardens all around have been extended and developed. A short walk away from the house along the garden path, there is a romantic garden around the gazebo (another lovely feature here, beautifully decorative and furnished with table and  chairs)  replete with thyme, rosemary, scented roses and jasmin.

On a different level there’s a grassy area around the pool with cypress trees, myrtle and lavender.

A small house behind the pool belongs to the same owners (a lovely Spanish / German
couple). They occupy the 2 nd floor – if they are not travelling – which does not compromise
your privacy. They will be happy to be of any assistance if needed but the arrangement is
designed for you to have total privacy.
The first floor is occupied by the Garden Studio, a spacious one-room apartment for two
persons that can be rented additionally to the Villa (8 persons). It has a little well-equipped
kitchen in L-shape with a charming dining area, a lovely four-poster bed and a spacious
bathroom with a large floor-level shower.

Views, of the little village of Albuñuelas in the river valley below, the surrounding groves of oranges and lemons, almonds and olives, and to the pine-covered mountains beyond are superb.

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Joyous countryside

Bordered by the Sierra de Albuñuelas and the Sierra de Guajar, there are beautiful walks with wonderful vistas at every turn.

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It’s just a short stroll from here to Albuñuelas, a traditional little ‘pueblo’ with a population of round over 1,000 inhabitants.

Nestling into the hillside above the gorge of the Rio Santo – it enjoys a spectacular position at the head of the Lecrin Valley.

La Sierra de Albuñuelas rises up behind to 1.426 metres. The campesinos will be seen farming the surrounding terraces, as often as not with their mules in tow. The main crops here are citrus and semi tropical fruit, olives and almonds.

 

The name of the village derives from an Arab word meaning abundance – a fitting superlative for the surrounding orchards heavily laden with oranges, lemons, medlars, pomegranates, persimmons, custard apples, avocados and vines weighed down with grapes.

A land of plenty

Surrounding orchards are heavily laden with oranges, lemons, medlars, pomegranates, persimmons, custard apples, avocados and grape vines.

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Some of the most dramatic views to be had anywhere in the valley are to be found here – bordered by the Sierra de Albuñuelas and the Sierra de Guajar – with wonderful vistas across to the Alpujarras and the Sierra Nevada.

The land is replete with pines, olive trees, wild flowers, aromatic plants and natural springs. Thanks to its lush vegetation, the area is also a natural reserve for birds and animals such as pheasant and doves, rabbit, wild boar, deer and mountain goats.

The streets of Albuñuelas are redolent with the Moorish history of the area. Among the flower draped houses in the narrow cobbled streets you will find the remnants of a 14th century Arab tower, communal stone wash houses and elaborately tiled fountains, as well as a 17th century Archbishop’s palace.

 

Captivated by its beauty

Traveling south from Granada, the Moors reached a land which had everything they prized. They named it El Valle de Lecrín - the Valley of Happiness.

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The open top floors or ‘miradors’ are festooned with drying chillies and tomatoes at the end of the summer and hams and chorizo sausages being cured after the matanza – the killing of pigs in January.

These jostle for space with bougainvillea and jasmine tumbling over balustrades. On summer evenings neighbours sit on their doorsteps chatting happily and old men keep alive the craft of esparto grass weaving to make baskets and panniers for the mules.

 

Two bakeries deliver fresh bread and cakes each day and the fish vendor arrives with the morning’s catch of fish, fresh from the Mediterranean.

There are several bars, mostly traditional, local establishments, a couple of small supermarkets, a pharmacy and a local doctor. On the last Thursday morning of each month there is a full street market selling everything from different types of olives to pots and pans. On other Thursdays it’s a smaller affair.

Granada or the deep blue sea

Just 15 minutes away from the motorway which runs between Granada and the Mediterranean, this is an ideal holiday location.

All delightfully rural, yet from here it’s little more than half an hour to Mediterranean beaches (heading south) and to the magnificent city of Granada, in the opposite direction. The new motorway (which runs from Granada to the coast) will quickly and easily take you in either direction.

The world famous La Alhambra in Granada is a must visit and the city itself is not to be missed, either.

The beaches of Granada’s Costa Tropical are, in many ways, more attractive than those of the Costa del Sol further west. The coastline here is much more rugged and this has protected it from excessive tourist development. The pebbly/sand – rather than golden sand – beaches also contribute to keeping the trappings of mass tourism at bay.

There are some wonderful coves and bays to explore as well as the resort towns of Almuñecar (which has an excellent summer jazz festival), fashionable Nerja (which does have beautiful, sandy beaches), Salobreña (the closest of them all, just half an hour away) and, last but not least, La Herradura.

This means “horseshoe” and gets its name from the contours of the beautiful bay which it graces. It’s a pretty town, not much more than a fishing village really, but with sufficient concessions to tourism to provide a choice of restaurants, beach bars and night spots.

The beautiful mountain terrain of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Las Alpujarras, is another delightful day trip from here. The G7 walking route and horse trekking start from the front door.

The cities of Sevilla and Córdoba are further afield but, now connected to Granada by fast and comparatively empty motorways, still within easy visiting distance.

 

What can be better than this: a lovely old farmhouse full of character and old fashioned charm, with pretty gardens and delightful views, set in a beautiful rural location half way between Granada and the sea?

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All the facts and features about these villas

Distribution

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Ground floor
  • Living and dining room
  • Fire place lounge
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry room
  • Various furnished terraces
  • Gardens and grounds
First floor
  • 4 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms::
    • 1 with king sized twin beds
    • 2 with king sized double beds that can be converted into twin beds
    • 1 with queen sized double bed
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Garden Studio,
  • Little well-equipped
    kitchen in L-shape and sitting area
  • Four-poster bed
  • Bathroom with a large floor-level shower.
Concierge service
  • Horse riding thru the valley and surrounding mountains
  • Canyoning and wine degustation tours
  • Official entry tickets to the Alhambra and Granada’s cultural program can be
    arranged onsite

Facilities

Entertainment
  • Smart TV with NETFLIX
  • Radio / CD
  • Fast-speed Wi-Fi
Amenities
  • Lounge with wood burner
  • Double glazing
  • Moskito window nets in all bedrooms
  • Washing Machine, Tumble Dryer, Iron & board
  • All linen is provided (including pool towels)
  • Bathrobes
  • Hairdryer
  • Cod with bedding available on request
Kitchen
  • Siemens Induction hob, large oven (90 cm) and Dishwasher
  • Microwave Fridge/freezer
  • Juicer
  • Food mixer
  • Toaster, kettle, food steamer
  • Nespresso coffeemaker and cafetiere.
  • Cooking utensils, Cutlery, Crockery
Outdoors
  • Gated, salt, filtered swimming pool (8 m x 4 m, 1.4 – 1.7 m deep) with underwater lighting
  • Pool shower
  • Pool terrace
  • Sun beds, sun shades
  • Gazebo (furnished)
  • Pergola (furnished)
  • Outdoor dining and garden furniture
  • Barbecue (portable)
  • Night lighting
  • Gardens and grounds
  • Parking
Other services available on request to be paid locally
  • Freshly cooked meals on site by our private chef for delicious sea-food paellas and
    typical Andalusian dishes
  • Wellness services such as massages, reflexology and osteopathic treatments
  • Local baker comes daily to the house, fish merchants come weekly /on demand
Location

In open countryside, 300 metres (a 5 minute walk) from Albuñuelas (basic facilities, supermarkets, chemist, restaurants, bars); 15 km from Dúrcal (most facilities) in El Valle de Lecrín region (Province of Granada).

Granada 35 mins.

Salobreña (and beaches) 35 mins; Almuñecar 50 mins; La Herradura 1 hr; Nerja 1¼ hrs.

Málaga 1¾ hrs; Córdoba 2¾ hrs; Sevilla 3¼ hrs.

Nearest Airports
  • Granada 45 mins.
  • Málaga 1¾ hrs.
  • Sevilla 3¼ hrs.

Notes

Weather permitting, the swimming pool  will be open from April to mid October, possibly longer

Please, no smoking in the house

Rentals for this property normally run from Saturday to Saturday but some flexibility may be possible.

A 400 Euros security deposit is required on each booking, payable locally in cash on arrival and it will be returned via bank transfer after your holiday, subject to any deductions for
breakages or damage.

 

Prices (below) include two hours maid service each day except Sundays and Bank Holidays

Freshly cooked dinners with regional dishes can be arranged on request (payable locally)

Barbecue use may be restricted by local fire regulations during summer months.

Granada, El Valle de Lecrín

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