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+34 958 76 33 81


2 bedrooms, sleeps 5

Looking over hillsides and glorious woodlands

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 ...

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Review Icon"Absolutely perfect for our wee family. Beautiful and utterly relaxed. Can't wait to go back"

Previous Guest (Feb 2015)

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Two (one double, one with three single beds).

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Shared swimming pool

11 m x 5.5 m, 1.4 m - 2.0 m deep.

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In open countryside, 1 km from Alájar in La Sierra de Aracena region (Province of Huelva).

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From 1,240 € to 1,300 € per week.

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Villa Description

The Guardian wrote ...

"While the kids are busy climbing trees, splashing in the pool, playing tennis or riding donkeys, parents can have a taste of the good life".

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.

A real oasis

"This place has the magic charm and warm welcome of the owners Monica and Peter Jan that you hardly find anywhere else".

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 wonderful place

"Facilities are outstanding and the cottages have everything you need. Scenery is stunning, fantastic walks and a nice pool to come back 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.

Very happy!

"We had a thoroughly lovely stay. Peter and Monica were so nice and relaxed, that we couldn't fail to unwind as soon as we arrived. The kids loved the dogs, the tennis and especially the donkey trek".

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.

A wonderful stay

"The cottages are well appointed, comfortable, practical. The pool is beautiful, the tennis court awesome. Kids favourites were the donkeys and the dogs. Adult favourites were the views, the privacy and the perfect weather".

Cottage La Tortuga

All on one level, La Tortuga is perfect for a family, sleeping five in two bedrooms, one double, one with three singles. It has recently been fully refurbished and expanded.

The main door opens into a hallway with a window showing the enclosed patio. To the right is the spacious sitting room with galley kitchen. The dining table is placed by a large bow-window looking out over the lawns to the hills beyond.

It is 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 under-floor heating as well as the open fireplace.

The kitchen area has a five-ring gas hob, electric oven, fridge, microwave and stainless steel cookware, cutlery and crockery.

The main bedroom (which also has under-floor heating) has a double bed and a stylish bathroom in sea green. The second bedroom has three single beds and en-suite bathroom. Both bathrooms have walk-in showers, there's no bath tub.

A mix of luxury and rural idyll

"I was able to relax by the pool after a strenuous game of tennis, go for a walk down the river gorge into the most beautiful countryside, stroll into town".

The terrace is a delightful spot, providing the opportunity for dining outdoors while enjoying the pristine Sierra air and the wonderful countryside tranquillity.

As one client said, "we stayed in La Tortuga and it was spacious, well equipped and very comfortable. The underfloor heating was great!"

A short 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.

Superb hospitality

"Monica and Peter are superb hosts, welcoming, kind and considerate. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they have great knowledge of the area".

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.

It is an ideal starting point from which to explore this magnificent region. 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.

Conde Nast Traveler wrote ...

"You are cared for as though in a boutique hotel. The cottages are beautifully decorated, a cosy counterpoint to the cacophonous nature on your doorstep".

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!

Villa Details

The Villa in Detail

All the facts and features about this villa


All on one floor

  • Open plan living / dining room / kitchen
  • 2 bedrooms :
    • 1 double with en-suite bathroom (walk-in shower, no bath tub)
    • 1 with three single beds with en-suite bathroom (walk-in shower, no bath tub)
  • Furnished terrace




  • TV (Spanish programmes only)
  • CD / DVD


  • Open fireplace in the living / dining room / kitchen
  • Underfloor central heating in the living / dining room / kitchen and in the double bedroom
  • Electric radiator in the triple bedroom
  • Air Conditioning in both bedrooms
  • Portable Fans
  • Iron & board
  • All linen is provided (but not pool towels)
  • Cot (linen is not supplied)


  • Electric oven
  • Gas hob (5 rings)
  • Microwave
  • Fridge
  • Toaster, Juicer, Kettle, Coffee machine
  • Cooking utensils, Cutlery, Crockery


  • Outdoor dining, terrace and garden furniture
  • Night lighting

Facilities shared with the other 5 cottages

  • Communal room (the old Mill House) which has a sitting area in front of a large open fireplace
  • Barbecue Terrace
  • WiFi Internet (bring your own laptop) in the common room and on the terrace
  • Washing Machine, Tumble Dryer
  • Highchair available (on request)
  • Selection of DVD's and music CD's (which can be taken to your cottage)
  • Table tennis, table football and petanque
  • Gated and walled filtered swimming pool (11 m x 5.5 m, 1.4 m - 2.0 m deep) with pool shower and furniture
  • Tennis Court with artificial grass and night lighting. Please bring your own racket, shoes etc.
  • Note: tennis lessons are available (tuition over an intensive weekend conducted by a former champion of Spain in mens doubles). Must be booked well in advance (a minimum of 3 months notice is required)
  • Mountain Bikes are available for rental (by the day or by the week)
  • Walking itineraries available
  • Donkeys available for hire (guided)
  • Grounds & gardens (including vegetables which can be picked from the organic plot
  • Car Park


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

Other cottages on the Estate :

ZH11 (1) La Cigüeña 2 bedrooms, sleeps 4/6

ZH11 (2) El Conejo 2 bedrooms, sleeps 4/6

ZH11 (3) El Buho 1 studio bedroom, sleeps 2

ZH11 (5) El Águila 2 bedrooms, sleeps 2 plus 2 children

ZH11 (6) Zoya 2 bedrooms, sleeps 4

More Villa Photos

Villa Prices

Prices and Seasons

ZH 11(4) La Tortuga

2020 Season Dates Week Fortnight
1st January to 2nd July 1,240 € 2,480 €
3rd July to 4th September 1,300 € 2,600 €
5th September to 31st December 1,240 € 2,480 €

ZH 11(4) La Tortuga

2020 Season Dates Week Fortnight
Prices Pending --- ---


Prices are inclusive of firewood and heating costs in winter months

Security Deposit

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.

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+34 958 76 33 81

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Villa Availability

ZH 11(4)

Availability 2021

Please contact us for latest availability and to reserve the villa.

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Villa Location

Location Map

In open countryside, 1 km from the village of Alajár (basic shopping, bars & restaurants) in La Sierra de Aracena region (Province of Huelva)


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.

Jerez 2½ hrs; Córdoba 3 hrs; Málaga 3¾ hrs; Granada 4 hrs.

Nearest Airports

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.

Around and About

This is an excellent base from which to explore this delightful and very beautiful part of Andalucía.


  • Here, in the heart of La Sierra de Aracena, you are in 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.
  • Travelling through the little country lanes of the Sierra, it is almost reminiscent of a perfect day in the English countryside.
  • Not surprisingly, given the wealth of local produce here (the area is home to the prized Iberian black-footed pig, the pata negra, perhaps the most famed ham in all the world, and is equally renown for its wild mushrooms and asparagus), restaurants and bars are above average. There's usually more than one hostelry in just about every village, specialising in dishes made from local pork and other specialities of the region.
  • The Sierra de Aracena is just about perfect walking and riding country. There are miles and miles of delightful paths and tracks which criss-cross the rolling hills, passing through wonderful countryside, linking the villages together. Everywhere, there are splendid views.
  • There's lots to discover here - touring around by car is also very pleasurable. Equally, it's a great place just to relax, read, and swim, listening to the crickets and the birds singing in the trees.
  • Aracena is the main town in the Natural Park with a population of approximately 7,500. Meandering up the hillside which is topped by an impressive Moorish castle, it is both pretty and welcoming. There are several excellent restaurants here, not to mention tapas bars and some good shops. The town also has a popular Saturday market.
  • The town boasts a fine thirteenth century church, but its most famous landmark is the Gruta de las Maravillas, the "cave of wonders", the most visited site in the province of Huelva. For centuries the townsfolk of Aracena were unaware of this marvel that lay, unsuspected, beneath the very ground they trod. Discovered by accident (by a stray pig apparently!) the Gruta de la Maravillas is the largest cave in Spain, a mile and a half long, and is truly a marvel of subterranean lakes, striking colours and all manner of exquisitely adorned stalagmites and stalactites.
  • Set in a deep valley, Alájar is famous for its imposing 17th century shrine of Arias Montano which stands on a rocky promontory high above the pretty village. An annual pilgrimage here attracts thousands of people, many on horseback or in horse drawn carts.
  • Almonaster de la Real is another very beautiful village dominated by its 10th century Moorish Mosque.
  • There are many more, equally handsome little whitewashed villages, all well worth spending a little time in. Fuenteheridos is one of the most visited, others include Linares de la Sierra, Galaroza and Valdelarco. Close to the Portuguese border, Aroche with its medieval walls looking over the woods and meadows below, boasts a bull ring rather curiously built inside its Moorish castle.
  • Further south, admittedly outside the designated Natural Park are the giant opencast mines of Rio Tinto, as surreal a landscape as one will find this side of the Moon! Reputed to be the oldest mines in the world, the continual search for iron ore, copper, silver, sulphur and a host of other minerals has opened up amphitheatres of gargantuan proportions, vast man-made craters that measure several kilometres across. The minerals have created unworldly colours - strange blues, greens, yellows, reds and browns which permeate both the rocks and the rivers of the region. All very eerie!
  • And the British have played their part too. Owners of the mines for many years, they brought their sports with them and it was here that the very first football match was played in Spain.
  • If you crave urban adventure, the marvellous city of Sevilla is just an hour and a bit away from here. Cities don't come any more vibrant - or any more beautiful than this! The quintessentially Andalusian city, Sevilla offers everything from bullfighting to flamenco, a history which encompasses some of the greatest cultures ever, a multitude of stunning buildings, the much famed Sevillana nightlife, fabulous shops, restaurants et al. Don't miss it, but in summer, beware, it's also famous for being the hottest city in all Europe.
  • Then there's Portugal, a different world away, yet less than an hour's drive from here. It's enchanting, beguiling and so, so different from Spain.
  • To the south, The Parque Nacional de Doñana is 1½ hours away. Here, on one of the world's most important and protected biospheres, amid its sand dunes, marshes, pinewoods and freshwater lagoons live flamingos, rare buzzards, lynx, mongoose and a startling variety of migratory birds.
  • The fine, white sandy beaches of the Costa de la Luz arealso less than a couple of hours away.


  • For nature lovers this is a dream location and just about perfect walking and riding country, with lots of pretty villages to explore along the way. It's ideal terrain both for serious hill walkers and more casual strollers.
  • Spanish language, cookery and guitar lessons are available locally. There is a tennis court just outside Aracena; it's free but you need to book your slot. For fun golf, there's a 9 hole course at Rio Tinto (the oldest course in Spain). For the more serious stuff, there's a plethora of championship courses around Huelva and Sevilla.

The Area

La Sierra de Aracena

Travelling through the little country lanes of the Sierra, it is almost reminiscent of a perfect day in the English countryside …
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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 …

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