"Worth it for the view alone", a repeating client here told us.
Just before you arrive at the market town of Aracena, on the road that links Sevilla with Portugal, a good one-kilometre track takes us to the top of a small hill, where we find this attractive, traditional villa and its irresistible views.
It is totally private, overlooked only by the occasional vulture and the rare black stork, tranquil in an idyllic setting. The property is well-equipped.
The main house with four bedrooms and four bathrooms can be rented on its own, or together with a self-contained poolside apartment below (the apartment is never rented separately: your privacy is guaranteed).
The swimming pool is large and with think the solar heating can make swims possible from around April or May, when the chances for good weather are best, and sometimes as far as October if the weather is clement. It’s not a sauna, mind, but it does take the edge off the chill. An awning is erected on the pool terrace to provide shade during the hot summer months.
A plastic pool for infants can be set up on the main terrace on request.
The main accommodation feels like a real home, airy and bright under high ceilings, and it's pleasantly decorated, posters of old Seville bullfights patterning the kitchen wall.
It’s evident that this is a much loved place to stay, not just well furnished but stocked with inviting collection of books and local information (we will also send you comprehensive and up-to-date information on Aracena and area).
A huge terrace looks way south over the hills and is quite spectacular, a real delight.
There are three bedrooms in the main house. The Master bedroom is spacious, up just a few steps from the kitchen area and with its own door to the outside world. It has a large window with breathtaking views: we’re sorry our photos don’t show this, but it really is beautiful to wake up to in the morning. The bedroom also has a wood stove for the colder months.
There is another bathroom for communal use near the living area.
The accommodation has an open plan design. The living area has seating for 7 people at any one time, but the dining table is large enough to seat 10 people comfortably.
The kitchen has a bar with two bar stools, just the spot to enjoy tapas or an informal drink while someone else cooks! The kitchen is fully equipped.
An outdoor reception with a built-in barbecue leads directly to the large terrace which overlooks the beautiful swimming pool area and has steps down it.
Down here, below the main house and facing the pool is an additional independent two-bedded apartment, available as an add-on (not rented separately) to sleep four more guests.
Our only doubt here is that people coming together won’t have identical accommodation. The self-contained pool apartment is a more modern, less rustical, purpose-built unit and doesn’t really have the same charm as the main house. The fact that you’re right by the pool does make the apartment attractive, though.
It’s perfectly decent and comfortable, nonetheless, with its own living area and small kitchen.
Although this is the kind of villa where clients tend to stay in and just enjoy the place, there is much to do in the local area. Aracena town is unspoilt, genuinely Spanish, relaxed, and just 3 minutes’ drive away. The number of restaurants and café-bars is remarkable and we’ve done our best to narrow down it down to certain favourites in the local information guide we send you before you travel.
There’s a healthy balance in the area between local business, tourism and agriculture, not least of which is the rearing of black pigs, which roam the cork oak forests, feeding on acorns.
These pigs produce the famed Iberian cured ham that is prized all over the world. It’s particularly associated with the nearby village of Jabugo.
We get very positive feedback from our clients about the Aracena area. You can visit well preserved little villages full of character, castles, caves, go for walks in the Sierra… In Almonaster village you can visit the old mosque (see photo), one of very few that survived the Christian reconquest.
The natural richness of the area makes spring and autumn a real treat for flower lovers and mushroom hunters. If you’re not sure about which mushrooms are good to eat, you can simply choose a restaurant dish that uses them: they’re a local speciality.
Seville is just over an hour away and we recently discovered the magic of some of the Portuguese towns which are even closer, just beyond the Spanish border, so you have the chance to experience two different cultures. Crossing over into another country is always exciting for children, of course.