Just outside Jabugo, a village known for producing one of the best Iberian hams in the world, you will find this impeccably restored old mill. Although a short distance away from the village, you are actually only surrounded by wild nature and the unspoilt view of green wooded hills goes as far as the eye can see. As soon as you arrive, you realize that this quiet and picturesque spot is simply an idyllic place for your holidays.
What was once a 19th century mill has now been completely renovated to a high standard, using the finest local materials. Indoors, the decor is simple yet unique, combining details from different parts of the world: copperware from Pakistan; some of the pictures and wooden articles from Australia and India; carpets come from South America, Africa and Asia; lamp shades and pottery from Morocco... all harmoniously presented in a smart balance.
It also boasts one of the best country kitchens we have ever come across, exceptionally spacious and well equipped. The breakfast bar is just perfect and the dining table conveniently placed next to the kitchen makes it an ideal place for socializing. This spacious open-plan area, with large windows facing the beautiful views, is where you are likely to spend a lot of your time with family and friends, especially if you are keen cooks!
While for those who prefer to relax without having to think about meal preps, catering services may be arranged in advance and prices are affordable.
The house itself has an unusual floor plan, mainly split on three different levels. After our visit we named each level: upper ground floor, ground floor and lower level.
Access to the house is via a track that first reaches the upper ground floor, named as such since you can park the car at the back of the house and access this level directly (to kitchen/dining area, living room and two bedrooms). This access is easy and convenient, particularly when you need to carry your shopping or discharge your luggage from the car.
The track continues downhill towards the bottom of the property where you´ll come across another parking space (closed garage). From there, the main entrance to the house is accessed by a ramped footpath with flower beds and beautiful old stone. Just next to this ground floor entrance, you will find a furnished terrace and some gardens with the pool.
A 3rd bedroom is found on this ground floor, and a different back door opens up to another furnished terrace with a large table for outdoor meals.
And finally, the 4th bedroom is on the lower level just below the ground floor, yet mind you, it does not miss out on views! This bedroom has ensuite facilities and is best for party members who wish to have their own independent space.
If you are planning on travelling off-season, this property is suitable year round. In winter the under floor heating, with thermostats in each room, can make the house feel comfortably cosy, while in summer the thick walls and the surrounding forest usually help to maintain a pleasantly cool temperature inside.
Although at first the house may seem to have been thought out for adults only, the grounds are actually exciting for children too; the shallow pool is especially great for the youngest ones.
You won´t find a TV at this holiday home (who needs one with such great outdoors?), but there is good WiFi signal throughout and there is a quality music system with Bluetooth speakers.
Despite Jabugo village being so close by, the walk over there is relatively unpractical if you plan to go by foot on a regular basis. The track from the house is somewhat steep (which means the way there is not as easy as the return home), and although it takes less than 10 minutes to get to the actual village, it does take a little longer to reach most bars and shops, yet it is still doable by foot.
And if you appreciate proper Iberian ham which is free-range, acorn-fed and air-cured then you´ll be in paradise here. Jabugo ham, particularly its black foot variety, is possibly the highest regarded jamon anywhere. People come from every part of the globe just to purchase it. But if you are more into veggies, no worries! There are also very good markets and shops and Aracena town has good shopping facilities.
You are also on the western side of the Aracena Natural Park, which means you benefit from being close to some great attractions: the amazing 10th century mosque in Almonaster la Real is a relic and the Rio Tinto mining zone is quite extraordinary for outdoor sightseeing. These western areas of Aracena are also remarkably unspoilt in terms of natural preservation.
But if you wish to go beyond this beautiful land of pretty local villages and nature, suggestions for days out include: Portugal only 45 minutes away by car and vibrant Seville less than a 1hr and 30 minutes.