A lovely little villa for a small family or a couple seeking a holiday retreat, set in a wonderfully leafy spot with views of El Torcal mountains.
Amidst the exuberant Mediterranean vegetation you feel thoroughly out-of-the-way and ensconced in nature. There are over two acres of semi-wild gardens and centuries-old trees.
The countryside location nevertheless allows you to connect with the road network that brings you to Granada, Cordoba, Seville (at a push), plus a Malaga beach or two.
There’s something inspiringly intimate about being at this cottage. We think it has to do with the age of the building – a restored 1822 property – and the way the landscaped gardens are arranged on terraced levels, providing natural shade and making the outdoor areas so inviting.
A previous holidaymaker wrote:
"Fabulous. What a place! Peaceful, quiet, relaxing, comfortable, clean. The cottage was superb. 30 degrees outside, cool on the inside, nice pool, expansive patio, glorious dining area and incredible views all round." Guy T. 2012
On our most recent visit (Nov 2014), we found ourselves in complete agreement with this. We know the villa to be fresh in the summer when it matters, so that fans aren't really needed.
The location is hidden away on a hillside, from where the terrain then slopes down to a ravine. There 's a farmhouse in the distance, so we wouldn't say it's totally secluded (see the photo to make your own mind up), but we thought the villa was really very private.
The owners kept as much of the original building as possible when they carried out they restoration, thick stone walls, terracotta floors and beamed ceilings. The same goes for outside, where battles clearing briar and scrub revealed beautifully made dry-stone walls around the gardens.
It has all the character of a Malaga farmstead, of the lived-in farm labourer's home that it once was, but now smartened up and given decent holiday facilities.
As you come in the house, there is a pleasant living area, rustic in style, with two comfy sofas. A few steps take you up to a a kitchen with a fold-out dining table. The kitchen door leads directly out to the gardens.
The accommodation is all ground floor, with only a few internal steps, and there are two bedrooms.
Guests share one ample, full bathroom, well finished and well presented.
The cottage's setting represents a natural invitation to outdoor living in civilized fashion, with its furnished terrace for meals, private swimming pool and a sun terrace.
It’s extremely natural and relaxing: the perfect place to unwind, read or write, or simply admire the panorama from a viewpoint just above the house.
The pool area has a particularly well-made barbecue in the shade of an orange tree. Although the pool is not gated, the villa is otherwise suitable for families with young children.
The Axarquia is famously warm and sunny and this is one of the few properties we have where the pool is open all year. In winter the water will be cold, mind, and the weather may preclude swims, but the pool is maintained continuously.
Our favourite spot was the shaded porch by the house –just the place for morning breakfasts– but then there's also the bottom garden, where all you’re likely to hear are birds and the occasional goats. Seriously relaxing.
It’s well situated for excursions, too, with Montes de Malaga Natural Park just 3 km away. A short track from the cottage leads to a look-out point over the Torcal mountain formations and down to the Mediterranean Sea. El Torcal’s impressive geological cragginess is an obvious walking destination, but Montes de Malaga has plenty to offer, also, not least the ventas (roadside restaurants) for a lunchtime break.
Casabermeja, a large Andalucia village or small town, depending on how you see it, is only 15 minutes’ drive. There are three or four good places to eat here, including a fish restaurant that's so good that people drive up especially from Malaga. You can also buy at excellent butchers if you're planning to barbecue.
You'll find all normal services in Casabermeja.
Malaga and its beaches with great fish and seafood restaurants are 40 mins. Cultural city enthusiasts will be eager to visit Granada, Cordoba or Seville, all within day trip reach. Others will be content to sit back and enjoy the peaceful countryside and the birdsong.
The cottage is easy to get to: virtually straight up the road from Malaga Airport to Casabermeja, then down a 5 km track which is in good condition and paved for all but the last 800 metres. You can park right by the house.