Bright and tidy, the villa combines modernity with an outdoor world that is a real joy: forest grounds with a fresh stream running through, making a small waterfall, where you can explore and ramble to your hearts’ content.
The villa is set within a quite vast and totally natural estate owned by a local woodcutter (*), where it shares an excellent, gated swimming pool with up to two other families in separate accommodation on different levels.
(*) This extensive estate is considered an agritourism finca and its forests are used sustainably by the owners of the accommodation following an official forest management plan. Most of the tree species are ideal for firewood and other softwood species are used as forest biomass (and the hot water and heating of the accommodation works using this source. The operation of the farm is an attraction that is usually liked. The sawmill can be heard when it is running, although it is more audible from the pool area than from the house. The sawmill time schedule may be slightly adjusted in the event that it was an inconvenience to guests. This note is added in September 2022 when for the first time in 10 years a guest reported that this noise could be a nuisance while on holidays.
We thought it a fantastic place for children. The peace and quiet, impressive barbecue area, the proximity to Montseny and to good restaurants makes it an attractive option for their parents, too.
Set apart but close to the swimming pool, the villa has masses of outdoor space.
It’s a smart property that has been well put together, employing quality materials, chiefly local stone and wood. Walls are left bare stone or plastered and painted: a rich crimson, for example, in the living area.
From ample parking, you cross one of the little bridges across the stream and enter the villa past the barbecue area.
The ambience in this restored mill is less rustic than semi-urban, with modern tiling underfoot, dried flower arrangements and gentle air freshener.
The kitchen is spacious and has a table with chairs and stools.
There is a staircase on either side up to bedrooms and bathrooms. All bedrooms have wardrobe hanging space and duvets.
One staircase goes up to one of the bedrooms, which is particularly private for being on its own staircase. The wood celing and stone walls give it a natural feel. It looks out to trees at the rear and the sound of the stream reaches you with the window open.
The bathroom is partway up (5 steps from the living room), so it's not strictly en suite with the room.
The other staircase goes up to the other three bedrooms.
Next to the entrance, a roofed, long-tabled barbecue area with lighting looks out onto stream and trees.
Up behind the villa is a bamboo-planted green expanse that slopes down to a picnic area set with simple mill stone tables and the stream.
The swimming pool is situated above the villa, where it is fenced and gated for child safety. If one or other of the two other holiday homes (a good distance away and not overlooking CA29) is occupied, you share the pool with them, otherwise it’s just for you. The water is salt-filtered, much kinder on the eyes than chlorine. All around it is a extensive green lawn.
You really do feel part of that living environment when you’re here. This area of rural Girona is blessed with major aquifers which provide mineral water for bottling, sustenance to forest and plant life, and create a number of rivulets and clean and healthy streams.
A major attraction is Montseny, just ten minutes down the road. Montseny is Catalonia's oldest Natural Park and an outstanding destination for walkers of varying levels of fitness and interest. There are a endless itineraries to follow from easy strolling through medium to challenging. It is said that mountain trekking in Spain began here and one soon understands why when drives in. The woods, forests and mountains extend for miles and miles.
Girona, at 30 mins, has a wonderful old town with a medieval Jewish quarter within the origina city walls. It's also full of interesting fashion shops.
For seaside trips, beaches of the Costa Brava are little more than a half hour away.
In an hour, you can be right in the eastern Pyrenees at Nuria.
At most times of the year, you’ll inevitably be spending most of the time outdoors between one attraction and activity and another, but if the temperature drops you do have central heating back at the villa, as well as open fires both inside the house and out, under the covered porch.
For eating out, local Arbucies has no less than five restaurants: three of them are classic Spanish affairs and two are signature restaurants. At least one is a good place to take children. Dining out here is a real treat: Girona has nothing to envy the rest of Spain when it comes to gastronomy.
In little Joanet, even closer to the villa, there's a simple, typical bar-restaurant, as well.
Arbucies has supermarkets and street markets in local towns are a good opportunity to buy fresh produce for meals at home.