Villa Riachuelo is a handsome, modern villa for rent in the Axarquia region of Malaga Province. It has four well turned out bedrooms, two kitchens (one outdoor), a sitting room, dining room and plenty of shady, outdoor seating space.
As well as the villa itself there's a pool (and loads of room for sunbathing), gardens and a series of dusty olive terraces descending to a little brook. While the surrounding countryside is dramatic and mountainous, on the whole, the villa itself is not particularly remote - only five minutes' drive from Canillas de Aceituno (a typical Andalucian white village) and about an hour from Malaga/the airport.
A top choice for a week or so's flop 'n' drop by the pool or as a base camp for exploring other parts of Andalucia.
La Seguiriya is a delightful little guesthouse owned (and run with considerable warmth) by flamenco singer Paco Moyano and his wife.
Six comfortable, well-appointed rooms are dotted around an 18th-century townhouse. Downstairs, there's a lounge area/bar and an excellent restaurant. Best of all, though, is the extensive terrace area out the back, which boasts stunning views of the town's famous gorge.
+34 958 36 08 01
Using fresh, locally-grown ingredients to re-create rustic Andalucian cuisine with a contemporary touch, Al Lago has to be one of the best eating houses in the Sierra de Grazalema area of western Andalucia. If you are in the area give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
Calle Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente, 11
Zahara de la Sierra, 11688 (Cádiz), Spain
phone: + 34 956 123 032
mobile: + 34 662 052 553
A holiday cycling company for both professional and leisure cycling and biking holidays in Andalucia. They specialise in organising road cycling holidays, mountain bike holidays, leisure cycling holidays , triathlon and winter training camps, family cycling holidays, a white village tour and winter cycling holidays. They provide guided cycling vacations and self-led tours. I highly recommend this company if you want to discover the stunning Sierra de Grazalema in western Andalucia by bike.
Address: Calle Ronda 25, Montecorto, Malaga Province, 29430, Spain
Telephone: 0034 952 18 40 42
Stay in your own little white-washed house, nestling in the Alpujarras. The owners cultivate organic vines, olives, figs and almonds, some of which end up on the table at dinner. With a swimming pool, library and bodega, this is the perfect get-away.
CÁDIAR - GRANADA - ALPUJARRA - ANDALUCÍA
Tlf. 958 34 32 21 - 958 34 33 03
Make like the Spanish and enjoy a beer and tapa in the bars in Granada. Most places give you a free tapa when you buy a drink - spend an evening wandering from bar to bar in this beautiful city and you won't need to find a restaurant for dinner.
Most squares in Seville have got nice old fashioned bars, where eating and drinking is cheap. Santa Maria La Blanca is not an exception, and it is close to the gardens (Jardines del Murillo) and the beautiful building of Universidad de Sevilla.
I recommend trying as many varieties of tapas as possible, always keeping in mind, or at hand, a nice beer to chill out.
The city centre.
El Porton is the bullfighters' favourite tapas bar and an example of traditional Andalucian food, very macho but lovely staff. Try the prawns sizzling in garlic.
Tragabuches serves modern, high quality food with panache in a stylish setting. Expensive for Andalucia but worth it.
El Porton: Calle Pedro Romero 7
Tragabuches:Calle Jose Aparicio 1
This Natural Park is superb in spring. Good weather, no cars and good roads. Accommodation easy and staggeringly cheap to find on line.
The Vias Verdes are "green routes" through Spain. Former railway lines, the gravel tracks are traffic-free and suitable for cycling and walking. They provide a beautiful alternative to on-road cycling, ideal if you have young kids in tow.
Routes are pretty flat or at least nicely graded, even in hilly areas, because they were originally designed for trains. The network is not huge at present but there are plenty of 2-3 day excursions to be enjoyed on the existing Vias. This is a really fun way to explore Spain!
www.viasverdes.es - only in Spanish, I'm afraid, but the map etc. is easy enough to follow and the routes are generally well-signed once you are there
A bit twee (you travel on a miniature train, there is a mouse trained to run up a ladder and drink sherry ...) but worth a trip. Jerez is a town entirely founded on sherry exports so it's good to come here and understand what it's all about. The tasting certainly challenges any preconceptions of sherry you may have had - it's not like granny's Christmas tipple. A glass of fino and a plate of tapas is your reward at the end of an interesting tour around the estate.
I recommend this website as it deals in great tours around Seville. I went to Seville during the Christmas period and although the weather wasn't great, the trip was fantastic due to the tour. For anyone thinking of visiting Seville i strongly suggest using this website.
Precious water resources are being squandered, and new housing estates are being built around new courses, sometimes illegally, to the detriment of English buyers, like in my village, Otura, south of Granada.
New golf courses are planned in Andalucia, whilst my farming neighbours do not have enough water to irrigate.
San Pablo church is like something out of Romeo and Juliet with a 13th century balcony which is enhanced by Renaissance features. The inside is quite dreary and disappointing compared to the exterior but it's a good enough spot for prayer or contemplation.
Plaza del Primero de Mayo - follow C/Horno Contado from the Plaza Vázquez de Molina.
This is undoubtedly the finest church in Úbeda and is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance architecture because it was erected by the Renaissance master of Spain - Andrés de Vandelvira. It has a dazzling façade featuring a carving of the Transfiguration of Christ flanked by intricate statues of St Peter and Paul. The theme of the Transfiguration of Christ is continued inside with a brilliantly animated retablo.
The Capilla del Salvador is located on the Plaza Vázquez de Molina (opposite the Palacio de las Cadenas)in Úbeda.
Entry fee is 2.25 euros.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-2pm & 5-7.30pm, Sun 10.45am-2pm & 4.30-7.30pm.
This tremendous Renaissance square is the main focal point of Úbeda's social life with cafés and curio shops around it. It was also designed to show off the 16th century Renaissance buildings of Andrés de Vandelvira (who designed the cathedrals and Baeza and Jaén). It compares well to the Plaza Mayor/Plaza de Leones in Baeza.
From the bus station in Úbeda follow the brown tourist signs to the 'Zona Monumental' and you'll eventually reach the square.
Úbeda is the beautiful twin sister of Baeza with it's Renaissance buildings and churches. Even though it is a larger town with modern suburbs it still retains a charming village atmosphere. The most notable sights are: Plaza Vazquez de Molina, Palacio de las Cadenas, Capilla de San Salvador and San Pablo church.
Úbeda lies just 9km east of Baeza on the main road to Castilla-La Mancha. 14 daily buses depart from Jaén and almost all buses with the destination of Baeza continue on to Úbeda as there is no train station in the town.
To fully appreciate the beauty of Baeza there is a short but illuminating walk to be done. Walk through the Puerta de Jaén off the Plaza de Leones, go along the Paseo Muralles (following the route of the old city walls) around the edge of Baeza. From this street there are fantastic views of the surrounding plains and the mountains of Cazorla national park. Cut back to the Plaza Mayor via the stone-walled arched alleyways which hide behind the Cathedral.
This grand palace (now a seminary) is a monumental mansion famed for it's "Isabelline" façade which contains a Moorish influence. The patio is a great place to rest.
A 15 min walk from the Plaza Mayor in Baeza. It is clearly signposted from there. Entry is free (tip recommended)
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 10am-1pm and 4-6pm
Baeza's cathedral is probably the most under-appreciated in
Andalucía, which in a way is a shame as the façade is so intricately designed. Inside the building itself are brillianely painted 16th century rejas (iron screens) created by Maestro Bartolomé - the master of this craft. Part of the old mosque over which the cathedral was built can be seen in the cloister.
Plaza Mayor, Baeza
Entry is free (a tip is optional)
Opening hours: daily from 10.30am-1pm and 4-6pm (April-Sept closes 7pm)
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