Vacation Rental Description
A pretty whitewashed cottage full of original features and with a large 25sqm roof terrace offering stunning views over the surrounding countryside. Set on the edge of the quiet village of Castaño del Robledo in the heart of the Sierra de Aracena. The area is famous for its cork and chestnut trees, wild mushrooms and excellent serrano hams. The two bars in the village square are just a minute away, as is the village swimming pool, but the views from the house are of fields and forest. Beautiful walks start literally just outside the door.
The Casa has been sympathetically modernised just enough to make it very comfortable but without removing any of its old Spanish charm.
The characterful kitchen has marble worktops and local hand made furniture but also all the 'mod cons'. Just off the kitchen is a utility area with new 7kg washing machine and large dryer. And the kitchen gives out onto a paved patio area that's great for barbeques and well shaded for those long hot afternoons.
The upstairs lounge/dining room has an open fireplace, great for cosy log fires in the cooler evenings, exposed chestnut beams (castaño means chestnut in Spanish!) and a Juliet balcony offering great views to the west.
It contains a dining table, 6 dining chairs, 2 armchairs, various antique furniture, TV and DVD player, and a high quality sofa.
The bedrooms are spread over three floors, as well as two bathrooms (that's two toilets, one bath with shower and one shower). But the real focus of interest is generally the roof terrace!
The Casa doesn't have central heating, and being 800 m above sea level and in the mountains, it can get cold at nights in Autumn, Winter and early Spring. However, there are two large gas heaters and two electric radiators that can be moved about the cottage, as well as the log fire in the lounge, and plenty of duvets and blankets for the beds, so there should never be any reason to be chilly.
Do note that this is NOT a modern apartment with large picture windows and air con. Old Spanish houses typically kept the windows fairly small to keep out the sun on very hot days, and this cottage is no exception. But this traditional design, along with very thick walls, means the house stays beautifully cool even on the hottest days (and in mid summer even in the hills it can reach the high 30's).
We do not recommend the cottage for those with limited mobility; however, there are 2 bedrooms (one with a dbl and the other with 1 sgl bed) and 1 washroom (consisting of sink, toilet & shower) on the ground floor. The kitchen/patio are also ground floor.
With almost 360 degree views over the fields and distant villages beyond, the roof terrace is just a wonderful spot to while away the day sunbathing, reading, watching the prolific bird life or having 'sundowners' (Sangria, cold beers, red wine, G&T, take your pick!). And on a clear night the star gazing is simply 'out of this world'. This is, after all, the highest house in the highest village in the Sierra, and from up here it shows! (Parents should note that, while the terrace has 3 sturdy horizontal wooden posts for railings (20, 60 and 90 cm high - see photographs) young children on the terrace would need to be supervised. The door to the roof terrace, though, is lockable with a removable key). There is also a shady ground-level patio off the kitchen with a barbecue.
The village of Castano has its own outdoor village swimming pool, but note that its use is limited to the high summer months, generally July & August.
Please bring towels for use on the terrace/beach.
There is an excellent guidebook available that is full of local walks, maps and o: "Sierra de Aracena - a Walk Guidebook" by David and Ros Brawn, part of the 'Discovery Walking Guides' series (available from 'Stanfords' in London).
- Horse Riding
- Mountain Biking
The Sierra de Aracena is a great place for walkers, horse riders and nature lovers, year around. In the height of summer, it remains green and lush. In autumn the changing leaves are stunning, and there are wild mushrooms and bountiful chestnuts. In winter,snow does sometimes fall but it is also not unknown to be able to sunbathe at Christmas! Spring brings a profusion of wild flowers.
Castaño still offers the 'real Spain' - varied walks, great tapas, good wine, sleepy afternoons and, quite frequently, wild fiestas too! But it would be possible to spend an entire week just sitting on the roof terrace watching the swallows, storks and eagles, the changing light, and at night, the star-filled sky.
Castaño village has apublic open air swimming pool (open in summer); there are nearby rivers and a large lake too.
The Casa is also a great base for walking and exploring. Many other pretty villages are within easy walking distance.