It’s mid-winter and the nights have drawn in. Thankfully, though, down in Andalucia there’s still a fair bit of sunshine to squeeze out of the year. And from traditional village houses and grand palacetes in Granada to exclusive luxury villas and rural boltholes in Malaga, every one of the selection of villas and places to stay in Andalucia below is tailor-made for a seriously relaxing winter break.
El Tinao; Canar, Las Alpujarras
This converted village house in the heart of the Alpujarras has charm and character to burn, but it doesn’t come at the expense of comfort and all the necessary modern facilities – original chestnut beams meet a rooftop Jacuzzi, essentially. On a clear day, there are views of the Rif Mountains over on the other side of the Mediterranean, but at this time of year, evenings and early mornings can be spent on the terrace watching the mists roll down from the Sierra Lugar. Stunning.
Villa Riachuelo; Canillas de Aceituno, Malaga
If you had to draw a picture of the archetypical holiday villa in Andalucia, then Villa Riachuelo would probably be it. Except it’s not down on the crowded coast, it’s high in the mountains, surrounded by the Sierra de Tejeda and a stone’s throw from the charming village of Canillas de Aceituno. Facilities here are extensive (pool, indoor/outdoor kitchens, hydro-massage showers and plenty of outdoor seating areas) while the grounds stretch down through the olive groves to a babbling brook.
Gran Hacienda Florentina; Marbella, Malaga
Five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a pool table, home cinema, sauna, gym and Jacuzzi, an infinity pool… Gran Hacienda Florentina has more of the feel of a high-end luxury accommodation than your average holiday villa in Andalucia (it even offers Egyptian bed linen, for goodness sake!) Atmospheric, quirky and charm-filled it ain’t; but with its top facilities and host of luxe touches, it’s pretty hard to beat for a decadent long weekend away with friends.
Palacete de Cazulas; Cazulas, Granada
The Palacete de Cazulas is a truly remarkable historical palace complex made up of a main house (a riot of elaborate rejas, arched ceilings and original tiles), and a couple of courtyard outhouses. Outside, the gardens extend to a tree-lined pool and tennis court. At around 1,400 Euros per night for a three-night stay it’s certainly not cheap, but it sleeps 20 and for a place to stay for an indulgent winter sunshine break that takes in a unique slice of history, it’s worth every penny.
The Mill; Juviles, Sierra Nevada
The Mill is yet another of the many thoughtfully converted places to stay that now dot the Alpujarras. Interiors are a stylish blend of ancient and modern, with thick walls and wooden beams sitting neatly alongside gleaming slate floors and carefully chosen pieces of furniture. But it’s the location that really stands out: set in its own ‘barranco’ (or small river valley) it’s a stunningly secluded spot, while the nearby village of Juviles itself is an attractive little place.