The location is at the foot of a rocky mountain and above a vast irrigated valley (vega), the valley Los Velez, where cereals, olives, almonds and vegetables are cultivated, with scattered goat and pig farms. The actual building complex is a sensitively and appealing rehabilitated historical farm (Cortijo) with an impressing main house, including an inside courtyard and two cosy double story flats, formely having been farm buildings for goats or hay etc. Each have an ample half shady terrace with precious views to the valley below and the opposite mountains with the little town of Velez Blanco and its castle. And than there is a most beautiful large salt water Pool situated below the garden, with a large, walled terrace, enabling all the privacy you need, with an open barbeque kitchen and sanitary installations. Everything, including the furniture in the flats and the terrace above, the gardens and of course the pool, is featured with a lot of love for attractive details and generates a unique mediterranean flair. It is a place of quissence and beauty, small congenial towns nearby with markets and even fountains of delicious drinking water (Velez Rubio), old churches and traditional houses and a bautiful surrounding landscape, beeing enriched by a nature reserve replenish the location. Even the sea is not to far away and very attractive sites as Granada or Alicante can be visited within a day.
Sally and Andrew are generous hosts, lovely people, very friendly and attendant. Having lived there for quite long, they know the soroundings and have all the tips you need. If you thought, a sun lounger beneath the little olive tree would do good, well the next day you will find it right there, although you had'nt asked for it. And if you like dogs and cats - they guard the place in a lovely and sympathetic way. We will surely visit Los Abriles again!
If you are looking for somewhere off the beaten track where you can marvel at the spectacular scenery of the Spanish countryside but still enjoy the cafes and restaurants of a typical Spanish town then this is the perfect property for you. The house is close to the historic towns of Velez Blanco and Velez Rubio with stunning views of the castle and the mountains, where Eagles and Vultures ride the thermals. The villa itself is very comfortable with lovely touches of typical Spanish decoration. There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy the sun or to watch the world go by. For the more energetic there is a games area with badminton and table tennis and there are lots of walks along the country tracks directly from the house. The pool is excellent with plenty of places to sit as well as a changing area and a shady dining and kitchen area to enjoy. If you want to do a little site seeing in the area there is a lot to see in the two nearby towns and within an hour's drive there is the historic town of Lorca (well worth at least one visit) and a little further is Nijar where you can buy local pottery and visit the watchtower which has spectacular views. The coastal towns of Garrucha and Mojacar are within easy distance. The thermal baths and lake near Baza is another great place to visit, though do check the location of the lake first as it is not easy to find, and the town of Baza itself has some interesting archeology which we didn't get to this time but it will be a good excuse for a return visit to this spectacular property.
Andrew and Sally were excellent hosts and we would like to thank them once again for their hospitality and for sharing their stunning home with us for a short while.
We had a relaxing week at the end of February, depths of winter for us but early spring in Andalucia, with the almond groves in blossom. The accommodation was simple but comfortable, everything we needed. A deeply rural setting with a fine view over almond and olive groves, even a mountain village with castle; and behind Muela Grande, a mesa-like mountain with a big colony of griffon vultures.
This is a great place to wind down and slow down, and/or if you like walking and wildlife. We also drove to Granada for the day to see the Alhambra, which did not disappoint. Our hosts were friendly and attentive, without being crowding; providing us with maps and information for our walking tours. There is a nice swimming pool, but even in Andalucia February was a bit cool for us to indulge!
The last few km to Los Abrilles is on very minor tracks where a GPS does not work - best negotiated for the first time in daylight!
For wildlife interested, we saw the following birds at, or during walks from, Los Abrilles: Griffon vulture, peregrine, sparrowhawk, hen harrier (male), crested lark, black redstart, stonechat, corn bunting, serin, greenfinch, goldfinch, great tit, crested tit, green woodpecker, great spotted cuckoo, crag martin, house martin, swallow, hoopoe, jackdaw, jay, chough, black wheatear