Cortijo La Pura, Andalucia, Spain
Finca La Pura translates into English as Farm of the pure. No we did not name it so. It is it,s historical name and is a very old house. There has been a house on this farm and on more, or less the same site for some 2000 years and possibly longer.
As is so often the case I found both Casarabonela and the Cortijo by accident. My eldest son and I had spent a week viewing countless farms and farmhouses, none of which really inspired and decided to take a day off and visit Ronda, via the beach. Yes the beach and it was late january, 25ºC and a clear blue sky. Yet another of Andalucia's many attractions. Well to cut a long story short we spent longer on the beach than we should have and took a wrong turning. Now once we had reached the area of "The Sierra de las Nieves national Park" we were both taken aback by the beauty of the hills and valley's we were driving through. It was lush, green and spectacular. I was glad we had taken the wrong turning! We arrived by accident at the village of Casarabonela as the sun was going down and sought accomodation.
We drove up and up into the charming village (it really is quite a spectacular little village and Casarabonela we later found out translates as beautiful houses). The road ended at a large plaza, dominated by a grand church and nearby we found a large bar, "The Bar Nuevo"off of another small plaza and with spectacular views down to Malaga and the Med. With my English/Spanish phrase book in hand I explained that I was looking for a hotel, or something for the night and that I was also searching to buy a farm/farmhouse.
This was in 1993 and clearly few tourists made it this far inland. The bar owner Antonio and his wife were incredibly helpful, even understanding my in those days hopeless Spanish. We were shown the only hotel in the village, which was basic, but clean, comfortable and very cheap (breakfast was via two tickets for another bar restaurant and it seemed covered as much of anything we wanted!). I was already falling in love with this place!
They had already arranged that we could meet two people that could show us farms etc., and the meeting was arranged for 10 the next morning for the first man and 12 mid day for the second. We arrived at 10 and waited and waited. The guy that turned up at 10.40 was the local policeman! I was also getting to know the local attitude to time, very loose!
Well we looked at a couple of places with him, loved the views, but not the places and headed back to the bar a little late for our second meeting. This guy was waiting for us and German. He told me that he would like to show us a large farm first, though it did not have a house.
It was about 5Km from the village and when we arrived I knew that this was it, it was beautiful (the almond blossom helped), the views south across the valley's to the Med and the views north to the mountains were spectacular. I,ll buy it I told him. I had spotted a rambling and large old house just up the hill from the farm, is that for sale I asked him? Yes it is he told me and told me the price, so I bought that too!
There followed years of careful restoration, reform and amplification of the old house, very much a labour of love, transforming the old house into it's former glory and judging by the response of those that have taken their holidays in the house I am not alone in feeling that this is a very special house in a very special corner of Spain.
The refurbishment involved refurbishing what was there and adding an additional floor to the two existing wings whilst maintaining the origins of design, I like to think it worked out very well and that its difficult to see the join!
Fancy a tour? Come with me. Now one of the oddities of addapting with care an historic house is that there are limitations. There is an imposing double door main entrance at the front of the house, a graveled drive leads to generously proportioned steps and a terrace. Once through the front door you enter a generously large entrance hall with a winding staircase leading to the upper floor, but........
Most people, myself included tend to park at the rear of the house (again graveled) and enter via the kitchen! The best laid plans of men and mice! So let's goin, through a compact cloakroom, where the wellies and umbrella's live and into a hand made well equiped kitchen which leads through two archways to the dining room.
The feature of the dining room is the massive hand made oak table and dresser (it weigh's a ton!). From the dining room you can enter either the grand entrance hall (now if you had entered through the entrancing grand entrance this would all be in reverse) to use either the master bathroom, or the utility room.
Or from the dining room you can enter the living room, via the study. An easy way to differentiate between new an old is wall thickness. The original part of the house enjoys two foot thick walls, the add on's substantially less. There is a WiFi connection via the study, but the signal is available throughout.
Shall we go upstairs? As you reach the upper landing there is a large terrace to the left, but if we ignore that we enter a hallway that leads to the six bedrooms and two bathrooms. Both double bedrooms enjoy south east facing balconies and the Master bedroom has it's own private terrace with views across the valley to the Med, very romantic. There are two single bedrooms and one twin all well equiped, together with two bathrooms featuring shower cubicles. One of the single bedrooms is locked, not included in the rental, its where stuff is stored.
let's go outside, that's where you will spend much of your time....... The pool and terraces are big, lots of space and the water is surprisingly warm through the summer months. Beneath the pergola is table and seating for eight. There are ample sunbeds and in one corner a Bar-B-que with its own small terrace.
So now you know, well more or less depending upon your immagination, but I am sure that the views across the Andalucian countryside, or to the "Sierras" will be a lasting memory of your stay.
"Disfruta su vacaciones y el ambiente y vistas".
Finca La Pura lies in the heart of the Sierra Las Nieves nature reserve, a beautiful part of rural Andalucia, in what is refered to as "The real Spain".
You will find fragments of pottery within the house which have been dated as Roman, or pre Roman. Why has this small part of Spain been so popular through the ages? In part through a natural spring that feeds it even during the long hot summer months, together with its proximity to the coast.
A mineral water bottling plant has now been established at the bottom of the valley taking water from a nearby source.
Golf, the beach, fishing, and hill walking are just some of the activities available from this private Villa, or maybe you would prefer to relax by the private pool. The choice is yours
Finca La Pura. The House & grounds
Finca La Pura has been carefully restored and extended over a period of years and now offers comfortable and well equipped accomodation. A large and private pool and extensive grounds will add to the enjoyment of your stay.
Olives, almonds and advocados are the principle crops grown and if your stay coincides with harvest time ( Advocados april-June, Almonds August-October, Olives September-December) you are welcome to pick from the trees.
Finca La Pura offers the opportunity to step back from the treadmill, relax and re-charge the batteries whilst enjoying the fantastic views and beautiful countryside that abounds in this part of Andalucia.
Alternatively there are two of Andalucia`s white villages within easy reach (approx 6 klm`s) Casarabonela & Alozaina. Both of these villages boast restaurants and a choice of shops.
Should you wish to eat locally and flavor the style of life lived in the area Mention to the following Restaurant owners that you are staying at the house of Finca La Pura in Los Almarajes and I,m sure you will receive a great welcome.
Casarabonela:- Bar Nuevo= Antonio, Maria, or Paco.
Bar Parada = Pedro
Alozaina= Bar Nuevo= Alberto
AK Ortuna = Isabel, or David.
Hotel Calcunes Rural Restaurant.......very close,it is a little more expensive, but only a 5min drive. Just tell them that you stay at Finca La pura........Aprovecha
Finca La Pura, Places to visit- Things to do
Using Finca La Pura as your base you can be on the Costa Del Sol in 40 mins, but equally it is ideally placed for trips to less well known and very rewarding destinations.
It is approx a 20 min drive to the lakes at El Chorro. A dramatic and beautiful area, swimming, boating and fishing is permitted on the lakes.
Antequerra is a large and unspoilt village (Spain does not use, or have an equivalent to towns) and it is some 40 mins by car. This is a very beautiful village and boasts 30+ churches, some historic and many very spectacular.
Approx 45 mins to the West is Ronda another very famous village famous for it`s spectacular gorge. It is a popular tourist destination.
Malaga city also has much charm, but it needs to be discovered. The Centro Historico is well worth a visit. It is a maze of small streets full of cafes, bars, restaurants etc. Also within this area lies the Picaso museum, The famous and dramatic Cathedral and the remains of the Moorish Castle and below Roman remains also.
Equally for the more adventurous there is Granada and the Sierra Nevadas. Granada is known as Spains city of love and the old Moorish section is enchanting. Built around the same time as the famous Alambra Palace the area is a treat for culture vultures and lovers of fine food. Granada is famous for it’s tradition of gifting a tapa with each drink and many are quite delicious. Beyond Granada lie the Sierra Nevadas, Andalucia`s ski resort. The skiing season usually runs from November through to May, but this can vary
If you choose you can ski in the morning and be on the beach, basking in the sun in the afternoon!
Cortijo La Pura is perfectly placed for a relaxing holiday. Enjoy the privacy and the outstanding views across the Andalucian countryside towards Malaga & the sea. Equally to the west can be seen the majestic "Sierra Nevadas". Andalucia's ski resort.
Fancy a day on the beach? Depending on your preferences you can be in Marbella 45 minutes and enjoy a choice of beaches, or head back down the 357 to "Playa Mar", approx 5 km's of beaches and a great choice of "Chiringitos", beach bars, cafe's and restaurants.
Visit the local villages and enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere for which Andalucia is famous. Enjoy tapas and refreshments at the "Bar Nuevo" in Casarabonela and take in the views across the fertile valley's to Malaga and the Med, some 600 metre's below.
Cortijo La Pura allows you to step off of the treadmill of life, relax and charge the batteries.
There is wi-fi in the house, so you can if you wish bring your laptop with you.