Back in January, on the recommendation of friends, we booked ourselves a little last summer holiday a deux in a self-catered casita in the town of Orgiva in the Alpujarras mountains, part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and not far from Granada.
Last Friday after an early rise to catch a 6am flight we arrived at Malaga and picked up our hire car. After getting slightly lost coming out of the airport we were soon on the right highway and enjoying the breeze and dramatic views of the Andalucian coast line. So far, so good. But disaster struck when halfway there the car decided to lose power and we coasted to the hard shoulder perched high up on a viaduct. Nice views if a tad windy and just a little bit scary. After a couple of phone calls (thank goodness for my polyglot of a husband) and 40 minutes of waiting, a mechanic arrived. He agreed the car wasn’t going to move any further. After a few more phone calls back and forth between the recovery service and the hire company to decide our fate we were given a lift as far as the next petrol station where a taxi duly picked us up and returned us to the airport.
So, two hire cars, a tow truck and a taxi later we finally arrived at Cortijo de la Luz. And we weren’t disappointed. The place is idyllic. A proper rural retreat, it’s nestled in lush vegetation and olive groves and surrounded by mountains on all sides. The casita has a ridiculously comfy double bed (there’s also a twin room), a cosy lounge/kitchen equipped with range cooker, fridge-freezer and wood burning stove, and a spacious and sun-dappled bathroom. Outside there are numerous seating/dining areas providing sun and shade, and a pool. You’re also given a ‘welcome pack’ including homemade bread, butter, eggs (from the hosts’ hens), homemade jam, olive oil from the garden, wine, beer, and water. Every morning we picked oranges from the trees to freshly squeeze, while our dinners always included fresh herbs and even fennel from the garden.
– the casita and one of the great views from the garden –
Our hosts, Pauline, Micheal and Ollie the dog, were simply lovely. We joined them for drinks around the pool and on their terrace during the week, and on Easter Sunday we were invited to join them and their equally welcoming friends for a sumptuous bbq. Ollie regularly popped by the Casita to say hello and to sniff out some jamón.
We didn’t want to tire ourselves out by trying to pack too much into the week. Most days we slept till late and spent lots of time lounging about the garden and the pool eating, reading and soaking up the sun.
– breakfasts and lunches in the garden –
– chilling out by the pool –
We had a few excursions. We spent some time in Orgiva picking up supplies, visiting a local craft fair, and enjoying drinks and free tapas in one of the local bars, El Molino. On our last evening we ate out at El Limonero. Though the entrance looks a little uninviting and the interior is quite plain, don’t be fooled. The service, food and presentation are excellent. The meal included an amuse-gueule and an after-dinner schnapps (even a non-alcoholic one for me) on the house.
We did two trips further afield. The first was to the coast, where we ate a delicious grilled fish at a restaurant directly on the beach at Laherradura, before heading to the secluded Cantarriján beach. The beach, which is nestled at the bottom of steep cliffs, is a naturist spot but there were in fact varying degrees of undress which suited me, and Florian was able to get his yearly fix of nudist bathing.
– a delicious, freshly caught and grilled sea bream; and a belly with a view –
Our second day trip was to Granada and the Alhambra. Granada was very picturesque and we spent a good couple of hours wandering around the streets of the old town and along the river.
We then made the steep climb to the Alhambra. What a place! Beautiful gardens, architecture (the Spanish additions excluded) and interiors. It took us over four hours to explore the grounds and palaces and we didn’t manage to see everything. Unfortunately, the main court in the Nasrid Palace, the Court of the Lions, is being renovated but we did see:
– refreshing water features and ornate columns –
– intricate carvings –
– many stunning reflections –
– lush courtyards and decorative high ceilings –
– and great views over the Alhambra grounds, Granada and the Sierra Nevada –
Friday unfortunately came round far too quickly but we definitely plan to be back in the future. If you fancy it you can book either directly with Pauline and Michael or via the booking system on the website. Go, go, go, you won’t regret it!