- exquisite cottages in a timeless corner of southern Spain
- scenic walking in chestnut woods and across rolling hills, route notes provided
- excellent regional gastronomy
- available all year – underfloor heating in winter months
- good choice for families
- 7 days' car hire included
Tucked away close to the Portuguese border, the Aracena Sierra is a land of glorious woodland and far-reaching views, of soft, rounded hills and crystal-clear streams. Dotted across the cork-oak clad slopes are small, workaday villages. Their inhabitants live in harmony with the land and, as you walk along inviting paths through mature woodland and picturesque valleys, you get a glimpse of Spanish rural life – men leading donkeys laden with shining chestnuts, workers preparing for the cork harvest, and farmers tending the sleek black pigs which provide the region’s prized air-cured ham.
A tiny collection of whitewashed houses, dwarfed by an enormous church, the village provided us with excellent café con leche. In the steeple of the church was a giant bird’s nest, home to a huge stork whose swooping flight drew gasps of delight.
Sarah Vine, The Times
The rolling hills lend themselves to leisurely discovery on foot and lazy picnics. Indeed, this is a region not to be rushed, as exploration of the sierra’s timeless villages reveals hidden architectural gems, from ancient mosques to Baroque churches. Staying in one of the exquisite self-catering cottages at the Old Mill, with a hire car included for the week, you can explore as the mood takes you, gaining a real insight into this fascinating corner of Andalucia and sampling some of the many wonderful restaurants in this gastronome’s paradise.