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      our holidays > Rural Hideaways > Spain & its Islands > Andalucia > The Old Mill, near Alájar

The Old Mill, near Alájar

Andalucia – chestnut woods & hidden valleys
Holiday information
Nights: 7
Meals: self-catering
Accommodation: exquisite cottages
Capacity: 2-6 (1-3 bedrooms)
Start: any day
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Extend your stay
If flying via Seville, why not add on a couple of nights to explore this fabulous, historic city?
Accommodation at a glance
  • 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms (sleep 2-6)
  • 1 or 2 shower rooms
  • sitting-cum-dining room with open fire or wood-burning stove
  • well-equipped kitchen
  • underfloor heating (except studio)
  • shared vegetable plot
  • outdoor terrace
  • communal washing machine
  • shared pool (usually open from May to September)
  • nearest shop and restaurant 2km
  About Aracena >Declared a Natural Park in 1989, the Aracena Sierra forms part of the western reaches of the Sierra Morena, Spain’s longest mountain range. Its allure lies not just in its gently rolling landscapes, but also in its timelessness. There are only 40,000 inhabitants scattered over its 3,000 square kilometres, and the villages – and their ways of life – have changed little over the centuries. Ruined castles hint at more turbulent times – the border with Portugal is not far away – while mosques built by the Moors and cobbled Roman roads transport you even further back in time. You can still see mules ploughing allotments, hear the ringing of goat bells in the woods, and see men leading donkeys laden with shiny chestnuts. Sleek black Iberian pigs roam the oak forests, their diet of acorns making for delicious air-cured ham which is famous throughout Spain. Indeed, the regional gastronomy is excellent, featuring succulent gurumelo mushrooms, distinctive shellfish and caracoles (snails).
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • exquisite cottages in a timeless corner of southern Spain
  • scenic walking from the door, 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, tranquil meadows and crystal-clear streams. Dotted across the cork-oak clad slopes are small, workaday villages, where their inhabitants live in harmony with the land. 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.
In summer, the ground is festooned with wild flowers: slender, elegant daisies, lavender and scabious, while the vivid green of the grass clashes with the more sober olive groves.
Ben Ross, Independent
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.
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