Small, perfectly formed and owner-run these five beautiful boutique hotels in rural locations are the ideal spot for your own wellness break.
I’ve read so much about ‘wellness breaks’ for the best places to travel in 2019. We should all be well, we all need a break but why pay an astronomical amount for an escape? Quite often these organised ‘breaks’ are in groups, they are military-style organised and well, quite frankly I’d need a holiday after the routine of those planned breaks.
I’m lucky I know, I live in rural Andalusia where the sun shines (nearly) every day and I can take frequent walks or cycles in the sun. Which got me thinking… why don’t those that are stressed and in need of a ‘wellness break’ plan their own (or let me help.)
Andalucia is a beautiful, massive area full of Natural Parks, stunning scenery and the best of all quiet. So I’ve chosen to share with you some of my favourite small hotels in lesser known areas. If running, walking or cycling are your thing or even just disconnecting and enjoying the Spanish sunshine you’re sure to find one of these gorgous little hotels to please.
So forget groups and being marshalled around and do it yourself …..
The first spot I’m taking you to is in the north of Andalucia and into the wilds of the Natural Park Sierra de Aracena & Picos de Aroche in Huelva province. It’s not far from the Portuguese border and near the incredible cave complex Gruta de la Maravilla. Finca la Fronda is a beautiful small hidden-from-prying-eyes hotel. Private and quite remote for country lovers, seekers of peace and ideal for running, hiking or biking.
With just 8 bedrooms and walking trails from the doorstep you can’t get much more peaceful than this. But on Saturday nights it’s alive with piano playing and a menu of songs, both English and Spanish, to request.
Now over to Granada province and the land of another famous poet, Frederico Garcia Lorca. In Lorca’s territory the newly opened house of nobles La Casa Grande de Zujaira is a sensitively and carefully restored house in a tiny town yet surrounded by sierras – mountain ranges. The owner is a mountain bike freak, I mean aficionado, and would love to show you or tell you some of his favourite routes. One in particular is a cycle around the mountains with The Alhambra Palace in sight. Of course relaxing and walking or heading into Granada city are possible as well.
In the olive groves of Cordoba province, about 45 minutes drive from the city is a restored ancient olive oil mill, unsurprisingly surrounded by olive groves. Hotel Molino la Nava is also slapbang on the GR48 walking route so for long distance walkers it’s a perfect spot. It is also, as is Finca la Fronda, in a registered Starlight Reserve, so get those telescopes out or book a session for a Stargazing Night with one enormous telescope (needs reserving in advance).
Inland from Marbella in the province of Malaga there’s a castle on a hill. No, really it’s not a fairy tale neither is it a real castle but Hotel Castillo de Monda is built on the foundations of a 9th century Arab fortress from the 9th century. One of the original towers and parts of the foundations are still visible. Monda is a great little town for running or walking up and down the hill or its on the edge of the Sierra de Nieves for longer distances.
Back to Granada province to the north of the city is the fabulously restored Cortijo del Marques. An ancient manor house a long history, are there Roman and Moorish vestiges and a chapel. Perfect for walking, hiking, mountain biking with horse riding available nearby. An excellent base for exploring inland Andalusia on the
Guest Author – Rachel Webb
Rachel Webb has lived in Jaén province since moving from her native England with her husband and sons in 1996. When she’s not drinking Earl Grey tea or Spanish wine on her patio, she can be found exploring Spain and writing about it on her blogs Andalucia Explorer and Luxury Spain Travel while visiting boutique hotels to add to her portfolio Only Spain Boutique Hotels.