Ancient Roman and Moorish heritage, as well as iconic authors
like Ernest Hemingway and Orson Wells, have all helped to put the vertiginous
Andalucian hill town of Ronda on the map and it’s less than 10 minutes’ drive
from the farmhouse apartment and villa at Finca Retama.
The 200 year old farmstead is home to owners Nick and
Julia, with their two boys and two dogs, who together provide a warm family
welcome and friendly hospitality that makes Finca Retama so much more personal
than just another Spanish villa. Children are usually soon all having fun
together on the 8-acre fruit farm, either bouncing on the 14ft netted
trampoline, playing ping pong, swing ball or with the toys in the sand pit and fun
even grows on trees, with apples, pears, plums, peaches, figs and walnuts all
ripening for the picking at different times of year.
The fenced and landscaped 15x6 metre pool provides a
natural focal point for everyone, with toddler friendly shallow steps and
inflatables provided, plus a separate blow up paddling pool, arm bands and baby
floaters for infants. Grown-ups also have the added luxury of a new mini-spa,
featuring a 5 person
Finnish sauna, hydro massage shower, gym equipment, relaxation chairs and
Homedics heated massage cushion (for a small extra charge).
While the family occupies the ground floor of the
farmhouse, the first floor has been lovingly transformed into a spacious
3-bedroom apartment for up to 8 people and the owners have more recently added Casa
Abuela as a separate villa for up to 6. Authentically Andalucian in style, there
are distinct Moorish influences in the character and decor throughout Finca Retama,
from the chunky hardwood furnishings, beamed ceilings and mosaic tiled
bathrooms to colourful Berber rugs on the terracotta tiled floors. This
traditional style also means both the apartment and villa are pleasantly cool
in the summer but when chilly nights close in, there’s central heating to make
them nice and cosy.
Finca Retama apartment occupies the first floor of the
200-year old farmhouse, with walls up to a metre thick, beautiful beamed
ceilings and ‘watch your head’ doorways to duck through. The apartment sleeps
up to eight people plus babies in cots, featuring one king size master bedroom
with ensuite bathroom in its own peaceful wing; one twin room that can be made
as a double; one room with bunk beds; a sofa bed for two in the living room;
and a separate family bathroom. Wi Fi is available and the large sitting/dining
room has Satellite TV and a DVD player. The kitchen is well equipped and
includes a four ring
hob, separate oven, large fridge, washing machine, kettle, toaster and all the
essential pots, pans and utensils. For eating al fresco and soaking up the
Andalucian sunshine, Finca Retama apartment has its own private terrace with a bistro
dining table, large parasol, BBQ and fab views over the valley to the mountains
which dramatically change colour as the sun begins to set.
The most captivating attractions of authentic Andalucia are all on
the doorstep at Finca Retama - hilltop ‘pueblos blancos’, tasty tapas, magnificent
cities and dramatic scenery. Swathes of sunflowers, cane and meadows
surround the farmstead and fantastic views pan over this unspoilt ‘Campo’ to
the rugged mountains of the Grazalema.
A family run bar/restaurant is 2kms from the Finca, serving local
specialties but there are plenty more to choose from in the vibrant Andalucian
hill town of Ronda (6kms), perched along a craggy ridge and with an impressive,
ancient bridge spanning the plunging El Tajo gorge. In true Andalucian
tradition, Ronda boasts the oldest bull ring in Spain and an old town of narrow
cobbled streets to explore but also all the essential shops, supermarkets and
services families need.
Marbella’s San Pedro beach is less than an hour’s drive (55kms),
from Finca Ratama, following a scenic route to a pleasant corner of the Costa
del Sol, promising soft sand, calm clear sea and shady trees to keep babies and
toddlers out of the sun. As an alternative, less than half an hour away,
families can swim in a beautiful, fresh water lake, with a grassy beach and
great value restaurant or the owners will happily provide details of many fab
locations for mucking about in rivers, in Swallows and Amazons style.
For some serious Spanish history, culture and sightseeing, six of
Andalucia’s most amazing cities are within a 1 ½ - 2 hour drive from Finca
Retama. Granada is world famous for its magnificent, Moorish Alhambra Palace,
while Cordoba nips at its heels with its breathtaking Mesquita. Seville is
renowned as a sensual city of tapas bars and Flamenco while Jerez is world
famous as the home of Sherry. Cadiz is Andalucia’s historic sea port, to sample
superb fresh-caught seafood and Malaga is one of the most buzzing melting pots
of culture on the Med.
Getting there: There are regular flights from the UK to Malaga and
Granada, 1 ½ to 2 hour’s drive from Finca Retama.
Nearest medical services : Walk-in clinics and A&E in Ronda,