There can be few better places in Spain to check-out of the hectic pace of modern life and unwind than here. Molino Rio Alajar is idyllic cluster of six guest cottages sharing a pool, tennis court and a sociable guest lounge nestled in the heart of the Aracena-Aroche National Park, around 90 minutes from Seville, and about two hours and a world apart from the fly'n'flop Spanish Costa resorts.
The stunning natural scenery of the sierra and relaxed pace of life has most parents completely unwinding in a matter of hours, whilst mini guests become full-blown, free-range adventurers within minutes. Urban tots soon settle into new routines centred around feeding scraps to the pigs, exploring the countryside from the back of a donkey and splashing around in the pool, whilst parents revel in days spent soaking up the scenery on foot, taking respite in one of the many good local bars and restaurants (10-30mins walk), playing games of tennis and relaxing by the pool, followed by evenings bonding with fellow guests in the communal lounge and library, or rediscovering each other over self-cooked dinner and drinks on their private cottage terraces.
Hidden away in the South West corner of Andalucia, between
Seville and Portugal, Molino Rio Alájar is an amazing place for families to find
out just how stunning and unspoilt Spain can really be. Like us, most people
will probably have never heard of the Sierra de Aracena Mountains but once
discovered it’s hard to forget, so just as well these six Casas Rurales make
wonderful boltholes to return time after time.
The cottages at Molino Rio Alájar are surrounded by Chestnut
and Cork Oak forests, set high enough up the valley to make the most of the
views, which are spectacular through the dense, lush foliage of spring and
summer to the blazing colours of autumn. The ochre local stone of the rustic-style
cottages glows in the sun, the roofs are terracotta and each one is distinctly
individual to suit couples with a baby or families of up to six. Whichever fits
the bill, the cottages offer every comfort and a blend of Spanish and Moorish influences,
including chunky raftered ceilings and minstrel galleries, stone fireplaces, authentic
furnishings and colourful tiling in the cook’s kitchens, family bathrooms and
wet room showers. The Dutch owners have also made sure they are well equipped
with all mod cons and helpful baby kit, from five-burner gas hobs, microwaves
and wi fi, to cots, highchairs and baby monitors.
The cottages have pretty patios for nibbling on tapas al fresco
and the gardens are a haven for frazzled parents to chill out in deckchairs
while children have fun, splashing in a paddling pool or sploshing into the shared
pool, playing boules, outdoor chess or table tennis. The cottages also share a Common
Room which features a library of books and DVD’s, a dining table, log fire,
table football and barbecue on a covered terrace. Children can help pick
veggies from the garden and, although there are not meals available, the owners can provide stocked picnic hampers for treks into
the surrounding countryside on their resident donkeys, bookable by the hour. Other
activities include lessons in Spanish and playing the Spanish guitar, tennis
coaching, horse riding, bird spotting trails and guided mushroom hunts. Families
can spend their holiday being busy or just busy doing nothing and a world away
from the brash beach resorts of the Spanish Costas, Molino Rio Alájar is
Accommodation Overview - El Buho:
El Buho is suitable for a couple with a baby in a cot,
comprising a bed-sitting room with cast iron double bed, seating area, dining area, TV, DVD player and a wood-burning stove. The bathroom houses a shower, WC and basin and the kitchen is fully equipped with oven, microwave, hob, fridge etc. The cottage has its own small terrace to the side which is furnished with deckchairs and dining table and chairs. The cottage benefits from central heating for cooler months of the year. Barbecues are available on the communal terrace.