El Cortijo is a vacation villa rental surrounded by a Mediterranean garden with pool and within easy access to the beautiful beaches of the coast in Andalucia.
Perched on a gentle rolling hill, the property boasts beautiful views across the valley towards some of the most enchanting white-washed towns of Andalusia.
This property offers easy COVID-19 cancellation terms:
In case of official travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, guests can cancel and receive a voucher for the amount paid to be used until 12 months after their original booking.
What was the inspiration behind La Finca?
We first visited the property six years ago as clients and immediately could not resist its beautiful and peaceful energy. Despite having been born in Spain, we had never set foot in this valley and were taken aback by its almost subtropical weather year-round. That moment I had the intuition I would end up buying something in the area. The finca was previously owned by an English lady and we rented the farmhouse as a family for two or three summers and established a relationship with her. When the time came for her to sell it and move back home to England, she left the door open for us to purchase it, which my younger brother and I did three years ago.
Since then, we’ve greatly upgraded the whole estate and poured a lot of time and energy into establishing the permaculture necessary for its future health and abundance. Although initially, we lived in the Finca itself, we have decided to forgo that idea, and let others enjoy its peacefulness, while learning about how to improve our land’s resources.
Central to the permaculture philosophy is the goal of improving biodiversity on our land, and as such we are set to grow only organic, non-GMO, and rare seeds from organic seed banks across the globe. Guests are most welcome to learn should they care to know more about the world of permaculture and its methods to restore and invigorate our soil‘s overall health.
How would you describe the atmosphere at La Finca?
With its subtropical weather near the white-washed town of Jimena de la Frontera, it’s an unexpected piece of paradise. The drive from the main highway takes you away from the coast, typically over-developed, then onto a small secondary local road lined with orange groves, wheat fields and avocado plantations. There are just a few farmhouses in the area, so it feels quite isolated while still being close to everything needed for a modern lifestyle. I’d say there’s a little bit of Tuscany and a little bit of South Africa’s Western Cape in the atmosphere of the region.
Its proximity to the Los Alcornocales National Park tops the experience with sightings of wild fauna rarely seen anywhere else.
La Finca was originally built in the 1930’s and after various additions over the last century, it is presently a working permaculture farm. Historically, the property has been used for threshing cereals harvested in the hinterland and has been in British ownership over the last four decades – a common phenomenon in our region due to Gibraltar’s proximity. Perched on a gentle hill, the property boasts beautiful views across the valley towards some of Andalusia’s most enchanting white-washed towns in the near distance.
The main cortijo building is designed around a central courtyard in the traditional Andalusian architectural vernacular, with various wings added over time by different owners. A separate outhouse by the pool that was built 15 years ago completes the whole lodging complex. The square-shaped swimming pool, situated on a terrace overlooking the surrounding pastoral landscape, bestows on the entire finca an uncommon sense of rural luxury in a charmingly relaxed ambiance.
There are six bedrooms in total, including a bunk bedroom, so the property can comfortably accommodate up to 15 people. Five of the rooms are in the main farmhouse, with the sixth in the outhouse, along with a separate bathroom and lounge area. We find that it’s better to rent the entire property to families or groups of friends so they can enjoy exclusive use.
As part of the overall wellbeing permaculture experience, guests are to choose from our various board services on offer while staying with us. Our chef creates delicious farm-to-table culinary experiences on a daily basis, mostly from our own organic gardens and orchards, and always with fresh and seasonal greens and fruits. Guests are not allowed to cook in our premises or bring in food or drinks from outside.
There are also lots of different activities that we can help people with, such as yoga and meditation classes at the finca or massages. A German lady nearby owns a stable and runs horseback riding tours through the national park (sometimes by moonlight), or we can help plan a day of traditional tuna fishing in Tarifa.
Next year, we’re also planning on offering some permaculture courses led by Australian teachers and workshops in building swales and canals to capture water. We can also accommodate small gatherings, such as intimate weddings, yoga or meditation retreats with full catering.
Trekking in the Los Alcornocales Natural Park is definitely a highlight, as is exploring the white towns in the surrounding region (you can visit three in a day). I’d also highly recommend doing a day trip to Ronda, which is famed for its gorge-spanning bridge or spending a day at the beach kitesurfing in Tarifa, which is 50 minutes away. Another beautiful nearby beach is in Sotogrande, an urban development from the 1960s where wealthy residents from Madrid have their summer homes. The coast is about 25 minutes from the finca.
The region is renowned for having the largest number of golf courses per square kilometre in Europe, so we get a lot of people bringing their golf gear with them. If you’re interested in visiting Morocco, you can also easily cross the channel to spend a day in exotic Tangiers. That being said, people often have lots of plans to explore before they arrive, then once they get here, they don’t want to leave the finca!
La Finca is located on a quiet road where you could take a nap during the middle of the day and no-one would drive over you! The closest airport is 20 minutes away en route to Gibraltar while Malaga is around 1.5 hours’ drive from the property. The closest town is Los Angeles, which is just four kilometres away (although it’s hidden from view in the rolling hills), and Ronda around 40 kilometres drive. You can get to the closest beach in around 20 minutes, and the drive is taking you along the river through groves of orange and avocado trees.
It’s generally mild for much of the year. In my opinion, the best time to visit is during the off-season from October to May when it’s not so hot. Many rooms in the finca have fireplaces so you can stay warm at night and during the day it’s still warm enough that you can walk around in a T-shirt. It might not be hot enough to go swimming but we keep the pool open throughout the year as some northern Europeans still like to swim in November! Rainfall is quite sporadic and hard to predict.
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