Casa Louisa is in southern Spain, east of Malaga, a little way inland in the mountains and at the foot of the Sierra Tejeda National Park.
Set on a hillside in over an acre of land amongst the olive groves and almond trees, it is near the pretty white pueblo mountain village of Alcaucin where you find a jumble of little white houses clinging to the hillside, narrow cobbled streets and rushing fountains of the pure mountain streams watering the whole valley. The mountain road from the valley leads only to this peaceful little village with several restaurants, simple Spanish tapas bars, basic food shops, bakery, pharmacy, post office and doctor. The old men of the village still sit in the square or in a bar drinking sweet wine, banging dominoes and putting the world to rights as they have for a hundred years or more. The Casa itself is 3 kilometres from the village with the final 2 kilometres on a dirt/concrete track (in common with almost all countryside houses in Andalucía - described here). There are quite a few well-spaced out private houses along the track so although you are in the country you are not isolated. As you drive along the track towards the Casa, you begin to see the dramatic peaks and pine forests of the Sierra Tejeda ...and when you get there and stand on the balcony, gazing at the magnificence of the mountains and the tranquillity of the valley below, its hard to believe the full-on experience of the Spanish coast is so close.
HOW FAR IS THE ...?
- Airport: Malaga airport is 64 kilometres ...about an hour depending on traffic. Its an easy drive along the coastal motorway for most of the way and then 15-20 minutes inland on a good road. The last two kilometres of the journey is on the track which gives access to many houses in the area. Granada airport is 1 and a half to two hours.
- Beach: Nearest one is at Torre del Mar(about 20 minutes) ...a large very Spanish busy seaside resort ...huge, long, safe, sandy beach with a long promenade. Recommended is El Morche, again about 20-25 minutes, quieter, better for children and with beach bars etc. Burrianna beach (in Nerja) ...about 35-40 minutes. This has all the trappings of a real up-market English holiday beach with sun beds, palm tree umbrellas, bucket and spade shops and so forth ...worth a trip for paella on the beach and the English papers on Sunday alone! Sand on this coast is clean and stone-coloured - not gold.
- Villages: Alcaucin: 3 kilometres; about 20-25 minutes walk, mostly flat. All the essentials including bank with cash point. Puente don Manuel, 6 kilometres has a greater variety with everything for everyday needs – excellent butcher selling local meat, cheese and cured ham, fresh vegetables, fruit, fresh milk, good bakery, local olive oil, honey and so forth. There are two shops with everything ‘British’ if you need something particular… also English papers. Every so often we go further for a large food shop, however, for variety and value for money.
- Restaurants: Two or three in the village which we go to regularly. Food is simple and based on the superb local meat and vegetables. There are good restaurants in the valley where the service is always friendly, relaxed, quick ... and children are welcome. Eating out is informal and usually excellent value for money. Several other good restaurants within 10 minutes drive ...
- Huge shopping complex on the coast ... 15-20 minutes. This has an enormous supermarket, clothes shops etc which has anything you could ever want and more ... even a Dunne's Stores!
- Market town of Velez-Malaga is a bit closer for shopping: ...about 15 minutes. Bustling, industrious but with an historic Moorish-influenced quarter that so typifies Andalusia... all sorts of shops and excellent market and supermarkets (we like to shop here much more than at the complex near the coast as it is 'real Spain' - try out your Spanish!). Find the municipal market at the top of town - good fun!
- Torre del Mar is also an excellent place to shop with many cafes, bars and restaurants, a market on Thursdays … and a long promenade and beach on the seafront
- Water-park (summer only) just opposite the huge shopping complex
- Medical Services: Doctor and pharmacy in the village. 24-hour 7 day emergency services in Vinuela village about 15 minutes drive. Most residents say medical services in Spain are now better than in the UK.