This Lovely 4 BR Holiday Home Rental we designed and built CASA UNO out of an ancient farm-house to be an enchanting place to inhabit: `magical’ and `paradise’ are words we often hear exclaimed about it by new arrivals. But CASA UNO is also at the centre of a web of lovely places to visit – starting with its own home village of Las Pinedas. Here is just a short summary of some of the pleasures it can offer you. CASA UNO itself is made for outdoor living during at least 9-10 months of the year (Andalucía boasts 320 days of sunlight per annum). There is an all-day-sunlit patio, a sunroof with a shady awning and BBQ, covered colonnades to all the downstairs rooms and a fully-shaded outdoor eating area round a vast Moroccan table, overlooking the walled and gated 8 metre pool. Solar heating extends the swimming season in the pool from early April to late October. Internally the house is proofed for all weathers: double-glazed and double-walled, with full air-conditioning for high summer which also heats the rooms in the short winter. There are ceiling fans in all rooms and a wood-stove for the seasons in between. There is a large family kitchen/dining room, a sitting-room with TV/DVD/radio etc. and an extensive if eclectic library. The bedroom wall-hangings and covers are from Fez. The pool can be floodlit by night. A fountain plashes musically. Moroccan lamps light up for supper.
LAS PINEDAS is a small working village founded some 200 years ago as part of the re-colonisation of Andalucía, consisting essentially in two parallel streets and a village square with a simple Church – CASA UNO is in the square, looking across to the Church. (We have our own Spanish farm-house in Las Pinedas too, about 250 yards away at the edge of the village, and live there very happily for much of the year).The village has a small self-service store and a single bar which is very rustic, but the landlord's wife is a wonderful cook and we often eat there. The village is high on the Southern foothills of the Guadalquivir valley and there is invariably an evening breeze even on the warmest days. The local market town is LA CARLOTA about 3 miles away, where all the normal necessities of life can be obtained in abundance, including fresh fish, meat and vegetables and there is an excellent emergency medical service - plus cafes, tapas bars, restaurants etc. La Carlota is by-passed by the main SEVILLE-CÓRDOBA motorway (freeway), providing rapid southwards access to Jerez, Cadiz and Portugal, and northwards to Madrid (however the AVE trains to Madrid are quicker than any motorway - the journey to/from Cordoba takes under 2 hrs). A new motorway also now runs most of the way down to Málaga and the Mediterranean coast - the last 15m is currently being completed. Using the excellent motorway network, Córdoba is 25 minutes from Las Pinedas, Seville airport 1 hr, central Seville 1 hr 20 mins, Málaga 1.5 hrs, Málaga airport 2 hrs, Granada 2 hrs (add 20 minutes for the Alhambra).
Each of the great Moorish cities has its ancient wonders: CÓRDOBA has the Mezquita, an immense mosque dating from the 8th century which effortlessly swallowed the Catholic Cathedral later built within it; Seville's Alcazar is a Moorish palace built for a Christian king with glorious Moorish gardens, the nearby Cathedral rivals in size that of Mexico city and contains the tomb of Christopher Columbus; the Alhambra at Granada is the last and most exquisite of all Moorish palaces - but access is nowadays rationed and you need to book well in advance for an entry time - once you are in, there is no limit on how long you wish to stay there however (we can advise you on this if necessary). This is just a start. There is a great deal more information about our village, the surrounding landscape, the culture, the gastronomy, the towns and cities of the region - and also an extensive reading-list on Andalucía and wider Spain - in the downloadable Gazetteer at the end of our website The Michelin Green Guide to Andalucía makes a good companion for monuments and their opening times.