There is a distinct danger that concerns me about describing a great holiday which involves seclusion and serenity, and that is that you will go there and spoil it for me.
We travelled to Spain at the end of June and for two weeks and stayed at the Old Stables, which is a spacious, two-bedroomed holiday home, set on its own, at the bottom of a drive in an olive grove. If you wish to go there with a family expecting on-site entertainment, this is not the place for you. Expect only calm and a sense of isolation from the bustle of usual life. Other than a visit from some rabbits, several birds and bats, and Michael occasionally watering the grove; tranquillity reigns. Even the fact that Spain had won the European Football Championship gave us only muted background noise from fireworks and people cheering in the far distance. It disturbed neither my wife's reading outside, in the least, nor my contemplation of a bottle of rioja. A car is a essential due to the rural setting, but as a base for visiting the area of Almeria, it is perfect; there are a number of towns and cities within easy reach. Vera, being the local and large town; with a number of supermarkets and a very busy market on Saturday, which spills along the main streets and down the side streets. This provides entertainment for the people-watchers and an array of local fare for those interested in increasing the waistline. I enjoy snorkelling and found a number of small coves, beyond the main beaches, where very few tourists venture. There are many restaurants in the area but the best, as with the coves, need a little detective work. You will be assisted in this matter by the little blue book, which includes many discoveries by previous occupants. When I returned from my adventures, I cooled off in the pool, which seemed to be a constant 38deg C. when we were there. I made lemonade with lemons from the various fruit trees in the garden and then relaxed with my book outside our haven, until we needed to consider a meal. Our exceptional hosts of this idyll are Michael and Pirkko, ably supported by Stig the dog (named after a weatherman??) who will assist you, only if you ask, so as not to impose. You see, I told you they were good! The downside to my holiday was that I drove to Spain from Wales (a 3000 mile round trip), I enjoyed it, but my wife didn't. We'll be flying next time!
If you believe this report to be hyperbole, then there is only one way to find out. If you don't try it, then I keep my retreat to myself.
We spent a week in the old stables, having left Gatwick at -10 deg C to be greeted in Spain with brilliant sunshine and 15 to 20 deg C warmth.
Without wanting to repeat what's already been said, the accomodation is superb, the owners very friendly and helpful if needed.
We loved being able to pick oranges to make our own juice, lemons for cooking, not to mention the olive oil and free-range eggs.
Whilst Vera itself is nothing special, the location provides a superb base for exploring the abundance of nearby beaches and hillside villages. Alhambra at Granada is an amazing 2+ hour drive through the Sierra Nevada mountains, and well worth the journey.
We'll be back !
We had a wonderful time at Finca Arboleda, Michael, Pirkko and Stig the dog!! were excellent hosts. We stayed in the Villa which was very clean and had everything we needed, including parasols and cold box for days out. The salt swimming pool is lovely, very clean and in a beautiful peaceful spot, in fact the whole place is tranquil, with olive groves, fig, pomegranite, orange and lime trees all around, as well as the local wild life (rabbits, birds)......
The area is a great place to explore around Vera and we made good use of the guest book, which gave great tips on beaches and towns to visit as well as excellent places to eat. A true Spanish experience.
We will certainly be back as Michael and Pirkko offer so much and are very helpful, they get the balance right between being very helpful whilst leaving you to enjoy your holiday
Thank you both and see you soon
Stayed in the two bedroom villa with my 87 year old mother. Spotlessly clean and exceptionally well equipped. The location is spectacular - olive trees, oranges, lemons, mulberries, pears, figs etc., etc.
Mike and Pirrko are lovely hosts and their property an oasis of calm. The swimming pool is a fantastic bonus, clean, warm and possible for my mother with restricted mobility to thoroughly enjoy. The fresh eggs, jams and olive oil from the Finca are an added treat. A car is needed - the roads are easy and not busy giving access to numerous beaches, restaurants etc., in Mojacar, San Juan and the Cabo de Gato.
We stayed in The Old Stables which was spotlessly clean and very well appointed even providing useful extras like a coolbox for picnics/shopping, hairdryer, books and even a DVD library.
Finca Arboleda is ideally situated within easy reach of shops, good restaurants, and some lovely uncrowded beaches but at sufficient distance to offer tranquility and privacy among the olive groves.
Mick and Pirrko were fantastic hosts - always helpful if needed but never intrusive!
My husband, myself and his parents stayed in the Old Stables for 6 nights. The flight from Stansted was efficient, I was abit wary of traveling with such an airline but was not disappointed. We flew into San Javier, Murcia airport, so much calmer than our busy airports. In our new Renault Clio, only 9km on the clock, we had a leisurely drive to Vera. The roads were empty. During our stay we read and swam. An excellent day out is
Mini Hollywood and Oasys animal park at Tabernas. The Wild West alongisde a well thought out wildlife park complete with a swimming pool to cool down in between seeing all this attraction has to offer. The pool is free so take your towel in. Our hosts Michael and Pirkko were very welcoming and there if you needed them. Stig the dog just laid in the sun, not a care in the world. The accomodation was faultless. I particularly liked the reams of local info and maps to plan your day and the library of books and games, a thoughtful touch. This is real Spain, beautiful scenery, a smattering of English in the shops and authentic Spanish cuisine.
The finca is hidden away among olive and fruit trees with lovely gardens. We stayed in the Old Stables, which is comfortable, equipped with everything you could need and immaculately clean. It proved ideal for a winter break, and excellent value. Michael and Pirkko were very friendly and helpful without being intrusive.
The position is close enough to the town to make visits to the supermarket very straightforward, and also within easy reach of the main roads for access to coast and mountains. The little resort of Garrucha is 15-20 minutes drive away and has plenty of places for eating out, with fresh-caught fish always available.
We enjoyed exploring the coastline down to Cabo de Gata which is varied and interesting and with some really special places including hidden beaches and little fishing villages. We had also hoped to do some walking in the Sierra de Los Filabres but somehow there wasn't time.
We would certainly like to return to the area - and we won't be looking for different accommodation, so long as Michael and Pirkko have got room for us!