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Mas de la Serra

Fuentespalda, Matarrana, Spain

A remote, romantic and rocky retreat in the stunning Matarrana mountains: think lovers' den, hiking hideaway, or secluded house party for 10-20

Matarrana? Sure, I hadn't heard of the region either. Drive halfway from Barcelona to Valencia, cut inland through the mountains and you'll be getting close. It's easy to see why this corner of Teruel is being dubbed 'Spain's Tuscany'. This is a land of medieval villages, terraced vineyards, ancient bridleways and truffles growing beneath the oaks. Slow cooking is de rigueur whilst ancient groves of olives and almonds give the place an unmistakably Mediterranean hue.

Alasdair Grant - his family make the famous whisky - came here to film a documentary and left smitten. His rebirthing of a 17th-century masía - that's a stone-built farmhouse - left no stone unturned whilst his quest to marry comfort with authenticity was masterfully executed. Decoration weds South American and North African artefacts with family heirlooms from Scotland, whilst the Mediterranean cuisine is given an exotic twist by the Peruvian housekeepers, Luis and Jenny.

The building's cubist jumble is unforgettable when seen at night, and by day the vast views out to the forests and mountains take in no other building. Come for cosseted comfort, fine food and wines, outdoor pursuits, and for that delicious sense of being a voortrekker in a hauntingly beautiful swathe of eastern Spain.

Guest Ratings

Room:
90%
Food:
90%
Service:
90%
Value:
90%
Overall:
90%

Mas de la Serra: View all reviews


signature

Highs

  • The bedrooms couldn't be more comfortable, whether in the heat of the summer or the coldest months of winter
  • The labyrinthine interiors impart a cosy vibe, and there are countless terraces, sitting rooms and hidden corners so you'll always find a space for you alone
  • The walking trails of the Matarrana are wild and wonderful yet remain blissfully undiscovered
  • The great outdoors: hike through a stunning gorge, swim in a natural turquoise lake or under the El Salt waterfall, fish in mountain streams, kayak, horse ride and hunt for fossils
  • Operates as a hotel or whole house rental, so suits couples wanting a romantic retreat, friends going hiking, extended families, or a big group (sleeps 10-20; self cater or be cooked for)

Lows

  • Remote. No nightlife, buzzy villages, and ready-made entertainment on your doorstep - but that's half the point
  • Only snack-y lunches offered, though breakfast and dinner are substantial; nearest decent restaurants are a 30-minute drive
  • And you're 2 hours from the nearest airports (Tarragona and Reus; Barcelona is a 3-hour drive). The track to the house can become rutted in winter so you'll need a 4x4; at any other time you'll be fine in a normal hire car
  • A 7-night minimum stay for private rentals
  • You may not get to meet Mas de la Serra's genial owner, Alasdair Grant, who travels the world producing documentaries

The hotel may be a 17th-century farmhouse but the facilities are strictly 21st century...        

The GuardianMas de la Serra:  Read more press reviews
Save to favouritesPrintMailMas de la SerraMatarrana? Sure, I hadn't heard of the region either. Drive halfway from Barcelona to Valencia, cut inland through the mountains and you'll be getting close. It's easy to see why this corner of Teruel is being dubbed 'Spain's Tuscany'. This is a land of medieval villages, terraced vineyards, ancient bridleways and truffles growing beneath the oaks. Slow cooking is de rigueur whilst ancient groves of olives and almonds give the place an unmistakably Mediterranean hue. Alasdair Grant - his family make the famous whisky - came here to film a documentary and left smitten. His rebirthing of a 17th-century masía - that's a stone-built farmhouse - left no stone unturned whilst his quest to marry comfort with authenticity was masterfully executed. Decoration weds South American and North African artefacts with family heirlooms from Scotland, whilst the Mediterranean cuisine is given an exotic twist by the Peruvian housekeepers, Luis and Jenny. The building's cubist jumble is unforgettable when seen at night, and by day the vast views out to the forests and mountains take in no other building. Come for cosseted comfort, fine food and wines, outdoor pursuits, and for that delicious sense of being a voortrekker in a hauntingly beautiful swathe of eastern Spain.

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local almonds in room on arrival

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