Casa Olea

Near Priego de Cordoba, Malaga & Cordoba, Spain Book from Book from £104 per night

A congenial, intimate and good-value guesthouse in the unspoilt Sierra Subbética's vast olive belt, ideal for walkers and foodies

A quintessential vision of Andalucia: undulating olive groves, limestone outcrops topped by Arab watchtowers, eagles wheeling overhead and that glorious sense of space. It's easy to see why English owners Tim and Claire chose to build their Shangri La in this leafy valley in the unspoilt Subbética hills then named it after the olea europaea (olive tree). He worked as a tour guide in Latin America, she with a swish hotel group, and with their shared nous they have fashioned this former cortijo into a remote rural retreat where the beauty is in every detail.

First to greet you will be Ruby, a lolloping mutt who's the third member of the Olea triumvirate. Moving inside things feel big and airy, with a spectacular double-height stairwell leading up to the 6 simple, stylish and surprisingly cheap bedrooms. For a large part of the year life gravitates to a river-facing terrace where you're accompanied by birdsong during the day and the call of a Scops owl when darkness falls. It's a perfect base for escapism; Tim has mapped out walking routes and cycle rides straight from the house, and there are fascinating villages on your doorstep for day visits. And we applaud Olea's eco approach, in which recycling and sustainability play lead roles.

Information provided by Casa Olea on 07/04/2021.

Opening Date
22 April 2021

Cleaning and hygiene
Deep clean of all communal areas daily. Anti-bacterial hand gel stations in all key touchpoint zones, from the reception and entrance hall to the bar, dining room and toilets.

Common areas
The outdoor dining terrace has been extended, so there is now lots of space for social distancing measures. A new "outdoor lounge" space has been added to offer extra shady space in the hotter months.

Self-guide walking routes now accessible on Wikiloc navigation app; as well as "paper copies" which are now laminated for easy cleansing between use.

All deposits paid can be transferred to a future booking in the event of enforced cancellation due to Covid restrictions.


  • You're far from the madding crowd in beautiful walking country, yet Córdoba and Granada are within easy driving range
  • The house is infused with a relaxed vibe and Tim and Claire are friendly, caring hosts
  • Dinners, served 6 nights a week, are a celebration of local produce and highlight the best Andalucian culinary creations
  • There's a pool with a view, loungers and hammocks, plus a cosy sitting room with a log fire
  • Underfloor heating throughout the house is a big plus when temperatures drop in the cooler months


  • There are no restaurants within walking distance, so you'll need to drive for meals on the night when dinner isn't served at the casa
  • No children under the age of 6 are allowed, except when the whole house is booked

Best time to go

Spring and autumn are best for walking, with sunny days and balmy temperatures. July and August are very hot (30C plus), but the house has air conditioning throughout. Winter (December to February) generally brings clear skies - you may spot snow on the highest peaks of the distant Sierra Nevada - but be prepared for the odd bout of cloud and rain. Temperatures can drop below zero at night, but a log fire in the lounge and underfloor heating throughout make Casa Olea wonderfully cosy.

Our top tips

Be sure to visit the nearest town, Priego de Córdoba, an all but unknown gem of southern Spain. Check out its delightful main square, its ancient Jewish quarter and the flamboyant Fuente del Rey: the first time I stumbled upon Priego's take on a Versailles-style fountain it left me open-mouthed... why all this over-the-top opulence in such a sleepy little town?

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 6 rooms
  • Breakfast (+ dinner 5-6 nights per week)
  • Over 7s welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available


The six bedrooms are on the first floor, reached via a lofty stairwell whose vast picture window frames the most sylvan of valley views. Doors, windows, tables, wardrobes and desks were fashioned by local craftsmen, as were the ceramic name plaques for each room: named for the trees that grow on the farm. Decorative artefacts have been kept minimal in keeping with Tim's 'less is more' philosophy: a brightly-coloured Guatemalan huipil (embroidered shirt) as a wall hanging, a framed collage of photographs from Rajasthan, ceramic pots from Peru and Mexico, a plain green door hung picture-like above a bed. The overall vibe is slightly monastic and very relaxing.

All beds can be made up as twins or super-kingsize doubles. Expect Egyptian cotton bedding, air conditioning, and underfloor heating in both bedroom and bathroom. Towels are provided, along with ecological toiletries in refillable dispensers.

Olivo (Olive) faces southwest along the valley and is the only room with a private terrace. It has a rain shower but no bath. Nogal (Walnut) looks out to the tree of its name and has the biggest bathroom of all, with a separate tub and shower. Membrillo (Quince) is a light-infused room with 2 high French windows, twin balconies, and a bath topped by a high rain shower.

My favourites were those facing the leafy river course. Of these, Granado (Pomegranate) and Higuera (Fig) have showers only, whilst big and airy Almendro, where I stayed, has a tub and an overhead shower. It has one balconied French window opening out towards the river and a second framing a hilltop Moorish tower, with antique washboards serving as a backdrop to the beds.

Three rooms - Membrillo, Nogal and Almendro - can accommodate an extra bed so are ideal for parents travelling with a child or 3 solo travellers.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • IPod dock (on request)
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


The airy dining room and bar take centre stage at Casa Olea, and the culinary offering reflects the same TLC that has been lavished on the rest of the house.

A buffet breakfast is laid out between 8.30 and 10am; whenever the weather allows tables are set up on the terrace, among birdsong and dappled light. There are cold cuts, local cheeses, sliced tomatoes, cereals, yoghurts, masses of fruit, boxed juices, the best ground coffee and a selection of teas, as well as Claire's homemade jams, cakes and biscuits.

Simple picnics can be made up for lunch, and dinner is served 6 nights a week. Most evenings you choose between 2 starters and 2 mains - one of which is always a veggie option - followed by a surprise dessert prepared fresh on the day by Claire. You might get gazpacho, leak and bean salad, tomato with chorizo, or feta with roasted peppers. On one evening Claire prepares a huge paella, and on another there’s a more informal supper of tablas (platters) of meats and cheeses. Dinner really comes into its own when it's warm enough to eat outside, accompanied by flickering lanterns and the occasional hoot of an owl.

Tim will be on hand to help you choose your wine: a ceramic map in the dining room depicts the different wine regions of Spain; local bodegas take pride of place in his selection.

When dinner isn't available at the guesthouse, you'll find some great little restaurants within a 15-minute drive. In Priego de Córdoba, La Muralla , in a pretty square next to the castle, is the top choice for traditional cuisine. In the pretty white village of Luque Casa Frasco has oodles of local flavour and a delightful raised terrace overlooking the plaza.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Organic produce
  • Vegetarian menu


  • Walk straight out from the house in the company of Ruby, your new canine friend, or follow one of Tim's longer routes, which cover some of the best trails in the Subbética and take you past sleepy villages, wooded valleys and the crumbling Moorish watchtowers that dot the landscape
  • Grab one of Casa Olea’s 4 mountain bikes, ask for a picnic, and explore the surrounding hills and valleys on 2 wheels. The Vía Verde trail follows the route of a former railway, a particularly scenic cycle
  • Check out the Roman mosaics and murals in nearby Almedenilla
  • Drive half an hour to Alcala La Real, to explore the spectacular hill-top castle of Fortaleza La Mota, with views of the snowcapped Sierra Nevada and a great local tapas bar in the town for lunch
  • Visit a bodega in Montilla to sample the local fino wine, or head to an olive mill during harvest season (December-February) to see the oil-making process first hand. Tim arranges free olive oil tastings for all guests booking through i-escape
  • Take a day trip to the Alhambra in Granada or the mezquita in Córdoba, both around an hour away by car
  • The Renaissance towns of Ubeda and Baeza, both UNESCO World Heritage sites, lie just over an hour away near Jaén
  • Back at the casa, chill by the pool or scan the greenery for birdlife with your binoculars

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting


No children under the age of 6 are allowed, except when the whole house is booked. Three of the 6 rooms (Membrillo, Nogal and Almendro) are large enough for an extra bed. Older kids, tweens and young teens will love the pool, all the outdoor space, cycling the Via Verde trail, and exploring the olive groves and hills with the "house dog" Ruby!

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:


Casa Olea is located in the heart of the Sierra Subbética in Andalucia, southern Spain. It's set just outside the village of Zamoranos, near the town of Priego de Córdoba, halfway between Córdoba and Granada.

By Air
The nearest airports are Granada (90km away), Málaga (140km away) and Seville (180km away). All are served by a range of international and domestic flights - click on the links below for a list of airlines.

From the Airport
You'll need a car to reach Casa Olea as it's not served by public transport and transfers aren't available. It's an hour's drive from Granada airport, 1.5 hours from Málaga airport, and 2 hours from Seville airport.

By Car
For car hire see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Andalucia and getting around


  • Granada 90.0 km GRX
  • Málaga Pablo Ruiz Picasso 140.0 km AGP


  • Beach 150.0 km
  • Shops 3.0 km
  • Restaurant 3.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 5 independent reviews from i-escape guests


Absolutely fantastic stay at Casa Olea.

Tim & Claire are the dream hosts and gave us excellent recommendations of things to do and places to eat around the house. They have a great selection of walks to do around the surrounding area as well as all the villages.
The room and entire property was stunning (and their dog Ruby is a delight).
Would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a relaxing stay in Andalusia.


Perfect location, wonderful nature, delicious breakfast and dinners. Special thanks to the lovely hosts. Hoping to be able to visit again.


A little oasis in the beautiful Spanish countryside.
Tim and Claire have created a very special place with a great experience- relaxing with great food and service.
Thank you.


Casa Olea was perfect for our weeks get a away. Tim and Claire were amazing hosts and everything was thought of down to the very last detail! The food and service was absolutely amazing throughout all of our stay also. Thank you for a lovely stay. We hope to be back again!


Had a fabulous stay at Casa Olea. Some of the best nights sleep we've ever had on holiday (exceptionally comfortable beds; black out shutters; great air con). Lots of gorgeous walks in the local area - particularly recommend doing the 4 hour walk from Zuheros village. Tim and Claire were incredibly helpful in terms of suggesting local activities and restaurants. Would highly recommend Casa Olea to anyone thinking of staying in Andalucia.

Jenni & Piers


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