“Cosy hillside cottage on the edge of Los Alcornocales National Park with spectacular views of Morocco from the terrace (sleeps 2-3)”
The casita is a lovely old stone cottage at the higher edge of the main house's garden. It has a small covered terrace at the front, giving long views over to Morocco, along with a newly built gazebo where a brightly-coloured hammock beckons at siesta time. You can star gaze at night or watch ships of all shapes and sizes sail past by day: the views across the Straight are utterly mesmeric.
The interior is simple - whitewashed walls, quarry-tiled floors, the odd beam, an exposed stone wall. The double (or twin) bedroom has a ceiling fan, a CD player and a plug-in radiator in case it gets chillly, but no central heating.
Next door, the kitchen has an electric oven, a gas hob, a fridge/freezer and a tiny dining table with stools. There’s no sitting room, but you do get a sofa out on the covered terrace, which almost feels like an extension of the inside. You’ll also find tables and chairs, sunloungers, orange trees and a barbeque.
Beyond the kitchen is a red-tiled bathroom with small bathtub and a detachable showerhead.
All in all, it's very cosy and secluded - but also quite small. If the rain sets in, you might feel a little claustrophobic, but in good weather it's charming.
The casita's small kitchen has an electric oven, a gas hob, a fridge/freezer and a dining bar. There's a good range of cooking equipment and utensils - grater, juicer, steamer, coffee makers (both hob-top and plunger variety) - so you can easily cater for yourselves all week. In summer, you'll probably want to use the barbeque rather than the oven.
In terms of eating out, there are a couple of restaurants at the bottom of the hill, but they’re pretty basic, and you might prefer to head off to Tarifa for supper. It’s about 10km away, but the night life is good and you’ll find lots of places to eat. Our first choice would be Casa Lola in the old town for its great tapas and excellent wine list; Villa Nueva for fish (the locals all eat here); Mandragora near the church (more Moroccan); Los Melli or Bar Frances for tapas. You’ll find Chinese, Japanese and Mexican, too.
And don't forget that Algeciras has a few great restaurants even if it does see far fewer foreign visitors than über-trendy Tarifa. La Casita, next to the market, is famous for its montaditos, whilst at La Carbonera you should try the pisto (it's a kind of thick gazpacho) that comes topped with a quail's egg. And for a really tasty pincho moruno, Lizarán is the place.
If you're planning to hit Tarifa after supper you'll find any number of great little bars to chill out with a cocktail or a G&T: it's an after-dinner drink in Spain and is currently seeing a huge renaissance.
For shopping, Algeciras (8km) has one of Andalucia's best daily markets offering a wide variety of freshly caught fish and a range of hypermarkets to keep the larder stocked. The Tarifa market, secreted away by the walls of the old town, is equally buzzy though on a smaller scale. There's also a local shop in Pelayo (walking distance) for basics. If you need to have something specific for when you get there (e.g. if you are coming with a baby) then the owners will happily get it.
Children are welcome and may well strike up a friendship with the owners 2 young kids, Rafi and Arthur. The casita can take 1 baby cot or an extra bed (but not both), a high chair can be provided and there are boxes of toys, games and books that are all yours.
The sloping grounds and uneven path leading up to the casita weren't built with toddlers in mind although the vast, flat lawns back down the hill are ideal for kids taking their first steps or for any kind of ball game. Parents should bear in mind that the pool has no kid's height shallow end so your offspring need to be watched over at all times.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available