“Rustic self-catering eco retreat in the desert gardens of Cabo de Gata Natural Park, near Med beaches”
The 2 cortijos - Cala Enmedio and Cala el Plomo - are attached to Charo’s house and built in the same style: a colourful fusion of painted beams and timbers, with kilims on rustic terracotta floors and a homely jumble of old and new furniture (comfy sofas, original art and quirky details like recycled sewing-machine tables). Both have 2 bedrooms (a double and twin), a living room with a fireplace (winter evenings can be chilly), a kitchen-diner and 2 shaded terraces, the latter designed to capture the sun at different times of the day. Enmedio has a shared bathroom, el Plomo has 2 ensuite shower rooms; both have underfloor heating. And both have dreamy views of the desert, the pool and the gardens.
Since our visit, a third has been added: Cala de Aguamarga has just one bedroom and views towards the palm grove, but the styling is very much in keeping with the other cortijos.
All the accommodation is self-catering, with an electric stove or hob and an arsenal of pans and cooking utensils. Alfresco dining tables overlook the gardens, pool and the landscape, and in the evening you can dine by candlelight under the stars. There is also a communal BBQ (wood for cooking is supplied) with a large circular table - a lovely shaded corner with views across the desert to the Mediterranean.
Nearby Agua Amarga has a bakery, deli and small convenience store; for more comprehensive shopping there are supermarkets in Carboneras (15 minutes away). When available, you can use herbs and vegetables from Charo’s organic garden, and eggs laid by her hens.
For eating out, Agua Amarga has a handful of relaxed beachfront restaurants serving reasonable meals, and there are more in Carboneras, Isleta del Moro and San José. Ask Charo for recommendations.
Children are welcome and the 2-bedroom cortijos are designed to accommodate families. Nearby Agua Amarga has a great family beach.
The 2-bedroom cortijos each have a double and twin bedroom and can fit a baby cot.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The pool is not fenced, and it can get extremely hot here in summer.