El Molino del Conde is a traditional, white Andalucian mill building, set in three acres of land, rich with pomegranate, walnut, cherry, almond and fig trees. It is owned and run by Nick and Amanda Moody, who moved to Andalucia from the UK with their two young children a few years ago. Guests can book El Molino exclusively and either self-cater or opt for full or partial catering.
The house is incredibly relaxing, its three acres of land bordered by a stream and surrounded by hills and olive groves. Guests are treated to birdsong from dawn to dusk, the peaceful sounds of the stream and the courtyard fountain. It's also heavenly for families as children have space to roam and a swimming pool to keep them entertained.
Rent El Molino as a large country cortijo (10 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms) - perfect if you're a group of friends or an extended family - or choose to rent part of the property (5/6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms).
The house is arranged around a central courtyard with trellised vines and a fountain, and many rooms have doors onto the courtyard or the terraces. All the living rooms and most of the bedrooms have high beamed ceilings. The history of the house is very apparent, with much of the original mill machinery (lots of it still operational) on display in the Grinding Room.
This is a great house in which to appreciate southern Spain's hot summers, with a large amount of external living area. In addition to the courtyard there are five terraces with views of the land and surrounding hills, a swimming pool terrace, and picnic areas by the stream.
There are ten bedrooms with large, comfortable beds and crisp, cool cotton sheets. Choose your room for its king-sized double bed, direct access into the gardens or lovely views over the grounds. There are seven double bedrooms (five of which can be set up as twins) and three twin bedrooms. If you let the owners know the details of your party they will set up doubles/twins/singles to suit. In addition to the ten bedrooms there are extra single beds and three cots for babies.
The bedrooms are individually furnished and are comfortable in both summer and winter. Andalucian houses are designed to stay cool in the heat of summer (fans are also provided in all the bedrooms) and during the winter (the central heating is fuelled by crushed olive stones from the vilage olive oil co-operative and there are two wood burning stoves). Bedrooms where babies or young children are going to sleep are always prepared for their arrival with toys and books chosen to make them feel particularly welcome. Catering can be arranged, either Spanish or international.
El Molino has seven bath/shower rooms. Guests often comment on the efficiency of the water pressure when they’re showering. The owners have made sure that there’s plenty of hot water for the winter as well as central heating.
There are two kitchens. The large Old Bakery kitchen has a restaurant grade cooker, dishwasher, microwave, second cooker and four sinks. The Old Bakery still features the original large bread oven which was used until the early 1990s to bake bread and cakes for many of the surrounding villages.
Through a large arch from the Old Bakery is the Comedor (dining room). Between the Comedor and Old Bakery you can seat 26 people comfortably. Outside, you can dine under the vines in the courtyard or by the swimming pool where the tables can be set up to seat 30.
The swimming pool is by the stream and has a seductive backdrop of bamboo, cherry and lemon trees. The large thatched poolside pergola seats up to 30 in the shade. You’ll also find a swing and a hammock. The kitchen garden is an aromatic source of basil, parsley, mint, rosemary and bay.
Facilities include a satellite TV, WiFi, washing machine, DVD and CD players, guide books and a local information pack, books and games. A flamenco guitarist, and outdoor activities such as horse riding, walking and sailing can all be arranged.
Children love El Molino, and can spend their days dreaming on the swing by the stream, walking down the track to visit the local farm animals and splashing about in the swimming and paddling pools. They also love helping to look after the chickens, ducks and rabbits, particularly collecting the hens' eggs available for guests’ use. Cots, toys, books, high chairs and babysitting are all readily available – just let the owners know anything else you need. Outside peak holidays they offer a 10% discount to families with children under the age of five.
El Molino is perfect for an extra special birthday, family reunion, anniversary or wedding celebration. The house also makes an excellent base for those taking part in local themed holidays with courses in painting, creative-writing, cookery and pilates all held successfully at the house. The property has provided a great location for team-building events, fitness bootcamps and catalogue shoots.
Smokers are welcome, but please be very aware of the fire risk on the land in summer. Pets can be accommodated where practical.
El Molino del Conde (9/10 bedrooms):
From €3,450 to €4,650 per week, depending on season.
El Molino Viejo (partial hire of El Molino del Conde available out of peak season, 5/6 bedrooms):
From €2,250 to €2,500 per week
Duration of stay is flexible. Owners are happy to arrange mid-week handovers where possible to coincide with cheaper midweek flights.
The house stands close to the village of Iznajar with its gorgeous large lake. It makes a great base for sightseeing, being very centrally located for visits to Granada, Malaga, Seville and Cordoba.
Rural Andalucia is a wonderfully undiscovered (and unexploited) area for travellers. This a world of mountain lakes and olive groves, restaurants serving fresh fish, succulent hams and good wine, and bars in tiny villages that serve delicious tapas until almost dawn. The locals are courteous and friendly and invariably welcome children.
There’s more than a holiday’s worth of things to do in the area. Close to El Molino, the local village of Iznajar has a ruined 8th century Moorish Alcazaba and the 16th century church of Santiago, set on a hill above the Embalse de Iznajar (a large lake) which offers excellent watersports and fishing.
Daytrips further afield include visits to the south coast beaches, the Sierra Nevada with its wonderful walks and winter skiing, various local castles and seemingly endless local festivals! The area is rich with world heritage monuments. Amongst the Moorish streets and Christian monuments in Granada, for example, is the Alhambra Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Cordoba is the Mezquita, the stunning 8th century mosque said to be the grandest and most beautiful ever built by the Moors. The most famous of Andalucia’s “white towns” is Ronda, built on an isolated ridge of the sierra and split by a river gorge spanned by an 18th century arched bridge.
The Feria de Malaga, in Andalucia’s second city (also the birthplace of Picasso) takes place in mid-August and is renowned as one of the wildest and most spectacular fiestas in the area.