It’s no secret that Andalucia is home to some of the most beautiful cities in Europe – locations such as Granada and Seville are visited by thousands of tourists each year, and provide a buzzing backdrop for a city break or a romantic weekend.
But what if you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of urban living, and are hankering after a peaceful getaway in the Spanish countryside – a chance to close your laptop and open that book you’ve been meaning to read for months?
The good news is there are plenty of rural retreats in Spain to escape to – from luxury self-catering villas to cosy B&Bs and secluded hotels. Read on for our roundup and start planning your next getaway now!
1. Molino Del Santo, Ronda
Situated alongside a burbling stream in what was originally a working water mill, this family-run hotel is a beautiful spot to spend a quiet few days.
The recipient of numerous hospitality awards- including “Best Countryside Hotel” and “Most Romantic Hotel in Spain”- Molino del Santo prides itself on friendly service in a stunning setting.
The hotel has 18 rooms in total – ranging from standard rooms to junior suites, which come with their own self-contained living room and pool-facing terraces.
The hotel also boasts an outdoor swimming pool, shady flower-filled gardens and an excellent in-house restaurant. Here, diners can enjoy delicious homemade food on the sunny terrace overlooking the stream.
Despite its location in a sleepy hamlet of Benaoján, Molino del Santo is excellently well appointed.
A 20-minute drive will see you in the popular hilltop town of Ronda, and Granada and Malaga are also close enough for a day trip.
The hotel is located a 300-metre stroll from the charming railway station of Benaoján-Montejaque, which serves destinations such as Granada, Ronda and Antequera and also runs along the famous Mr Henderson’s scenic railway route.
Guests also have the option of tackling one of the many hiking trails cutting through the Grazalema National Park, or checking out neolithic paintings in the nearby Pileta caves.
Address: Calle Benaoján, 29007 Málaga
Tel: +34 952 16 71 51
2. Cortijo del Marques, Granada
If you’re searching for a luxury rural retreat in Spain, then Cortijo del Marques is the place for you.
Situated in acres of rolling farmland between the Sierra del Pozuelo and the Sierra Arana mountain ranges, this elegant hotel is a slice of rural heaven – despite being located a mere 30-minute drive outside the bustling city of Granada.
The expansive estate has served many functions throughout history, including being used as barracks for Republican soldiers during the Civil War – after which it fell into a state of gradual disrepair.
Comprised of 15 rooms, an in-house restaurant and even its very own, private chapel, the hotel also enjoys abundant outdoor space.
Guests are encouraged to make the most of its spacious patios, wraparound gardens, and an outdoor swimming pool- which is surrounded by views of sunflower fields and overlooked by the distant snow laced peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Cortijo del Marques is also well known for its fabulous restaurant, which prides itself on using exclusively local products to create delicious seasonal dishes.
Guests are approached by hotel staff each morning over breakfast and presented with the evening’s three-course dinner menu, designed daily by the talented in-house chef.
Guests are encouraged to make amendments as they wish, and can also choose to pair their meal with the excellent local wines that make up the hotel’s extensive wine list.
Address: Camino del Marqués s/n A44, exit 108, 18220 Albolote, Granada
Tel: +34 958 34 00 77
3. Almohalla 51, Malaga
If boutique charm is on your list when searching for a rural hotel in Southern Spain, then look no further than Almohalla 51 in the small town of Archidona.
Nestled at the heart of Archidona’s historic centre, owners Myles and David have worked hard to ensure this renovated townhouse has retained its original Andalusian appeal.
The hotel’s five rooms are thoughtfully decorated with a blend of modern and original features – including exposed wooden ceiling beams and terracotta tiled floors. Beds are large and comfy, and free wifi is available throughout the hotel.
During their stay, guests are encouraged to make themselves at home and enjoy the entire property, which includes a communal sitting room, an outdoor terrace and a swimming pool. There’s even a converted hen-shed – now used as a hideaway where guests can curl up with a book.
The pretty town of Archidona also has plenty to offer its visitors. Nestled amongst a sea of olive groves and overlooked by the ancient chapel, it boasts a range of excellent bars and restaurants -amongst them the award-winning Arxiduna, set in the town’s famous octagonal square.
The town is also located a 20 minutes drive from Antequera – known as the Heart of Andalucia due to its enviable position in the centre of the region.
Address: Calle Almohalla, 51, 29300 Archidona, Málaga
Tel: +34 618 20 91 74
4. Casa Higueras, Granada
Situated in the tiny village of Moclín in the Granada province, boutique B&B Casa Higueras represents the hard work and vision of its two owners, Ian and Andrew.
Previously a crumbling townhouse, the building was lovingly restored over a period of two years by the dedicated pair – and their commitment has certainly paid off! From its stylish and cosy interior to its magnificent views and charming walled sun terrace, this tiny hotel is an idyllic spot for a rural escape.
Guests can choose to stay in one of the property’s two bedrooms – both gorgeously decorated with en-suite bathrooms- and are also free to take advantage of a shared living room and a cosy snug -complete with an open fireplace and a well-stocked library.
Casa Higueras also boasts a sunny upper terrace with far-reaching views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, where guests can recline on a sun lounger and soak up the silence.
If you want to get out and about during your stay at Casa Higueras, there is lots to do in the surrounding area – from embarking on a hill hike with pre-packed picnics to discovering the vibrant culinary scene of nearby Granada during a guided tapas tour.
Address: Calle Amargura, 16, 18247 Moclín, Granada
Tel: +34 663 50 60 00
5. Cortijo Alondra, Ronda
We appreciate that this isn’t exactly a hotel, but if you’re looking for luxury self-catering accommodation in Andalucia, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are plenty of wonderful options available away from it all. And if you’re after rural seclusion without having to rough it, then the sumptuous Cortijo Alondra is the house for you.
Located in 37 acres of holm oak and poplar trees in the countryside near Ronda, this luxurious villa is the ideal spot for a family reunion or a group of holidaying friends.
Boasting no less than 10 bedrooms with capacity for up to 21 people, the house also comes complete with an opulent, old-world interior, a courtyard patio with its own fountain, and gated, private gardens.
If you don’t fancy lifting a finger throughout your stay, you can also choose to staff your villa with a private chef, on hand to whip up mouth-watering meals whenever you’re feeling peckish.
Planning a special occasion? You can also arrange for a catered dinner party complete with live entertainment – such as a private flamenco show with professional performers.
The villa also offers a range of experiences and excursions in the nearby area, should you get tired of sunning yourself poolside.
Activities on offer range from private in-house cooking classes to wine tasting in local bodegas or fully guided tours of Ronda or Granada.
To check out the full range of experiences available or to find more villa rentals in Southern Spain, visit the Luxury Villa Company’s website.
6. Finca Buenvino, Huelva
As rural Bed & Breakfasts go, they don’t come more charming- or secluded- than Finca Buenvino.
Set in the middle of the Sierra de Aracena National park and surrounded by forests of sweet chestnut trees and leafy cork oaks, this beautiful country estate is the perfect place to switch off your phone and get back to nature.
The estate is composed of three properties, all of which can be rented throughout the year. The roomy main house serves as a boutique B&B consisting of five bedrooms and is also home to the estate’s owners, Sam and Jeannie.
Also available for rental on the estate are two self-contained holiday cottages. These cosily decorated houses come complete with their own gardens and swimming pools with views over the park.
Finca Buenvino also doubles up as a private cooking school for guests wishing to hone their culinary skills while on holiday!
Under the guidance of professional chef Charlie- the talented son of Sam and Jeannie- guests will be introduced to the wonders of Spanish cuisine during a comprehensive four-night course.
Dishes are prepared using fresh local ingredients, many of which are provided by the estate’s private vegetable garden and fruit orchard.
Guests can also opt to visit nearby Aracena, a charming local market town situated a 10-minute drive from Finca Buenvino. The town is known for its freshwater lakes, excellent local restaurants and the high quality of its cured Spanish ham – derived from the acorn-fed pigs native to the area.
It’s also home to attractions such as the Grutas de las Maravillas caves- an impressive underground labyrinth of stalactites and subterranean lakes.
Andalucia’s stunning capital city, Seville, is also a fantastic option for a day trip, taking only 75 minutes to reach by car.
Address: 21208 Los Marines, Huelva
Tel: +34 959 12 40 34
7. Casa Olea, Córdoba
Situated in the stunning countryside near the small town of Priego de Córdoba, eco-friendly B&B Casa Olea is an idyllic country retreat for nature enthusiasts, hikers and stargazers alike!
The project of self-confessed Andalucia aficionados Claire and Tim, this charming country property provides its guests with a home-away-from-home holiday experience.
Bedrooms are comfortable and cosily decorated with super-king sized beds and crisp cotton sheets, and benefit from under-floor heating in the winter and AC during the more balmy months.
Guests are also free to make use of the large lounge – complete with an open log fire- and the outdoor swimming pool and terraces, which enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding olive groves.
Delicious homecooked evening meals are served either in the dining room or on the outdoor terrace beneath the stars when the weather permits. The food at Casa Olea aims to provide its guests with an authentic taste of Andalucia and is made using fresh, locally sourced produce.
Guests of Casa Olea also have access to an honesty bar and tea and coffee making facilities – with Yorkshire tea available for British visitors to make them truly feel at home!
Casa Olea also has some of Andalucia’s most popular cities virtually on its doorstep, making day trips entirely possible during your stay. The B&B is situated in the middle of the region, with Córdoba, Jaen, Malaga and Granada all situated less than a two-hour drive away.
Address: Carretera C0-7204, km 2, 14800 Paraje La Veguilla, Córdoba
Tel: +34 696 748 209