exquisite views and a rustic luxury property like none other
It's difficult to put your finger on what makes Al Ladino so magical. Is it the walls made out of prange local stone, the generous ceiling height of more than 4 metres, the sharply polished and maintained terracotta floors or is it the unbroken panoramic views of the coastline. I don't know why, but I do know I wouldn't be as happy anywhere else as I can be here.
Views from the rustic cottage, Nerja
Imagine you were a migrating bird, this is how you'd see Nerja, the views are so spectacular you'd probably recommend that anyone who's not a bird should get a drone.
the travelling flamenco show
The warmth and feeling of 'alegria' gives way the deep melancholy that is flamenco. And they will dance with you when they visit the rustic cottage for the most personal of shows.
..sunshine around the Balcon
Crisp winter days and so much blue sky. The contrast with London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Stockholm and other northern European cities at this time of year is stark.
exquisite rustic finca, El Monte Bajo, Nerja (Malaga) heated private pool luxury
Rustic farmhouse, el Monte Bajo
Rustic farmhouse in southern Spain, breathtaking views over the mediterranean www.elmontebajo.com
Cueva de Nerja
One of Spain’s most visited and treasured attractions, ‘La Cueva de Nerja’ ( the Caves of Nerja ) are a complex of caverns that have existed from the earliest days of this planet. They were discovered in 1959 by a group of schoolboys out searching for bats at night. Geologists speculate that water has been seeping into the caves for 5 million years (see the stalagmites) while cave paintings are believed to be 42,000 years old, the work of the neanderthals. To visit the caves, take the free Cuevatren, tourist train linking the caves in Maro with Nerja some 3.5 km away.
luxury rustic style 4 bedroomed villa with private pool in Nerja (Malaga)
Our fourth en-suite bedroom is the best of rustic Spain
If you need space for a larger group (up to 8 people), this is our solution,' Luna de Miel' nestling behind the tropical plants looking out across the lush lawn, pool and mountains towards the bay of Nerja. Buit almost entirely from local stone, its style is a tribute to a local tradition from an age gone by. Welcome to 'Luna de Miel' - the honeymoon !
A whistlestop tour of some of the sites of the town
Around every corner there's something a little quaint and naïve about Nerja, I never get used to its endless surprises and local people who are 'muy muy amable'
The magic of palm trees
Julio was for so many years head of gardening in the town, a smart intelligent man. This is a good video to study of you aspire to be a palm tree cutter in the future
The queen of straw or shall we say 'esparto'
Traditional skills are alive and well. Here's Lourdes Bueno, from the local white washed village of Frigiliana. She's a passionate artisan who makes everything from parasols, to table mats and shopping bags. We love what she does nearly as much as she does !
Caring for our special palm trees.
Palm tree cutting is best left to the professionals, especially when the trees are 10 metres+. Well they don't quite scrape the sky but it's an annual job. I like this video shot during a cloudy hour in spring 2021
el monte bajo in the sweet old days before the cottage, Al Ladino had been built
Sitting on the hillside abouve Punta Lara on the western edge of Nerja, this is el Monte Bajo some 35 years ago. The neighbouring cottage, Al Ladino had not yet been built.
Flamenco dancers to go
For that special occasion when streaming some flamenco guitar via Spotify just wont cut it, we call in the local mobile flamenco troupe
Playa de Maro in winter
15 minutes from the rustic cottage alladino.com & the rustic farmhouse, elmontebajo.com
My favourite hidden beach
This is 'La Cala de Barranco' off the main road before you reach the tiny pueblo that is Maro, around a few bends on foot and keep going in the direction of the sea. Mind your head, take care of the uneven surfacew below foot and watch out for the low ceiling height and streams that run across your path. Keep your ears peeled for the sound of the sea. Very soon you'll reach a treasure of a largely hidden beach.
Los jardineros (the gardeners)
Nerja from the air
…meet the talented Shane Williams, a voice of design wisdom from down the coast in Granada Province.
Back in 2014, Shane Williams met Danny Bowers and started providing ideas for how the very rustic el monte bajo and the cottage Al Ladino might be refined and improved. Danny's initial response was 'well OK, I'd like you to help but I don't want anyone to ever say an interior designer has been in here'. Shane might have quit the job them but she didn't and she's been on hand ever since to add guidance to Danny and temper some of his less tasteful ideas through the various projects that have been undertaken at these two special properties
Angel Vera, una artista con ceramica
Angel is a rare breed, an expert at high temperature ovens and the elegant hand made ceramics which have given him a following in southern Spain making his pieces sought after and often difficult to find.
Gustavo, the gardener
Meet Marcelo Gustavo Mendez, the artisan gardener at el monte bajo. Since 2015, he's been using his magical touches to nurture our mangos, avocados, figs custard apples, lemons, mandarins dates and olives.
In the patio, on the hillside and along he pasillo at the side of the house, we have orange trees. We think little about them and hardly notice them until the spring when the blossom difuses a rich perfumed scent around the property. The oranges grow and give their best and then into October and they come again harvest. it stretches in November & December long after our summer guests from Scandinavia, Denmark, the UK & Ireland have gone into hibernation learning to live with 6 or less hours of daylight at the peak of winter.
Olive trees tucked away in deepest Andalucia
Some 2 hours 45 minutes from Al Ladino & el Monte Bajo is the olive growing area around the pueblo of Las Cabezas de San Juan just off the main road from Seville to Jerez de la Frontera. For me it's utterly magical and I have an enchanting route to tell you about along the back roads. Not all is rosy, the summer's are a challenge to keep the terrain sufficiently irrigated to prevent hectare after hectare from turning to dust
our neighbours know how to lay a floor
Next door to Spain is Portugal, the Portuguese are so often forgotten about but they are masters of 'calçada portuguesa', these cream coloured cobblestones adorn Lisbon, Porto and everywhere else. Don't write the Portuguese off, they're smart!
home from home
Around el monte bajo on an Autumn day. Cloud in the sky but the cat is happy. The rustic farmhouse is at elmontebajo.com. #rusticfarmhousenerja #luxuryvillarental #costasdelsol