Ambalama is a treasured home in the coastal hills of Southern Andalucia which you cannot fail to fall in love with. Ambalama is a Sinhalese word meaning ‘a welcoming resting place for weary way-farers, travellers, explorers and adventurers’. This little casita (cottage / small house) is just that and provides a lovely, relaxing ‘home’ with a hugely welcoming atmosphere. Having been lovingly and artfully restored from a rather sad, abandoned building, it has been given a new lease of life and is transformed into a delightfully cosy, comfortable ‘casita’. It sits high in the cork forests of the sierra, with sensational views overlooking the distant Mediterranean, and on a clear day one can see the mountains of Morocco.
Ambalama is a ‘home for all seasons’. It’s as cosy on chilly winter days, as it is glorious in the strong summer sunshine. It is as warm and bright and revitalizing in spring as it is sunny and crisp in autumn – it’s warm here even in November! Vigorous walks in the hills or gentle strolls on the beach, throughout the year, are among the highlights, along with long, lazy lunches in the sun followed by a sleepy siesta and perhaps a wander into town for a sundowner – if you can tear yourself away from the view! In spring time, flowers carpet the hills and the whole area comes alive with colour and verdant growth.
Culture vultures will be totally enamoured with the lovely village of Casares, whilst the beaches are long and not overly crowded. This area is also famous for its exceptional restaurants, magnificent golf courses and hugely friendly people. Get an early, revitalising tan in spring; and stave off those winter blues in autumn! A gem of a place where summer comes early and lingers long!
All this is just 1 ¼ hours form Malaga and 45 mins from Gibraltar and it’s as magical in winter as it is in summer. This little gem - both rustic and sophisticated at the same time - has something for everyone and makes the perfect family or romantic getaway!
The House - The main house comprises two well-furnished bedrooms (both with overhead fans, one with air-conditioning) with attached bathrooms (one with a dressing room), a sitting room, dining room (seating 6 comfortably) and kitchen, all on one level. It has been beautifully, colourfully and interestingly furnished with bits and pieces from all over the world - many items having been made, sourced or restored by the owners. French doors opening off every room, along with terracotta floors and double height ceilings keep it cool and airy in summer; and there’s a blazing log fire and plenty of rugs to keep it warm in winter.
Outside boasts a spacious, sun-filled terrace looking straight over the hills and out to sea. There is a lovely bamboo pergola covering an al fresco dining area and comfortable daybeds. A flight of steps leads up to the glorious pool terrace which has plenty of sunbeds and 2 charpoys in the shade. It is surrounded by orange, olive, cork, almond and palm trees, and also affords incredible views, especially from the huge hammock!
A further flight of steps leads up to a terrace garden (perfect for a game of boules) with a huge sala (daybed) with views out over the hills; and to ‘The Casita’ which is an impossibly pretty, spacious third bedroom, bathroom and sitting room. Two huge windows in the bedroom and one in the bathroom offer views from heaven. It is large and lofty with pine furniture, tiled floors with rugs, abundant pictures and pretty furnishings. There is a ceiling fan and air-conditioning. The best room in the property!
Ambalama is small, compact, impossibly romantic and ideally situated for exploring the area – the famous village of Casares is a short walk away; the historic ‘white towns’ of Gaucin, Cortes de La Frontera and Ronda are close by; the buzzy hubs of Marbella, Estepona and Soto Grande are also a short drive away; the hill walking is superb, especially in Spring when all the wildflowers are out in abundance; there are golf courses and fine restaurants galore; and there are plenty of beaches down the hill.
Facilities / Facts:
Overhead fans in all bedrooms, sitting room and dining room
Air-conditioning in 2 bedrooms
3 double beds (2 of which can be converted into 4 single beds)
Gas hob with electric oven
Fridge / freezer
Bathtubs with overhead rain showers and ‘telephone’ showers
Unheated, swimming pool – shallow end 3ft, deep end 6ft”
Telephone for local calls (complimentary)
TV with access to UK TV channels (can be temperamental)
DVD player – with a range of DVDs
CD player – with a range of CDs
Hair dryers in all bedrooms
Bath and pool towels provided
Fully equipped kitchen (no microwave)
A range of indoor and outdoor games
Additional services available:
ADDITIONAL CLEANING - should you require additional cleaning / clearing up after meals, this can be provided. Cost per hour: €10
Airport Transfers - can be arranged through us at a cost of 95 euros each way from Malaga and 65 euros each way from Gibraltar.
Massages on site - There is an excellent masseuse who lives in a nearby village and who will come to the house for treatments. She is highly qualified and experienced and exceptionally good. She gets booked up early so if keen on having a massage, we suggest you contact her at least 2 weeks in advance on firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost: approx. €70 - €80 per hour
Andalucia is Spain’s most southern state and comprises 8 very different provinces. Each has a glorious past and offers a visitor something truly special. It is a region of high mountain ranges, endless flat plateaus and plains, and the country’s finest beaches. Being so close to Africa, the Moors have played a huge part in the region’s history and, after their 7 centuries of rule (starting early in the 8thC), their incredible legacy comprises some of the most spectacular architectural monuments in the country – Granada, Seville, Cordoba to name but a few majestic cities!
Originally a very poor state, Andalucia is now hugely popular as a tourism destination, not least for its glorious climate and almost guaranteed sunshine but also for its fabulous food, people and wonderfully relaxed approach to life. Aside from the Mediterranean beaches, hills and grand buildings, it should not be forgotten that the state is also home to some of the best bullfighting and flamenco in Spain – it originated here. Andalucia is a veritable treasure trove of a state with something for everyone! Further information: http://www.andalucia.com
Casares is one of the most beautiful and accessible of the ‘pueblos blancos’ – the famous white towns that cling to hillsides like limpets, all over Andalucia. Situated in Malaga Province, it has a long and varied history and has played host to many of the worlds ‘great and good’ (and some bad, no doubt!) over the centuries. It is a village known particularly for its art, festivals and walking opportunities. Throughout the year you will find a vibrant, colourful festival (feria), fiesta or pageant of some kind taking place. The narrow streets of the old town fan off from the Plaza de Espana, heading uphill, and each takes you on a different, exciting walk, through residential areas or up to the fort, the castle and the extraordinary cemetery. You are then rewarded with enormous views. It feels as though Casares has been caught in a delightful time warp and has been forgotten or passed over, thus avoiding the ravages of tourism that affect other ‘white towns’ and the coastal areas. Here you will find only smiling, friendly locals and quiet, empty, whitewashed streets to wander around, all redolent with history.
Further information: http://www.casares.com
Things to do - Ambalama is a place for both the sedentary and the active and boasts a plethora of ways to do nothing or to keep busy. If wanting a more idle holiday, lying by the pool or relaxing on the terrace in glorious summer sunshine, having a massage, or cosying up on the sofa by a roaring fire with a good book in the colder months, is a lovely way to while away the hours. The more active may take themselves off walking in the hills, visit a variety of fascinating and historic nearby towns and villages, or drive down to the coast for some fun and feasting on the beach. The area also boasts some superb golf courses and busy, social towns to visit. To cap it all, the area plays host to some of the finest restaurants, with a variety of menus, in Southern Andalucia. These are all on your doorstep so gourmands will also be kept happy.
Suggested activities and excursions - Visits to the famous ‘pueblos blancos’ (white towns) and other historic towns – Casares, Ronda, Gaucin, Cortes de La Frontera, the old part of Estepona.
Visits to beaches – Casares and Manilva
Shopping and socialising in Marbella or Soto Grande or the famous ‘leather copy’ town of Ubrique
Walking in the surrounding hills and villages – particularly special in Spring when the flowers are out. Guide books are provided.
Watch a flamenco performance
A stroll (15 mins) into Casares village for a morning exploring, followed by a feast of a lunch
Massages ‘at home’ – see prices in ‘Additional Services’
Be sure to stroll into town to observe a feria if one is taking place. These are low-key, friendly and fun.
Ambalama can be rented for week long periods, from Saturday to Saturday. In low and mid-season, we shall consider long weekends - prices on request. It sleeps four comfortably in the main house (2 en suite bedrooms) with a separate casita (with ensuite bathroom (separate tub and shower) above the pool, sleeping 2 very comfortably.
To book please contact Mary-Anne on email@example.com
A 25% deposit is required at the time of booking. The balance is due 8 weeks prior to arrival. Payment in Sterling or Euros (at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment) by bank transfer or cheque made and sent to:
Ambalama Ltd., The Manor, Gt. Bourton, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX17 1QT
Credit and debit cards are not accepted.
Detailed notes on the house and directions will be sent out at the time of booking.
This price includes the cost of the villa only. It will be cleaned and the beds will be made up prior to your arrival. Please leave it as you found it, as clean as possible, and do not strip the beds.
Our Location / Contact us:
The house lies just outside Casares (15 minute walk, 5 minute drive) and has a truly idyllic location – almost like an eyrie, it sits so high. It is situated at the top of a hill, with a backdrop of cork forest, and with panoramic views of the Sierra Bermeja to the left, unspoilt hills and the Mediterranean in front and the distant village of Manilva to the right.
It is approximately 1 ¼ hours (north-west) from Malaga airport and 45 minutes (north-east) from Gibraltar airport, in normal traffic. If using the A-7 (auto-via, non-toll road) instead of the AP-7 (the auto-pista, toll road – high tolls if coming from Malaga) it may take a little longer. Similarly, at rush hour and on weekends, traffic can build up.
FLIGHTS: There are regular flights into Malaga and Gibraltar from around the world
CAR HIRE: Car hire queues at Malaga in peak season can be very long so you are wise to book a ‘fast track’ service if your provider offers one. If flying into Gibraltar, be sure to book your car from a provider in La Linea (i.e. the Spanish side) rather than at Gibraltar airport as this saves long queues getting out of and back into Gibraltar. The car hire firms in La Linea are just a five minute walk from the terminal, across the border