After you’ve lived on the Costa Tropical for a while, you grow to appreciate the Alpujarra because it is so different, but at the same time, so familiar.
It’s different because instead of palm trees and beaches, there are real trees and grassy fields, and this is precisely why the Alpujarra is familiar, its like being in north-western Europe. Yes, when you start missing the countryside of your homeland, take a trip up to the Alpujarras and sit beneath an oak or an ash and feel at home.
For me there is one special place up there near the little village of Pitres and it’s called El Cortijo Prado Toro. Now, these guys don’t advertise with us so there is no ulterior motive to recommend them other than I have stayed there on at least three occasion and have enjoyed it thoroughly each time.
When we say ‘cortijo’ we don’t mean a small, single, whitewashed building, but at least five different dwellings built in stone. The man who built it with his own hands – now sadly deceased – was an excellent carpenter too, so that everything from the large portones (double-doors) right down to the cupboards in each dwelling, are beautifully crafted.
The time to go there is now, in winter, so that you can get up and enjoy those crisp walks, wrapped up warm and then return to a soul-caressing open fire. Below the complex there are green fields, hedgerows and a tiny brook whilst above it is the oak forest.
If you fancy popping down to the village, then don’t miss the huge, ham-drying house where you can pick up succulent Jamones de Serrano and some country wine. The views in general are beautiful and the all-pervading peace is just what the doctor ordered.
There are many walks, along paths and forest tracks, one of which will take you to a waterfall.
The daughter runs it all together with her mother. She makes you feel at home and that is exactly how you feel – at home. It’s true; you’re sitting there in front of a roaring fire on a couch and it strikes you straight away that you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home.
So how do you get there? Well, taking it for granted that you know your way to Órgiva, take the road leading up into the Alpujarra Granadina for Trevélez (A-4132) Now, Orgiva is kilometre point zero so the kilometre point to keep an eye out is KMP 18 because before you get to KMP 19 there is a whitewashed tree on the right, opposite the turning on the left that you shall be taking.
You go past a heliport and then begin going through the forest. It’s not tarmac but a normal car can handle it no problem. Stay on this track until you see a sign on the right indicating Cortijo Prado Toro. The address for your satellite-navigation device is Camino del Helipuerto, s/n, 18414 Pitres
Anyway, give them a ring (608 842 436) because the daughter speaks English, German and Spanish to find out the availability and price of the five different dwellings there. You can also email (firstname.lastname@example.org.) or check out: www.pradotoro.com/
(News/Excursion: Pitres, Alpujarra, Granada, Andalucia)