A secluded mountain stone cottage in the Sierra Nevada Natural Park, set in five acres of private grounds, Piedras Enciso offers a tranquil haven for nature lovers. From the covered terrace adjacent to the cortijo, the mosaic terrace or relaxing on the day bed beside the natural spring water fed pool, guests can enjoy superb panoramic views of the mountains and valleys. The mature gardens of roses, lavender, grape vines and salvias offer abundant colour. There are over 80 old roses including Gallicas, Portlands and Albas - pinks, blues, purples and whites predominating! Formerly in a state of ruin, Piedras Enciso has been charmingly restored with natural slate floors and chestnut beams. Positioned amongst traditional Moorish terraces in the Sierra Nevada Natural Park, it is 20 minutes drive from the summit for skiing in Winter, and an hour and a half from the coast. Located along a 2km track with the local village 10 minutes drive. An ideal setting for those wishing to escape the stresses of daily life and lose all sense of time.
Cottage in Laroles, Las Alpujarras, Andalucia, Spain - Tranquil Location with Sea and Mountain Views
- english, spanish
- Calendar last updated:
- Oct 1, 2018
About Nicky Foster
I have lived in Spain for the last eleven years in the village of Mairena. I bought Piedras Enciso 25 years ago when it stood as a stone ruin surrounded by lush green meadow and wild flowers, and spent the next few years renovating it. I have a house in the village which I am still renovating! I love all things traditional, and hopefully this reflects in the way the cottage is decorated. I have a great love for plants and the garden borders are now filled with an abundance of colour. I spent many holidays at Piedras Enciso when the stress of work and London life got too much, and still go there to escape when village life becomes too hectic! I ran a business in the UK in paint production, colour design/decoration and workshops teaching special paint finishes. I hope to run workshops here which will be available to guests staying at the cottage, maybe as soon as this summer!
Nicky Foster purchased this Cottage in 1989
Why Nicky Foster chose Nevada
A chance event led me to finding Piedras Enciso - staying at a friend's house, having an idle afternoon and a long-standing dream of living in the mountains. She was selling properties and took me to see a derelict stone building surrounded by mountains, valleys and wild flowers. I wanted something remote - away from people and noise and Piedras has all of this.
What makes this Cottage unique
Peacefulness, a loss of sense of time, bird noise, bees humming, goat bells, sun, blue sky, breathtaking views, millions of stars at night, clean air, vegetables fresh from the garden, geckos, crickets, deep quiet sleep.
Pool / Spa
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
Canceled bookings will not receive a refund
Peaceful, secluded, unique house in the mountains.
This really is an out-of-way place to stay ; after just a week we came away refereshed and thoroughly rested. The house is a very calm space, with a minimum of 'modern comforts' but nevertheless really comfortable with thoughtful touches - traditional tableware, luxurious seating, a splendid wood fire, hot spring water to wash in, nothing plastic! No internet or telly, but ample entertainment with friendly geckos, birdsong and fascinating views. Lots of books, games, maps and info available about this remote region. During the day the terrace is alive with bees and birds, the smell of lavender and ripe figs. At night solar lighting creates a miniature wonderland in which to sit and watch the bats and the bright stars. We enjoyed walking in the valley, through the almond groves, exploring terraces and ancient acequias. We saw ibex, birds of prey and many rare and aromatic wild plants. The mountain looked different every day with changing light and dramatic clouds.There is some farming going on, the sound of sheep bells, and terraces of vegetables, but at dusk everyone goes home and you literally have the whole of the valley to yourselves. The silence, fresh mountain air and delightful plunge pool, with accompanying ( rather decadent !) day bed, all combine to create a perfect retreat. Nicky is a great host, taking the time to meet us in person and guide us up to the property. The table was piled with bowls of fruit, nuts and honey, ecological wine and flowers from the garden. We could not have been made more welcome. If you like silence, a sense of space, and relish the opportunity to explore a unique and ancient landscape, then you'll enjoy it here. Places like this are hard to find!
A Heavenly Week with the Family
What an idyllic time we had at this beautiful house in the countryside.
We were met by Nicky in the nearby village, and she guided us along the long and bumpy track to the house.
You can see the years of love and work that have been poured in to the house and garden to make it what it is today - a little piece of heaven.
Nicky's generous nature shines through. We greatly appreciated the beautiful welcome gifts of fruits, snacks, local honey and wine.
Staying here is about changing the pace of your life. Slowing down. Noticing every sound, scent and scene from nature. I was so enthralled I didn't even manage to get to the end of a single book.
The weather was perfect. Shady spots under the arbour and the pool bring instant relief during the hottest hours of the day.
On a practical note, there is plenty of hot water from the gas boiler, and a gas fridge with a small freezer box, keeps food fresh. There are LED lamps in each of the rooms, but the system trips out if too many are used at once. There were lots of candles, to give an atmospheric boost, once it got dark.
We walked along the footpath (the walk of the chestnuts) about a mile and half, to the bakery and supermarkets of Laroles, when we didn't fancy bringing the hire car along the track again. Harder work on the way back up, but so worth it for the incredible views.
Our son, aged 22 and daughter 19 stayed with us, and loved it as much as we did. We are all hoping to come back again, and can't recommend it enough.
Thank you for everything Nicky xx
Quiet,peaceful, relaxing cottage
We as a family of four had a really great two weeks staying in this cottage. Believe it when Nicky says it is secluded, the track to the cottage is about 1km long and fairly rough and winding. the cottage and gardens are beautiful it has everything that you need but is fairly basic. the double bed was very comfortable. The covered terrace is an excellent area of outside space for eating or just sitting and reading. The pool was great and much used by us, it is quite small and doesn't have a shallow end but that wasn't a problem for us. The local town is very nice and has everything that you need, shops bank etc. We had a nice relaxing time and a digital detox away from it all. Thanks Nicky
Peaceful, relaxing cottage in fantastic scenery
The cottage has everything you need for a 'get away from it all' holiday. The pool and day bed are wonderful and the cottage surprisingly cool in the heat. The gardens are beautiful and it's so relaxing to sit in and soak up the smell of lavender.
The track to the cottage is a little bumpy but our rented Nissan Note managed OK but ideally a small 4x4 would be better.
I would recommend learning some Spanish but people are v helpful anyway and we managed! If you have a problem, Nicky is always more than happy to help! She even had our lost luggage delivered to her house so we wouldn't have to wait in at the cottage.
Nicky and Enrique were wonderful hosts and even let us watch the watering of the plants using the traditional watering methods designed and used by the Moors in the region. We all thought this was amazing!
I would thoroughly recommend this to any one who enjoys a quiet holiday away from the crowds.
Thank you so much for a lovely holiday Nicky and Enrique and Pina the doggie! xxxx
From the Moores
We had the most amazing time here. The place is just stunning. You feel all tucked away from the world in your own little patch of paradise. The owner was lovely, helpful and welcoming we could have asked for more...... But 9 months later our beautiful daughter was born! 😍
We will be Returning
Having not been on holiday for ten years, my partner and I decided in June 2013 that a trip to Andalucía was in order. On reading the description and on seeing the accompanying photos, we agreed on a visit to Nicky’s beautiful mountain cortijo, including a short trip to Granada and the Alhambra. Indeed, we enjoyed the Alpujarras so much that we have since returned to Piedras three times – within a fourteen month period - for both long and short breaks.
And what is it that makes Piedras so appealing? Firstly, that Nicky has created the perfect rural idyll free from modernity comprising stunning gardens, a pool with a daybed that could be described as too comfortable and simple, natural interiors that incorporate local slate and wood. Secondly, despite the property sitting at 1450 metres above sea level and being located 50km inland, you can see the Mediterranean on a clear day and the mountain tops of North Africa beyond. Thirdly, the property is suitably tucked away to afford you absolute privacy. And, with no phone, no internet, no television, no street lights, no mains electricity or water, a stay at solar-powered and spring-fed Piedras offers insight into how a life in balance with nature really looks. However if you do need a ‘modern life’ fix, all is close at hand; the scattering of nearby Moorish villages offer excellent local cuisine (and free Wi-Fi), as well as bars, banks, shops, chemists… and with Granada and Almeria both within easy reach, city life too can be enjoyed.
And will we be returning? Yes and soon, as there is still so much for us to experience — we are yet to have a beach day, partly due to the comfort and perfect isolation of Piedras!
Special interest holidays:
Fiestas are a regular event in the region with each village holding a fiesta over the summer months. Decorative painting workshops and cookery courses are available from time to time. Horse riding is 20 minutes drive. Yoga and massage are also available upon request. Details of current events and activities are provided in the cottage.
There are many beaches on the coast, with the nearest being at Adra or Almerimar, both a 1 hour's drive. Other beaches worth visiting are at Las Negras and the pretty fishing village of Agua Amarga, a one hour, 45 minute drive.
The nearest airport is Almeria, a one and half hour's drive. Airlines include Easyjet, Ryanair, Monarch. Malaga is a three hour drive and Granada a two hour drive. Hire of a car is essential.
The closest village to the cottage is Laroles which offers a small bank (including cash machine), bakery and supermarket, with the pretty Moorish villages of Jubar, Mairena, Mecina al Fahar within a 10km radius. The nearest local town is Ugijar. Walking to Laroles takes approximately 20 minutes, and 40 minutes walking back.
There are many local restaurants in surrounding villages, notably El Sitio above Jubar offering good food and amazing views with dining al fresco during the summer. Also good is Las Chimenaes in Mairena. With Granada only 2 hours drive, a visit to the Alhambra is a must!
Booking Notes: Payment & Cancellation A 50% non-refundable deposit is required upon booking with the balance due 40 days prior to arrival. We regret that we cannot offer a refund on the balance payment for cancellations after 40 days before arrival, except in special circumstances. We will do our best to help if we can. Changeover Day: Changeover day is flexible. It is advisable for guests to time their journey to arrive during daylight hours to allow for orientation. Notes on prices: Prices are per week in euros. Monthly lets available on request. A log supplement for the winter months of 50 euros per week is applicable. Discounts for more than a two week stay are available. Details on request. Flexibility Please enquire if shorter breaks are required. We can offer less than 7 nights during the summer months, subject to availability.