Cave accommodation in Andalucia, Spain

Description of Cave accommodation in Andalucia, Spain

Newly restored cave houses situated in the village of Castillejar offer a unique holiday experience in friendly rural surroundings. Both houses have been refurbished to a high standard, but still retain a rustic style with many unique features. Being able to escape Andalucian summer heat has always been something of a preoccupation with visitors to southern Spain however, cave accommodation might well provide the shade and the style to suit responsible travellers looking for something a bit different.

These particular Spanish cave house holidays have been designed with rural surroundings and home comforts in mind, and provide a base to explore not only in the summer but during the winter months too.

Fabulous views over fertile valley plains make the caves’ outdoor terrace areas particularly enticing around sunset although curling up in front of the wood burning stove can make for a romantic and thoroughly rustic interlude to help you hunker down during the evening.

The serene mountain setting allows cave dwellers to make the most of star lit nights and nature filled days with golden eagles known to ascend on thermals whilst horned ibex and wild cats stalk amongst the grassland and boulders below.

Both Barbatas and Guardal rivers flow freely nearby and help to increase the fertility of the surrounding landscape with thermal springs and the deep blue hues of Lake Negratin providing ample excuses for a picnic or to check out the potential for water sports.

As the owners of the cave accommodation have been successfully operating for over a decade they know a thing or two about where to go and what to do in the local area with several activities, including: guided and self-guided walking and cycling tours, easily initiated just a few steps from cave entrances.

Making the most of preserved natural areas, such as: Sierra de Baza, Sierra de Huescar and Sierra de Cazorla, is never in question with outdoor swimming pools, a seasonal amphitheatre and nearby village bars and restaurants, offering a variety of options alongside Andalucía’s pine covered river valleys and steeper mountain slopes.

Rooms, food and facilities

There are two caves that serve as accommodation amongst the mountains of Andalucia: Cueva Uno and Cueva Dos. One, Cueva Dos, is a little larger than the other although they’re both set on one floor with level access and enough outside space for two cars, a spacious porch and an outside terrace area, ideal for dining alfresco or watching the shooting stars.

Cueva Uno contains a couple of bedrooms, one twin and one double, as well as a bathroom complete with shower, wash basin and toilet. Inside Cueva Uno you’ll also find a fully-equipped kitchen, a separate dining area, and a lounge featuring comfy couches to put your feet up and watch satellite TV.

Cueva Dos features all of the above as well as lots more space to comfortably house six guests within three bedrooms, two twins and one double, a large dining room and lounge area with leather sofas, TV and DVD player.

As the local area is, thankfully, bereft of multinational super markets, traditional Saturday markets and village stores provide essential sustenance, with a good choice of cafe bars and shops ensuring cave guests get to live like locals although in extremely unique circumstances.

Family & baby friendly:
Both caves are well equipped for family use. The Spanish people are very family orientated there are various fiestas throughout the year where family's meet to have fun and socialise. During the summer months large swimming pools are open in most of the surrounding villages most have restaurants and are a great place to spend a day. We can provide cots and high chairs for younger children.

Map

Vouchers
Accepted

How to find us

Best advice is to head to Almeria airport which is around an hour and a half drive from the caves via the stunning landscapes of the Sierra Nevada. Alternatively, both Malaga and Murcia airports are both a couple of hours’ drive but, again, the landscapes that you’ll pass en-route to the caves serve as an exciting prelude to what lies ahead.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cave accommodation in Andalucia, Spain

Environment

The amazing natural insulation of cave houses mean that they stay cool in summer and warm in winter a pleasant constant temperature of sixteen degrees. They require no air conditioning in the summer and very little extra heating in the winter despite outside temperature extremes of +40c to -10c. Both caves have wood burning stoves to help on chilly winter nights. These have hot plates and are also a great energy saving way to cook food.

The water supply is metered and all the bathrooms are shower only with half flush toilets. We use eco friendly cleaning products including eco balls for the laundry. Once we have established an income from the caves we plan to reinvest this to further enhance their environmental credentials. Solar panels are an obvious first step down this route. There are very good recycling facilities with segregated collection points throughout the village.

Community

Castillejar is traditional Spanish village there are no large supermarkets and as with most of rural Spain no Sunday opening. The pace of life is much slower and we think better for it. There are a good range of shops bars and cafes in the village and we encourage our guests to use these and support the community. The local produce is fantastic with a vast range of local fruit and vegetables available at the regular Saturday market all year round.

The village is within easy reach of three national parks and we employ local guides for walking and horse riding excursions. The cave houses belonged to a local family who restored them using traditional methods retaining many original features. All the furniture and furnishings were bought locally and give the caves a really authentic traditional feel.

Reviews of Cave accommodation in Andalucia, Spain

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Staying in a cave house was great fun and a life saver in the baking Summer heat. We slept really well as it was so cool and peaceful. We managed to arrive for the town Fiesta with lots of events including concerts, decorated Go-Cart racing through the streets and even a Bull Fight. The surrounding countryside is stunning - rugged mountains and vast plains, crossed by well maintained and empty roads made it a pleasure to drive to the local sights. There were plenty of interesting birds (Bee Eaters, eagles, Hoopoes and Golden Oriels) plus lots of history, bustling markets and good eateries in the close vicinity. The swimming options were also stunning - in lakes, rivers and the pristine pools that every local town seemed to have.


2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The road down to the cave is narrow so would agree with comments about getting a smallish hire car. Not much English is spoken so brush up on your Spanish before coming, but the locals are extremely friendly. We were frustrated to have forgotten our binoculars for the amazing bird watching.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We certainly felt like part of the local community and frequented local shops, markets and eateries. We also went to several museums including the one in the local town, which gave us an interesting insight into the past use of Esparto Grass for weaving baskets etc. Living in the cave negated the need to have air conditioning and seemed to be a pretty Eco friendly existence. You really need a car to get about, but there is plenty to do nearby reducing the need to drive for vast distances.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The holiday was a wonderful chance to explore a very interesting corner of Spain. Staying in the cave was wonderful and we would thoroughly recommend it. It was also good value for money both for the accommodation and the cost of living.

Reviewed on 03 Sep 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The whole setting was fabulous: a beautifully decorated and ambient cave looking out onto a plain and a mountain range. The sunsets and lightning storms were breathtaking. The landscape is dramatic, abandoned caves make for interesting exploring, and we were relatively close to a stunning national park. There are many local swimming opportunities in outdoor pools, thermal baths and a spring with fish in - the kids loved it. The area is not touristy which we appreciated - very reasonably priced and very friendly locals (who brought round gifts of cherry tomatoes and the most enormous watermelon we've ever seen). The bars and cafes were fantastic and very child friendly. The cave is beautifully naturally cool even in the heat of the afternoon - amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Tips I would give are to definitely have a car that's not too big and settle into a different rhythm of life. Enjoy the outdoors and the lack of tourist facilities. Learn a few cafe and shop Spanish phrases - they were appreciated and helped a lot!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I think the local economy benefits from visitors spending money in the area and the naturally cool temperature of the cave avoided any need for damaging air conditioning.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


WONDERFUL. Out first three generation family holiday in several years and it couldn't have been better.

Reviewed on 20 Oct 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The initial trip down from the tarmacked village road to our "cave". A narrow, sometimes quite steep, concrete road, winding its way past peoples front doors,"under the hill". A drop on one side and a cliff on the other. When we walked back and looked it wasn't really like that. it was narrow and in a couple of places a bit steep but not like our first impressions.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Learn a little Spanish, a little and some body language goes a long way.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I don't think we did much for conservation or the environment while we were there but we did put some money into a few tills here and there, somebody benefited, somewhere.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was good, for a week we lived like Hobbits in our home under the hill. For fans of Bilbo Baggins this is the place to be.

It's also a very good centre for walking and discovering the area, Huescar for it's market, Castril is an area for long walks in wonderful scenery. A great place to go and stay.

Read the operator's response here:

The cavehouses by their very nature are environmentaly friendly requiring no air conditioning in the summer and very little heating in the winter months.

We reinvest most of the profits from rentals to further reduce their environmental impact and are currently planning to invest in solar panels.

It is great to hear that the stay was enjoyable and trust its good to know that you benifited the environment more than you perhaps realised during your stay

Reviewed on 04 Sep 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The experience of peace and calm, not to mention the wonderful natural air conditioning of the cave house made for a truly relaxing holiday Castillejar itself is delightful town and being there during Fiesta was a special treat. The fabulous
local pool was also a great bonus. There are also many very pictuesque towns within easy driving distance -Castril was a favourite for the Friday market. Terrific on site support from Keith who could not have been more helpful.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


As with previous reviewers I would recommend a small car as the hill down to the house is a challenge ;-)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


There seems to be a great pride among local people that foreigners come to enjoy the traditional cave houses Castillejar has great small shops and bars which certainly benefitted from our visit.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A wonderful peaceful relaxing experience but also great fun for our children as they found much to enjoy

Reviewed on 26 May 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Andalucia is beautiful. Our trips into the Sierras de Castril and Corzula parks were fantastic. We also enjoyed local walks and were happy to be in a very authentic Andalucian community. The wild flowers were astonishing, especially the fields of vivid poppies. We found the local people helpful and friendly and loved the convention of free tapas served with drinks in every bar/cafe we visited. The views from the cave house were great and we enjoyed some lovely sunsets from the terrace.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The cave we stayed in was cold and damp so be prepared for this, especially at night. The cave had been unoccupied for a fortnight so this may have been a contributory factor. We certainly could have done with a lit fire when we arrived on May 18th, so maybe request this from the owner if the weather is set to be cool. We had to ask for extra fuel and blankets for the first night. As the weather improved throughout the week the cave became more pleasant and we could see how the coolness inside would provide a welcome relief on very hot days, but it was still cold at night.

If you don't know the area do as much research before arriving as there was very little guidance, even for local walking routes. Look out for small coloured plaques indicating walking routes in villages and towns. From Castelejar there is a brilliant walk to Galera marked with blue circular plaques. The walk is only marked one way though. We discovered it in Galera and did it backwards. We ended up walking the last couple of miles on the road after missing a direction marker only visible if going the other way. On our last day we found some brilliant walks in Sierra de Castril and wished we'd had some information about them provided by the owner. Many information centres, museums and galleries are closed, some permanently because of the cutbacks. Again, some information about these would have been useful.

The roads in Castelar are very steep and narrow and the track to the cave even more so, so don't hire a large car. We had a Berlingo and a C3 which were fine.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We hope so. Although we ate at the cave most evenings, we used local markets (excellent, incidentally) and shops to buy our food and made frequent use of bars and cafes. We were pleased to see recycling facilities in the town and made use of them. During the peak season it may be possible to hire bikes but we couldn't find any available. Public transport is also available although timetables were not displayed.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We loved the region and the town of Catelejar. Being in an authentic Andalucian community was great and the area is lovely. As a group we liked the novelty of staying in a cave but some of us found the cold very uncomfortable, especially at night, and we were fortunate that we had people with us experienced in keeping a log fire going, although it only really heated the kitchen area. The electric convector heater caused the fuse to trip out (the washing machine also conked out) though the fan heater did provide some relief. Apart from the cold/damp the interior of the cave is well appointed and very comfortable. We cooked most evenings and enjoyed sitting together at the large kitchen table close to the fire.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. I am sorry that the caves were cold when you arrived. In the winter months we do pre warm the caves for a couple of days before guests arrive if they have been empty. This is not normally necessary in late May! The weather this year has been much colder than normal and we clearly need to take this into account for future guests.
We do have folders in the cave houses which contain information on local walks and attractions and I can only apologise that this was not left in a prominent place for you to view.
Thank you for your constructive feedback, and it was good to hear that your overall holiday experience was very enjoyable.

Reviewed on 02 Aug 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The location was amazing with peace and quiet in abundance.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


there is a narrow winding track leading to the cave house so try to get a smaller hire car than the Vauxhall Insignia we ended up with as it's a tight squeeze !

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We used the local shops and visited local sights combined with walks.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was a great place to visit ... rural spain at it's best.

Reviewed on 08 Jan 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The peace and relaxation. Even though it was Christmas we were able to sit outside the cave in the sunshine and hear only the river in the valley and the bells on the goats in the fields below. From an excitement point of view some of the mountain roads get the heart racing on the rare occasion you meet a car coming in the opposite direction.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Explore the local villages and get out into the mountains. Try the beer and tapas whenever and wherever possible, and chill.

Fly to Malaga, the mountain views along the motorway past Granada (Sierra Nevada etc.) are wonderful.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We put money into the local economy, impact on the environment is minimal once you arrive. I think we probably benefited more from the friendliness of the locals than they did from us!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


With all the weather problems in the UK before we went, and trouble we had getting our daughter back from a five month trek round the Far East in time for the holiday, I had got to the point where I couldn't be bothered with further hassle going on holiday. Once we got there the caves were so relaxing and welcoming and the place so restful I was fully chilled within 24 hours. Great accommodation and wonderful location.

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Living in a cave for a week was quite extraordinary. It was so quiet and peaceful. The cave was in a village in a rather remote area and there were not many other tourists - we genuinely felt like we were experiencing a different side and culture of Spain which we thoroughly enjoyed. The cave was clean, basic but comfortable with a well equipped kitchen and a wonderful view across the valley. Excellent value for money especially for a week in the summer holidays. The owners helpfully provide some DVDs too - so after sundown, my family settled in to watch a few family movies.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


A car is essential but make sure you don't get too big a car! The approach to the cave has a couple of hair pin turns and the road is very narrow. But we managed fine without any scraps so perhaps it is my driving ability which is at fault! The local information available at the cave is good although not particularly extensive (and in very small type which made it a bit tricky to read). You may wish to go further afield while you are there as nearby, there is not a massive amount of activities. A couple of excellent local swimming pools and gorgeous villages though and we wanted just to relax and stop rushing around as much as we do at home so it suited us perfectly. We went to the Alhambra in Granada for a day ( this MUST be booked in advance in the summer) which was about 1.5 hours away so a long day but worth it. The owners were really good at buying a food parcel for us in advance which was just as well as we arrived on a Sunday and would have struggled to have found anything open in the
village.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


It certainly did not negatively impact. We lived basically, shopped locally, ate out in a local restaurant once and visited the local sites. We do not speak Spanish well so perhaps were not ablest fully embrace it all in entirety.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Car, cave, fights from Manchester for a family of 4 in the summer holidays for approx £1200. It was a lovely break, an adventure which we all enjoyed and gorgeous weather and views in a part of Spain not usually visited by tourists. If you are looking for action, adventure, luxury or suberb shopping extravaganzas, this is almost certainly not for you.

Reviewed on 11 Apr 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The welcome from Keith when we arrived, and the food that got us through the first day made a big difference. Walking in the Sierra de Castril. Exploring the area around the cave house. The river walk was gorgeous for stone-skimming and the freedom to roam fun. We loved Castril and the other villages we visited. We all loved visiting the Alhambra.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


In April Cave houses are very very cold (The local information boards say 14-18 degrees and during our stay 14 deg is probably the best guess) and damp. There was a wood burning stove and an electric heater - but the cave was large with no doors so the impact of these was minimal on the temperature. Not healthy for a 7 year old with asthma. This house was not well ventilated and everything got rather soggy - but could easily be dried out in the sun. In the warm weather they are certainly cool and a lovely refuge from the heat. The house was nicely positioned and well decorated. Rent/bring a car, and be prepared to drive a lot and on sometimes rather steep and narrow roads/dirt tracks if you want to get to interesting places, as everything around Castilléjar is rather spread out.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We needed to hire a car for the holiday to work - we usually holiday in places where this is not required. The cave house was in a village and area being regenerated both for the locals and tourism with a healthy injection of EU money. Clearly the holiday supported this process. We made a point of buying all of our food in the village. Detailed maps for mountain walking were unavailable to us - but the mountain walking opportunities are vast with waymarked routes abounding.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We are keen mountain walkers - and had to adjust our holidaying style significantly both because of exacerbation of our 7 year olds asthma and the absence of up to date walking maps. With hindsight we should have obtained these in advance. We did have a fantastic time strolling around the local villages, visiting the thermal baths in Fujar and eating out. This review has been difficult to write because for us the temperature and damp of the house was very difficult - but despite this we loved the area and had a great time.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your feed back. I am really sorry to hear you found the cave house cold and that it spoilt your stay to a certain extent. The smaller cave house does warm up more quickly and we would of been happy to have moved you if we had known of the problem. We tend to keep the wood burner in all day during winter visits and this does make a real difference to the temperature. I didn't think that by April this would be a problem or I would have told you. I know this doesn't help you but I will make sure we advise future clients of this. Sounds like you enjoyed the area and if you ever consider a return trip I would be more than happy to offer a special rate to compensate for the problem this time.

Popular similar holidays

Unusual accommodation in Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Unusual accommodation in Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Stunning 360º views from an off grid retreat, ideal couples/single travellers

From €665 - €910 per couple per week

Lanzarote beach house, Canary Islands

Lanzarote beach house, Canary Islands

Beach 100mt, private plunge pool, transfers, Wifi

From €925 - €1225 per accommodation per week

Luxury yurt accommodation in Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Luxury yurt accommodation in Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Eco yurt, beach setting, inc Hybrid Car

From €1225 - €1610 per week (sleeps 2-4)

Lanzarote yurt accommodation, Canary Islands

Lanzarote yurt accommodation, Canary Islands

Luxury Eco Beach Yurts plus Pod in Lanzarote, Canary Islands

From €1645 - €2100 per accommodation per week

Convert currencies