6 independent reviews for Cave accommodation in Andalucia, Spain
Reviews for Cave accommodation in Andalucia, Spain
Fiona Armer review 28 Aug 2017
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?The stunning views from the cave-house and the peace and tranquillity there. The sense of history. The beautiful and varied geography. The friendly welcome from locals and the feeling that we found somewhere fascinating that the Spaniards come on holiday.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?Yes, you can get by with very little knowledge of the language, but we wished we had put a bit more effort into learning Spanish before we went. Do take advantage of the Saturday morning market in Castillejar! The fruit and veg available in local shops on other days was very limited indeed.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?Yes, we supported local shops and restaurants. We chose to explore the Altiplano and closer mountain parks rather than drive to Granada or the coast, but that was our choice. We also chose to recycle as much of our rubbish as possible, making use of the recycling bins in the town.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?A lovely mixture of rest and activity. Surprisingly educational. Cave-house a wonderful low-tech alternative to full-blast air-con and was always pleasantly cool (but not chilly) compared to the 30-40 degree heat outside.
Deborah Pole review 23 Aug 2015
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.
Melissa Elliott review 3 Sep 2013
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.
Susan Clack review 20 Oct 2013
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
Brian Boyle review 4 Sep 2013
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
Chris Chilton review 26 May 2013
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.
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