Learn how to create delicious feasts at a wonderfully atmospheric traditional cortijo. A seven or four night holiday with cooking, exploring historical towns and delightful country walks in the stunning Sierra de Montanche or just relax at the cortijo and enjoy the pool and lovely views. Our cooking style is a fusion of Iberic and Moroccan cuisine. Sumptuous traditional food with a bit more imagination thrown in. The holiday includes cooking, walking, well-being, cultural visits and country life.
The cortijo has been renovated with loving care using traditional materials, the windows, thick shutters and doors were made by our local carpenter with seasoned chestnut wood. The spacious double height sitting room stays cool in summer and is cosy in the colder months with a wood burning fire.
There are lots of books, DVDs and comfy chairs. Doors lead on to the porch and terrace with lovely views of the surrounding countryside. The kitchen is well equipped and features a marvelous old stone work table, very inspirational for imaginative cooks. WiFi connection now available.
The dining room leads off the kitchen; there is a huge 3.30 meters dining table and access to the back terrace with barbecue, dining table for lovely outside dining experiences and sweeping views up to the peaks. The little path to the swimming pool starts here.
There is accommodation for 6 people in three comfortable bedrooms, all have en-suite bathrooms. We have a cot and 2 camp beds for children if needed. The upstairs bedroom has access to a secluded 20 square meter roof terrace with the best views of the mountain. The other two twin bedrooms lead off the porch, a lovely space for enjoying the views and star gazing at night. Private entrance gate and driveway to entrance hall of the cortijo.
The Barn is situated in its own 1 hectare grounds with a sunny aspect and views across the olive groves and up to the peaks of the mountain. There is a spacious double height sitting room and dining area with stairs to a big 1st floor bedroom.
The whole space is heated by a wood burning stove in the cooler months. The bathroom has a roomy shower and views of the meadow. The kitchen is well equipped with gas hob and oven, fridge, washing machine, lots of utensils and attractive table wear.
There are French windows from the sitting room leading to a long covered terrace for outside dining with barbecue, lovely views of the mountain peaks and to a shady area under a copse of holm oaks in the pasture, perfect for siestas, dining and bird watching.
Eagle owls can be seen and heard at dusk. Private entrance and parking. Access to swimming pool through small gate and along path.
This is a 2-bedroom house with accommodation for 4 people. It is just 300 meters up the lane from Finca al-Manzil. It has a double height sitting room and covered porch with marvelous views of the mountain and surrounding countryside.
Both bedrooms have interior and exterior access. The bathroom has shower and bath, separate lavatory and also a basin and lavatory off the upstairs bedroom. The house is well furnished and equipped. The kitchen area has a gas hob and oven, washing machine and double sink.
The sitting room has a wood burning stove which efficiently heats the whole barn during the colder months. It is situated in a peaceful olive grove 300 meters along the lane from Finca Al-Manzil with beautiful views in all directions. There is a swimming pool exclusively for the use of Casa Alfarera.
There has been much acclaim for the dinners prepared at the Finca, so we have decided to share our secrets and run creative cooking courses several times a year. The cortijo kitchen is spacious with all the special equipment and implements needed to create delicious Moroccan, Middle Eastern, Spanish, and Portuguese dishes using natural fresh local vegetables, meat, fish, fruit and herbs; the spices are imported regularly from Morocco.
Our aim and pleasure is to inspire enjoyment of the food in the well designed and decorated surroundings of the Finca. Dinner will be the highlight of every day. Starting with tapas, which we have had fun inventing, served on the terrace, we eat dinner around the huge dining table or maybe outside if the evening is warm. Possibly dinner will have been cooked in the traditional clay oven or over a charcoal grill.
We serve Extremea wines and, maybe with coffee, a special liqueur from the Jerte valley or some aguadente made from the medroo or wild strawberry bush. We believe in making a special evening every evening, the table will be looking very pretty and the food is going to be stupendous.
Excursions to Merida, Trujillo and Caceres, all fascinating historical towns near Finca al-manzil
Finca al-manzil is situated in beautiful mountain scenery and surrounded by pure nature. There is plenty of time to explore the many walking paths in the sierra.
We enjoy creating delicious and unusual dishes from Spain, Portugal and Morocco
Bird watching: Bird watching is exceptional on any part of the finca, either on walks or from the porches of the houses. We have had many professional wild life photographers staying with us and they are impressed with the variety and richness of the bird life. Our star attraction are the Eagle Owl nests on the crags. The famed Monfrague National Nature Reserve is about 1 hour from the finca, the colony of Griffon Vultures is particularly interesting.
Bike riding: Bicycle hire is available for easy riding on the lanes around the finca, maybe a visit to the Visigoth Basilica set in beautiful cork oak forests.
Driving: Only 10 minutes to Montanchez with its famous jamon served in all the bars and the lively Saturday market. Our nearest large towns, Caceres, Trujillo or Merida takes 30-40 minutes. See separate entries for walking, bird watching and Extremadura. Also the blog has many posts about interesting things to do and see our area of Extremadura.
Horse riding: We have 4 horses that are available for experienced riders and 1 donkey for gentler rides. There is also a riding stables nearby for trekking with a guide.
Seasonal events: Depending on the time of the year we participate in olive harvest (December / January) grape and fig harvest (September) Wild Asparagus picking in Spring. Visit to WOMAD in Caceres (May) Medieval Fair in Caceres (November) Usually every month has a local fiesta going on which we can visit.
Walking: There is a delightful walk directly to the village of Montanchez on the old Moorish path which takes about 40 minutes. The walk to Arroyomolinos and the water mills takes about 1 hour. There are also several beautiful walks on ancient paved paths on the higher parts of the sierra, walking through the typical landscape of olive grove, chestnut woods and cherry orchards.