This newly built country house was finished in September 2011. It is situated in the midst of old terraced orchards of olive, almond, orange and lemon trees. Although set in a completely private and unique location at the end of a concreted single track agricultural road it has all the requirements for a comfortable and relaxed stay. The house is essentially on one level flowing across the side of a hillside terrace with an open tower room at one end, an ideal place to take advantage of the stunning views and cool breezes in Summer.
The house was built on the site of an old cottage and stable that sat tucked below a flat plateau looking across a deep valley.
The valley was dammed in the 1950’s to form Lake Beznar and the house sits above the lake facing southwest. The approach to the house from Talará is along a concreted road which becomes a concreted single lane track with passing places that winds through old almond and orange groves. Beside the road runs an acequias supplying water to all the orchards on a rotating basis. The journey, which has to be negotiated at a gentle pace because of the numerous twists and turns and the chance of finding a laden mule around the corner, takes some ten minutes from the village of Talará before you turn onto a new concrete track and climb up to our finca. You can park outside the house to unload and then drive up to the top plateau to turn round where there is plenty of parking space and stunning 360 degree views of the valley and mountains.
The house has been built to blend into the countryside but is designed to be completely modern and comfortable. No draughty doors and loose windows, but under floor heating throughout, double glazing and well-fitting exterior doors. This is an ideal place to rent if you want to ski in the winter, and have a warm and comfortable house to return to, but where some members of the party may want to spend some time at the coast or in Granada rather than on the ski slopes.
In midsummer the layout of the house catches the cool breezes off the lake and ceiling fans keep you cool in the evenings. In the day there are plenty of places to sit outside in the shade and relax with the brilliant views.
Access to the house from a car is up a wheelchair friendly ramp at one end of a level terrace that runs along the front of the house, with exterior stairs to the tower room at the other end of the terrace.
The front door opens onto an entrance hall with a large storage cupboard for coats, sports equipment and shoes, a large cloakroom with WC and an arched entrance to the bedroom suites at one side and double doors to the living areas on the other side. There are steps down to a basement area which is currently unfinished but will become a further two bedrooms with bathrooms in the future.
Bedroom 1 has a king sized bed (1.8 x 2.0m), large storage cupboard, en-suite bathroom with shower and bath etc. and windows looking out onto the lake and mountains. The bedroom has a ceiling fan and windows can be opened to take advantage of cooling evening breezes.
Bedroom 2 has two single beds 1.9m x 0.80m which can be pushed together if required. There is a large built in cupboard, ceiling fan and again views of the lake and hills complete this slightly smaller room which has a wet room bathroom with level floor and walk in shower also suitable for wheel chair use.
Going through the double doors to the living area, again on the same level, which opens out into a large kitchen/dining room. The kitchen on the left is fully equipped with modern equipment, fridge/freezer, oven, microwave, dishwasher and washing machine and an extensive supply of crockery, glasses and cutlery for eight people. A central peninsular unit with two stools provides a breakfast bar for early risers or a place to sit and support the chef whilst helping to keep all glasses charged. The oven is electric and the 4 ring hob unit is split between gas and electricity.
The dining area to the right provides seating for up to 8 people looking out over the terrace to the lake and mountains.
An arch leads through to the large living room with sofas, TV, hi fi equipment and a door leading out to the shaded front and side terraces.
A wood burning stove sits in an arch between the kitchen/dining room and living room with a glass fronted doors on both sides providing cozy warmth on cold autumn evenings when the under floor heating is not really required.
All heating and power is provided by our own self-contained system using natural energy supplemented with a diesel generator. The system is completely automatic and provides a reliable and unobtrusive power supply and hot water. The tower room is an added bonus for hot summer days providing a shaded retreat with gentle breezes and spectacular views across the lake. It is open to the air, has power and light and a small table, chairs and loungers. The tower room is reached by an external staircase from one end of the terrace and is not suitable for wheelchair access.
There are two main terrace areas on a level with the house, the front terrace has a table under a shaded gazebo and this will get the benefit of any evening breezes. If more protection is needed then the side terrace is again on the same level but surrounded and protected on three sides, this is a veritable sun trap and we have eaten outside here even in in December! This again has overhead shading from the hot sun.
The land around the house was orange, lemon and orange groves dropping down in terraces from the top plateau which provides a gently sloping area of about 1 acre. The plateau was an old almond grove and we have retained and revived a number of trees, and are gradually replanting and adding irrigation to develop the plateau into a mixed orchard and place of relaxation. The bird life around the house is fascinating, the uncultivated and wild areas and the quiet nature of the land has encouraged all sorts of birds to make it their home. There is a small colony of herons at the back of the peninsular in one corner of the lake and these can regularly be seen fishing in the lake. Swifts and swallows swoop over the plateau whenever there is damp day eating the insects that emerge from the wild grass. The lake is well stocked with fish which can be seen cruising on the surface on warm days. We don’t fish but licenses are available from the Town Hall and local’s fish for perch, lake trout and other local fish from the track that runs around the lake.
There is a small above ground swimming pool on the plateau, an ideal place to cool off in the summer heat with stunning views all around.
Chité is a small village located at an altitude of 650 metres near Lake Beznar in the Lecrín Valley. Lecrín is a semi-tropical valley filled with orange and lemon trees as well as olive, fig and almond trees. It represents the real Andalusia and yet is close to sophisticated Granada and the Mediterranean coast. Several villages in the valley offer shopping, restaurants, bars and other facilities. The nearby village of Albuñuelas is the highest village in the valley, offering a weekly market and several historic buildings, including a 14th Century Moorish Tower. Melegís has more shops and holds the three-day festival of San Juan in late June. From Chite you can walk down to Lake Beznar. Near the motorway, Talará contains the ruins of an Arab castle and offers some nightlife for young people! Dúrcal is the biggest town in the valley, offering a weekly market, some nightlife, English newspapers and access to the Sierra Nevada Parque Natural.
Throughout the Lecrin valley are numerous restaurants ranging from small bars selling Tapas and local platters to Hotels offering fine dining. The scene constantly changes and we have included details and recommendations in our guest information pack at the house. Our local representative will also have up to date local knowledge.
The Alpujarras, the location of Chris Stewart's "Driving over Lemons" book, are 45 minutes’ drive and offer spectacular scenery, interesting walks and attractive white villages to visit.
A beautiful rural house offering peace and tranquility overlooking Lake Beznar. Stunning views and easy access to Granada, Skiing and the Costa Tropical. Superbly equipped and furnished.