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Cortijo Los Lobos, Villanueva del Trabuco, Málaga

Cortijo los Lobos is an exclusive holiday retreat with heated pool and horse riding set in the beautiful olive groves and pine clad national park area of Villanueva del Trabuco, in Andalucía, just 40 minutes from Granada and Málaga airports. The breathtaking mountain views and spectacular rural location offers holiday guests a truly memorable and relaxing holiday. The views from the elevated terrace of the private heated pool are some of the best you will find in Spain. The large, colourful landscaped gardens, horses in paddocks, and numerous outdoor eating and relaxing areas all add to the ambience, making Cortijo Los Lobos a very special place to stay.

When owners Clive and June Wolfe took the decision to move to Spain in the December of 1999 with their 3 young children, little did they know that 14 years later they would not only be running a successful holiday business from their beautiful old Spanish farm, but that they would also have taken on the responsibility of giving homes to numerous abandoned animals along the way. The current animal head count is 16 horses, 1 goat, 1 sheep, 2 dogs, 4 cats and 2 kittens, chickens and fish! Obviously with guests to think of, and their great reputation to keep, the animals are always kept discreetly and are a lovely bonus for animal lovers but for guests not so keen, the general atmosphere and cleanliness of the whole complex belies the fact that there are animals at all, and the dogs are always kept away if not wanted and never allowed to bark or make a nuisance of themselves.

The horses at Cortijo Los Lobos all live together in a family group and Clive and June try to make their living conditions as natural possible – the happiness of their horses is very important to them. All of the horses are bare foot and ridden in bitless bridles. The riding terrain is second to none, with open fields, cool shady pine forests, olive groves and streams. All abilities are catered for, from beginner to advanced, and children are very welcome. Riding can also be provided for non guests, living or holidaying locally.

Clive and June have worked tirelessly over the years, building and restoring their old Farmhouse and outbuildings with their own bare hands to create a stylish holiday complex consisting of 2 pretty rustic 2 bedroom cottages and a 1 bedroom apartment, all centred around a pretty outer courtyard with the heated swimming pool cleverly screened away from the accommodation, and open to the mountain views, providing a peaceful, secluded area for enjoying the sun. The gardens, full of fruit trees, flowers and shrubs lead down to the paddocks where the friendly horses all live together in a very happy herd. Guests visit from all over the world, some to stay on a self catering basis , perhaps with a little horse riding as part of their holiday, others choose to just relax by the pool or borrow a mountain bike or for the more serious horse rider , a full board riding holiday can be provided. There are numerous restaurants and supermarkets within a 5 minute drive, but for a special treat, Clive and June are also happy to prepare a 3 course meal, if booked in advance – their paella nights are famous , often bringing together all of the guests from each cottage, to provide a lovely sociable occasion. Guests mainly book just one cottage which means that they are sharing the farm environment with other guests, but that is never a problem as each cottage has its own private area with sofas for relaxing, dining tables and chairs and gas bbqs. Of course , if there is a large family or group booking both cottages and /or the apartment, the whole outside area can be used and the huge wooden dining table in the communal courtyard is perfect if everyone wants to eat together.

Cortijo Los Lobos is open all year round, and winter guests can enjoy the cosy wood burners in the cottages, the heated pool in spring and autumn, (when the daytime temperatures are often very high, but an unheated pool is too cold to use, ) and even a 3 course meal served in the lovely Farmhouse dining room with a roaring open log fire. At Christmas the cottages are decorated to add to the atmosphere and guests can also go skiing within a 1.5 hour drive.

Clive and June’s hard work and attention to detail has been rewarded with glowing reviews from guests – to date they have 43 five start reviews on Trip adviser from their very happy clients, but with the recession and higher flight prices times are difficult and with so many animal mouths to feed life is often a struggle. The holiday business always comes first though, and nothing is ever allowed to become run down, or sub standard – everything is always freshly painted and anything broken is quickly replaced. As a consequence, repeat bookings and recommendations are common, and Clive and June love to see old faces returning time and time again.

Full details are on the Cortijo Los Lobos website.

As a means of supplementing their income and feeding the animals, June recently wrote a book about their move to Spain, their lives and their rescued animals. “No time for a siesta (the ups and downs of life on a Spanish farm)” was published on Amazon in 2011 and is now available for kindle and as a paperback.

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