AROUND CASA AVA
Casa Ava is situated just on the southern boundaries of the 'Parque Naturel de la Sierra Subbetica'. It lies off a small country road between Iznajar and Rute on the shores of a large man made lake the Embalse de Iznajar.
Rute is a typical white hilltop Andalucian town and is just a five minute drive away. This is where you can find a thriving super market with great mounds of fresh prawns and other fish, meat and ham, wine, beer, bread and fresh veggies. There is a market every Saturday with interesting Spanish wares. Plus banks and cafes, bars etc. There are a couple of hotels if needed.
Iznajar is another beautiful hilltop town, overlooking the magnificent Lake Iznajar. The lake is not unlike a Scottish loch, particularly in the early morning mist, although this one is surrounded by hills clad with olive groves. Lake Iznajar has a beach where you can swim and sail, and fish in the waters.
There are a few bars close by where you can while away a long lunchtime or evening, eating simple local food, with a bottle of wine or beer. El Charcon is just along the road and serves monster meals at very reasonable prices.
The hotel at Iznajar, El Cortijo de Iznajar, serves a slightly wider, more international menu, still based on local produce.
The Finca de la Bobadilla, offers a choice of three restaurants, from formal to smart casual dining. An internationally renowned resort and restaurant, and it is only a 15-minute drive away from Casa Ava.
BIRD WATCHING, GOLF, ETC
Subbetica Park Naturel is a haven for birdwatching in Andalusia. It is home to many rare birds, insects and plants. For you flower enthusiasts spring and autumn are the perfect time to visit as the hillsides are like carpets of wild flowers. Bird watchers, you wont feel left out. You can expect to see peregrine falcons, eagles, kestrels and vultures. Griffon Vultures can be seen soaring on thermals, and Peregrine Falcons fly by Casa Ava almost every day.
Half an hour from Casa Ava is Fuente de Piedra, another amazing place for birdwatching in Andalusia. It is the home of Spains only breeding colony of flamingos.
Antequera (half an hour) is a lovely old town with ancient dolmens, plenty of fascinating old churches and another venue for golfing in Andalusia.
There are over 30 golf courses one hour from Casa Ava in the province of Malaga. Nearer there is a golf course half hour away near Antequera, and two more under construction. Antequera Golf hosts its annual charity golf challenge on the 16th of October. Cordoba, an hour away from Casa Ava not only offers a beautiful golf course the Club de Campo de Cordoba for enthusiasts but also the city is rich in culture and a visit to one of the many Spanish festivals is a must.
The Sierra Subbetica is range of rolling limestone hillsides covered in olive trees and castle ruins situated in the heart of Andalucia. This part of Andalucia is full of pretty towns and villages with family run restaurants and tapas bars aplenty. But unlike the seaside it is not overrun with tourists making this a great place for a family holiday.
Many amazing rock formations in El Torcal de Antequera nature reserve south of Antequera. There is more wildlife at El Torcal National Park, a stunning area with majestic and fascinating limestone columns and formations, with various marked walking trails. With great vistas and sign-posted trails from the visitor centre.
South of the park (Sierra Subbetica) is the picturesque town of Iznajar. Iznajar was originally an old Moorish fort. It is perched high on the hillside and sweeps down to the lake of Iznajar. The castle Alcazaba dates from the eighth century with the church of Santiago added in the sixteenth. The most stunning views of the lake are afforded by the little plaza next to the church.
The Sierra Nevada mountains are an hour and a half away for skiing and other winter sports in Andalucia.
Peter and Christine Gaut from Stroud wrote: "We have just returned from our fifth visit to Casa Ava and find it more relaxing every year. The Casa welcomes us as if we were returning home. The lazy days spent reading and sorting the world out, then a swim in the large pool when it gets a bit hot! What else could you want in a holiday? We will be back next year – perhaps for longer!