Having both spent several years living and working in South America and Spain, we met in Panama City on a trip of a lifetime in 2000. Unsurprisingly, a love of travel and all things Hispanic is in the blood.
Working in hotels and travel, we’ve always loved finding places to stay which are individual, off-the-beaten-track and full of character. Over the years, these experiences helped stoke a desire to one day set up our own place in Spain.
So, whilst working our day jobs we hatched the big dream. Travelling through Extremadura and Andalucia on holiday, while looking for the ideal location, we fell in love with Priego de Córdoba and the surrounding Subbética mountains, one of the least-visited National Parks in Spain.
Over 40 cortijos (farm houses) later we found what we were looking for – a charming old ruined olive farm, set in a beautiful river valley. After more than 5 years of planning, paperwork and renovation, and plenty of delays and frustrations along the way we got there at last, welcoming our first guests in late 2009.
Only weeks before we opened, our lovely dog (Ruby) turned up at the house – an abandoned stray in need of a loving home! Amazing timing for us both as she’s now very much our “house dog” and a great walking guide for you too!
And just before Christmas 2012 we became 3 plus Ruby when our gorgeous little boy, Max, was born in Cordoba hospital. We all look forward to welcoming you to our home, Casa Olea, and introducing you to this beautiful, hidden corner of Andalucia.
Claire, Tim, Max & Ruby
Go walking or mountain biking amid the dramatic limestone peaks and peaceful river valleys of the Sierras Subbeticas, one of the least-known National Parks in Spain. Cycle along the Via Verde, the reclaimed "Olive train" railway, to the beautiful white village of Zuheros; or go for a day's skiing in the Sierra Nevada near Granada (Dec-Apr). Or, why not spend the day exploring the Alhambra in Granada or the Mezquita in Cordoba, both an hour's drive away from Casa Olea. Venture out for the day and visit the Alhambra in Granada or the Mezquita in Córdoba, both just 1 hour's drive away. Closer to home, don’t miss the narrow cobbled streets and Baroque churches of Priego de Córdoba, or the white villages of Carcabuey, Almedinilla, Zagrilla and Zuheros. Or, head into Jaén and visit the Renaissance towns of Úbeda and Baeza, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Chill out by the pool and get stuck into a new book; or swing and snooze in a hammock under our shady pergola. Go for a wander through the olive groves along the river; or take a mountain bike out for a gentle evening ride. Sit out on our terrace and enjoy a sundowner, then dinner and star gazing to the sound of our noisy neighbours – frogs, secadas, owls and nightingales! Experience the quiet side of Spain. Come back from a day’s exploring and enjoy a romantic dinner under the stars. Sample award-winning local olive oils, hams and cheeses and our original range of wines from all over Spain, including many from local, family-run bodegas in Andalucia. At Casa Olea, we offer simple but tasty home cooking, based on fresh, locally-sourced and seasonal produce. Experience the emotive religious processions of Semana Santa (Easter) or Corpus Christi (June) in Priego de Cordoba. Combine your stay at Casa Olea with one of the major city ferias, eg Seville (April) or Cordoba (May), or a host of interesting Music & Arts festivals, eg Cordoba Guitar Festival (July). In the summer months, take part in village life and join in with the many colourful local ferias and romerias.