This delightful, newly restored, marble-lined property is tucked away amid the white-washed streets of old Carmona. It is just minutes from bars and restaurants, the Seville Parador (built in the castle of King Pedro the Cruel) and other ancient sites and museums, and only a 20 minute drive from Seville airport. The secure entry system leads into a traditional cloistered courtyard, with table and chairs for al fresco dining. Adjacent are a well equipped kitchen/breakfast room, a laundry/utility room and sitting/dining room, complete with TV and DVD player. Upstairs three double, low-allergen, air-conditioned rooms each have their own bathrooms. Further stairs lead to an extensive roof area, complete with pergola, plunge-pool and sun-loungers. All bed linen and towels are supplied.
A local English-speaking caretaker can offer mini-bus transport to/from the airport, and to regional equestrian, flamenco or other events, and also organise car hire. Adjacent secure parking is available.
What's it like there?: Carmona has been called 'The Light of Europe' and the 13th Century King Ferdinand III said that it shone like the Morning Star over Andalucia. 'Carmo' to the Romans, the town became the most important in their Spanish territory. Sections of the Emperor Augustus' great highway can still be seen, together with a Roman bridge, a necropolis (cemetery - open to the public and well worth a visit) and amphitheatre. Subsequent occupations by the Moors and then the Christians have added to the fortifications and rich architectural history.
Situated on a spur of high ground overlooking the Seville plain it is easy to appreciate Carmona's strategic importance in ancient times. Today it is as well situated as a base from which to make sorties into the region, to explore Seville, the beautiful regional capital (30 km away with a bus service) or Cordoba, down to the coast at Huelva, or to walk in the gentle mountains to the North.
Eating out: Carmona boasts a remarkable number and variety of bars and restaurants, from a place where it is still possible to buy a half litre of beer for €1 to the elegance of the the Parador, inside King Pedro's palace. There's even an Irish Bar near by. Favourites of ours are Casa Curro Montoya and El Zahorí, or you could dine on the terrace at Los Molinos, watching the Moon rise over the plain below.
Cuisine is typically Andalucian, ranging from tasty tapas to delicious platters of local produce. Ham is popular and appears in a variety of cuts and guises, seafood is excellent and there are very good salad and vegetable preparations. Do try the local speciality Espinacas con Garbanzos, a dish of spinach and chick-peas, with a hint of cumin.
Don't wait for lunch to eat out - join locals for breakfast in a bar, with coffee and toast (jam or olive oil on top) and perhaps be very Spanish and have a brandy too!