|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
Our spacious 16thC house is 5km from Potes in a well watered orchard filled valley, backed by spectacular mountains. On the ground floor there is a kitchen with fridge freezer and dishwasher. Off this is a utility room with loo. Another door gives on to a patio with table, chairs and BBQ. A delightful garden, bordered by a meadow, affords extensive views of mountain, village and valley. The flagged hall has a big dining table, a wood burning stove and a sofa. On the 2nd floor is a large comfortably furnished room (25 sqm) where one sofa converts to a double bed. Off this is a big, en-suite, double bedded room which has a cot. There are also two, twin bedded rooms that share a bathroom. Bedding and towels are provided. There is a narrow south facing balcony from one end of which is a view. There is central heating.
In Potes there is an internet cafe which also has a telephone line
Outdoor Pursuits: A net work of mule tracks and footpaths covers the forests and meadows, ideal for walkers, bikers or horses, (stables in the next village). There are agencies in Potes supporting all outdoor pursuits inc.river canyoning, parapente, mountain biking. There are sports crags in the valley. There is safe swimming and surfing at nearby beaches, lakes and rivers provide refreshing dips, canoes can be hired and there is game fishing.The cable car at Fuente De whisks you up 800m to access the Central Massif and can provide a great start to your walking,climbing or mountain biking day. In winter the area lends itself to ski touring and snow shoeing, equipment can sometimes be hired from Mike Stuart at Casa Gustavo Guesthouse telephone (00 34) 942 732010. He may also be available as a companion. Casa Gustavo is also useful source of information. At all times the high areas in the Picos need to be treated with a great deal of respect and in winter are unsuitable for the inexperienced.
Cultural Interests: The vernacular architecture with its red pantiled roofs,over hanging balconies and heavy beams make for very attractive villages. There is a very modern and impressive visitors centre at Tama.The monastery at San Toribio with its satellite hermitages, the mozarabic church of Santa Maria de Lebena, and the ancient church at Piasca are among the most important sites of their type in Spain. San Toribio was second only to Santiago de Compostella in its importance.On the coast the medieval village of Santillana del Mar is a national monument and the nearby Altamira cave are less than about an hour's drive from the house, the new cave's pre-historic paintings are stunning, visits and an English speaking guide to the cave can be booked at Banco Santander in Potes, on the previous day.
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the cities of Leon, Oveido and Burgos with their cathedrals, churches and museums can each be visited in a long day. Madrid is a day away.
Flora and Fauna: The Picos de Europa, Cordillera Cantabrica and valleys of Liébana are home to an amazingly diverse range of species of both flora & fauna.More than 40 species of orchid alone have been recorded in the Picos. Between the lower meadows and high alpine pastures the opportunity for botanising is endless, partly due to the locals’ use of traditional methods of land management.With eagles and vultures soaring the thermals, capercaillie and black woodpeckers lurking in the woods, little egrets on the coast, redstarts, wrynecks and nightjars around the house and wallcreepers on the limestone, this is a birders' paradise.Among the alpine species to be found here are rock thrush, wheatear, alpine accentor and chough, snow finch and that elusive wallcreeper. .
As to raptors, Griffon & Egyptian vultures are plentiful. There are golden eagles, while booted and short-toed are fairly common in summer, Bonellis' being rather more rare. Kestrels, buzzards and honey buzzards are abundant.
We stayed in this wonderful property over the Christmas period. The intense cold was kept at bay by very efficient central heating and a log stove. The house is a tastefully restored 16th century oak and stone property in a tiny village. The kitchen is very well provided and lots of local ingredients can be bought in Potes. It is like being in someone's beautiful house and I felt privileged to be there! Outside is the great wilderness, wonderful walks from the house and the Picos just behind. Potes has lots of lovely shops and bars and restaurants and adventure is never far away. We ended up being presented with half a wild boar, which took some eating! I cannot recommend it strongly enough!
A very comprehensively equipped, spacious house, full of character. It comfortably accomodated 6 adults and a baby, with plenty of living space.The kitchen is amongst the best equipped I've used in a holiday rental - you can tell that it is a well-loved holiday home. The location is fantastic for mountain walking, yet pretty handy for Potes, the nearest market town. The only downside is having to drive to get your bread most mornings (bakery vans do visit some days). If you're reasonably fit, a bicycle would get you to Potes and back in under an hour, and would be much more pleasant - should we return, I'll bring mine! Thank you for a fantastic time.
We too have had the most fabulous holiday in this wonderful house this August. Based in a working village deep in the heart of the Picos de Europa it is the perfect base from which to explore the region. The house is clean and very well equipped, with comfortable beds and bedding. We were 8 and it absorbed us all easily. I agree wholeheartedly with the positive reviews of the property, but was a bit surprised that one visitor thought it ‘too rustic’! It’s a very sympathetically restored 16th Century rural farm house, with the original, if a little uneven floors (as can be clearly seen in the photographs). The stairs, also original, are wonderful, with wide wooden treads and thick handrails that our children scampered up and down without incident. As to the hamlet, it is a tiny working farming village, high in the mountains of rural Spain – of course there are farm animals housed in barns! I would think that most people who head to this wonderful undiscovered and unspoilt corner of the world, to walk, climb, bird watch or just unwind, will embrace the rustic quality of both house and hamlet, which is integral to what makes this such a special place to stay.
We had a 11 day stay here at the beginning of July. The property is very rustic and its situation amongst some semi derelict properties (one housing small livestock) was not what I was expecting. Our stay was not without incident with a mix up with keys delaying our access, having no water a couple of times, the gas stove being out of action for couple of days and the cleaner turning up a day early thinking we had already left!
The floor downstairs is very uneven and the stairs are very steep so wouldn't be suitable if you are young or old and unsteady on your feet. Saying that the kitchen facilities were good and the outside area with the view to the mountains was amazing which is where we spent a lot of the time. Two twin rooms were quite small but the beds were very comfy with quality bedding.
Birdwatching in the area was very good with numerous birds of prey seen from the garden along with flycatchers and woodpeckers.
Overall I thought the property was too rustic and not as I expected.
Wir verbrachten zwei wundervolle August-Wochen bei tadellosem Wetter im El Empedrado. Ausstattung und Sauberkeit des Hauses, alles war in bester Ordnung, der e-mail-Kontakt mit den Besitzern, von problemloser Einfachheit. Das Haus haben wir so angetroffen wie es die Bilder versprachen, es gab keinerlei negative Überraschungen! Einziger Wermutstropfen waren die Betten, die wohl schon etwas älter sind bzw. nicht mehr heutigen Ansprüchen genügen, da sie für Personen über 1.80 schlicht zu kurz sind. Wir hatten das Gefühl, willkommen zu sein und man hat sich seitens der Besitzer sogar nach unserer Ankunft persönlich erkundigt, ob alles zur unserer Zufriedenheit geregelt sei. Insgesamt ist dieses Haus unbedingt zu empfehlen für Leute, die Gewissheit haben, in einer solchen Einsamkeit ihre Ferien verbringen zu wollen. Für uns war es ideal - jederzeit wieder! Nos gustó muchissimo esta casa, sin duda queremos volver al Empedrador en el futuro!
Just writing to say what a wonderful holiday we had based at 'El Empedrado' in Arguebanes near to Potes. The house is amazing - full of character - with rustic stone and timber floors and ancient wooden beams yet with plenty of modern facilities also. It's in a great location and a short drive from Potes with plenty of bars, resteraunts and shops. We had a very active 2 weeks doing much walking, caving, canyoning and climbing, washed down well with plenty of 'San Miguel' and 'Vino Tinto'. Would definitely use again - many thanks indeed.
Arguebanes is a tiny village 4km from Potes. This is the Liebana region forming the eastern flank of the Picos de Europa National Park, which with its dramatic spires of almost translucent limestone, is home to eagle, vulture, goat and chamois. The house is a superb base for explorations on foot. The valley sides are clothed in oak (some cork), beech and hazel. Home to a rich fauna that includes deer and boar. Many tracks and paths traverse these woods emerging onto flora rich alpine pastures with plenty of orchids and butterflies.The valley supports a rich bird population including many species rarely seen in Britain. The region enjoys a micro climate that permits viniculture and the growth of many Mediterranean species. The cable car at Fuente De provides access to the high ground and is an easy drive . The coast with its coves and caves is only 35 minutes from Potes.The area has a rich cultural life, with fiesta's, pipe music, and folk dancing. Local cheeses and orujo are STRONG.
The prehistoric cave paintings of Santillana are a must.
The Torre in Potes houses a museum devoted to the ''Beatus de Liebana'' world famous illuminated manuscript of the 8th centuary
. All outdoor pursuits including, botanizing & ornithology.
A deposit of 10% is needed to confirm a booking.
Cheques only made payable to H. R. Stuart, or bank transfer details on request
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.