The house is bright, spacious and comfortable, and stands in the middle of 3.6 hectares of traditional fig and olive orchard, including over 1 hectare of oak woodland leading down to a secluded mountain river. It is a quite remote setting, deep in nature, yet only 5 minutes’ drive from the historic village of Cuacos de Yuste.
The house was built in 1998, by extensively restoring and extending a traditional stone barn. The walls are 50-60cm thick (stone + termoarcilla ceramic blocks) and the windows are solid chestnut and double-glazed. The roof and floor upstairs are timber, the floor downstairs is traditional ceramic tiles.
It is entirely off-grid and self-sufficient, with electricity (photovoltaic converted to 230v) and hot water from solar panels and heating/hot water from wood-burning stoves, with sufficient wood from sustainable thinning of the woodland. Water is pumped with solar power from a borehole and fed to the house by gravity from a tank. There is sufficient solar power for a tree-felling electric chainsaw and powerful strimmer.
There are terraces on all sides of the house, shaded by fig trees and vines in the summer, with beautiful views of surrounding hills. It is quite isolated and not overlooked by other houses nearby.
The house has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, 1 shower room, a kitchen-diner, living room with woodburning stove, large open plan study/library on the first floor with double doors onto an east-facing balcony/terrace, and a west-facing sun room with very large windows looking out onto the orchards, woods and mountains.
The bedrooms are arranged over 2 floors. On the ground floor is a large double bedroom a woodburning stove, and double doors opening onto the terrace shaded in summer by a large vine. There is also a single bedroom downstairs currently with bunk beds. Upstairs there is another good size double bedroom, and another single bedroom.
There is a 4m x 8m swimming pool on a lower south-west facing terrace adjacent to the house. The pump and filter system are in need of renewal but the pool itself is sound and has no leaks.
There is a separate large garage with power and a mezzanine for extra storage, plus roofed parking for 3-4 cars.
The mixed olive and fig orchard covers 2.3 hectares and has approximately 200 olive and 100 fig trees. The woodland is 1.3 hectares of Pyrenean oak. The outside perimeter of the farm is a traditional wide drystone wall, typical of the area. The land provides good grazing for horses.
Olive oil production for the last two harvests was 650 litres per harvest. Fig harvests are variable, up to 1000 kg of sun-dried figs. The land/trees were certified organic for many years, and although the certification has now lapsed, the farm has been managed under organic methods continuously for over 20 years.
The woodland slopes down to a secluded river with alder-ash gallery woodland that is protected under Natura 2000 nature legislation and has no road access, so almost nobody else goes there – perfect for a cooling dip in the summer.
The land is very rich in wildlife and a paradise for bird-watchers and nature-lovers. In and around the farm, at the right time of year, you can see (amongst many other things) golden orioles, bee-eaters, black redstarts, azure winged magpies, short-toed eagles, griffon vultures, black storks, orange-spotted emerald dragonfly, ocellated lizards and praying mantis. There are otters and Pyrenean desman in the river.
The house has been successfully used for holiday rental over several years, with many glowing reviews on Airbnb and Homeaway. See www.homeaway.co.uk property 8007354. If you are interested in the house, why not book it for a few days, or longer (special rates available)?
The farm is nestled in the foothills of the Gredos mountains in the district of La Vera, in the north of Extremadura, one of Spain’s most attractive and undiscovered regions.
La Vera is a district of mountains, rivers and rolling foothills, with a rich diversity of landuses and habitats. The uplands are a mosaic of extensive grazing (goats and cattle) and forest, interspersed with tree crops such as olives, chestnuts and cherries on terraces with dry-stone walls. Further down the slope towards the river Tiétar (this big river and Natura 2000 site is the southern boundary of La Vera) there are dehesa wooded pastures of Holm and cork oak, as well as irrigated peppers and tobacco.
La Vera is famous for its local products, such as goat’s cheese, olive oil, figs and pimentón (smoked paprika).
The Gredos mountains dominate the district to the north and offer stunning walks and peaks of over 2000 metres. There are golden eagles, black vultures and red-backed shrike in these uplands, as well as one of the most diverse butterfly populations in Spain.
Monfragüe Natural Park (a mecca for bird watchers) is 45 minutes away.
The historic village of Cuacos de Yuste is 5 minutes’ drive from the farm. It has 500 inhabitants, several small food shops and restaurants, and a very nice public swimming pool set in gardens (July-August only). Cuacos de Yuste is famous for its small, ancient monastery, chosen for his retirement by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain and much of Europe and South America. It also hosts a huge bat colony protected under Natura 2000 legislation.
The main town of La Vera is Plasencia, an attractive, atmospheric and bustling place with open-air markets in the main square (Plaza Mayor), a fine cathedral, a classic Parador housed in an ancient castle, and a nice park on the banks of the river Jerte. It is an attractive town and has important facilities such as big supermarkets and the main hospital.