|Minimum Stay||1 - 4 nights|
Our beautiful barn is in its own grounds of 1 hectare at Finca al-manzil. It has its own entrance and complete privacy. Really spacious with upstairs bedroom, a double height sitting/dining room of 45m2 with sofa, armchairs, dining for 6; wood burning stove; plenty of books and dvds; fully equipped kitchen with door to terrace with outside dining table on covered porch. Sunny bathroom with roomy shower. Long terrace with views over the olive groves and up to the peaks. There is also a copse of Holm Oaks for shady siestas and star gazing in clear Extremadura nights. Furnished with care, interesting objects and paintings. Horse riding can be arranged from the finca. Bike hire available. Lovely walks in all directions. FANTASTIC FOR BIRD WATCHING... an eagle owl is nesting in the woods, flocks of azure winged magpies, magical hoopoes plus the usual eagles, hawks and griffin vultures circling up in the crags. Lovely swimming pool set into the natural scenery of the mountains
Finca al-manzil is in the magical Sierra de Montanchez, Extremadura, a wonderful part of Spain with plenty to see and do. This is a unique property full of character, please see reviews. A perfect summer holiday, spring break or winter retreat for families, friends or couples. The CORTIJO for 2 -6 people OR Romantic BARN just for 2. Both houses are in their own walled grounds and have total privacy. There are lovely views from both houses, over the olive groves or up to the spectacular peaks of the sierra. Decorated with great care, a mixture of simple, good quality design with antique and ethnic furnishing, plenty of books for a good read on the patios and terraces. Bedrooms all en-suite, one with roof terrace, perfect for sunny breakfasts or star gazing. The swimming pool is situated in a natural curve of the mountains, surrounded by trees and shrubs, it has a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere with stunning views of mountains and olive groves.
Walk directly into the Sierra on ancient Moorish paths, nature is a delight at any season. BIRD WATCHING IS especially RECOMMENDED with many rare species on the finca including an eagle owl nesting in the high crags behind the finca. The walk to our local village of Montanchez takes 40 mins on a delightful path through the natural scenery of the sierra.
There is also a great 3 hour walk up the watermill gorge, over the mountain and into Montanchez. There are 4 World Heritage towns within 40kms: Caceres, Trujillo, Guadalupe and Merida, fascinating to explore, great night life and shopping. Horse riding, biking, and hiking from the finca. Welcome to join in the local farming activities & fiestas or a fun cooking morning.
Spring is a delightful time to visit the finca, it's a long season from late March until the middle of May, the wild flowers are spectacular and a wonderful time for bird watching.
Summer means lovely lazy days surrounded by beautiful views of olive groves and up to the shady woods of the sierra, the evenings are a delight, long balmy hours for candlelit dining on the beautiful terraces, and possibility of sleeping outside under the breathtaking stars, all very romantic.
Autuum is wonderfully warm until the end of October, another great bird watching opportunity with the winter migrations starting. Time for enjoying the uniquely preserved moorish paths of the sierra.
Cooking holidays at Finca al-manzil: We run an interesting creative cooking holiday at Finca al-manzil several times a year. Please contact Pippa.
Pippa is English, Manfred is Austrian. They have lived in Portugal and Spain for over 20 years. After a huge project of renovating a group of watermills in the Alentejo Portugal and creating the famed Moinhos de Madragoa they moved to Spain and bought the extensive finca on the slopes of the Sierra de Montanchez. It was a labour of love to build and renovate the two houses on the finca, the cortijo and the barn. Pippa comes from an arts background and has worked in England, Portugal and Spain as an interior designer, Manfred ran many successful restaurants in Austria and Portugal...both experiences have been useful in creating Finca al-manzil.
Pippa Sharman purchased this barn in 2000
Totally fell in love with the view of the mountain peaks and the sense of tranquillity.
The nature is so pure in this small but perfect sierra, original moorish paths lead one to spectacular views. Bird life is particularly varied with many rare species nesting in the tranquility of our surroundings.
A place that feels quite secluded, wrapped in tranquility but is quite close to local villages and the 30 min. drive into three large towns, all of which are amazingly interesting historically as well as having some good shops, restaurants and bars. Also the friendly local people who made us so welcome in their community.
Very rewarding for bird watching and generally for the rich bio-diversity of the sierra.
We chose the cortijo at Finca al-manzil after looking at the personal web site, well designed and tempting descriptions of the cortijo and the finca. It seemed to fit in with all our desires for a great holiday; unspoilt nature, bird life, tranquility, good walking, lively village fiestas and fascinating historical towns within an easy 30 minute drive. Also Montanchez is famous for jamon which we all craved.
However, the reality was even more stunning than we could imagine. We were bowled over by the situation of the cortijo, the views, the carefully arranged interiors and the fabulous collection of books, dvds and cds left for us to enjoy.......not to mention the pool.........ahhhh! Bliss! Pippa and Manfred were super, answered all our annoying questions about the area and were on hand if we needed any extra help. Once again a big thanks and especially for the delicious dinners which we ordered on two occasions and help with wine choices. Jane and Horst have already booked for next year and I really hope we can all make it for another wonderful two weeks.
The Barn is a simple, but comfortable place to stay, where you can have sun as well as shadow. There is a nice view towards a beautiful landscape. We did several walks in the neighbourhoud. The place is very apt for trips by car to beautiful cities like Cáceres, Merida and Trujillo.
just returned after 13 nights stay at the barn at finca al-manzil.
found it a basic but clean, peaceful and wonderfully situated retreat.
owners are friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and very discreet.
the barn is large and airy, but can get HOT, esp. at night, so
prepare to sleep armed with COLD water bottles!
situation very rural so plenty of ALL KINDS of wildlife
RECOMMENDATIONS - hire-car (a must), a torch, binoculars.
trujillo, merida, guadalupe, caceres, monfrague, marvao (portugal)
ALL worth a visit. the whole area is charming so get out & explore
EATING OUT - montanera in montanchez is good, so are the three
restaurants by hotel las glorias (6 miles approx) on road to trujillo.
they all do 'menu del dia' which comprise good hearty local food,
at a price that won't break the bank.
one negative point, the barn claims a television, but as it does not have an aerial this is just a video / dvd monitor NO WIMBLEDON.
also watch your fingers in the side door!
Wir waren eine Woche in der Barn. Die Lage ist wunderbar abgelegen aber doch sehr gut zu erreichen. Die Landschaft rundherum ist sehr reizvoll und man kann direkt von der Finca interessante Wanderungen unternehmen.
Pippa und Manfred sind sehr angenehme und unauffällige Gastgeber. Wir werden mit Sicherheit in einigen Jahren nochmals Gäste sein.
Barbara und Lothar
Dès notre arrivée nous avons été séduits par la situation de la finca. La grange est nichée dans un écrin de verdure au pied des premiers contreforts de la Sierra de Montanchez. Le chemin d'accès bordé de murets de pierre sèche serpente entre les oliviers et les chênes-liège. Partout les floraisons de viperine, de camomille, de cistes, de lavande forment des parterres colorés du plus bel effet.
D'un point de vue ornithologique la finca est également remarquable et bon nombre des espèces typiques de la région sont observables sur place ou dans les environs. Durant notre séjour les matinées étaient agrémentées des allées et venues des pies bleues (azure winged magpie), les alentours de la grange bruissaient des chants de nombreux passereaux dont parmi les plus remarquables: loriot (golden oriole) huppe (hoopoe) rossignol (nightingale) fauvette mélanocéphale (sardinian warbler) serin cini (serin). Nous observons régulièrement des poursuites de coucou (cuckoo) et plusieurs pies-grièches à tête rousse (woodchat shrike) autour de la maison. Les guêpiers (bee-eater) sont revenus de la migration et commencent à creuser des galeries dans les talus.
Dans l'après-midi nous avons pu suivre à plusieurs reprises les parades de 2 couples de circaetes (short-toed eagle) ainsi que la chasse d'un couple d'aigles de Bonelli (Bonelli's eagle) au-dessus des arêtes dominant la finca. Milan noir (black kite) aigle botté (booted eagle) vautour percnoptère (egyptian vulture) vautour fauve (griffon vulture) et cigogne blanche (white stork) planent régulièrement aux alentours.
Mais un des sommets du séjour était sans conteste les apparitions d'un couple de grand-ducs (eagle owl) presque tous les soirs sur les crêtes au-dessus de la finca. A une occasion nous avons pu apercevoir un des poussins de l'année rejoindre un des adultes sur un rocher. C'était vraiment un grand moment pour un ornithologue de diner avec le chant de ces rapaces comme ambiance sonore!
La finca constitue également une intéressante base pour explorer les milieux intéressants des alentours comme les dehesas et les steppes autour de Trujillo et Caceres, et observer d'autres espèces comme les outardes (great and little bustards) le rollier (roller) le coucou-geai (spotted cuckoo) le vautour moine (black vulture) et bien d'autres que la brieveté de notre séjour ne nous a pas permis de découvrir.
C'est une bonne raison pour revenir plus longuement dans le futur.
We stayed in the barn for 10 days in April. What a delight, the wild flowers were stunning, the whole barn meadow was ablaze with camomile, wild marigolds and deep purple bugloss. The barn itself was a haven of peace, airy space and comfort. We are very keen on bird life and nature generally, we had hours of interest sitting on the porch observing the azure winged magpies and many other species, in the evening the eagle owl started its wonderful low hoot. There are great walks directly from the barn straight into the sierra and up to the castle of Montanchez. We also did a few excursions further afield to the three main towns, full of culture and atmosphere. Pippa was very helpful with any questions about the area, specially on where to eat in the towns.
A very special place!
Ruim huis met verzorgd en kunstzinnig interieur. Beneden veel leefruimte en heerlijk om op de veranda te zitten en naar de omgeving te kijken. Regelmatig hoor je de paarden hinniken en we zagen een Wielewaal vliegen.
. De slaapruimte boven werd wel wat warm savonds en je kunt makkelijk je hoofd stoten bij het bed onder hetr schuine dak.
Finca al-manzil is in the Sierra de Montanchez , Extremadura. The sierra is a magical place, still rich in the traditional olive, fig and vine cultivation, also a sanctuary for wild life. We have an eagle owl nesting in the peaks behind the finca. Walking and bird watching are unique experiences in our woods and mountain paths, views are spectacular in any direction. The slow pace of life still goes on in our local village of Montanchez, famed for the delicious jamon iberico which can be sampled in the little bars on the plaza where it's fun to watch the life of the village going on, still plenty of donkey traffic. A walk up to the Moorish castle is worthwhile, amazing views from this originally Roman fortress.
.The finca is exactly in the middle of the golden triangle of 3 world heritage towns, Caceres, Trujillo and Merida, 40kms to any of them. Each town is a delightful experience, Merida for the Roman ruins and beautiful Moneo museum of Roman art; Caceres for its intact medieval centre and lively night life including the famous Atrio restarurant; Trujillo is an undiscovered gem, full of conquistardor palaces, Moorish gardens and the Plaza Mayor at sundown with the beautiful buildings turned to gold.
The famed monastery of Guadalupe is 1 hour away, a special experience to visit the black madonna and explore the remote mountain town.
Bird Watching for very rare species at the national park of Monfrague and in the sierra of Villuercas.
Nearest airports are Seville, Madrid and Lisbon.
Other Activities: Cooking holidays,Trekking with Donkeys, Hiking, Bird Watching, Property Searching /Buying