El Cortijo de los Siete Olivos

(The Farm of Seven Olive Trees)
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 The village of Montefrio.

We are 5 minutes drive from the small hill town of Montefrio. One of the white towns (pueblos blancos) of Andalucia, Montefrio was the last place to be besieged by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1486 before the final retreat of the Moors from Granada. From Montefrio, Granada is only a 40 km drive, with Seville and Cordoba in easy reach. Malaga is an hour and a half away by car. We normally fly there and collect a hire car at the airport. Montefrio itself is unspoilt by tourism. It's a working town of olive farmers where few people speak English, but their friendly helpful manner more than compensates for our inadequate Spanish.

view of the Arab fortress from Montefrio town centre.

Montefrio has a Tourist Office - Oficina de Turismo - with English-speaking receptionist (closed on Mondays and holidays), health clinic 'Centro de Salud' open round the clock (foreigners are usually treated free of charge unless they have to be referred to the hospital in Granada), 4 bank machines, 4 pay phones taking coins and cards, numerous bars, restaurants and grocery stores, including excellent small-sized supermarkets, IBERPLUS and COVIRAN. Bars and restaurants have one closing day per week but are as a rule all open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and shops are open from Monday to Friday and Saturday morning until 2.00 pm. Supermarkets are the only shops open on Saturday afternoons, from 4 or 5 to 8 or 9 pm, depending on the season of the year. On Sunday mornings the bakery is open - but all other shops are closed, so if you are arriving late Saturday or Sunday you need to bring some provisions with you, or rely on eating out in Montefrio. All banks and government offices are open from Monday to Friday, mornings only (from about 9 am to 2 pm).

Email in Montefrio: There is an Internet shop in front of the Guardia Civil Station, and the Magenta Computer Academy on the Calle del Muro, near the Plaza, has an Internet rental service.

National and Local Holidays: all grocery stores are closed on Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday and August 15th, the Day of our Holy Patron, la Virgen de los Remedios, as well as, generally, on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. You will always find the bars and restaurants open, each establishment closes one day a week but this day is usually different for each of them.

What's to see and do in Montefrio?

The region of Montefrio has been inhabited for thousands of years, going back to the middle of the Stone Age.   You can see traces here of many different cultures and civilizations as well as finding opportunities for walking, cycling, climbing and bird watching.

Archaeological sites: From our house you can walk or drive to the following:

El Castellon
This is ruined mediaeval village built on a wooded rocky outcrop between the eighth and tenth centuries. This largely unexplored site contains fascinating evidence of Moorish settlement in the area and affords spectacular views of the Arroyo de Los Molinos - the stream which flows through this narrow plunging valley forms a series of small waterfalls, once used to drive several Roman mills, now in ruins.

Las Peñas de Los Gitanos.
This protected area of pre- historic tombs or dolmens dates from the Stone Age. The cliffs, gorges and meadows form a spectacular landscape, densely wooded with Mediterranean oaks and bushes.   This amazingly unspoilt site has an almost magical atmosphere.   Approached from a narrow tree-lined track you arrive at a wide and tranquil meadow, dappled green in springtime, dry and golden in summer, bordered on one side by a rocky ridge, and dotted with cairns and tombs.

Some historical monuments in the town

•  The Arab Fortress: built by Yusuf 1 on top of the rocky outcrop in the 14 th Century.

•  The Church of the Villa: built inside the remains of the Arab fortress as a symbol of the victory of Christianity over Islam. Designed by the famous architect Diego de Siloe in the 16 th C., its style is a blend of Gothic and Renaissance.

•  The Town Hall, originally an 18th C. palace.

•  La Casa de Oficios was built in the 16 th C. as a Guildhall, and currently houses the tourist office.

•  The Church of the Encarnacion: Designed in neo-classical style characteristic of 18th C . Granada by the famous Madrid architect Ventura Rodriguez it dominates the town centre with its unusual round shape and huge dome.

•  El Posito: An 18th C. grain store built in neo-classical style by Francisco Aguado, currently a meeting place and exhibition hall.

•  El Convento: The Church of San Antonio and its adjacent convent currently undergoing restoration, reached by one of the steepest streets in this hilly little town and offering wonderful views from its wide plaza.



If you enjoy being active Montefrio offers the possibility of tennis, horse riding and cycling , with the town providing one of the staging posts for the Ruta HipoNova Touring race in 2005.  The landscape is traced by hundreds of trails through olive groves and patches of dark holm oaks, with ruined stone farmhouses recalling a time when the land was more peopled, and as you walk to the Stone Age dolmen site you can discover an area of natural vertical cliffs, popular with local climbers at weekends.

During the Spanish school summer break , the town swimming pool is open.   It is open air, with an Olympic size pool for adults, and a small pool for children. It has a bar/cafe offering simple meals with large trees shading tables and chairs .