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A touch of mysterious Andalucia on the patio of the Finca
Ed’s Note: This is the fifth of the ELDA TRAVELS series by the wanderlust husband and wife team who makes you think no place in Spain or Portugal is worth visiting if Elda (Elizabeth and David White) hadn’t been there.
In a relatively unknown region of Andalucía there is a delightful casa rural run by descendants of William Wordsworth, the famous English poet of the late 18th and early 19th century.
Some seven years ago Charles Wordsworth and his lovely Sevillana wife, Reyes, established Finca la Fronda near the small village of Alajar, not far from the city of Aracena in the wooded hills of northwestern Huelva. Although only a little over an hour’s drive from Seville, this charming seven room hotel lies in the midst of chestnut and cork forests in the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Aracena, and at 750 meters above sea level, one is guaranteed cooler nights even in the height of summer. Situated in the middle of the Sierra de Aracena and Los Picos de Aroche the area is a paradise for nature lovers with forests above and below the hotel. There are multiple walks available for the interested visitor and la Fronda will provide guided walking tours through the countryside, along with a picnic lunch for a welcome midday repast.
Cristina and Alec Wordsworth now run the business, growing in popularity with guests coming from many parts of Spain as well as from the UK and the rest of the world. This is the region of the fabulous jamón iberico de bellota, of course, a treat at la Fronda, among other delights from the kitchen, where Alec’s culinary skills delight the guests each evening with a myriad of delicious food, not just ham. Breakfasts are serious meals as well, with homemade breads, bakery, yogurt and jams, jamón of course, as well as fresh fruit and local produce such as goat cheese, pates, etc.
The region is also known for its great variety of mushrooms and nearby towns have a number of good restaurants with excellent cuisine.
The town of Aracena has some interesting monuments to visit, such as the Gruta de las Maravillas, a cave system with underground lakes and the Iglesia de los Templarios (Church of the Templars) built over a medieval castle. Naturally there is also a Museo del Jamón.
The rooms at la Fronda are very spacious and comfortable — each room has its own garden terrace, and all look over beautiful vistas. An attractive Moorish type patio greets visitors as they enter. Meals can be taken outdoors in warmer months, and down a short path one can walk to a lovely swimming pool. The main lounge has a large fireplace and nearby hangs a portrait of the poet, Wordsworth, painted recently by a local artist, a gift from Cristina and Alec to Charles and Reyes. In one corner stands a piano where jazz concerts are held Saturday nights.
What a marvelous place for a complete get-away from one’s normal lifestyle. They even admit well-behaved dogs.
La Fronda’s website and social media
Mushrooms/Larisa Koshkina, PD/cropped
Wordsworth/summonedbyfells, CC BY2.0. Framed
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