Cave Home Bed and Breakfast | Air BnB, Sacromonte, Spain

Air B & B Inspiration and a cave home in Spain

Ok so I am a massive fan of Air BnB, there’s always somewhere unusual to stay and great when you are on a budget. This time we stayed in a cave (yes an actual cave) in the stunning Spanish mountain town of Sacromonte. As you can see from the photos the landscape is absolutely beautiful; pretty cave houses, within whitewashed caves, punctuated with cactai, against a dramatic mountain backdrop.

Sacromonte literally means Sacred Mountain. It is a traditional neighbourhood in Granada, Andalusia. owes its name he alleged discovery of relics and the “lead books the Sacromonte”that came to be interpreted as the fifth gospel. Sacromonte is also the traditional neighborhood of the Granadian Gypsy folk and we got a real taste of traditional gypsy life when we went to visit a flamenco show at one of the few bar/restuarants in the area. Ole! These women were firey- the passion that came from their feet and the confidence that came from just one look – wow!

The cave home itsef can be booked online via Air BnB. The decor was just perfect, with bohemian details, rich traditional tapestries and Moroccan inspired cushions. Raquel our host was lovely though didn’t speak much English, but we seemed to get by! She left us eggs and jam and bread in the fridge, so breakfast could be cooked on the little kitchen stove and enjoyed in the garden before a day trip.

I have to admit it as a little spooky at night because it was so quiet, we we’re set right into the mountain side, but I kind of liked that. It was especially good when the temperatures soared into the late 30s, as it made for a fabulous cool retreat at the end of the day. Though it did feel a  little damp but nothing that couldn’t be solved with the de-humidifier.

All in all I highly recommend travelling to Sacromonte, and if you get chance to stay in one of the cave homes, you should definitely consider it. I guarantee you won’t stay find many places quite like this!!

Top Things To See When You Are In Granada or Sacromonte

  1. The Souks for Jewellery, bags and Moorish inspired goods galore
  2. The Alhambrah Palace
  3. The traditional Hamman baths

 

Travelling in Sacromonte in Spain with Air B & B
Cave home entrance

 

 

Inside our cave home bed and breakfast in Spain

 

Up on the roof terrace

 

Discovering Tuscany: Our quirky B&B in Pietrasanta

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Mini-moon part 2

Are you looking to book a holiday that is a little less touristy for 2017? Perhaps a last minute October break is on the cards. Whatever your plans, I hope to inspire you to make a decision that is a little less ordinary for your next break away.

Last year we stayed in an Air BnB, by Lake Garda. Off the beaten track, up a mountain and in the middle of nowhere; it was a real hidden gem. Its tranquility provided such relaxation, and our hosts home and cuisine made our stay truly authentic. In fact we loved it so much we decide to look for somewhere similar for our mini-moon.

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Le Stipe di Sopora, our Tuscan sanctuary

We discovered Le Stipe di Sopora, whilst browsing online and instantly fell in love with her stunning photos- this was the place for us. (Silvia told us at the time of writing, that she could be booked via Air B n B, booking.com and others).

Sylvia, our host was warm and friendly and quick to respond, which made us feel instantly at ease. She even cooked us a delicious Tuscan meal of home-made pasta, basil and tomato bruschetta and local home-made lager (hic!) on our arrival evening.

Le Stipe is only 4 km from Pietrasanta, a pretty market town in northern Italy in the Province of Tuscany. What made Sylvia’s cosy home stand out against all the other hotels and B&Bs we could have stayed in, was its quirky, personal touches and rustic charm.

Sylvia’s home is a classically furnished 19th-century Tuscan building. The beautiful farmhouse-style kitchen had a large fireplace and original marble skink which was decorated with beautiful coloured mis-matched tiles. You can see Sylvia has restored her home with love, she has kept the original features including the timber ceiling and terracotta brickwork. Colourful artworks line the stairwell providing moments of wonder as you make your way up the stairs. *Starts making plans to transform the flat into a Tusacan farmhouse.*

As you enter the bedroom you are instantly hit with how bright, clean and airy it is. Broderie Analgise cushions, gilded antiques, Moroccan inspired flooring and hanging wall art come together to make a dreamy sanctuary for some much-needed rest. When you open the chestnut brown shuttered windows, you get incredible view over the village, the hills and beyond. You don’t get these views in Leeds that’s for sure.

One of our favourite things to do was relax and waste some serious time in the ancient courtyard, in the hammock reading a book.  There are few things more perfect in life than lounging in a hammock with a book don’t you think?

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Here’s a few of the town’s highlights

Pietrasanta Marina: One of the best beaches in Italy

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The golden sands against a mountain back drop was insanely beautiful and so were the people. Quite possibly the most stunning beach we have been to in Italy.

Pietrasanta vintage market: On first Sunday of the month

As any vintage mama knows there’s always time for a spot of bargain hunting. I got my haggle game on and snapped up this gorgeous blue vintage dress for 5 Euros! I seriously considered leaving all my luggage and bringing a Moroccan rug home instead. And If I have had space I would have tried to smuggle Sylvia in there too!

Le Stipe di Sopora was the perfect Tuscan hideaway. I would highly recommend this or any other similar BnB, if you want to get a true taste of your Italy.

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Groovy Threads and Style Inspiration

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AirB&B. A review from Lake Garda

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Most seasoned travellers will have heard of AirB&B, but I am still surprised that some of the people I speak to haven’t hear d of it. Here’s how they describe it on the website:

“Whether a flat for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries.”

In short opens up an array of opportunities above and beyond the usual hotels and hostels you find on travel websites and if you haven’t given it a go, here’s our review to help you decide if it is for you.

A brief review of DH Lawrence slice of heaven, Lake Garda Italy.

Our must haves

  • Within budget
  • A non- touristy location
  • Sun

Firstly downloaded the smarphone app. This makes creating wishlists, communicating with hosts and booking super easy.

I spent hours browsing. My wish list now includes a gypsy caravans in the Alps, a room in a tower in Florence and a tree top retreat somewhere unpronounceable.

We picked Lake Garda. Clearly a beautiful location but more so, this is a place we felt we could get away from it all. Our location – “San Gaudenzio” in Garagnano. Our reason – well, apart from the stunning photos on their listing, it was the many positive reviews from previous holiday makers.

We were not disappointed- our stay with this wonderful couple was simply perfect.

If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, off the beaten track – this is for you. The view from the balcony was breathtaking in the day, and at night we enjoyed a glass of wine, (or three!) listening to music looking up at the stars- what a way to spend an evening in!

Our hosts were so kind and made us immediately feel welcome -nothing was too much trouble from making us a morning coffee in their (huge) olive garden to sharing advice to help us find the best spots to visit in our short stay.

They were happy to leave us to our privacy but when we needed them they were around and even dropped us off in the car as there were only a few buses that ran to and from the town.

The apartment was decorated with pretty vintage touches, right up my street, which made it really personal but as it was a separate area we didn’t feel like we were literally staying in someone else’s house.

Gargnano has its own stony “beach” by the lake so we had two days of pure relaxation where we did nothing but laze on the beach and look at the lake on the mountainseide. When it was time to explore we went to Venice but Verona is also only about an hour away.

One of the best places we visited was Malcesine, in the pic below- here we took a cable car to the top of Monte Blaldo the views were insane! I felt like I was ontop of the world.

To book where we stayed visit the link https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/5804602

 

Our top tips for booking a successful AirB&B trip

  1. Always read the reviews. Its not always easy to leave someone you have stayed with something that is anything less than more or less positive but if they are overwhelmingly positive (like where we stayed) you can’t go too far wrong
  2. Sorry for starting the obvious but a good gauge in how your hosts will be is how they responds to your messages.
  3. It’s not a real b&b or a hotel so treat it as it is, someone’s home and have the expectations to match (ie they aren’t a hotel owner) so your expectations match .

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