As Spanish celebrities go, few are as loved and as timeless as Julio Iglesias. The 260 million worldwide record seller recently married his partner of 20 years, Dutch model Miranda Rijnsburger, and they have chosen the Andalucian village of Ojén
in which to settle. Obscurity will no longer be an option for this petite village of just 2,000 inhabitants.
Iglesias has a long-standing relationship with Ojén and owns a sprawling family country estate on its outskirts. Locals occasionally spy the crooner and family members enjoying a cool drink at one of Ojén's many hostelries tucked into the labyrinthine streets and it's easy to understand Iglesias' fascination with the village.
Of Moorish origin, Ojén is pure undiluted Andalucia
and as postcard-perfect as you'll get on the Costa del Sol. The asymmetrical whitewashed townhouses cloaked in colourful bougainvilleas crowd around a stunning 15th century Church square bustling with pavement cafes and bars, splashing fountains, children at play, the elderly observing and a colourful fresh produce market on a Saturday morning.
Venture moments beyond the vibrant centre and pueblo-life gives way to untainted countryside laden with the scent and sight of jasmine, orange and lemon blossom and dense pines. 'Refugio de Juanar' is but a few kilometres away by informal walking trail and a must-see for all who visit. Once a private hunting lodge for the wealthy Larios (read - 'gin') family, this retreat has been enjoyed by la crème de la crème including King Alfonso XIII and Charles de Gaulle - who chose to write his memoirs amongst the peaceful surroundings. Ibex, wildcats and eagles also revel in the unspoilt nature whilst the views of Marbella and its beaches, just 7km beneath, are truly mesmerising.
Given Ojén's credentials, it's unsurprising that a wider audience is waking up to the village's charm. British gardening detectives Rosemary and Thyme filmed against an Ojén backdrop for a 2006 episode in which they reconstructed a Moorish garden, of course finding a cadaver along the way, and luxurious Spa brand Champneys
has chosen the area for their first retreat outside of the UK.
Tucked into the mountainside just five minutes from the village centre, Champneys is building a Moorish-inspired resort of top-notch apartments and penthouses with a whole host of Spa facilities alongside a Clubhouse with restaurant. And, with prices starting from €675,000 euros (approx. £573,160 pounds), it's clear how much value they place on a pristine Andalucian setting, not to mention sharing a postcode with Julio Iglesias.
If €675,000 euros is a little too much to stretch for this sundrenched Spanish village, K and N Property Buying Services is promoting an incredibly bright and spacious two bedroom one and a half bathroom duplex apartment set just a couple of minutes' walk from Ojén's pretty church square. Completed five years ago, the 80m² property offers the best of both worlds with a modern kitchen, hot and cold air-conditioning, SKY TV, double glazing and plenty of storage including fitted wardrobes alongside traditional Andalusian styling.
The upper floor lounge/diner opens onto a south facing terrace with elevated views of the village, mountains and the Mediterranean whilst the lower floor master bedroom has an additional south facing terrace overlooking the swimming pool. Bedroom two also has outdoor space in the shape of a covered 14m² patio. A communal swimming pool with outside shower and secure underground allocated parking complete the picture - both very rare for Ojén. The home is just ten minutes from Marbella town and its beaches, 45 minutes from Malaga International Airport.
Price €175,000 euros (approx £148,500 pounds) (reduced from €195,000 euros)
For further information visit K and N Property Buying Services