El Geco Verde is a magnificent Andalucian farmhouse with spectacular views in the “Spanish Lake District” – the Altiplano de Granada.
An oasis of tranquility, this eco-friendly property can accommodate up to 18 guests across its six generously proportioned en suite bedrooms, three of which are extra large “family” rooms. As well as traditional self-catering and BBQ facilities, El Geco Verde offers a bespoke catering service so guests do not have to do all the cooking!
A spacious rustic dining hall features stone walls, a log burning fireplace and a pellet stove, which also heats water for the central heating system. An atmospheric lounge area also features a natural fireplace, a library, table games and digital TV.
In summer guests can cool off in a 24sqm splash pool. The extensive outdoor space also includes a gorgeous terrace and BBQ area shaded by an old Spanish Oak. Here guests can relax and enjoy spectacular sunsets with uninterrupted views to the mountains of Granada and Jaen.
El Geco Verde usually functions as a rural hotel, renting out rooms on a bed and breakfast basis. However, it is also available to hire outright, for groups of up to 18 people. Prices for group hire range from 20-25 Euros per person per night, depending on season, number of guests and number of nights. Minimum group hire is two nights.
If requested, hotel services may also be made available to customers who hire the whole house, including bespoke catering services. All our food is made with fresh local ingredients and prepared on the premises. El Geco Verde also offers cookery workshops, including pizza, focaccia and lasagne making, plus various classic Spanish recipes, by arrangement. All additional services attract additional fees.
Also available at the hotel is a two-hour guided stargazing workshop, with a visiting astronomer from Granada. The rural location, absence of industry and light pollution and eastern Andalucia´s famously clear skies make for a sensational experience (min fee 80 Euros, no fee charged in event of cancellation due to astronomical and weather conditions). The hotel can also provide suitable refreshments, if requested, according to the season.
Please consult with the hotel owners over additional services and activities and guides available locally; we can help with information about the area, excursions and walking routes, maps and commentaries, having translated much of the available touristic material from Spanish into English.
Our aim is to provide a tailor-made holiday, eliminating the hassle and ensuring you get time to make the most of this relaxing and inspiring location. Sunny greetings, Ilaria and Derek, El Geco Verde.
The Altiplano de Granada is one of Spain´s true hidden gems. Here, within a 50km radius, you can find mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, deserts, steppe, rolling farmland and seemingly endless olive and almond groves. Here the traveller passes through an ever-changing landscape of sharp contrasts and breathtaking beauty; the perfect place for nature lovers and for all kinds of active pursuits, as well as cultural and gastronomic tourism.
El Geco Verde is situated at the gateway to this astonishing region, on the doorstep of two magnificent natural parks, Castril and Cazorla, the latter of which, at more than 200,000 hectares, is the largest nature reserve in Spain.
The walking routes in these mountain ranges are truly astounding, each exuding a pure and natural beauty that is impossible to capture in words. Our routes take in the less well known southern reaches of the Cazorla park and the jewel in the crown of northern Granada; the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Castril. Here, from a surprisingly easy walk to the source of the Castril River, through more challenging hikes, such as the ascent of Cerro del Buitre (2,000m), or the majestic Baranco de la Osa (one Andalucia´s top ten walks) to the eight-hour epic of Los Prados del Conde, you will find incredible beauty, abundant flaura and fauna and one of the modern world´s most precious and elusive commodities; solitude. For now, at least, the crowds are elsewhere!
The many crystal clear rivers and streams which originate in the mountains offer excellent opportunities for wild swimming, and in summer the tumbling waterfalls, pools and streams will surely tempt you in. The mountainous terrain and the lakes which abound in the area also provide fantastic opportunities for active pursuits such as fishing, horse riding, rock climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking, kayaking, canyoning and caving. The hotel can refer you to expert guides and equipment hire companies for all these activities.
The rich diversity of habitats across the Altiplano ensures first class bird watching, including the chance to spot the extraordinary Lammergeier or bearded vulture, recently restored to its former territory via a captive breeding programme following its disappearance from these skies in 1996. Among the multitude of other birds which may be spotted in and around the Altiplano are Snake eagles, Bonelli´s eagles, Griffon vultures, Bee-eaters, Hoopoes and Woodchat shrikes.
Cultural tourism is also central to the area´s attraction. The Altiplano itself was once an enormous lake on the shores of which Europe´s first human setters made their homes. Important archaeological digs have been taking place here since the 1970s, when human remains found near Orce led to the area´s emergence as the “Cradle of Europe”. There are several fascinating archaeological sites, including the Bronze Age settlement of Castellon Alto and the necropolis of Tutugi, and some fine prehistory museums to help place some of the key findings in context.
Our enterprising partners Rapamont offer cycling tours of Orce which take in the town´s extensive history, along with some stops along the way to sample its gastronomic delights! They can also show you around their cave house, a troglodyte dwelling like thousands of others across the Altiplano; in fact there are whole villages of cave dwellers in this region!
All the towns and villages of the area are worth a visit, and none more so than our local village, Castril, which can trace its history back to Napoleonic times and has recently revived its centuries-old tradition of glass blowing. Its famous suspended river walk or Pasarela, is reason enough to spend some time in the town.
Active tourism and cultural tourism are specialities of the Altiplano region, but those who like a slower pace of life, who just wish to kick back and relax by the pool, are also well catered for. The natural swimming pools (“Fuencalientes”) of Orce and Huescar are open all year around and the municipal pools which open through July and August are especially good in Castril, Pozo Alcon and Castillejar. There are also thermal baths at Zujar and beaches on Negratin Lake at Freila, plus a dedicated naturist beach at Cuevas del Campo! So you see, there is something for everyone in the Altiplano!