Cave Houses in Andalucia
By Dee McMath
Cave dwelling is not what it used to be - especially in Andalusia. Far from being a primitive option, a cave house in Andalusia can be anything from your cosy country cottage to fully equipped cave guest house. Caves are being rediscovered and refurbished like never before and market is booming. In the north east of the Granada Province cave houses are increasing in popularity and over the last few years have become big business. From Guadix to Galera and all across the Altiplano area, there are some incredibly beautiful houses carved out of the Andalusian mountainous rocks, that are attracting serious attention from adventurous home buyers.
Since at least as early as the 8th century and the Arab invasion of Spain, there have been cave dwellers. In more recent times and up to the 1950's it was the native farming communities who used caves for shelter, both for their families and their livestock. With the advent of tourism to Spain in the 1950's and 1960's, however, there was a mass exodus from rural to the coastal areas with populations falling drastically and caves being abandoned. The following decades saw the bohemian, hippy types, take over many of the caves to live a simple life and set themselves apart from main stream society.
Nowadays however, more people, amongst them many British and other northern Europeans, are attracted to the idea of escaping from the busier resort areas of Andalusia As well as a more peaceful environment; the cave houses (casas cuevas) have more to offer that ever before. This new troglodyte trend is by no means a move back to the Stone Age. The 21st century Andalusian cave house is surprisingly well equipped with all mod cons, so modern day cave dwellers have not regressed to being Neanderthal. As well as the necessary water and electricity supplies, many have phone (and in some cases broadband connection), while others even come complete with Jacuzzi and swimming pool.
Over the last decade or so, many artists, writers and photographers led the way to living full time or spending quality vacation time in casas cuevas. Now people from all walks of life are being attracted to this great escape to a more natural lifestyle, without enduring any hardships or making lifestyle sacrifices. In the Altiplano area of Granada there are architects who specialise, not only in the refurbishment of existing caves, but also in the construction of new ones. New cave homes can be sculpted out of the special mountainside rock face which lends itself to this type of structure extremely well.
Offering caves with panoramic views over Guadix and the Sierra Nevada, Cuevas Pedro Antonio de Alarcon is located 3 km from the centre of Gaudix. The caves share an outdoor swimming pool.
Offering a barbecue and spa centre, Cuevalia Alojamiento Rural is located in Graena. The accommodation features a spa bath. Sierra Nevada is 28.6 km away. Free private parking is available on site.
Located in Purullena, just a short distance away from Guadix, this one-bedroom cave house is ideal for a quick getaway. It features a swimming pool and arabic-style baths.
The Cuevas del Tío Tobas offer a unique experience. Cosy, charming and very quiet, they are the perfect escape. They also have an outdoor swimming pool and restaurant.
Comprising a carefully restored 18th century country manor house and cereal farm, Casas Cueva La Tala also has medieval cave accommodation. The establishment boasts facilities such as a large swimming pool, a barbecue area, and parking.
Situated 7 km from Guadix, this rustic-style complex offers a seasonal outdoor pool, gardens and BBQ facilities. Each charming Olmos cave apartment has a fully equipped kitchen and a patio with mountain views.
Cueva DestiSur is located in Guadix. This stylish apartment, located inside a cave, features mountain views. The apartment has a double bedroom, a twin bedroom, an open-plan living-dining area and a fully-functional kitchen.
Las Cuevas del Zenete are made up of 9 houses converted from caves. Decorated using traditional stone and wood materials, they have one or 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom and living rooms with fireplaces.
Set against impressive rock formations, Cuevas de Maria offers apartments featuring a terrace with BBQ facilities and outdoor furniture. Guadix Cathedral is 1 km away.