Honeymoon through the rural Spain

Coordinates: 
Cuenca - 40°04′18″N 2°08′06″O
Salem - 38°51′18″N 0°22′52″O
Altea - 38°36′00″N 0°2′56″O

For our honeymoon, my husband planned an unmistakably romantic trip through Spain. We had both visited Spain before, but never ventured on such a romantic yet different journey, away from the touristic bustle and destinations.

We arrived at Barajas Airport in Madrid and got a rental. From there we left en route to our adventure. With us we had a map of Spain, some directions we got off the internet, and the desire to have an incredibly great time.

    
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	mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}    A romantic getaway around rural Spain for honeymooners. Photo: Pamy Rojas

A romantic getaway around rural Spain for honeymooners. Photo: Pamy Rojas

Don Quixote Route

The trajectory we followed on our honeymoon was toward the southeast to discover part of the Castilla-la Mancha route and the places traveled by Don Quixote. On the way, we stopped at several villages which at first glance looked deserted. But it wasn't anything other than nap time. We continued our journey for several hours until we stopped at another village to rest and have some refreshments. There in a small cafe, we sat down to share with the locals, which by the way were very surprised that a tourist would stop in their town.

We walked through the extremely narrow streets of the tiny village and watched the leisurely lifestyle of the residents, most of which were elderly. Then as we were leaving, a truck full of vegetables stopped on the edge of the town and there came the effusive ladies with their huge baskets to buy vegetables for dinner.

  Aerogenerators on our way trough the Don Quixote route. Photo: Pamy Rojas

Aerogenerators on our way trough the Don Quixote route. Photo: Pamy Rojas

La Casita de las Cabrejas

When we arrived at the town of Jábaga in Cuenca, we located our first lodging, La Casita de las Cabrejas. The trees along the road made of gravel, which led us to the main house, rose majestically and bowed slightly, as if they guarded the road to paradise.

  The trees of Casita de las Cabrejas are so beautiful. Photo: Pamy Rojas

The trees of Casita de las Cabrejas are so beautiful. Photo: Pamy Rojas

Lola greeted us

Upon reaching the main house we were greeted by Lola, a beautiful Golden Retriever that came down the steps toward us and politely guided us to the door. His master was Juan, who is also the owner of the estate of over 14,000 acres that houses the cottage. After a warm welcome, Juan guided us through the house. The building, despite being new, was built according to the design of the old farmhouses, with large rooms, rustic country style decor and typical country atmosphere.

    
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	mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}    Lola, a hospitable Golden Retriever, welcomed us upon our arrival at La Casita de las Cabrejas. Photo: Pamy Rojas

Lola, a hospitable Golden Retriever, welcomed us upon our arrival at La Casita de las Cabrejas. Photo: Pamy Rojas

Farm to table

The room we stayed in had a small balcony from where we were overwhelmed watching the beautiful scenery of the countryside. Needless to say it was our honeymoon, for the room became our favorite place in the cottage. Although I must admit, another very pleasant corner of La Casita de las Cabrejas is the library room. With a large glass wall from which nature could be appreciated and a cozy fireplace, the room became another one of our favorite places in the house.

For breakfast, Juan prepared splendid artisan dishes using products grown in his own farm and bread baked at dawn. Perfect complements for a succulent honeymoon. From La Casita de las Cabrejas we headed to the ancient city of Cuenca, just minutes from Jábaga.

    
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	mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}    The Houses hanging in the watershed are right on the edge of the cliff. Photo: Pamy Rojas

The Houses hanging in the watershed are right on the edge of the cliff. Photo: Pamy Rojas

Hanging Houses

After our days of dreaming in the cottage, we had to go back to reality and do some traditional tourism. In the ancient city of Cuenca we visited the popular and impressive hanging houses, medieval buildings renovated to preserve its historic value. They are called Hanging Houses because they give the impression of being suspended in the air, and they were built on the edge of a cliff. Cuenca is a city with rich history. We toured the different routes that have been demarcated in the city: Ruta de las Rondas, Ruta de los Balcones de Jucar, Ruta de los Palacios, and Ruta Paseo por el Huécar . Each route shows the way to different attractions, ranging from museums and craft shops to churches and convents. Memorable routes for couples on their honeymoon.

We walked through the city until nightfall. We loved watching the lighting in the narrow streets and old buildings, especially the landscape that can be enjoyed from the Paseo del Huécar, where you can see the impressive cliffs illuminated. Churches also looked dazzling at night. The Church of the Holy Cross, for example, had a spotlight shining on the top dome, which resembled the celestial light.

  Before arriving to San Miguel farm, we run into some farmers. Photo: Pamy Rojas

Before arriving to San Miguel farm, we run into some farmers. Photo: Pamy Rojas

San Miguel Farm

We continued our journey through rural Spain until arriving in Salem; there we stayed at the San Miguel Farm. Once we parked our car, chickens, ducks, and rabbits came to meet us. It was like recreating a page from a children's book. A lush garden decorated with rustic benches adorns the entrance to this rural mansion which is over 200 years old. The owner, Maria Jose, who was the heir to this magnificent edification, welcomed us with great enthusiasm, and showed us the enormous house which has five bedrooms in the main building and another two along with a private lounge in a separate annex. The antique details are highlighted in the decoration of the house; it was like transporting ourselves to the last century, but with a country setting and original charm. 

  San Miguel Farm entrance is very picturesque. Photo: Pamy Rojas

San Miguel Farm entrance is very picturesque. Photo: Pamy Rojas

Wine & spa

My husband settled into the living room to enjoy a glass of wine while Maria Jose led me to the spa to rest in one of the massage chairs. The short half hour long refreshing massage was enough to help me recover from the long car ride. The San Miguel Farm is also a spa in the country; they offer physiotherapy and relaxation, as well as a gym, sauna, and hydro massage pool. Maria Jose prepared a succulent supper, with fresh products grown in her farm, and shared with us a bit of the history her place holds. She inherited the big house from her grandparents and in 2007 rehabilitated one of the oldest buildings in the farm to make it a spa; a concept that adds attraction to the great rural mansion. The San Miguel Farm also has equestrian facilities where riding lessons are offered. 

    
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	mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}    The white village of Altea is all romance. Photo: Pamy Rojas

The white village of Altea is all romance. Photo: Pamy Rojas

The Romance of Altea

After our stay in the San Miguel Farm we continued our journey to Altea, located on the Costa Blanca de Alicante (White Coast of Alicante). Time stopped when, for the first time, the village of Altea undressed before my eyes. The hours no longer passed... the minutes did not count... the beauty of the landscape and the romantic atmosphere flooded my thoughts... the first thing that came to my mind were the lyrics to a song by Joan Manuel Serrat: "Colgado de un barranco duerme mi pueblo blanco..." (Hanging from a cliff sleeps my white village...)

  Hanging from a cliff sleeps my white village... Photo: Pamy Rojas

Hanging from a cliff sleeps my white village... Photo: Pamy Rojas

The white coast

Poetry, romance and mysticism of love emanated from every corner of Altea ... its narrow streets cobbled in indigo blue stones, its rustic houses painted pure white, the green, pink and orange from the leaves and flowers that adorn the balconies, and the majestic sight of the Mediterranean Sea make you fall in love with a honeymoon in Altea.

Artists, politicians and singers have cataloged Altea as one of the most beautiful towns on the White Coast of Spain, and with good reason. On our trip through the old town of Altea, located at the top of the hill, we sat down to enjoy a glass of wine at one of the restaurants with outdoor seating, and from there we were overwhelmed with the stunning view of the sea.

altea spain rural tourism dejavutravelpr

Martita and her dog

We had to leave this romantic fishing town, but not before walking through the picturesque Paseo Marítimo (promenade) where we met Martita, a jolly little eight year old girl who was walking her dog and stopped to chat with us. Martita, who is very personable, told us she was on vacation at her grandmother's, who lives in the apartments that are right on the Paseo Marítimo. As soon as she heard us speak, the alert girl asked where we were from, to later inform us that she did not know the localization of Puerto Rico, but would look it up on the world map as soon as she returned to her grandmother's place.

We said goodbye to the charm of Altea, where we concluded our honeymoon to head back to our beautiful island with new experiences in our luggage and unforgettable moments. The rural Spain mesmerized us with its spatial charm, and unforgettable people...



GASTRONOMY:

Restaurante San Nicolás

Mesón José

El Bodegón de Pepe

La Capella
 


SIGHTS:

ALTEA
Iglesia Virgen del Consuelo
Paseo Marítimo
Playa Cap Blanch
Playa Cap Negret
Playa El Mascarat
Playa La Olla
Playa La Roda
Pueblo Antiguo
Torre de Bellaguarda
Torre de la Galera
CUENCA
Casas Colgadas
Catedral Nuestra Señora de Gracia
Calle Alfonso VIII
Calle San Pedro
El Mercadillo (martes)
Puente San Pablo
Torre de Mangana
SALEM
Cueva del Frontó y de la Sima
Fuente de la Barsella y Castellet
Fuente del Cantal y Molino de Salem
Iglesia Parroquial de San Miguel Arcángel
Núcleo Urbano