The house sleeps up to 4 people, but individual guests are welcome (if you want to write, paint or meditate), and as we also live on the estate, you’ll feel at home if you’re in need of company.
La Azul is an old building which has been restored using sustainable methods and materials. With a surface area of some 645 square feet (60 m²), it has 1 large bedroom with king size bed, a living room with double sofa-bed, kitchen-diner, pantry, bathroom and a wonderful, large terrace complete with barbeque area, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It has a TV and radio, and the living room and kitchen-diner have a wood-burning stove for use in the colder months.
On the estate we practice ecological agriculture by contributing to the creation of microhabitats for local wildlife; we sell our own produce from the orchard and sometimes organise workshops on physical and mental wellbeing (yoga, taichi, meditation, etc.), or bird watching in conjunction with the local Sierra de Guadarrama SEO-Birdlife Group.
If you are a wildlife enthusiast or keen bird watcher, if you like contemplating the moon and the stars, or just enjoy being outdoors, then our Country House is the perfect place to switch off from city life. Finca El Parral is in the middle of an olive grove on a 17-acre estate made up of almond, fig and pine trees and grape vines. Located just a 10-minute walk away from the town of San Martín de Valdeiglesias, it is within walking distance of a range of local amenities, shops, leisure facilities and activities which the town has to offer, so there is no need to use the car.
Activities and attractions
The Finca is an ideal spot if you enjoy outdoor sports. Surrounded by mountains – the foothills of the Sierra de Gredos are on our doorstep! – the area offers some outstanding places for walking (Castañar del Tiembo; Puerto de Casillas; Valle de Iruelas…). Canoeing, sailing, swimming or motor boating are all available on any of the nearby lakes San Juan, Burguillo, or Picadas. You can also try archery, mountain biking or cycling (the town lies on the route of the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago in Levante), or horse riding close to our finca.
There is also a great local sports centre with heated swimming pool, gym, spa, tennis courts and athletics track, all available at reasonable non-member rates.
Wine lovers and those interested in winemaking are also catered for by our finca which is located in one of the three sub-regions which form the protected designation of origin classification for Madrid wines (Denominación de Origen Vinos de Madrid), namely San Martín de Valdeiglesias. The area includes this town, together with Villa del Prado, Cenicientos, Cadalso de los Vidrios and Pelayos de la Presa. The most notable grape varieties are the white albillo and red garnacha. Many of the wine estates offer guided tours and wine tasting. Casa Rural El Parral can organise this for you, even if you are not staying guests, as we sell our grapes to one of the wineries.
GUIDED BIRDWATCHWING WALKS
Our finca is located in the municipal district of San Martín de Valdeiglesias in the south westernmost corner of the Community of Madrid (Spain). Also known as the Sierra Oeste (Western Sierra) it remains one of the areas in the region least known to national and international visitors. Noted for its significant ecological importance and above all its ornithological value, the area known as Encinares de los ríos Alberche y Cofio is designated as a Special Protection Area for birds (SPA 56) as it is a habitat for significant populations of different species such as the Spanish Imperial eagle, cinereous vulture, griffon vulture and black stork. The variety of ecosystems, largely comprising Mediterranean vegetation, also means some 200 species of resident and migratory birds can be observed. The countryside is predominantly mountainous – its highest peaks vary between 510m and 1420m – and it is covered by pasturelands, pine forests, gallery forests alongside nearby rivers and open expanses with different varieties of crops.
The extensive crop growing areas provide shelter for a small population of little bustards, as well as European rollers, black-eared wheatears, and also different species of larks, such as the common skylark, calandra lark, crested lark and the greater short-toed lark. The lesser kestrel has returned to the region and significant populations have been established thanks to proper management of nest boxes and reintroduction programmes.
The riparian forests form natural corridors which make an excellent habitat for the rare black stork, the lesser spotted woodpecker or the penduline tit, as well as more common birds such as the golden oriole, Cetti’s warbler and the grey wagtail.
The rocky crags and granite cliffs provide an attractive habitat for some resident species such as the red kite, black and griffon vultures, northern goshawk, Spanish imperial eagle and golden eagle, and the rarer peregrine falcon. In the summer season this colony of birds of prey is complemented by the presence of the European honey buzzard, black kite, Short-toed eagle and booted eagle.
In the higher areas located to the north of the region, it is possible to spot a group of very interesting mountain species such as the European nightjar, red-billed chough, common whitethroat and spectacled warbler, as well as the bluethroat, northern wheatear, pied flycatcher, red-backed shrike, white-throated dipper, Citril finch, crossbill and ortolan bunting, although the presence of some of these birds is limited to a few localised spots and in very low numbers.
Amongst the nocturnal species the little owl is relatively common, but the Eurasian scops owl, and in particular, the Eurasian eagle, long-eared and tawny owls are found in lower numbers. The red-necked nightjar, also a nocturnal bird, makes its breeding site on lower ground.
For all these reasons the Sierra Oeste region is ideal for the range of birdwatching routes it offers for nature and bird lovers alike, whether novice birdwatcher or experienced ornithologist. Here at Finca El Parral we can organise guided birdwatching walks in the local area for our guests, led by specialised tour companies who are able to tailor make routes to suit individual preferences. Walking routes can be in different areas, such as the plains located in the south of the region, following riverside landscapes, extensive crop growing areas and pasturelands, which provide a habitat for a wide variety of species. At certain times of the year during mild weather, it is possible to take routes which traverse some of the higher grounds.
We can organise guided birdwatching walks in the local area for our guests, led by specialised tour companies who are able to tailor make routes to suit individual preferences. Walking routes can be in different areas, such as the plains located in the south of the region, following riverside landscapes, extensive crop growing areas and pasturelands, which provide a habitat for a wide variety of species. At certain times of the year during mild weather, it is possible to take routes which traverse some of the higher grounds.
Registration number: Retuerce
Rentalia Reference num: 271782
Outside the village
Calle Cementerio 12
28680 San Martín de Valdeiglesias Madrid (Spain)
400 m to the city center, 400 m to supermarket, 5 km to a river or lake, 400 m to the bus station, 300 m to the hospital, 10 m to a hiking route
50 m from a horse riding center
Excelente lugar para descansar!
Lugar ideal para descansar y desconectar, casa muy acogedora en un entorno natural muy guapo. Carmen es una excelente anftriona dispuesta siempre a aconcejarte y hacerte super placentera la estancia. La casa es uy cálida, y sin grandes lujos, decorada con gran gusto y mucho mimo. Muy aconsejable para una escapada de la ciudad. Repetiré seguramene!!
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