Casa Azul, Andalucia

Lake Portillo, Castril, Granada, Andalucia, Spain
Guests: 6       Wifi: available       Pets? Pets welcome (more than 3 contact us upon booking), fee applies

Casa Azul, Andalucia

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about the property

Fabulous Andalucian lakefront holiday cottage villa in Parque Natural de Castril, Granada. Sleeping six it offers remarkably good value.

Casa Azul is a former olive worker cottage set on a promontory high above Lake Portillo in Parque Natural de las Sierras de Castril in northern Andalucia. We had to do a lot of work to renovate this old property, but with the amazing location, we just couldn't resist. This part of Spain gets around 320 days of sun a year!

Surrounded by carefully tended olive groves Casa Azul has fine lake views from the first-floor bedroom and astounding ones from the rear plateau. On this natural grassy terrace you can really appreciate the beauty all around you. Indeed as one UTT guest put it....."It was remarkable. Extraordinary. We seemed to have an entire landscape and lake to ourselves". And looking out from the promontory it's true, there isn't a man made feature in sight. You really do feel a part of the natural landscape.

And if that wasn't enough, there is the lake itself. A 10 minute walk down the track will bring you to a secluded, remote beach. The crystal clear waters here will provide you with some of the best bathing of your life. There are a couple of snorkels and masks plus beach chairs and parasol available; it's more than likely you will have the place to yourself. Float along silently looking up at the mountains, jump off the rocks or swim to the tiny island....however you choose to spend your time this really is a very special location.

But Casa Azul isn't just superb for its swimming, the hiking is pretty special too.  Explore some of the nearby ruins and abandoned cave houses on the trails that lead straight from your door, or take a 40-minute walk through the olive groves to the pretty whitewashed town of Castril for drinks and free tapas in one of the traditional Spanish bars. This is real Spain at its best. If you wanted to venture further afield the adjoining Parque Natural de Las Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas is famed for its bird and wildlife - if you're lucky you might see Golden Eagles or Griffon Vultures, Mouflon or Spanish Ibex. You could hire kayaks, go horseriding or try your hand at canyoning (barranquismo) where you scramble, slide and swim your way through spectacular gorges guided by an instructor. Or for more culture, visit the beautiful cities of Granada with its Alhambra or Ubeda and Baeza. All are in easy reach for a day trip. 



latest review

What a wonderful escape from the hum drum of normal life this was! It was like stepping back in time...beautiful unspoilt Spain. The cottage is perfectly located with the most stunning views from plat...

Claire fraser , June 2020

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good to know

arrival at
depart by
7 nights from
£556 (based on 2 staying)
7 nights up to
£940 (based on 2 staying)
pets welcome (more than 3 contact us upon booking)
bed layout
Master Double, Double + Single, Sofabed (double) (ground floor)

facilities at Casa Azul, Andalucia

farm or rural location
open fire / woodburner
beach (within walking distance)
media & technology
wifi broadband available
young children welcome
travel cot

map - location

travel info

A car is necessary but driving is easy in inland Spain and there are dual carriageways leading straight out of the airports. We can also advise on the best way to get VERY reasoably priced hire cars .. 

There are plenty of airports to choose from:

  • Granada - 1hr 45mins (BA flies from London City, Easyjet flies from Gatwick and Manchester)
  • Almeria - 2 hrs (many, including Jet2 from Manchester, Leeds, Stansted, Edinburgh, East Midlands & Newcastle)
  • Murcia International Airport - 2 hrs 10 mins (mainly Ryanair, Easyjet)
  • Alicante - 2hr 35mins (Ryanair, Easyjet + others)
  • Malaga - 2hr 45mins (Ryanair, Easyjet + others) 

Alternatively you could get the ferry to Bilbao/Santander and trickle down through Spain?

in detail

There are fans to keep you cool although being in the mountains and with thick stone walls it maintains a reasonable temperature year round. Unlike on the more humid coasts, sleeping is comfortable here even in mid summer. The property is heated by a wood burning stove (wood supplied) and individual heaters in the winter months.

For the adventurous there is an original wood-fired oven which you are welcome to use between October and May if you wish (you'll have to gather wood but it's easy enough) and  there is of course a modern kitchen as well.

**As of 2019 Wifi is available**

Ground Floor:

  • Lounge - with large double sofabed, wood burner, Dining table for 6
  • Kitchen - oven, hob, microwave, toaster, kettle, fridge freezer, two sinks, small dining table for 2/4
  • Bathroom - large room with a double shower.


  • Master bedroom - double bed and single bed with great lake view
  • Bedroom 2 - large room with double and single and direct access out to the rear plateau


  • Parking for up to 2 cars
  • Dining table and chairs for 4
  • Garden Parasol
  • Lounge chairs and outdoor rugs
  • Snorkels/masks/fins, 2 beach chairs and beach parasol.
  • Traditional wood fired pizza/bread oven for use between October and May.

local area

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customer reviews for Casa Azul, Andalucia

What a wonderful escape from the hum drum of normal life this was! It was like stepping back in time...beautiful unspoilt Spain. The cottage is perfectly located with the most stunning views from plateau. We were there during a heatwave and loved every minute of swimming in the beautiful lake below the cottage. On every occasion we had the lake entirely to ourselves! Lovely simple restaurants with good rustic food in the local village (walkable if you're fit - it's all uphill on the way back).

- Claire fraser ,
June 2020

WELL. We had a great week staying at Casa Azul. The property is beautiful and the views of the surrounding park are amazing. While sitting on the terrace for coffee or breakfast the backdrop is like a painting. And my partner went swimming in the lake every day - her opinion? I WANT TO KEEP IT. Also, keep an eye out for the neighbours gatos - the friendly cats that want to know what you're up to and hope you have food in the offing. We formed quite the bond. A walk or very short drive away is Castil - a beautiful town made up of white buildings nestled in the hills. A great joy was walking in to the town and having coffee or raciones at one of the lovely cafes. All the surrounding towns are worth a visit, for the cave houses, churros, beautiful buildings, and markets on offer. One thing to warn potential stayers about - that track down to the house. OH MAMA. It takes a bit of getting used to. Its steep and rough. If (like us) your rental company offers you a little 4x4 TAKE IT. But we ended up enjoying it as part of the experience.

- Dan bond ,
September 2019

This is a fabulous place away from anywhere - glorious meals over looking the lake with just swifts and eagles overhead for company. Swimming in the lake, exploring the surrounding mountain trails and walks and tapas in small town of Castril were delightful. Worth stocking up on basics - we missed market day on Mondays and the small supermarkets in the town are limited - although nice butcher and bakery. We definitely hope to return

- Annie S,
June 2019

Just back from 10 days in Andalusia, the middle 4 of which were spent at Casa Azul. Fabulous, relaxing time in a beautiful traditional Spanish farm workers cottage converted to have all the mod cons, without losing the character. We swam in the stunning nearby lake, enjoyed reading overlooking incredible panoramas and ate out in the lovely local town of Castril. If you want a peaceful break and a glimpse of real Spain I would certainly recommend Casa. Guest, David

May 2019

Could not recommend highly enough! We had a short break here and absolutely wish we could have stayed longer. It doesn’t look possible but the views are even better than in pictures. We didn’t see another person at the lake while we were here, it was a very tranquil getaway from city life! The house is homely, clean and has everything you need to cook. It was a nice touch to have board games and notes from Lisa recomending walks etc. Also a super comfy bed. We had a few hiccups (see rental car breaking down) but everyone we met was lovely and helpful despite us not speaking Spanish. Castril is beautiful, would definitely recommend taking the circular and gorge walk, and going up to the top of the castle gives amazing views. Explore the cave houses by the lake too! Neighbours Paco and his son (and their many cats) were very welcoming. Go for at least a week - we wanted to see lots more and wished we could stay! Guest, Jenny

April 2019

The cottage was in a lovely location and was well equipped.There was a lovely walk to the town of Castril and the National Park was minutes away by car. The road to the cottage was bumpy and we were glad we had a robust car ..The drive got easier as you got used to it

- Ceri R,
November 2018

What an amazing place! It was the first holiday we've ever had where we seemed to have an entire landscape of mountains and a lake entirely to ourselves! Extraordinary! We particularly enjoyed breakfast with wonderful views of the lake, and walking down for a swim in such clear, still water, and having the cove to ourselves every time we went. Plenty to explore in the immediate vicinity of the cottage (ruined cave houses etc), and nearby Castril, just a 40 minute walk away, was lovely, with several inexpensive great places to eat, as well as shops for supplies. The local honey (Miel Sierra de Castril) was the best I've ever tasted!

- David pike ,
September 2018

A unique place with remarkable natural beauty. Stunning view, cosy and very comfortable, spacious house with everything you need. This is a place for nature lovers, people who seek to be away from the distractions of everyday life or those who love sports such as swimming, hiking, mountain biking, trail running or canoeing. The road is actually ok, a bit bumpy but have seen much worse. It’s one of the very few locations that are even better in reality than the already most promising photos suggest! We arrived in the middle of the night but once we saw everything in daylight it was breath-taking. What else should I say? I am sure we will return…it was awesome.

July 2018

We had a lovely time in this beautiful location, way off the beaten track and so peaceful. Wonderful swimming in the lake and a very relaxing stay in a delightful property.

- Frances patterson ,
July 2018

Casa Azul is a lovely traditional house sited spectacularly by Lake Portillo. We had excellent weather and enjoyed our stay enormously. Castril is a very friendly town with a tardis-like supermarket and great bars/restaurants.

- Andrew R,
November 2017

I just wrote a more comprehensive review then lost it as I'd timed out. So....Go to this house. It's utterly incredible. Extraordinary. Breath-taking.

- Matt lamb ,
September 2017

This place is amazing, the views are incredible and it is a great place to get away and relax with no technology. Castril is within walking distance and worth a visit, as is taking a trip further into the national park for some great walks. The cottage is very rural and other than the neighbour Paco you will probably be alone the whole time. Paco is very friendly and has some lovely cats including two 35 day old kittens which he was kind enough to show us. The black BMW is no longer parked outside as per the instructions but it's not hard to find the spot about 30m from the building. I would definitely recommend the place! Adam from Marbella

June 2017

We had a great time in this house in Castril. The surroundings are beautiful! Just like the pictures. We enjoyed our daily breakfast at the private terrace with lake view. We did nice hikes and haven't seen any other tourists. There are good facilities in the house and Castril is a friendly little town. Not speaking Spanish could be a problem, but the neighbour can use sign language and locals are likeable and patient. - Anne from Eindhoven, Netherlands

June 2017

The house is fantastic - exactly what we needed and hoped for - quiet, beautiful views, lovely hiking...just fantastic! Thank you so much for caring for this precious gem of a rustic Spanish home in this incredible location overlooking the lake. Blessings! - Laurie & Billy

February 2017

My partner and I have just spent a very relaxing and stress free week in this wonderful and charming home. Everything was perfect, in the most beautiful setting. We could not have asked for more, as we enjoyed the comforts of the cottage, views across the mountains, swimming in the lake, adventurous walks, canoeing, drives, the lovely town of Castril and the sheer escapism of it all. Thanks for sharing such a unique spot. Looking forward to visiting again. Daniel, Munich

September 2016

What a little gem! The views front and back are spectacular. We saw so much wildlife and enjoyed the nightly display by the swallows on the back terrace - very up close and personnel. The instructions were excellent - and after the first time the track wasn't so daunting. Castril is charming - thoroughly recommend all the local walks. We just loved swimming in the lake and playing with the inflatables.

- Louise L,
September 2016

This was one of the most spectacular weekends of my life. One of the beautiful places I've ever visited too. The house is rustic and simple, but so charming and perfect for a weekend away. My friends and I left feeling refreshed and relaxed. The views of the bright blue lake were amazing, just amazing. This is a wonderful place for a group of friends to get away, cook good meals, drink a lot of wine, read, hike, swim, and relax. One note is that it is truly in the countryside so if you are not "down to earth" then this place may not be for you. However, if you ever want to try a weekend in the countryside, this would be the perfect place! I am already planning a weekend to go back. Also, we enjoyed visiting the town nearby called Castril. Very charming! - Emily

August 2016

This is a real hideaway, tucked away down a tiny track, overlooking a stunningly peaceful lake, and close to Castril, which is itself lovely. Fabulous place, well worth a visit, and of course, the kayak is lots of fun.

- Adrian C,
January 2016

A perfect holiday in an idyllic location. The description and directions were spot on. Every day was a treat of nature, swimming in crystal clear water, gently kayaking across a stunning lake with nothing but goats, lizards and eagles for company, evenings under the stars listening to the frog chorus, not to forget foraging for mulberries, sensational. Castril is delightful with friendly cafes serving good tapas. The national park is stunning, we will return for more walking at a cooler time of year.

- Rachel L,
August 2015

"This place is truly amazing. The scenery is breathtaking. We had great communication with Greg throughout our stay, when we went into town (no cellphone coverage at the house). Be sure to bring your own supplies, especially food if you will be there on Sunday, as few shops open Sundays. Several amazing walks, with our favorite being Magdelena. We anticipated solitary time while staying here, however there where three other families here for the weekend in the other homes on the terrace. They only come a few times per year, and we're very nice, inviting us to join them for their meals and telling us about the local foods. We got to experience a real Spanish family fiesta as we called it. I would recommend this beautiful home without reservation.' Julia from Iowa

June 2015

“Communication with owner was quick & effective. Directions given were a little confusing so we sent suggestions based on our experience. Once arrived at the cottage we were very pleasantly surprised by the well-thought interior layout & design, and the cottage location above the lake (exactly as on the Airbnb pictures). NOTE to birdwatchers: the lakeside terrace is a great spot! We saw daily return of a short-toed eagle, vultures, bee-eaters, and more (binocs & scope needed). Cottage was very well equipped” Rob Proeme, California

June 2015

'Thanks for a brilliant time - the home and setting are just perfect!' A &J, Manchester

November 2014

'Wonderful place, wonderful area - really, really enjoyed our week here - could have stayed longer and will certainly return!' Claire, Chris & Harry

November 2014

'Lovely rustic cottage in a peaceful area. Felt like we had the whole lake to ourselves' James & Cordelia

November 2014

'A beautiful, quiet little finca with everything you need for a relaxing break. Views unbelievable, scenery and people the highlight. Saw many eagles' Chris

November 2014

'This is the most amazing, beautiful, quiet, peaceful finca, setting, scenery and holiday! Swim in the lake! Dive off the rocks! Watch the shepherds herding their goats, the sound of the bells are beautiful. Perfect holiday even for our 14 year old son.' Donna, Dave & Josh

November 2014