Travelling to Periana from Malaga Airport

 

Car Hire: Most frequently we are asked to recommend a car hire firm.  Our advice is to check via the Internet directly with  companies based at Malaga airport (simply Google car hire Malaga Airport) and then compare the cost for those based within the airport.   Many off airport companies are fine but being transported to their offices will delay you.

One problem in recent years is that most hire companies now operate a full to empty scam and if you are not going to use a tank of fuel this can be very annoying.  They charge you for a full tank at exorbitant prices and tell you to bring it back empty.  They know full well that you can’t and one imagines they will benefit not only from the high price charged but also from the half tank or so that you have left.  You can sometimes argue against it and the more people that do the better.

Beware also of how you pay. Some companies will give you the option of paying when you collect or at the time of booking. In case you may not be able to get to the airport as planned it makes sense not to pay before collection.

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Summer Menu at Cantueso

Our chefs have been busy creating some new dishes and many old favourites for this summer, which we hope you will try and enjoy.

As always all our food is home made and please remember we can cope with allergies and food intolerences. Just let us know and look at our special menu which lists all the main allergens. Click below to see full details of our summer  menu.

Cantueso menu May 18

Summer opening times at Restaurante Cantueso

Lake Vinuela seen from the Restaurant Terrace at Cantueso in Periana

 Summer opening Hours:

The restaurant hours are:

  • Lunch 13.00 to 15.30 hrs and Dinner 20.00 to 22.30 hrs

  • Sundays we only serve Lunch

  • Closed Mondays

  • Tuesday to Saturday open Lunch and Dinner

Horario de apertura:

  • El restaurante está abierto: de 13.00 a 15.30 h y de 20.00 a 22.30 h

  • Los domingos sólo servimos el almuerzo: de 13.00 a 15.30 h

  • Cerramos los lunes

  • Los martes hasta los sábados servimos el almuerzo y la cena

Die Öffnungszeiten der Bar und des Restaurants sind:

  • Mittagessen von 13.00 bis 15.30h und das Abendessen von 20.00 bis 22.30 h

  • Sonntags bieten wir nur den Mittagstisch an.

  • Dienstags bis Samstagen bieten wir den Mittagstisch und das Abendessen an.

  • Montags Ruhetag

De openingstijden van restaurant zijn:

  • Lunch van 13.00 – 15.30 uur. Diner van 20.00 -22.30 uur

  • Zondags serveren wij alleen een lunch

  • Maandags gesloten

  • Dinsdag t/m Zaterdag open voor zowel de lunch als het diner.

So Nice to Hear

A view to wake up to

At the beginning of every year we look forward to the new season and arrival of guests, always hoping that their experience lives up to expectations. It is therfore extremely rewarding to get positive feedback from people who have stayed with us. We normally give guests a questionnaire at the end of their stay and find comments very instructive and helpful with many improvements we have made resulting from them.

In this case the comments came via an e-mail from a family who stayed with us in March. Taking the trouble to write and let us know is so much appreciated by our staff and we hope to see you all again soon.

Subject: Thank you

Hi Nicky,

Just wanted to drop you a quick line to say to thank you so much for a wonderful stay at Cantueso. We really appreciated how thoughtfully you look after your guests – not least (child’s name) and her allergies. You have a beautiful, special place.

As we didn’t have a pen we couldn’t fill in the customer survey, but we did take it back with us so here are our responses if they’re still helpful:

We heard about Cantueso online.

The directions were extremely helpful as the sat nav, as you predicted, would have taken us another way including up the dirt track!

The welcome was excellent as was the cleanliness of the house. Everything we could have needed was provided including the delicious evening meal and our survival pack.

The gardens, pool and terraces were excellent as were the children’s facilities. The toy store was particularly appreciated although some are maybe a bit overtired.

The restaurant was excellent across the board and the wine was especially good. Please pass on our thanks to lovely Anna and the chef for being so aware of (child’s name) dietary requirements.

Unsurprisingly we thought the staff were excellent too. We thought Cantueso was great value – just for the view alone!

Please do include us on your mailing list – we’d love to stay again.

With very best wishes,

Cantueso Pool with shallow end for toddlers

Chen Style Taijiquan

This week we were pleased to welcome back CTND from Germany for their third visit to Cantueso.

CTND Tai Chi at Cantueso

CTND hold a series of workshops throughout the week and find the tranquillity of our setting perfect for their specialist branch of Tai Chi which is an ancient Chinese system of health, martial arts, and mental conditioning.

The Chen Style Taijiquan Network in Germany was founded by Nabil Ranné and Konstantin Berberich both of whom have spent many years studying and teaching Tai Chi throughout the world.

Here in Periana they provide an intensive series of workshops teaching the first form (Yilu) in the tradition of Chen Fake, Chen Zhaokui and Chen Yu. The course is suitable for both beginners and advanced students.

The class of 2017. CTND Students come from all over Europe

Konstantin in action

Nabil leading by example

CTND also hold seminars and workshops in several locations throughout Europe and further details can be found on their website: www.ctnd.de

 

Figs Galore in Periana (a PS)

We can’t help expounding the nutritional value of figs, and would like to remind anyone locally that the season is close to ending, so find them now. Plenty available along the byways of Periana and even at Cantueso if you ask nicely :).

Last of the Summer Figs

August in Periana is so very fruitful and we have been enjoying lots of peaches and are now trying to cope with a bountiful supply of figs, grapes and almonds. Bonnie our black lab has a preferred route for her morning constitutional which passes our neighbour Antonio’s plot so that she can pick her own grapes which hang from his hedge (or rather the chain link fence). Around here they tend to be the Muscatel variety, greeny red, very juicy and sweet. but complete with seeds. If you have become accustomed to the supermarket seedless/tasteless varieties just come for a walk around the village and sample these delights.

While on your stroll watch out also for figs which are all around and often never picked. We have this summer been asking our guests to help out so as not to waste these black beauties which grow in abundance in the garden at Cantueso. Figs are full of fibre and minerals such as calcium and magnesium and just two will contribute to your five a day quota.

For those of you reading this in Britain you can of course buy some at M & S but they will cost about 80p each!

 

Fig Parfait on the menu at Cantueso

Eating one of your five a day has never been easier.

We have as in other years turned some surplus figs to good use by making Fig and Ginger Chutney. Not very Spanish we know but our kitchen often make their own version which they call marmalade and use it as an accompaniment to Serrano ham or cold cuts. In case we can tempt you the recipe is below.

Fig & Ginger Chutney

1.3kg Figs, chopped

450g onions chopped

1.1l malt vinegar

450g cooking apples peeled and chopped

450 g seedless raisins or dates, chopped

3 tablespoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

900g granulated sugar

Chop as coarse or as fine as you like.

Place onions in a preserving pan or large saucepan with a little of the vinegar and cook to soften but not brown.

Add apples, raisins or dates and continue to cook until soft and pulpy.

Add the figs, ginger, salt, sugar and remaining vinegar, bring to the boil and then simmer until thick again. Be careful not to burn the sugar on the bottom of the pan.

Pot into sterilised jars.

Hints: if you don’t have a preserving pan with sloping sides evaporation of vinegar will not be as efficient so reduce the vinegar to 1 litre.

Sterilise jars by washing in the dishwasher. Ideally use Killner type jars but any metal cap jar will normally work well as long as they are sterilised.

Makes about 2.2 to 2.7 kg. Keep for at least two months before eating.

Cooking time about two hours.

and if you still have figs why not try

 

Figs in Syrup

1 kilo Figs

500g Caster Sugar

Juice of one lemon

1 Vanilla bean (cut in half lengthways)

1 tablespoon rum or brandy

Method:Place sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean and 625ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the figs lower the heat and cook uncovered for about 20mins.

Remove the softened figs with a slotted spoon and set aside. If the syrup is still watery and pale, boil it a little more until thickened. Place figs in a suitable preserving jar. Let the syrup cool and then pour over the figs adding the rum or brandy over the top.

Place a disc of greaseproof paper on the top making sure the figs are submerged.

Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within one month.

Perfect for pouring over vanilla ice cream.

Cantueso as Never Seen Before!

Many thousands of photos are taken every year in and around Cantueso, and we even had a photo competition one year, which yielded many beautiful views.
Now however we have been able to go further with some aerial photography which we hope you will like.

Paul Lines, of Videodrone, was the photographer, and should you be interested in some unusual views of your property give him a call on 643 62 48 83 or e mail info@videodrone.pro

The camera and drone for those of you who are interested was a DJI Mavic Pro with 4K full HD camera (1/2.3″ CMOS 12MP 4K). This amazing camera/drone folds into a pouch about five inches square.

El Torcal near Antequera, Spain

 

A short drive from Cantueso Cottages in Periana is the natural park of El Torcal. It is one of nature’s wonders, created over 200 million years ago and provides a fascinating legacy of that period, when Europe and the Middle East was still one continent submerged under the Tethys Sea.

No matter whether you are a  geologist or simply a curious traveller, the landscape will amaze with its limestone constructions resembling a far off planet. For a period of about 175 million years, the build up of carbonate sedimentation continued with vast accumulations of shells, skeletons, and dead marine life. Over time these were compacted at various levels forming the horizontal limestone layers we can see today, and which have, since the retreat of the water, been shaped by water, wind and ice.

The fossilised remains of an Ammonite. A hard shelled sea creature that lived 200 million years ago.

View from El Torcal Ammonite

Visitor Centre: Adjacent to the car parking area is the visitor centre which is a good starting point for your explorations. There is a small shop selling artisan products and a restaurant, which caters for the needs of the thirsty and hungry traveller with breakfast, lunch and dinner being served. Interactive displays offer an excellent guide to the area and explanation of special sights, and helpful staff members are there to further enhance your experience. You can also join a guided group from there.

Walking Trails: there are well-signed trails of varying lengths open to all. Off track walks are only permitted if previously authorised.

Nature’s Art, in abundance at el Torcal

FAQ’s

Do I need a permit to walk un-guided?   No, as long as you follow one of the five marked trails.

Can we hire a guide?  Yes, a guide is available for groups of from two to twenty. Please check as guided walks are restricted in some months and your own group arrangements must be made in advance. See El Torcal website for details. www.torcaldeantequera.com/

What are the opening hours of the Visitor Centre?

From 1st October to 30th March 10.00 to 17.00 hrs.

1st April to 30 September 10.00 to 19.00 hrs.

During July and August the restaurant and observatory is open until midnight.

Can we walk at night?  Only if you join a pre-arranged tour. There are nighttime events called “Nights to Awaken the Senses.” These evening tours start at 19.00 hrs with a two-hour walk along the route of the Ammonites followed by dinner, and finishing with a two-hour session in the observatory. The cost of about 30€ per person, includes guide, insurance, dinner and the services of an astronomer.

Where can I find more information?  The official website is: www.torcaldeantequera.com/  which unfortunately is only in Spanish but using Google translate or similar you will get the gist of most things. Most importantly you will get the up-to-date information on special tours and events.

How to get there from Periana?

From Cantueso return to the roundabout and turn right taking the road out of the village towards Riogordo, then to Colemenar/Casabermeja/Villanuevo de la Concepción, and once there you will see signs to “Parje Natural, Torcal de Antequera.”

In total about 55 kilometres and just over one hour, driving at normal speed.

 All photographs on this posting by kind permission of Don Bertolette.

 

 

 

2017 Menu now Available

We have been working over the last few months on our new menu and hope you will find something to tantalise your taste buds. As always we can accommodate specific allergies and will guide you through the ingredients of each dish, and whenever possible cook a variation to suit your needs.

Cantueso menu

as at 12th July 2017

 

¡que aproveche!

Nightingales – London’s Loss is Spain’s Gain!

Nightingale photo courtesy Yuri Timofeyaz

Nightingale                                                                                    photo courtesy Yuri Timofeyaz

We are all used to the notion that nightingales used to sing in Berkley Square, and now can add Periana as another location, as Restaurante Cantueso has played host for the last six years to a couple of songsters and hope they will appear once again this month. They can already be heard out in the countryside and a favourite spot is behind one of the town’s rubbish tips. Not the most salubrious of places but we are sure real “birders” won’t mind a bit.

These tiny birds migrate to and from Guinea-Bissau, the former Portuguese colony which is one of Africa’s smallest and least-known states. They return to Europe in April and start making their amazing music not only at night but also during the daytime too. Nesting in dense bushes alongside our restaurant terrace the male nightingale (ruiseñor in Spanish) protects his patch from intruders occupying the same song post every year.

We have been so impressed with the complicated repertoire of the bird that we are hoping to capture the sound on tape and will add to this blog as soon as we are successful. Meanwhile we have added a lovely recording here made in England.

A PS:

Today, 28th June, we heard the little beauties near Cantueso early in the morning.Maybe a late comer?

San Isidro Fiesta 2017


The annual festival in honour or the patron saint of Periana, St Isidro, will take place on the 12th to 15th May. As usual it will have plenty of entertainment for all ages and feature some well known Spanish musical performers. The village will be very much alive during the days and nights of the festival with plenty to see and do. Typically the villagers come out en masse late at night accompanied by their children (who normally sleep during the day.) Highly recommended to those with strong constitutions!

The official programme of events is as follows.

THURSDAY, MAY 11

18.00 Hours: Celebration of the festival Saint, with “besapies” (kissing of the feet) and the offering of floral tributes to San Isidro Labrador. Villagers are asked to contribute floral gifts with red and white carnations. These are used to decorate the throne of the patron saint.

20.00 Hours: Departure from the children’s throne of San Isidro to the town fountain. You are all invited to bring along and play musical instruments.

FRIDAY, MAY 12

20:00 Hours: Parade of the Municipal Music Band of Periana, announcing the beginning of the Fiestas.

21:00 Hours: Traditional Proclamation of the Festivities of San Isidro Labrador by Francisco Ramón Larrubia.
00:00 Hours: Fireworks and firing of rockets at the crossing of the Paseo Bellavista.
00:30 Hours: Coronation of the Miss and the Mister of the Festival of San Isidro 2017, in the Municipal House.

01:00 Hours: Opening of the Municipal House with the Melodies Orchestra.

02:00 Hours: Performance of the Quartet La Perdición.

03:30 Hours: We will continue with the Melodies Orchestra as long as the body holds out.

SATURDAY, MAY 13

11:30 Hours: Children’s party in the San Isidro Labrador School with our monitors Sonia and Sandra. Playground.
Election of the Children’s King and Queen of the fiesta of San Isidro 2017.

13:30 Hours: Beer tasting offered by Paco Zorrilla.
Tasting of sausages offered by butcher Pepe and María Dolores.

Endowed by the Panda of Verdiales San Isidro de Periana and the Choir Path of Olivares de Periana.

There will be a wine tasting by courtesy of Spectacles Rosa.

16:00 Hours: 7-a-side female soccer tournament on the municipal soccer field.

18:00 Hours: Ribbons Race on the Bellavista Promenade.

23:30 Hours: Opening of the Town House quartet La Perdición.

01:30 Hours: Support group to be nnounced.

02:30 Hours: The Orchestra of Melodies continues until the wee hours of the morning.

SUNDAY, MAY 14

13:30 Hours: Opening of the Day Fair in the Town House with a performance by the Abraham Ortiz group.

Beer tasting offered by Paco Zorrilla.
Sausagetasting offered by Rafael and Mónica.

18:00 Hours: Fiesta in Honour of the third age with a dance performance by Laura Maria.

Snacks offered to all grandparents of Periana and their villages.

Election of the Grandfather and Grandmother of the Celebrations of San Isidro 2017.

22:30 Hours: Opening of the Town House with the Quartet of Perdition.

00:30 Hours: Performance of the Mesmer “Anian Berto”.

01:30 Hours: We will continue to dance until the body gives in, with the Quartet of Perdition.

MONDAY, MAY 15

11:00 Hours: Solemn Mass in honour of our patron Saint Isidro Labrador, officiated by our parish priest Eduardo Romero.

Election of Mayors 2018

Mass enlivened by the rociero choir “Camino de Olivares” and Periana Municipal Music Band

13:00 Hours: Transfer to the Fountain Square of Santa Maria de la Cabeza, accompanied by the Mayordomos 2018.

Tasting offered by the Mayordomos 2017 in Plaza de la Fuente.

16.30 Hours: Departure of the procession of San Isidro Labrador accompanied by the Band of Municipal Music of Periana and Band of horns and drums La Estrella

23:30 Hours: Opening of the Municipal booth by the quartet “La Perdición”

03:00 Hours: Closure of San Isidro Labrador accompanied by fireworks

 

People Say the Nicest Things!

Lake Vinuela seen from the Restaurant Terrace at Cantueso in Periana

Lake Vinuela seen from the Restaurant Terrace at Cantueso in Periana

As the season has just started and with the restaurant reopened after our winter break it was nice for staff to see such lovely comments as these posted on another website.

Review #17309028 “Cantueso Rural Cottages with Mountain and Lake Views”

A  beautiful and tranquil location with a bird’s eye view of the lake & fantastic hospitality!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

We spent three idyllic nights in one of the cottages on site. They are all arranged cleverly to take in the amazing views of Lake Vinuela. We had the most amazing view from our veranda and spent most of our time outside, by the pool or our three children would be exploring the many areas thoughtfully designed to entertain them; trampoline and crazy golf overlooking the lake, games room with table tennis, darts board, table football and a host of toys for smaller children. We adults were blown away by the standard of the tapas food that was served at lunchtime and overindulged both times we ate there. Nicky was a great host, very smiley and welcoming. The property had a rustic charm, very cool inside despite being unusually warm during our stay (27/28 degrees in April!) and well equipped with everything you’d need to cater for yourselves. It was lovely to be part of a small community of other cottages, with other families and children around. The pool was lovely with a good shallow end for smaller children but also a deep end for the children to dive into. We will definitely be back for another quiet getaway in the future. Thanks again for your hospitality!

Date of arrival 12 April 2017

A typical Cottage at Cantueso

A typical Cottage at Cantueso

Restaurante Cantueso Spring Opening

See menus on our web pages. Lots of choice and tapas style dishes.

See menus on our web pages. Lots of choice and tapas style dishes.

Horario de apertura en primavera:

De 13.00 a 15.30 horas y de 20.00 a 22.30 h
Los domingos sólo servimos el almuerzo
Cerramos los lunes
Los martes hasta los viernes sólo servimos el almuerzo
Los sábados servimos el almuerzo y la cena

The Spring bar/restaurant hours are:
Lunch 13.00 to 15.30 hrs and Dinner 20.00 to 22.30 hrs
Sundays we only serve Lunch
Closed Mondays
Tuesday to Friday open for Lunch only
Saturday open Lunch and Dinner

Olive Oil Day 2017 in Periana

oil day 2017

On Sunday, 23rd April Periana celebrates its eighteenth Verdial Oil Day, which this year will again be attended by various radio and TV personalities. This celebration honours Periana’s extra virgin oil (verdial variety), offering visitors one of the best products in the land known locally as “liquid gold.”

On many stands, around the centre of town, this superior oil will be offered for tasting together with bread for dipping, and from 10 o’clock you may savour the free Miller’s breakfast. It comprises cod, beans and of course oil from Mondrón and Periana.
Visitors can also purchase other local products such as bread, brandy, sweets, seasonal fruits and meats.

Throughout the day there will be bands, prize givings, and children’s entertainment.

Route of the Millennium Olive Trees around Periana

New walking routes around ancient olive trees

New walking routes around ancient olive trees

Rutas de los Olivos Milenarios de Periana

We have written before about Periana Gold the verdial type olive oil produced in the village cooperative and it will interest walkers and lovers of the countryside to see that three new walking routes around the olive groves have been established.

These walks are designed to show off some of the district’s ancient trees, one of which is thought to be over 1500 years old. Several others exceed a thousand years and all have been calculated by measuring the girth of the trunk one and a half metres from the ground. Each metre is thought to equal between 200 and 250 years. The oldest to be seen on the walk is known as “El Chato” with a girth of 7.4 metres. Various other wonderful specimens to be seen are known as “The snail”, “The shelf” and “Box Office” all names describing the shape of the trees.

One metre of girth equals 200 to 250 years of age

One metre of girth equals 200 to 250 years of age

The three routes vary in length and will take between 1.25 and 2.00 hours. The olive oil cooperative are offering guided tours or you may walk independently using maps provided, a link is here. You will see that the routes can be walked separately or joined together for a much longer hike.

The closest route to Cantueso is called “Ruta Cortijo Blanco – Rio Seco” and is 6.3 Km long and should take 1 3/4 hours. In fact Cantueso is along the route so you may start and finish here and no doubt need a cooling drink at the end 🙂 Please make sure that you go prepared for walking in warm weather with proper shoes and plenty of water.

The cooperativo has also produced a special limited batch of Millennium oil using olives from the ancient trees. It can along with several other types be purchased from the cooperative shop in Periana.

For more information on walking in Axarquia see our website walking page here.

And if you are interested to read more about Periana’s Olive oil please see our previous blog here.

Olive trees seem to thrive when their roots are restricted.

Olive trees seem to thrive when their roots are restricted.

The Festival of San Isidro Labrador

During May guests at Cantueso are able to join in the village festivities in celebration of “San Isidro” an annual event lasting several days with lots of fun for all ages.

san isidro2015San Isidro Labrador is the patron saint of Periana and once a year the inhabitants celebrate a successful harvest with a procession through the streets taking several hours and after which the parties start.

The history of the procession is said to date back to a time when a there was a poor summer with little rain and a resultant low yield harvest. The local farmers paraded the statue of St Isidro though the fields and afterwards the harvest improved and subsequently the grateful villagers were inclined to give their weight in grain every year in thanks.

Villagers Donate Grain from their balcony (photo courtesy perianaypedanias.blogspot.com)

This is the basis of the procession which today stops under any balcony in the village displaying a decorated shawl or blanket, and the householders pour sacks of wheat into the waiting carriage below. The image of St Isidro, adorned with spikes and red and white carnations is specially constructed so that grain poured from above passes through a funnel into a hopper below. This hopper holds about 500 kilos of grain and when full is put into sacks which will eventually be sold and the proceeds used to defray the cost of future celebrations.

Years ago only the rich could afford to donate wheat (never any other grain) as many families only had enough for their own families, but nowadays many villagers are pleased to take part as a thanks for their families health and prosperity.

Stewards carrying the Staute around the village (photo courtesy perianaypedanias.blogspot.com)

The procession was previously in the control of four stewards and their wives always newly married and childless. However it now usually needs ten to fifteen stewards to carry the statue and it is they who control the day’s events and work throughout the year planning and organising.

The original statue of St Isidro was destroyed along with the church in the Periana earthquake of 1884 but subsequently replaced, and during the civil war it was hidden by a quick thinking villager and so survived those troubled times.

You can see the latest view of Periana and Lake Vinuela from the live webcam at Restaurante Cantueso or go to the main web site.

This year’s programme can be seen here: http://www.periana.es/es/noticias/paginaNoticia.html?pos=1&pag=1&query=

What do Photographers do on Holiday (part 2)?

In Spring of 2013 Dutch photographer Kees Laurijsen stayed at Cantueso Cottages and took some splendid photos of our complex and the surrounding area. We were very pleased to be able to share them on this blog and you can see the original post here.

Now this year Kees and his wife came back for a second visit and as before he couldn’t resist the photo opportunities. There are so many photos to admire and we hope that in the near future we will be able to make a slide show, but for now you can see a sample below. It is particulary interesting to see the difference the seasons make to the landscape; those panoramas that in Spring were so verdant are now glowing with oranges and warm reds. Kees came at the end of September and we had not had rain for three months, so no doubt one of the reasons why the colours of the soil are lacking in green.

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Lake Vinuela from Cantueso

20141003_2099

The goat herders are a familiar sight around Periana, moving all the time in search of food for their animals

20141003_2023

We are often asked why the Lake is so blue in summer, and unfortunately we don’t know. Do you?

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There are many evenings like this in autumn and it is always a good excuse for a “sun downer”

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Olives thrive in rocky soil and Periana still has over three hundred families cultivating them for the local cooperative.

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No visit to Andalucia is complete without seeing the Alhambra Palace.

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The elegant architecture in Granada is just one legacy from the Moorish occupation over one thousand years ago.

Kees has a blog and you can see his entries regarding Cantueso here: http://www.kees-laurijsen.nl/blog/23153/2014_Spain_Cantueso.blog

and his website here: www.kees-laurijsen.nl

XII Peaches Day Festival

dia del melocoton 12On Saturday 2nd August 2014 the 12th Peaches Festival will once again be held in Periana. Unlike last year when due to economic restrictions it was held alongside the August festival, it will once again be a stand alone event.

During the day there will be the usual stalls and amusements set up along the main street with various free tastings, and a medieval market. There will also be the popular cookery competition; dishes for which should of course contain Peaches.

Later there will be an on stage Festival of Rock & Roll, with various tribute acts and then music with Dj’s until the early hours.

In previous years more than 5000 people came to the village and this year is bound to be just as lively. A stroll around the streets filled with the scent of peaches is bound to get your taste buds moving and suitable food and refreshment stalls will be available.

A little Peach History: It is thought that a resident brought the first seedling to Periana after a visit to Argentina 200 years ago and it thrived in the wonderful climate and fertile land. As the crop developed it was taken to neighbouring villages on the backs of donkeys and eventually became popular with buyers from Murcia and surrounding provinces. However it was not until the last half of the 20th century that the crop came to prominence being appreciated for its taste, aromatic scent, soft velvet skin, colour and culinary versatility and by the 70’s a good year would yield as much as 4 million kilos.

Sadly as so often happens in agriculture, the crops were affected by pests and several years of drought which led to a steady decline in production. This continued until about ten years ago when market demand encouraged growers to plant more trees and the municipality started to promote peaches once again. Hence this year is the twelth in which the village and visitors will get to party the night away.

If you have time come up and visit us at Restaurante Cantueso where Carmen our chef is sure to produce some very tempting dishes, and whatever you do, don’t forget to buy a box of these special fruits to take home before you leave.

¡Que aproveche!

Hidden Treasures near Cantueso with Geocaching

 

Dirk en Netty Eijlers at El Torcal

Dirk en Netty Eijlers at El Torcal

 

We are always pleased to see walkers staying in our cottages and through one couple this week from Holland we have learned of Geocaching. We were quite surprised that we had never heard about this walking pastime, which turns out to have millions of enthusiasts worldwide. We then learned that there are quite a few “caches” in the hills around Cantueso and that a search tends to lead walkers to special areas they would otherwise not get to see. Dirk en Netty Eijlers from Pijnacker in the Netherlands took this “selfie” at El Torcal. They made several walks from Cantueso in search of caches and succeeded in finding all but one. They also mentioned that over the last few years they have found over two hundred caches in several countries. Phew, that must have involved a lot of kilometers!

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a game that reveals a world beyond the everyday, where the possibility of a new discovery hides under park benches, in the forest, and probably a short walk from where you are right now. The adventure begins by searching for cleverly hidden containers called geocaches.

There are more than two million geocaches waiting to be found throughout the world, in more than 180 countries. It’s easy for anyone from families to business travelers to top tier athletes to begin the journey by downloading the Geocaching app or visiting Geocaching.com.

• Watch the 75second What is Geocaching? video to learn more.

• Learn about the History of Geocaching.

Continue reading

Major new walking route 650km long!

Stunning views await along the new route

Stunning views await along the new route

Part of the route passing by Cantueso

Part of the route passing by Cantueso, perfect for walking and cycling

Senderos de Málaga. (Routes of Málaga)

At Cantueso we have long played hosts to walkers and groups wanting to enjoy are wonderful countryside and now can announce a major new route which is bound to create lots more interest in our part of Andalucia.

A collection of 75 trails have been combined to make a new walking route circling Málaga which should be complete within a few months. So far 23 stretches are complete and signposted covering about 420km. The trails which are also suitable for cyclists makes use of existing walks and combines cattle tracks, riverbank paths, livestock routes and even royal rights of way. The first section starts in Nerja and goes as far as Ronda. The remaining sections will return to Nerja in a southerly arc. Apart from its length the route is unusual in that it passes through a wide variety of landscapes, seascapes, towns, villages and combines sections of varying difficulty.

The route passes close by Canatueso

Olive groves and meadows close by Cantueso

The section passing by Cantueso and through Periana is already complete but as we write it is proving difficult to find route plans and further details so we propose getting some of our friends to walk the sections near Cantueso and then we will produce our own guides. These will complement our existing walking routes for the area which are already popular with visitors.

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One of many waymarkers

The routes are being signed with 13,000 information signs and 1,300 trail markers and has been funded in the main by the EU with a grant of 1.12 million Euros.

Please contact us for further information.

Some sections of the route are easy walking

Some sections of the route are easy walking

Spring is an exceptional time to walk this route

Spring is an exceptional time to walk this route

August Festival in Periana

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From the 15th to 18th August the annual festival will take place in and around Periana. As last year it will now include the XI Peach Festival and is repeating many popular features including: Outdoor painting competition; municipal band performances on several days; The Cuban Show Band; Peach and Sangria tastings; cookery competion (using peaches of course); fireworks most nights; children’s festival; foam festival in front of the town’s fountain; The Seguridad Social showband; The spectacular Pasacalles and many more singers, dancers and other acts every evening until late.

There will be lots to see and do so go early and be prepared to stay late and best of all it is free.

A Day Out in Nerja

Nerja Caves - Cuevas de Nerja

Nerja Caves – Cuevas de Nerja

There are many things to keep a young family entertained close to Cantueso which are listed on our website, under ‘things to do‘.  Below is a report by a young family who recently visited Nerja for a day out.

Our Day Out in Nerja

We decided to spend a day out in Nerja and having looked at the options decided to visit the Donkey Sanctuary and the Caves at Nerja.

Nerja Donkey Sanctuary

The Nerja Donkey Sanctuary has sadly had to close since this was written but animal lovers can see some of the original donkeys at El Refugio del Burrito. See www.elrefugiodelburrito.com for details. It is about 45 minutes drive from the coast near Fuente de Piedra which is famous for its Flamingo Lake.

Feeding Time!

Feeding Time!

Nerja Caves ‘Cuevas de Nerja

The Nerja Caves are a major tourist attraction and, judging by our visit, attract lots of Spanish people in addition to the many tourists.

The Nerja Caves are a large series of underground chambers which include the world’s largest stalagmite (the ones that rise from the floor of a cave) – an impressive 32 metre high column of rock. The caves were discovered by some local boys out watching bats in 1959 and have since been developed into a very well run site.

The World's Largest Stalagmite

The World’s Largest Stalagmite

Entrance to the caves cost us €8.50 per adult and €4.50 per child (although children under 6 years of age are free).  Audio guides are also available for hire, which explain the history, geology and facts about the caves. You enter the caves by walking down a wide staircase and instantly feel the cooler air underground.  The cool air of the caves was a welcome change from the hot and sunny weather above ground.

The Large Chamber Used for Music Concerts

The Large Chamber Used for Music Concerts

It takes around 30-40 minutes to follow the well-marked path through the various chambers, including the large chamber which is used to hold music concerts in a spectacular setting. Keen amateur photographers would no doubt enjoy taking advantage of the spectacular scenes and unusual lighting in the caves.

The caves are very well signed from the motorway and from the centre of Nerja – from where it takes no more that 10 minutes to drive. Right by the entrance to the caves is a restaurant (which serves very nice ice creams), gift shop and a shaded picnic area and children’s play park.  All of which means that it is possible to spend a very nice half a day in and around the caves, if you include lunch in the restaurant or take your own picnic.

 

Axarquia a Walking Wonderland

For many years we have extolled the virtues of Cantueso as a base for walking and associated pastimes such as birding or photography, and to aid less experienced walkers we have our own route guides.  Below we are pleased to include a report by Derek Polley on his walking and birding in Axarquia following his third stay at Cantueso during April.

 Derek had previously been here with another group from Northern Ireland on a couple of occasions and thought it would suit his church walking group, so booked the complete complex.  Derek explains:  “This is purely a walking group, although walks are planned round lunch, and coffee on the way home.  We have been called an eating group which does occasional walks!!  My birding just happens as we walk although I have been known to pick a route where I know there will be good birds!”

Derek's Walking Group in  the Cantueso Apartment

Derek’s Walking Group in the Cantueso Apartment

Birding around Cantueso

As well as the birds which can be seen in or around the site itself, there are also a number of possibilities in the immediate area, and further possibilities if you are prepared to drive for an hour to an hour and a half.  There is also the Guadalhorce Reserve in Malaga which is only five minutes from the airport.

The birds seen in and around Cantueso itself have been seen either in April or September.  Obviously some of them are summer migrants and will only be seen from April to September, others are resident and can be seen all year round.

Residents include Collared dove, Blackbird, Sardinian warbler, Great tit, Blue tit, Spotless starling House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Serin and Goldfinch. Crested lark is the default lark in the area but do not rule out Thekla’s lark which occurs as well.

Monfrague Viewpoint

Monfrague Viewpoint

Summer visitors include Cuckoo, Swift, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, House Martin, Swallow, Red-rumped swallow, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Woodchat shrike

In summer it is usual to see eagles and other birds of prey from Cantueso. These occasionally hunt the valleys on either side of the complex. Expect to see Bonelli’s eagle, Short toed eagle, Booted eagle, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel in season. Griffon vulture is a possibility as well.

The walk along the old railway line to Ventas La Zaffaraya can also be productive. As well as common residents you can expect to see Griffon vulture, red-billed chough, black wheatear, stonechat, corn bunting, raven, peregrine, and in spring and autumn migration anything may turn up.  I have seen spotted flycatcher, redstart, whitethroat, golden oriole and turtle dove.

Black Winged Stilt

Black Winged Stilt

Cross the valley to Alcaucin and walk up the valley into the mountains to the nature reserve and you will find many of the above species as well as Jay, Coal tit, Crag martin, Great spotted woodpecker, Alpine accentor and Wood pigeon.

El Torcal is an hour’s drive to the North-west (see also.) As well as spectacular limestone scenery it has a good range of birds including Griffon vulture, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Rock bunting, Blue rock thrush, Black redstart, Sub-alpine warbler and Melodious warbler.  Another thirty minutes North to Antequera brings you close to the breeding flamingo colony at Fuente de Piedra lagoon.  A lot of what you will see there depends on time of year and water levels, but it is worth a visit if you are in the area.

El Torcal, so much more to see than just birds

El Torcal, so much more to see than just birds!

If you are flying in and out of Malaga the Guadalhorce reserve is only 5 minutes drive from the airport.  It is well worth a couple of hours en route to Periana, or leave early and check it out before you drop the car off.  It has a wide variety of wetland species and is a migratory stopover in spring and autumn.  The list of species is long and varied and includes White-headed duck, Kingfisher, Marsh harrier, Yellow legged gulls, Black winged stilt, Glossy ibis, herons, egrets, ducks, waders and terns – including Gull billed.  The reserve is good for breeding warblers including Zitting cistacolas.  In summer it is very hot, there is very little shade, and if water levels are low there will be fewer species.  However in April, May and September anything can turn up on migration to and from the Straits of Gibraltar. Google Guadalhorce and you will find a lot of trip reports with a lot of stunning birds, including a feral flock of Monk Parakeets.

All photos courtesy Derek Polley

See also:

Nightingales at Cantueso.

Rio Frio a day out from Cantueso.

Birdwatching in Andalusia

The “Long Sufferers Walking Group”

 

 

 

What do Photographers do on Holiday?

We have noticed that both professional and amateur photographers just cannot resist the many photo opportunities that exist around Cantueso Cottages in Periana Spain, and this last month Kees Laurijsen from Dongen in Holland was no exception. He has kindly allowed us to show some of his photos here and because it has been so hard to select just a few we have added a link here to many more.

Like many other photographers and artists Kees found that the light in spring time Andalucia has a marvellous clarity, ideal for landscapes with mountain backdrops or lake views. Early mornings can offer sultry mists before the sun has burnt off the dew and at the end of the day there are sunsets to keep the shutter working. During the day there are lots of birds, wild flowers, insects and the ubiquitous olive trees which are so much of a feature of our area. All of the photos below were taken either from the terrace of the cottage where Kees and his wife stayed or close by.

Kees is a very talented professional photographer and examples of recent work can be seen on his website at: www.kees-laurijsen.nl

Imagine waking up to this view every morning....

Imagine waking up to this view from your cottage every morning, but then…..

...and one morning things had changed. Extremely low cloud  gave this amazing shot of Lake Vinuela

…one morning things had changed. Extremely low cloud gave this amazing shot of Lake Vinuela.

The area arround Cantueso is given over to lots of Olive groves and at this time of year wild flowers abound.

The area arround Cantueso is given over to lots of Olive groves and at this time of year wild flowers abound.

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Even microscopic insects didn't escape Kees.

Even microscopic insects didn’t escape Kees.

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Even in Spring the nearby mountain Maroma, can some mornings have snow at the summit.

In Spring the nearby mountains.

We can't resist a photo of well known Cantueso resident Ping the cat.

We can’t resist a photo of well known Cantueso resident Ping our friendly cat.

All good days come to an end.....

All good days come to an end…..

...and finally after a hard days photography what better than a sundowner on your terrace?

…and finally after a hard days photography what better than a final shot with a sundowner in hand?
and for the technically minded the equipment used by Kees was: A Canon EOS 5D Mark III with the following lenses: Canon 24-70 F2.8; Canon 70-200 F2.8; Canon 100mm macro F2.8 and Canon 50mm F1.4 For the macrosa tripod was used.

Just in Time for the Better weather

 

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Preparations for summer seemed to be dogged by bad weather and our refurbishing of the pool at Cantueso Cottages has only just been completed.  This 12,000 € project is going to put a stop to water leaks which have plagued us for the last few years being both wasteful and expensive.  Many leak tests and other investigations were carried out but in the end we decided the only solution was to completely reline the pool and this has been done by Clima Pool Centre from Nerja, one of whom had the unenviable job of working up to his chest in cold water for much of the time.  Now it is finished we have a brighter blue colour and a non slip children’s shallow area.  And as I write the weather is giving us some glorious days. Take a look at our webcam and see for yourself.

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Another part of our complex to get the winter upgrade treatment has been the crazy golf area where we now boast a large 14ft trampoline, sand table and swings with much needed shade so that mum can sit and watch the little ones at play.

I’m Smarter than the Average Bear!

yogi

Yogi certainly was and it seems that either he or one of his family of admirers came to Cantueso earlier today.

Yogi’s table had the new “Para Picar” menu and were so pleased that they decided to leave this unusual thank you card in the kids playroom. (Well where else?)

We are pleased that the new menu ideas are receiving nice comments and we hope lot’s more of you will come and try them 🙂

Museum of Honey in Colmenar

Calle Posito, the home of Malaga Museum of Honey

Do you suffer from: respiratory problems, asthma, high blood pressure, anaemia, fatigue, rheumatism, liver disease or even intellectual exhaustion?  Well if you do, there is help available through the magical properties of honey.  It is claimed that different types of honey have a variety of medicinal properties and the main types in Málaga include: Orange blossom, Lavender, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Chestnut and even Avocado.  And whilst we offer no guarantees regarding the efficacy of these claims ): we do recommend this as a day out from Cantueso, especially if you have children.

 
Very educational and informative displays

The recently opened museum is a little off the beaten track, tucked away in a back street of Colmenar, but well worth the effort to see and learn about honey.  A good starting point is the 15 minute film in several languages which introduces the visitor to the beekeeper’s world, charting its history going back 8000 years, and describing the complex work of the bee.  You can then wander around the museum which has lots of interactive displays, exhibits and finally a shop which sells honey, beeswax, soap and other associated products.

 

Giant bee at work

The museum has been set up by the Beekeeper’s Association of Málaga who proudly display the eight types of honey which have been awarded their “Seal of Quality.”

Einstein it seems noted the importance of bees and is quoted at the museum as having said:

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.”

It is a good thought provoking quote even though it seems he never said it!!!

Opening hours

Tuesday – Friday:   10am – 2pm and 3pm – 6pm. Monday: closed

Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 2pm Guided visits: by appointment

Colmenar is about 8 miles from Cantueso in Periana and 13 miles from Málaga.

Entry 2€ or Guided visit: 6€ Gift pack included with the visit

Website: http://www.museodelamiel.com/

 

 

 

Walking Season is Here at Cantueso in Periana

The "Long Sufferers' Walking Group" who recently stayed at Cantueso Cottages

The self-styled Longsufferers’, a walking group from Northern Ireland has spent a week at Cantueso for a second time. The group is comprised of retirees who nonetheless undertook a number of quite extensive walks in the Periana region. “Peter the Walker” as we know him, says: “Members see Cantueso as offering classic walks with stunning views direct from the doorstep, the flexibility of having individual and group-prepared meals as well as the restaurant service, combined drives and walks within a reasonable distance and a great pool to unwind in after the exertion!” Peter also told us that a number of the group  combined their week at Cantueso with stays further afield including Seville, Cordoba and Granada.

Many other visitors to Cantueso enjoy our prepared route guides and we all have Peter to thank for his kindness in preparing them. We hope to add to them in the future.

Please also see our web page  giving more details about this area of Axarquia and other walking links.

Smell the Fruit on Peach Day in Periana

IX Día del Melecotón, Periana, Spain Saturday 30th July 2011

Another special day is coming up in Periana with lots of festivities as the village comes out in force to celebrate this special crop for which the village is justifiably famous. The day will see competitions and entertainments all day in the main streets and continues well into the night.

The most important competition is the Concurso Gastronómico when anyone can enter a special dish in which the main ingredient is Peaches. It is always strongly contested and there are three prizes of 100€, 200€ and 300€.

Last year more than 5000 people came to the village and this year is bound to be just as lively. A stroll around the streets filled with the scent of peaches is bound to get your taste buds moving and suitable food and refreshment stalls will be available.

A little Peach History: It is thought that a resident brought the first seedling to Periana after a visit to Argentina 200 years ago and it thrived in the wonderful climate and fertile land. As the crop developed it was taken to neighbouring villages on the backs of donkeys and eventually became popular with buyers from Murcia and surrounding provinces. However it was not until the last half of the 20th century that the crop came to prominence being appreciated for its taste, aromatic scent, soft velvet skin, colour and culinary versatility and by the 70’s a good year would yield as much as 4 million kilos.

Sadly as so often happens in agriculture, the crops were affected by pests and several years of drought which led to a steady decline in production. This continued until about ten years ago when market demand encouraged growers to plant more trees and the municipality started to promote peaches once again. Hence this year is the ninth in which the village and visitors will get to party the night away.

If you have time come up and visit us at Restaurante Cantueso where Carmen our chef is sure to produce some very tempting dishes, and whatever you do, don’t forget to buy a box of these special fruits to take home before you leave.

¡Que aproveche!

The Patio Festival in Cordoba an Andalusian Gardener’s Delight

Cordoba the one time capital of Moorish Spain rates high on the things to do list of most tourists and whatever time of year you visit there is always much to see. Top of the list is the architectural wonder the Mezquita-Catedral (Mosque Cathedral). However during May there is the Patio Festival which gives us a unique opportunity to step into private homes and to see marvellous displays of plants and flowers in private gardens and patios. You cannot help but marvel at the variety of the decorations and plants, at a time when the geraniums, roses, carnations and other flowers are in full bloom.

Continue reading

New Guide to Beaches in Axarquia

The new Axarquia Beach Guide from Cantueso

At Cantueso Cottages and Restaurante we are often asked by visitors to recommend a beach and always found it difficult to offer adequate information due to the numerous possibilities along this part of the Costa del Sol.

Now thanks to our front of house manager Jo Mitchell’s hard work during the last few months, we have her own personal recommendations for some of the many beaches between Malaga and Nerja. Her illustrated guide runs to over twenty pages and will be available to visitors staying at Cantueso Cottages.

 

Jo the author of our guide

Jo is a sun worshipper and spends much of her free time on the beach and writes from first hand experience. She includes a wealth of information on each beach and will guide you to: lively beaches, those ideal for children, secret coves, the best beach-side bars and restaurants, or even a nudist beach.

Latest News from Jo

She has now added to her great beach guide with a companion volume “An A to Z of things to do in Andalucia” It runs to an impressive 158 pages and has over 1400 photos of all the places you are ever likely to visit in this part of Spain. As with her beach guide the latest volume is available to guests staying at Cantueso Cottages in Periana, Spain

1400 photos in a guide to Axarquia

See also the 14 pages of “Things to do” on our website.

GEOGRAPHICAL NOTE:

No doubt many readers will be as confused, as we sometimes are, regarding how Axarquia, Costa del Sol and Andalusia all fit together.

ANDALUSIA

Andalusia is a Spanish Autonomous Community with regional government and has the greatest number of inhabitants of any region. It is sometimes called the Lake District of Spain having over 300 lakes and reservoirs. See our blog on Lake Viñuela.

It has a benign climate boasting 3000 hours of sun per year, with many kilometres of golden sandy beaches and those beautiful natural ports which have made it a safe haven for navigators for centuries past, and now plays host to many thousands of tourists from all over the world.

COSTA DEL SOL

Within Andalusia is the COSTA DEL SOL (The Sunshine Coast). It is that part of the Southern coastline of Spain which stretches from Gibraltar in the West, to Almeria in the

East. The Northern boundaries are not always easily defined and here in Periana we are sometimes said to be “Inland” Costa del Sol.

AXARQUIA

Axarquia is a district (comarca) within Andalusia. It stretches from Malaga to Nerja along the coast and inland as far as Alfarnate hence we title Jo’s beach guide La Axarquia (Costa del Sol East).

For maps and information on the regions of Spain see: Maps of Spain or Absolute Axarquia