Not far from Grenada near the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies Guadix, a town that is famous for its many cave houses. These houses look like a cross between hobbit houses and the Flintstone's residence, and hundreds of Cuevas can be found in Guadix and the surrounding countryside. People have been living in caves in this area for centuries, and it makes sense. The caves are a great way to shield yourself from the sun and enjoy cool temperatures in the summer and warmth in the winter. The temperatures are extreme here. And the desert like vistas were perfect for filming the spaghetti westerns of the 1960's. Walking around you can imagine Clint Eastwood riding out of the hills.
Between the hills and the fields of almond and olive trees you can see small white chimneys sticking out of the ground indicating a cave house neighbourhood. Although many cuevas lie unused, thousands of people still live in them and more and more tourists are coming to stay in one of the cave house hotels that have popped up in recent years. Many of the caves are quite luxurious inside, and most of the refurbished ones have electricity and running water with stuccoed walls painted bright white.
We stayed in a cave house complex called Cuevas de Rolando just outside of town. Our cave was a smallish two bedroom apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, wood burning stove, and a great outdoor terrace with a brick barbeque. Although most of are vacation was spent experiencing the hectic Semana Santa celebrations around Andalusia, our cave was cozy and quiet, and it was great to just kick back and relax for a few days.
There are no stores nearby, so you have to buy your supplies in town. There was a large supermarket near the bus station which had an incredible selection of produce, meats, cheeses, pastries, and specialty sausages. We bought a ton of stuff including some local vermuts and finos. Besides wandering the hills and fields, there is not much to do. Neither Mia or I drive so we couldn't explore the surrounding region much, and we spent the next few days feasting and relaxing.
Tapas in the afternoons, including serrano wrapped dates, chorizo, marinated fish, manchego, and mojama with romesco
A BBQ every evening with various sausages and vegetables
Eating roast chicken with bacon wrapped grilled strawberries
and drinking lots of sherry while watching the sunset over the Sierra Nevada Mountains
One morning we walked down to the nearby Guadix Train Station and had a typical Spanish breakfast in the cool retro diner attached. Pan con Tomate y jamon y queso
Another day we made plato alpujarreño. A regional dish of the area with sausage, eggs, pork loin, and lots of fried potatoes and spicy peppers. A great hangover cure.
We had a great time in our little cave house and would like to go back. Renting a cave house in Guadix for a couple of weeks would be a perfect way to unwind and get away from it all.
|View from our Cave|
|Retro Train Station Diner|