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  • Writer's pictureMorag MacDonald

In season or off season Spanish holiday?

Whether you choose to travel for a Spanish family holiday, or to work, at the height of the summer or holiday in the off-season months, southern Spain offers so much. This year we found ourselves in the middle of a huge carnival in Murcia in January. Wandering the streets around the old cathedral and eating in the most exquisite tapas bars.

I have always loved to travel out of season. Even if the sea is too cold to swim, Andalusia has wonderful country to explore. When my kids come out with me, we travel in the school holidays in May, August and October.

Over the last couple of years, I since owning the Cave House I have had the opportunity to stay at different times of the year, often staying with friends, making the trip to unwind, try and take control of the garden and potter around the house. I have also come over with a close friend to focus on a particular projects we were working on (as WIFI connection is very good), so a great place to get work done without the interruptions of normal life (except to drink a little wine with our wonderful neighbours or go for a walk or a quick swim, of course!).

Casa Isadora is in a sleepy part of Andalusia, so it is usually quiet, even on the coast (always around our cave house!). Our favourite coves have seasonal beach bars that open during the summer months. July can be quiet, but August is teeming with Spanish holiday makers. One of my favourite beach bars is Chiringuito Los Cocedores at the wonderful cove of Cala Cerrada.

I prefer it a little cooler, even in January this year we were able to sit out in the sun, with temperatures as high as 21 degrees in the daytime some days. From the house you can walk for miles, along the riverbed, through the hills or take a short drive to the rugged coastline, explored goldmines or go cycling or hillwalking. In March it can get a little windy in the afternoons, but lovely when you get out of the wind. The hillside is teeming with spring flowers and wildlife, so beautiful to see at his time of year.

Late April through to May have to be my favourite months, as the spring flowers are still all over the hillside and it is warming up nicely. If you love it hot, then I recommend July and August. But even at the height of a heatwave you can find a cool and calming atmosphere in the deeper parts of the cave that hold an all year-round temperature of 17-23 degrees, so does not need air-conditioning.

When the days are really hot, we (myself, Ian and our girls) would get up early and take a short drive to Playa Carolina for a dawn swim. The way this beach is orientated the sun rises directly out of the sea in the summer months. We would then make the most of the cool morning and quiet beach, often staying till lunch, then having a quiet afternoon in the cave before venturing out again as it gets a bit cooler in the evening.

October is beautiful. The sea is still so warm and sitting out in the evenings you watch the starlings dancing in the sky as they settle down to roost. You become so aware of the wildlife here. Insects buzzing, cicada, frog song from the riverbed below the house, bird song and butterflies. Visiting house geckos usually make an appearance at some point during our stay, once we even had the privilege of seeing a bright red starfish, and in our village, a chameleon. Both for the first time for me.

Morag MacDonald x

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