Casas rurales are literally 'rural houses', but the term covers all sorts of accommodation types: furnished rooms, mini-hotels, farmhouses, villas and sprawling ranches. What they all have in common is that they are out in the beautiful Spanish countryside and are overlooked by most tourists - 90 per cent of reservations in Spain's 13,000 casas rurales are by savvy Spaniards escaping from hectic city life.
Since many of today's travelers want a natural environment, regional food and wine, intimate ambiances and contact with local people, the casas rurales program is ideal. Adding to the enormous success is attractive pricing (non-euro-based travelers, take note), although it varies considerably depending upon the style, region and quality.
Examples of Casas RuralesSome typical casas rurales, with sample prices.
- A room in a simplistic house - 15€ per person.
- The 740-acre El Caserío de Lobones country manor, nine kilometers from Segovia's aqueduct - 110€ for a double.
- The historical Can Talaias in the north of Ibiza, the former home of British film star Terry Thomas, an eight-room agrotourism hotel - up to 290€ for a double room.
Other Features of Casas Rurales
- Casas Rurales can often be rented in their entirety.
- complimentary breakfast may be included.
- Lunch and dinner, always a regional menu, are extra.
Where are the Casas Rurales?Casas rurales can be found in the following locations in Spain:
- The Basque Country. See Casas Rurales in the Basque Country
- Cantabria. See Casas Rurales in Cantabria
- Galicia. Casas Rurales in Galicia
- Anywhere where there's countryside! See Casas Rurales Throughout Spain
How to Reserve a Casa RuralIf travel plans include specific towns and regions, it is possible to find lodgings through a refined Web search and reserve independently. Many are listed on a regional tourist bureau's Web site or as part of a network (see the links above).
- ASETUR (www.ecoturismorural.com) is a state society offering the largest selection of rural accommodations direct from the owners.
- Casas Rurales-info.com has an extensive listing by locale of rural and charming hotels, tourist activities and restaurants.
- TopRural has introduced Spain's countrywide rural accommodation to guests for 17 years, amassing a huge inventory in the process. The easy-to-navigate site lists 8,000 places with 100,000 photos and 30,000 user-submitted travel reviews. Doesn't allow you to book online but provides full contact details.