I am Laura Pou, landscape artist, and I could tell you the chronological history of the place but I prefer to share an emotional story of El Cortijo with you. The story of how I fell in love with El Cortijo San Francisco during a work visit.
As part of my work I restore old gardens – which is; by the way, one of the most beautiful jobs in the world – discovering native species which have existed for years in the area surrounded by some treats brought from some distant lands, which have adapted wonderfully to their new habitat.
I arrived at El Cortijo to evaluate the state of its gardens, its trees and its 80 hectares. Within a short period of time, I could not believe where I was … the silence enveloped me, that greenery invaded my senses, those cute hidden corners, some with flowers and others displaying cacti and succulent plants all bathed with Andalusian sun … I immersed myself in the contemplation of beauty. Was it really 5 minutes from the beach? It felt like the Rivers Castor and Velerín embraced a fertile land full of life. Sierra Bermeja protected me and served as a compass, at one point I felt I was in a paradise. Only the cork trees that surround them know the exact evolution of the rivers, the noise of the water, the Moorish ancestors and the last bandoleros seeking refuge there. And finally, it became a personal project. I take care of it, tenderly, and I would love to show you that it is ideal for all those who like to combine excursions with relaxation, beach with city, and who wish to enjoy the tranquillity offered by this cortijo surrounded by nature. In summer, dream among its patios, fountains, stone walls and relax near the pool, whilst in winter, curl up by the fireplace of the great hall or take refuge in a corner to enjoy a good book borrowed from our library.
This cortijo, full of details combined with the cosmopolitan Andalucian charm of the coast. It is one of the last secret refuges in this area. A secret shared with you.
Just 5 minutes by car you can relax, enjoy the sunshine and the Mediterranean Sea on the long coastline of the Costa del Sol, with its breath-taking sunsets and views as far as Gibraltar and the coast of Africa.
Nature, open skies and guaranteed enjoyment make this an unbeatable place on the slopes of Sierra Bermeja, Estepona.
A space to enjoy all year round.
In addition to selecting accommodation surrounded by nature, we often wish for our trips to be impregnated with the life of the place, the cultural diversity or the ancestral customs that still endure today.
From El Cortijo San Francisco, only 40 minutes by car, we can visit the city of Ronda, with its bullfighting tradition, the famous cliff known as El Tajo and enjoy a private wine tasting in some of the many wineries with their designation of origin scattered in the area. An enjoyable walk through the Rock of Gibraltar, do some shopping and visit Saint Michael´s Cave is a great option at just 30 minutes away by car. The city of Malaga is nowadays an important cultural hub both in Andalusia and nation-wide. Another cultural alternative to enjoy is the old city with beautiful alleyways and small squares. Tangier, on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar and Africa gate, is another option. Exoticism in another continent, 40 minutes by car and only 30 more in a fast Ferry.
If your idea for a day trip is closer to home , in Marbella we find interesting works of contemporary Latin American art and the Museum of Spanish Engraving.
We are at the foot of the Sierra Bermeja, a Natural Park of Mediterranean mountains with their characteristic red colour, over 50 plant species, Spanish firs, cork oaks and with spectacular views and sunsets stretching to the Strait of Gibraltar and Africa against the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The Castor River meanders around the property. Together with the Velerín River, they protect the homestead with their banks, ensuring a microclimate of mild temperatures, blue skies and an incomparable environment.
Part of the 85 hectares of Cortijo San Francisco corresponds to one of the few untouched Mediterranean cork tree forests still in the area.
It is an opportunity to breathe deeply, awaken the senses and rediscover your link with ancestral nature.