El Cortijo San Francisco | El cortijo
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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.

laura_pou
  1. Stewart Granger, a British actor, was the ideal heartthrob for Hollywood adventure films.

    He participated in more than 60 films, being renowned for classic adventure films between the 40s and 50s. He achieved worldwide fame after starring in the film “King Solomons´ Mines” in 1950 produced by Metro-Goldwyen-Mayer, an expensive project shot surrounded by African landscapes. A place of inspiration for his future refuge on the Costa del Sol.

  2. This spectacular house was built sheltered in the middle of a Mediterranean forest.

    Hidden in the middle of the Sierra de Bermeja, it harbours great decorative and architectural treasures gathered by the actor during his travels around the world. Each and every detail, roman columns, wrought iron bars decorated with rosettes with his initials on them, red pine beams reinforced with bamboo, the imposing fireplace brought from Mexico or the Venetian marble table ringed with mosaics from Seville in the kitchen, all demonstrate the emotion and the accomplishment of the project.

     

    The cortijo is an amalgam of Andalusian, Arab and Mexican influences. With over 1000m2 built, orchestrated around a central patio with palm trees and lush vegetation. The central body has three double rooms with en suites, plus a two bedroomed apartment on the top floor. In addition to a beautiful living room and a dining room there is a kitchen which could be defined as “different” at the very least, and two more double rooms both with en suite bathrooms. A secluded pavilion offers a large 16 meters pool, facing west-east, guaranteeing sun throughout the day.

     

    The access to the cortijo is through an impressive gate from where a lane of palm trees leads us to the entrance of the main house. Once inside, a spectacular Andalusian patio welcomes us with its´ enigmatic bell tower.

     

    Without doubt, a hidden treasure located just 5 minutes from the sea.

  3. Following a very bad investment of his capital, Stewart Granger was totally ruined.

    He was forced to sell the jewel of his crown, this Andalusian farmhouse that had given so much joy to his British heart and witnessed his tumultuous loves.

    The Cortijo San Francisco finally passed into other hands and Granger moved back to California, where he spent his last years between TV appearances in series and the writing of his autobiography.

  4. Cortijo San Francisco is reborn!

    During the years 2017 and 2018, a comprehensive renovation of the main house, the guest rooms and the kitchen was carried out. Each architectural element was treated with the care it deserved. The goal was to maintain, and preserve all the magical corners created for the enjoyment and contemplation of beauty. We wanted to restore it to the grandeur that years ago conquered the hearts of all its guests.

  5. The road lined with palm trees welcomes us again.

    Cortijo San Francisco, currently managed by Laura Pou, recovered its natural splendour, its liveliness and offers us many corners with small mysteries to unveil. Without a doubt, a space where dreams can come true.

Beaches

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.

Culture and tradition

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.

Nature

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.