20 June 2016

Staying at the HPB property in Almeria

In June, I went with the family to stay at the HPB property in Almeria called El Pueblito de Alfaix.
The Sierra Cabrero mountains
I'd been warned previously that the site is pretty remote, but given that it was a family holiday and my main aim was to relax, this was perfectly fine with me. And, remote it was! Set in a tiny village called Alfaix, I've never stayed anywhere like it. 

Mainly, I choose seaside locations on a summer holiday. So just staying inland in Spain was something pretty new for me. Plus, we were in the middle of nowhere, with just the craggy Cabrera mountains as a backdrop, it felt very cut off, very exclusive and extremely relaxing.

About the property

Our private pool
There are 105 properties on the site, but it neither felt expansive and nor did it feel like you had hundreds of people on your doorstep. 

From our villa, you rarely heard anyone and felt very secluded and remote. I think the design of El Pueblito de Alfaix helped with the secluded feel. Built by a local architect to resemble a traditional Andalucian village, there's enough space between the Moorish style, white-washed properties so we didn't feel on top of each other.

We hired a five-bed villa with it's own private pool. All the bedrooms were large and nicely decorated and, as always, the property was really well equipped. 

What was nice about the layout of the outside area was that the pool was on a
Our upstairs terrace
different level from the outside veranda. This meant that the kids could go outside onto the veranda and, as the pool was gated off at a different level, we didn't have to worry about them going in without adult supervision. This was unlike our HPB villa at La Gomera, which had a pool literally just outside the villa, making it more difficult for the kids to play outside (but probably easier and more accessible for adults).

We went in June and, although it was pretty hot every day, the wind got up most days at about noon. This meant it felt quite cool in the afternoons, but wasn't great for the hair-do! One of our cocktails literally blew off the table one day! Shocker.

The local area

The property was really remote. So, if you're looking for lots of bars and restaurants within walking distance, this isn't the place for you. I'd recommend HPB Santa Rosa in Lanzarote or the Turkey property, HPB Physkos. There was only one restaurant in walking distance called La Venta de Alfaix where we had a pretty reasonably Paella meal with good service one night. And one small, fairly scantily stocked shop.

One of the local beaches
So, really you need a car if you stay here if you like bars and restaurants and want to explore nearby. 

We took a day trip to Garrucha which is about 25 minutes drive away. It's famous for its fresh fish and has beautiful, sandy beaches. One day we went to a slightly less touristy fishing village called Carboneras where we had an amazing meal overlooking a completely deserted beach. We also drove to a beautiful beach in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park called Agua Amarga Beach which was about a 45 minute's drive away. 

Fresh fish in Garrucha
Overall, all the meals we had while out and about were pretty good. We were told in most places that the catch was fresh that day and there was a really extensive range. The local speciality were red prawns or "Garrucha Red Prawns" which were only fished in the area. I'm allergic so didn't partake, plus they were pretty pricey! 

The wine was more touch and go. 99% of the wines on offer were Spanish and none of the restaurants provided an explanation of the wine type or style. So, being ill-informed we ended up guessing and relying on recommendations. We especially enjoyed the dry, white Verdejos from the Rueda region. We also saw some "Blue Wines" on sale, but sadly we never tried them but would be interested to hear from anyone who has.

If you want to stock up for supplies, the town of Turre is about 15 minute's drive away and there is a much better stocked supermarket and a few restaurants too. 

HPB Facilities

Of course, the property had a number of facilities if you don't want to explore. There were three shared pools to choose from, a children's play parks, tennis courts, petanque courts, a sauna, jacuzzi and even an outdoor gym! 
The shared family pool

There was a large restaurant where we ate a couple of times. We had the Tapas lunch which I think was 15 Euro per person which was a bit disappointing. As it was just a buffet type affair and, for me, tapas should be served at the table in little portion sized brown, ceramic bowls. We also had the Andalucian lunch which was 10 Euro per person which was much better value. Although it said it came with dessert. And slices of pineapple and melon does not maketh a dessert.

The bar area was very well air conditioned and a well-needed escape from the heat. We had (far too) many cocktails in there, served by very friendly waiters.

The view from the Club House
However, the jewel in the crown of El Pueblito de Alfaix was the stunning, natural location. The Sierra Cabrera mountains really did provide a unique setting. If you went up to the terrace outside the clubhouse within the property, you'd get the best all-round vista of these deserted and imposing mountains. If you truly wanted to chill out, then a cocktail at sundown watching the amazing light making the mountains ripple. 

Apparently many films (and some episodes of Game of Thrones) have been filmed in the area due to the amazing light. And, I could see why as it was very unspoilt, rural and remote.

Getting there

We flew to Almeria with Monarch (who were useless as always. My brother left his wallet on the plane, but the aeroplane staff didn't find it. Hmmmm). It's about a 50 minute drive from the airport to the site at Alfaix. You can also fly to Murcia (although it is slightly further) and Alicante which is further still.

Take note though, neither our sat nav nor google maps could find the location by its address. So make sure you print off the directions from the HPB site.

I've written about staying at HPB sites a number of times. If you want to find out more about how the scheme works, you can read my previous article here.


  1. A good post Abby, we visited Alfaix, or Filofax as my daughter now calls it over Christmas 2015. An enjoyable week needing a car because of the remoteness as you mention. Our best meal out was on Christmas Day in the mountain village of Bedar sharing slow cooked shoulders of lamb. We will definitely return in the warmer months as an addition to our Lanzarote regular trips, a shorter flight so very welcome.

    1. Thank you so much for reading my blog. I'd love to spend Christmas there! What was the weather like?