near Potes, Liébana
El Empedrado is an impressive 16th century stone house situated towards the top of the quiet village of Argüebanes (pronounced "Argwebahnez"). The village nestles at the head of a side valley off the main Camaleño valley, between the old town of Potes and the cable car at Fuente De. Fruit orchards are irrigated by the small Mancorbo river which feeds into the river Deva, while a spectacular backdrop is provided by the Eastern massif of the Picos de Europa. The house is owned and managed by two English families who rent it out when not using it themselves. Ideal for anyone looking for a quiet, rural base for their mountain holiday and a good size for small groups or large families. (See the Google map at the bottom of this page).
A stable type front door leads you into the wood-beamed dining and relaxing area. A large dining table stands adjacent to a comfy sofa, in turn placed in front of a very efficient Scandinavian wood-burning stove. (Firewood is provided in the utility room just off this area). The floor is stone-flagged and gives the house its Spanish name. Behind the sofa and under the stairs you'll find guide books, field guides and maps. Straight through the dining area, down a step brings you into the well-equiped kitchen with views out to the beech-wooded hillside opposite. There is an electric oven, gas hob with extractor fan, fridge/freezer, microwave and dishwasher. At the end of the kitchen there's a door leading to the washing area with washing machine and a separate toilet, and the back door out to the patio and garden. Al fresco summer meals can be enjoyed around the garden table, surrounded by the carefully planted borders. Above the built-in barbecue is a crab apple tree and around your feet are herbs ready to be picked and thrown onto the barbie or into your salads. The garden looks over a field, grazed by cows. Back into the living area, there's an open, wide staircase leading to the second floor. (On the way up you pass what used to be the chicken coop!) Off the stone-flagged hallway are: a door leading out to the balcony and washing line; two twin bedrooms, one of which has hillside views through its french window; a bathroom with a lovely arched window; and a couple more steps up into the large sitting room. Here you'll find two great sofas which can be converted to beds if necessary plus more books and maps of the area. A doorway from the lounge brings you to the double en-suite bedroom.
Parking is next to the house in a small village square, shared by another house and an old barn for the neighbour's tractor.
The house has two telephones and central heating. Bedding and towels are provided and cots are available.
From £550 per week, depending on season.
N.B. Prices are in pounds sterling