As the nights draw in and the mercury slowly falls, it's sadly time to admit that the Summer of 2016 is on its' way out. To say goodbye, I've put together this bumper blog, crammed full of sunny images, to bid farewell to balmy Summer days... until next year.
This Summer of 2016 we decided to do something new - hire a huge villa in Malaga for my husband's entire extended family - 14 in total!
Holidaying in a group definitely has its' advantages - as a large group, we were able to secure an absolutely amazing eight bedroom Spanish villa, which was so gorgeous and photogenic that it inspired me to write this post.
A brief history of Malaga
Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the world with close to three thousand years of history. Over the centuries, the port was used to export oil, raisins, wine and salted fish and meat. It is the sixth largest city in Spain, and enjoys the warmest winters in Europe, with average temperatures of around 17C from December to February.
Various natural disasters including earthquakes, plagues and failed harvests hit Malaga in the early 20C and political instability in this period culminated with the Spanish civil war. Malaga suffered terribly during the Civil War, eventually falling to pro-Franco forces on February 8, 1937.
The 1950s were the beginnings of new era for Malaga and the Costa del Sol. Tourism was just beginning to take hold and proving to be an invaluable injection into the local economy.
Wandering around Malaga today is like walking around an open air museum with Phoenician, Roman, Moorish and Christian influences. This rich artistic heritage has placed Malaga firmly on the map as a cultural tourist destination.
The villa we stayed at was called Hacienda Clavero, which has been owned by the same family for many decades. It's location is up in the hills, about a 15 minute walk from the beach.
The villa is built in a grand Spanish style and I could tell that much care and pride has been taken in it's upkeep over the years.
Spanish building style is based on Moorish and Mediterranean architecture and these evocative homes are sometimes called 'Spanish Eclectic' houses in honor of their diverse influences.
The layouts of Spanish homes are all about making family, friends, and entertaining, comfortable and relaxed. Homes are often arranged around a central courtyard, where shaded galleries block the sun and provide an outdoor living space or kitchen for al fresco dining. More elaborate homes feature towers or turrets, romantic balconies, columns, and wrought iron details. The thick masonry walls coated in stucco and red tile roofs are designed to keep the interior cool.
Traditional Spanish Tiles
How could I write anything on Spain without mentioning the tiles! Even throughout just this one house, many, many great examples could be seen, each room had a different tiled floor, varying in design, colour and finish. Spain has long been an exporter of fabulous tiles and again, the Moorish influences can clearly be seen.
Although I always find it sad to see the Summer go, it is nice to look forward to the colours of Autumn and preparing a cozy interior for the colder months - which I'll be writing about more in my next post.
All photos my own.
Hacienda Clavero is available on Air BnB.