Our spectacular region is called La Alpujarra, an unspoiled Natural Park in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Granada province, deep in the south of Spain. Part of the area has been designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, with many unique or rare species. Its skies are officially rated as the cleanest in Europe.
Here in the real Andalucía, the "duende" (spirit) of passionate living is revered. It was once ruled by the Moors, who thought it was the paradise promised to them by Allah. Part of their legacy is the "acequia", an ancient system of irrigation which still brings water from the mountains to our gardens and fields.
Cortijo Romero sits at 1300 feet in a fertile valley, within an 800-year old olive grove, surrounded by magnificent mountain views. (Not only in daytime: watching the stars over the mountains at midnight from the roof is a magical experience!)
Our local town is Órgiva, the regional administrative centre, a 15-minute walk away. It has a typical weekly market, banks and all basic shopping facilities. Further up in the mountains is a string of wonderful villages (many protected from development by special status) tucked into sheltered hillsides amidst glorious scenery; the highest of these are Capileira and Trevelez at around 4800 feet.
Nearby, Granada has the finest Moorish palace and gardens in Europe, the breathtaking Alhambra - one of the wonders of the world.