Villa For Sale in Bedar


Property Details

  • Ref: API-B0101
  • Type: Villa
  • Availability: For Sale
  • Bedrooms: 6
  • Bathrooms: 4
  • Tenure: Freehold
  • Pool: No
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Property Summary

PRICE €490,000 for a 6 Bed, 4 reception, 4 bath, Country House with net core construction

of 432 Sq M set in a plot area of 51

Property Features

  • Fire Place
  • Garage
  • Laundry room
  • Mountain Views
  • Private Pool
  • Sea view
  • Tennis court
  • Terrace

Full Details

PRICE €490,000 for a 6 Bed, 4 reception, 4 bath, Country House with net core construction

of 432 Sq M set in a plot area of 5131 Sq M. Extras include, Swimming pool with changing

facilities and covered Barbecue, full size Tennis Court Garage/Laundry block.




This property is a spacious, high ceiling, 4 Reception, 6 Bed, 4 Bath + 10 by 5M pool + full

size Tennis Court rural “Country House”, situated 15 Km from the Mojacar Coast in Almeria

Spain at 400 M above sea level. It is located about 0.5 Km from the traditional Spanish

village of Bedar.

The concept behind the house, which was constructed in phases twenty years ago, has

been to combine traditional Andalusian regional appearance, with Arabesque

Mediterranean internal distribution and well insulated/ventilated modern construction in an

abundantly shaded setting.

This achieves best use of the multi level site orientation, obtains sea, village hill views

from the upper entry level used for the reception rooms and provides maximum shade

sun protection for the lower level bedrooms grouped about a ‘Patio Andaluz’ or courtyard

complete with a water fountain feature and flower bed. Both levels benefit from natural

cross ventilation to take account of the sea breezes prevalent during the hot summer. The

garden has areas of sun, shade and semi shade, suitable for all uses in all seasons.

Much use has been made in the finishes of materials in wood, stone Iron, traditional, to

all styles of Mediterranean architecture. These include, wall facing of local ironstone, use of

reclaimed antique doors window grills (reinforced where appropriate) with flooring of both

antique hand cut tiles combined with roofs supported by timber taken from old

railway sleepers or telephone poles.

The overall effect is of a constructed area that sits comfortably on the site; this is reinforced

by the retention of four Olive and Algarroba trees, at least 50 years old, to improve shade

at the top entry level and a lower entrance, tree, flowering shrub flower garden, planted

twenty years ago, which adds to overall maturity and blends tastefully into a, largely

untouched, Spanish rural background.


1. Concepts behind the Cortijo Calerica Country House Property.

This section will seek to show how the project relates to local tradition and the origins of

Mediterranean architecture developed first in the Levant and then imported by the

Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties (coming from what later became the Mesopotamian

provinces of the Ottoman Empire), via the Maghreb, to Spain during the 500 years the

“Moors” ruled, what is now Andalucía. The prime driver to achieve comfort for living in all

Mediterranean zones is to construct and align to get the best out of the varied climate

conditions. The climate and vegetation in the hills behind the Almeria coast, is very similar

to that prevailing above the Umayyad Capital of Damascus, nearby modern Lebanon and

much of the areas behind the coast of the Maghreb, in what is now Tunisia, Algeria and

Morocco. The Arab invaders of Spain dominated most of this coast (and its agricultural

hinterland) as they progressed from the Levant to Andalusia and brought, for the time,

advanced cultural ideas, into the then undeveloped regions of contemporary southern

Spain, they occupied.

Language, medicine, cuisine, architecture and ‘artisanal skills’, are amongst their lasting

contributions to Spain. The last two have inspired the design of the Calerica house.

The simple and critical concept, derived from this tradition, is to align a house into a site,

that naturally protects itself from the elements and increase its user comfort and

convenience (over the whole expected range of climatic conditions ) by judicious choice of

materials, ventilation, external shade, cooling heating techniques.

The house is owned by an Englishman, who has lived, worked and travelled in most of the

areas in the Orient and Africa mentioned above, and has been implemented in

collaboration with a Landscape Architect garden designer, who has lived in Bedar and

worked in the area for over 30 years.

The alignment of the house is, with views to the south to the sea, to the east to the village

and the ‘Campo’ landscape. The best vistas are to be seen, on the upper level from the

closed terrace, joined to the drawing room and the semi open terrace leading off the dining

room. The house is well protected from strong and sometimes seasonably cold winds, by

the steep hill behind and this is reinforced at this level by the very Moorish technique of not

having any windows facing north, or any living space directly inside north walls that catch

the wind.

All the upper floor living space is further insulated by an entrance hall/ woodshed for the

drawing room, stairs for the study and a larder for the kitchen. At the lower level, the two

bedrooms at the north end of the built up area are behind a natural terrace, protected from

damp by an ironstone wall [bedroom 2] and insulated by either a corridor or an internal

storage facility [bedroom3]. This insulative effect on the building as a whole is enhanced by

all the outer walls being cavity with fiber glass insulation between the outer and inner wall.

The closed roof spaces also have insulation.

To illustrate both the internal distribution of the property and its alignment on the site, a

copy of the Floor and Cadastral plans are included at the end of this description; the

photos in Exhibit B also compliment these explanations; in order to place the property in its

perspective it also includes, further photographs showing the landscape and vegetation

around the village of Bedar.

2. Details of layout, materials, construction room distributions

These are all crucial elements in optimising the comfort of people living in the house, given

that effective control of the natural factors of Sun, Wind and Shade drive much of the

satisfaction people derive from actually living in a particular house, on a year round basis.

Cortijo Calerica was designed, by the owner for his use on this intention rather than as a

summer and other seasonal holiday home; however, it can of course be used to good

effect as such, given its well developed natural ventilation and cooling features.

An overall impression of the house is given in Photo [B.1], taken from a road behind, which

is slightly higher than the upper entrance road to the house itself. Photo [B.2] features the

Tennis court. Both show how the retained, established trees, have been supplemented by

the owner planted trees around the Tennis court, the Palm, Yuccas and vine in the shaded

back garden plus the conifers along the access road behind the pool/barbecue block Photo

[B.3].The latter also highlights the sheltering effect of the hill behind. The key vegetation

effect of this accumulation of proximate foliage is to reduce inside summer temperatures

generated by surrounding surface radiation and also, to provide a low combustibility

evergreen fire break, to protect a potentially vulnerable aspect, given the summer

prevailing wind, from the south of the Tennis court.

The core construction materials used is cement block, finished with a variety of old/new

wood and a similar mix of tiles. Special attention has been given to preventing/minimising

direct incidence of sunlight on windows and also ensuring that almost all rooms on both

levels enjoy natural cross ventilation. Placing the bedrooms on the ground floor improves

insulation against both heat and cold. Another feature that decreases summer temperature

is that most ceiling heights exceed 2.8m (2.5m is standard).

The distribution concept of the reception floor is that Guests tend to arrive from the upper

entrance and move into the drawing room, Photo [B.4] or closed terrace/bar, Photo [B.5] to

meet residents coming up the main stairs. The dining room, Photo [B.6] is connected to the

open terrace, photo [B.7] with the study joining the two halves of the house. These three

main reception rooms are each 30 m2 in floor area, and two of them—The dining room

and closed terrace—have open pitched, wooden beamed, traditional country house roofs,

over 5m in maximum height. The 24 Sq m Kitchen also has an open pitch beamed roof.

with a round table that seats 4 in one corner, Photo [B 8].

On the bedroom level the six bedrooms are grouped into three sets of two, and in the

present owners style of occupation, the four bedrooms/three bathrooms facing the west

side of the courtyard have been allocated to family use [No’s 3 (photo of master bedroom:

B.9) 4, and 5,,6 in floor plan A,2], with the two bedrooms/one bath under the dining

room, [No’s 12 in the same floor plan] under the dining room mainly used by guests who

also have the use of a separate staircase and dedicated entrance to the courtyard. All the

bedrooms are genuine doubles, ranging from 14 to 25 Sq M each. Four of the bedrooms

also have spacious fitted cupboards.

This accommodation distribution arrangement has worked well for the present owner, but

many others are, possible—particularly if two more bathrooms were to be added—see

section 7 below.

3. Details of the heating/cooling / bathing other infrastructure facilities plus parking


The ‘family areas’ of the house being the four west side bedrooms (No’s 3 to 6), the main

drawing room and the entrance hall are all centrally heated, by a bulk Butane system that

also provides hot water to the three bathrooms attached to these bedrooms. The other two

bedrooms (No’s 12) use electric space heaters and the fourth bathroom heats its water

from, a combination of an electric immersion heater, and an initial hot water intake from the

butane gas heater that supplies the kitchen sinks in the floor above.

This core heating system is supplemented by three log fires, one in the drawing room, one

that takes large logs in the dining room and, in the study an antique closed log burning iron

stove (that can be safely left to stay alight all night). If the house is in full use during a cold

winter period, these facilities are supplemented as required, by portable butane heaters in,

the outer entrance hall, the closed terrace, the kitchen and, as background, one next to the

main dining room window.

This multiplicity of heating systems, plus the attention paid to thermal insulation, has

proved very practicable and economical in a climate where sub zero temperatures are not

normal, with 3/4 C, as a typical low. Firewood is relatively cheap readily available; the

owner has found that trimming the trees on the property, has in fact satisfied most of the

recent firewood needs.

So far as artificial, energy intensive, cooling is concerned, the owner has not found it

generally necessary—but various rooms have been equipped with fans for periods of high

humidity—generally in the autumn after temperatures drop. One bedroom [No 5] has a

window box air conditioner fitted.

The pool block [see Photo B.3 above] also has two M/F changing units comprising a

shower, changing area separate lavatory/ basin in each unit. The showers are heated by

the Butane heater that also provides hot water to the sink in the barbecue area.

The full size Tennis court (537 sq m in ground area) has been excavated and supported by

combining two terraces; this has enabled retaining walls to be built on the north and east

sides with, now mature, evergreen tree/shrub cover on the south and west sides. Both

protect against wind and reduce glare when playing in the late afternoon and

evening—which is often the best time when it is hot—see Photo B.2.

Availability of ample off road parking is a critical facility for a substantial Country House in

Spain, where the owners can be expected to entertain outside guests, usually arriving by

car; this property has four spaces in the upper entrance (one of which is inside a lock up

garage, [Photo B.10]) and six spaces at the lower level (two of which are behind lockable

metal entrance gates) another four in a separate cemented area overlooking the tennis

court, [Photo B.11].

4. Options for eating entertaining in various locations.

The Cortijo has been designed to be very flexible both, as to type of gathering, sit down

meal, buffet, barbecue or Tapas plus cocktails being the function range normally organised

by the present owners. Numbers have varied from dine alone, all the way up to 12/14 sit

down at table, and up to 20/25 buffet/barbecue depending on the locations chosen. On one

memorable occasion, a New Year’s party of over 50, was held over the entire upper floor

and its terraces, without any noticeable overcrowding.

The most suitable location for each gathering varies, firstly by deciding to consume indoors

or out of doors inside and then by anticipating the climate or forecast expected at the

pertinent time of year. For inside sit down eating, the choice is between, up to 12/14 in the

dining room, 6/8 in the semi open terrace and the same in the bar/breakfast table area of

the closed terrace. For buffet meals, about 20 can be accommodated, by combining the

dining room and open terrace or up to 25 for ‘Drinks Tapas’ if all of, the drawing room, the

closed terrace study are used to give,’ sit down’, space .

For groups wishing to eat/drink outside, the choice will also be much influenced, by the

weather and degree of shade desired. The options range, from full shade in the covered

barbecue area (Photo B.3) for 6/8, to no shade and 12/15 by placing tables on the raised

area next to the pool entrance—see the corner of the same Photo. There is also a tiled

table in the upper entrance courtyard (Photo B.12) seating 6 (extendable to 10) that is very

useful for winter daytime meals as it catches the afternoon sun, is sheltered from the wind

and adjacent to the back door of the Kitchen. It is lit for use at night when it is too hot to eat

outside without shade in the day.

The owner has also made good use, over the years, of two semi- shade locations,

particularly for smaller family gatherings, in the autumn or spring; the first uses the

cushioned corner of the lower courtyard, plus as many chairs and tables as is required

[Photo B.13], and the second is eating beneath the vine in the back garden on the west side

of the house where a large round seasoned wood table seats 6/8 [Photo B.14]. This is

especially delightful in the autumn when the natural vine cover is at its most dense and, the

less vertical afternoon sun has gone behind the house, by lunchtime.

5. Description of area and opportunity to make short day trips.

Much of Bedar (at 400M above sea level) and the higher ground above it, in an area called

Campico (up to 800 m) is a protected zone, where new development is now prohibited

photo B.20 shows how Bedar is positioned to look down on the coastal plain from the

shelter of the hills behind, whilst at the same time having good south facing sunlight and

views to both the coast, Mojacar Village and the Cabrera hills to the south east. The village

is a starting point for hill trekking and the Local authorities organise regular guiding walking

tours, especially to see the old abandoned mining areas, and also to hope to spot protected

fauna like miniature hill tortoises.

This local touristic resource is supplemented by several golf courses within 30/45 minutes

drive and a large selection of beaches within a 15/25K distance with roughly the same

driving time. Photograph No. 21 is a picture of a secluded beach, a little further away, in the

National Park reserve of Cabo de Gata.

Equally the five towns/villages in that time and distance range, Vera, Garucha, Mojacar,

Turre Los Gallardos have a myriad of Bars, Restaurants Discos serving many different

cuisines at all prices. No resident or visitor can justifiably say ‘I am so bored, as there is

nowhere to go’.

At a greater distance from the Cortijo, many visitors take their families to ‘Mini Hollywood’—

about an hour’s drive—where numerous Western/Mexican films were made 30/40 years

ago, in a semi desert setting after Italy’s Spaghetti Western venues became too expensive

for the Hollywood moguls to stomach. It was also used to film some desert scenes in one of

the versions of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’.

This location now provides a popular set of children’s entertainments, cowboy style horse

riding, bow and arrow shooting, plus various theme restaurants, reflecting the cuisine of the

abandoned film sets.

The more culturally inclined can make an excursion to visit the ‘Indalo’ cave paintings at

Cueva de los Leteros in the Sierra Maria nature park and botanical garden—just over an

hour’s drive away, and eat well in Velez Rubio or Velez Blanco, the two closest villages to

the location of the ancient rock pictures. The Indalo symbol has been adopted as the Iconic

symbol of Almeria and has been much reproduced, in every imaginable product, sold by the

local Tourist Industry.

However, many people, especially when on holiday, prefer not to travel to eat/drink far

fromwhere they sleep, and for them, Bedar village offers a good selection of traditional

Restaurants and Bars; Cortijo Calerica is well located for such visits, at about ten minutes

easy walk, and this can be especially convenient, when it may not be prudent to drive back.

In addition, and crucially for the cohesion and harmony of the community, the resources of

the village also include, a traditional general store, a Bank + ATM, a medical centre, a

pharmacy, a hairdresser and an artisanal bakery.

Bedar is a community that has experienced several cycles of good and bad times, since

most of the mines failed to reopen after the Spanish Civil war. Its people have come to

terms with servicing foreign tourists and residents, as a complement to their traditional

agricultural activities, and the boom/bust features of working in construction. They are

welcoming to newcomers—especially those who are prepared to communicate in Spanish

—but are not dominated by them, as has become the case in many coastal areas of

Southern Spain.

The village itself reflects an eclectic character mix; photo B.17 emphasises Catholic

tradition, in classically styled village church; photo B.18 proudly reflects mining heritage

with the sculpture in the entry square gazing down onto the abandoned mining area. In

contrast, photo B.19 highlights the work of a local artist reviving a decorative tradition in

pottery tile mosaic set onto the wall of the Town Hall square.

To place Bedars geographical position situation into perspective, photo B.20 shows the

view from above the village to Mojacar and the sea, with the Cabrera hills to the right. It is

far enough from the coast to be tranquil, but not so far as to become remote.

6. Travel options to reach National and International destinations.

Bedar is now well served by three international airports, Almeria , less than an hour’s drive,

Murcia (St Javier) about an hour and a half and Alicante, just over two hours. These fly to

many EU destinations direct, but for long haul and less popular EU routes, a change in

Madrid or Barcelona is required. All of these airports have national flights to both, and there

are also good express bus services to Madrid.

The Cortijo is less than 15 minutes drive to the A7 Mediterranean Corridor Autovia

(Motorway), which now, almost, links the French frontier in Catalonia with Malaga. There

are two fast trains, one by day and one by night, from Madrid to Almeria and a slow

regional service to Granada; however the latter is better served by buses.

Local politicians are working very hard to pressure the central government to complete the

half built AVE, fast train track to Madrid via Valencia (which is now operating to Alicante). It

was postponed for budgetary reasons in 2010, and should by now have been in operation.

However, if the funds are reinstated soon, by political will at all decision making levels, a

2020 inauguration date could still be achieved. The effect on the upper tier of the local

property market could be very substantial as Weekending from Madrid would become much

less stressful—especially in the crowded summer holiday period.

7. Possible options for improving/developing the Calerica project.

It is axiomatic, that no existing house that has served an incumbent well is likely to be

perfectly suited, for a new one, without modifications and improvements to adapt to the

style of life of a new owner. This section discusses a few of the possibilities considered by

the existing owner. In evaluating, what could be done in the future, it should be borne in

mind that severe constraints are imposed by current regulations for new construction in the

area. The house is not in the protected zone where no new construction is permitted—but

in an area where the Town Hall need Provincial planning approval to authorise any

structural changes or extensions—but can approve minor works to walls, etc.

However, and purely as examples, three improvements might be considered in, or on, the

house itself.

Above the study and main staircase is a flat roof, reached by a narrow staircase. There is

adequate level space to install a ‘Mini Beach’ area with fixed/movable blinds, swing chairs,

sun loungers, etc. The present owners considered—but did not implement this idea, as the

space is hot in summer and windy in much of the winter. However adequate canvasshading

and Perspex wind shielding would overcome this. The effect would be excellent 360 Degree

sea and mountain views, a feeling of fresh air, and total sun bathing privacy. Two more

bath/shower rooms could be added. One to give both the guest wing rooms their own bath

facilities by using the walk in cupboard as an entrance and dividing the large existing

bathroom area. The second would be to divide the bath/Jacuzzi areas in the SW suite and

end up with the Jacuzzi in one facility and a shower only bathroom in the other. This is a

question of expected usage pattern and would not be expensive to implement.

All the bedrooms could be equipped with air conditioning - but real need,cost and agreement

with the electrical utility to increase the supply capacity all require to be carefully considered.

The last improvement which the author contemplated some years ago—but did not proceed

with it, because he then had mobility problems, would be to convert the embryo fruit garden

between the west retaining wall and the Ramblas (dry river bed) into a more extensive and

structured citrus area.

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