This summer, everyone at home


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Let us claim the typical houses of bull skin. For authentic and for being the sublimation of the modern. From the farmhouse to the hamlet and from the pazo to the Indian house.

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This summer, everyone at home

The road runs parallel to an old train track. Sometimes you have to put the car first (and the rush in neutral) and give way to woolly armies of sheep that parade without hurry and that, even, from time to time, are allowed the license to turn their heads with something resembling an accomplice wink. The seven kilometers from Puente del Obispo to Cortijo Montano give much of itself.

Cortijo Montano

Cortijo Montano © José Alberto Puertas

As small dwarfs with green ridges buried in the sand, a little later, the onion plantations appear.

Then, causing an irresistible desire to blow and cover everything with flakes, come cotton; and beyond, those of garlic, but not any, but that of some that will become that delicatessen of Asian origin that drives the fine nose crazy and that occurs in very few places in Spain: black garlic .

That said no one would say that we are in monoculture land, moreover, in the province that produces more than half of olive oil in Spain (and almost a quarter of the world): Jaén .

But, yes, olive trees are also seen; they cover the entire horizon in the form of undulating hills, as if they were calm emerald seas: the dream of those more reserved bathers who do not dive suddenly but first wet their big toe on the shore and enter with much fuss .

Nor is it the Mediterranean, but the interior of Andalusia. We are in the region of La Loma, whose capital is Úbeda, the city with the most famous and Sibylline hills in the world. The signs indicate that we must continue straight. Now on a dirt track that leads, after a couple of kilometers, to the gate from where a path of orange and azaleas leaves that ends in the main stone house, the farmhouse.

A shared post by Cortijo Montano (@cortijomontano) on Apr 13, 2018 at 8:22 p.m. PDT

By definition, a farmhouse, the rustic Andalusian dwelling par excellence, must include farmland . There are. And not only for the photo. In fact, until its current owners rehabilitated it, the lower part of the house functioned as a stable and the upper floor as a barn, and the old stone era, surrounded by palm trees, is still preserved.


They are a total of twelve hectares: especially with olive trees, with whose olives an own oil is made in the local cooperative. There are also almond trees, which in spring turn everything into a show of flowers and fruit trees; orange, pear, apple, loquat, carob … and even asparagus that grow wild on the banks of the Guadalquivir, which forms a meander within the farm. Everything at your fingertips .

To squeeze it at breakfast time, to throw it in the pan and also to take it home and extend the holidays a few more days.

The wooden door opens to an interior of exposed stone and wooden beamed ceilings, in a diaphanous and spacious space. The kitchen is covered with blue and white ceramic typical of Baeza, just 17 kilometers from here, with a large breakfast bar that overlooks the dining room, where a Roman scale full of quinces and pomegranates rests.

Los campos de Jaén

The fields of Jaén © José Alberto Puertas

The attention goes quickly to a great Mexican grocer (dangerous closet) and to the modernist showcase where dishes from La Cartuja de Sevilla, Chinese teapots or English tea cups are elbowed. There is no doubt that we are in Andalusia, but something leads us, more than to a town in Jaén, to one of those villages in southern France or Tuscany, where every corner is likely to become a postcard or, in contemporary version, in a photo of IG that will reap many likes.

That way of placing the books tied with strings on the bedside table, those modernist washbasins with embroidered towels, the artisan soaps made with olive oil or that huge wooden table on the porch illuminated by the golden light of sunset …

In the house, wrought iron beds such as those of La bruja novata (in fact that is the name of one of the rooms), Sevillian headboards, art deco lamps, marbled cabinets, German or Moroccan embroidered cushions and solid wood windows, to open wide and start the day with a breath of silence.

Habitación de Cortijo Montano

At home, but better © José Alberto Puertas

With the cold life is done in the two rooms (one on each floor), in front of the fireplace, chatting with a good wine and a Sinatra vinyl playing in the background, reading or playing each other's own, children with masks Star Wars and puzzles, the elders with a poker timba until the many …

In spring (with the almond trees in bloom), the meeting moves to the garden, in the form of barbecue in the pool. They are afternoons of dips and naps in the hammocks, among the fruit trees. Letting time pass, with the sole occupation of seeing the sun hide behind that sea of ​​calm waves, suitable for reserved bathers, who here do not have to fear the ocean.


A Basque farmhouse in Getaria

A man in Galicia

A building at César Manrique in Lanzarote

An Indian house in Cantabria

A farmhouse in Aragon

A fifth in Ávila

* This report was published in issue 118 of the Condé Nast Traveler Magazine (June) . Subscribe to the print edition (11 printed numbers and digital version for € 24.75, calling 902 53 55 57 or from our website) and enjoy free access to the digital version of Condé Nast Traveler for iPad. The June Condé Nast Traveler number is available in its digital version to enjoy on your preferred device.

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This summer, everyone at home