The amazing natural insulation of cave houses mean that they stay cool in summer and warm in winter a pleasant constant temperature of sixteen degrees. They require no air conditioning in the summer and very little extra heating in the winter despite outside temperature extremes of +40c to -10c. Both caves have wood burning stoves to help on chilly winter nights. These have hot plates and are also a great energy saving way to cook food.
The water supply is metered and all the bathrooms are shower only with half flush toilets. We use eco friendly cleaning products including eco balls for the laundry. Once we have established an income from the caves we plan to reinvest this to further enhance their environmental credentials. Solar panels are an obvious first step down this route and we hope to install these in the near future. There are very good recycling facilities with segregated collection points throughout the village.
Castillejar is traditional Spanish village there are no large supermarkets and as with most of rural Spain no Sunday opening. The pace of life is much slower and we think better for it. There are a good range of shops bars and cafes in the village and we encourage our guests to use these and support the community. The local produce is fantastic with a vast range of local fruit and vegetables available at the regular Saturday market all year round.
The village is within easy reach of three national parks and we employ local guides for walking and horse riding excursions. The cave houses belonged to a local family who restored them using traditional methods retaining many original features. All the furniture and furnishings were bought locally and give the caves a really authentic traditional feel. We have an ongoing plan to upgrade the cave houses and are using a local Spanish builder to impliment these plans