In Catalonia people have a passion for Casas Rurales. They love them. What’s a Casa Rural? It’s a rural country house, usually an old farmhouse (masia) or vila in some adorable village or in the woods.I can see why Catalans go for Casas Rurales. They are usually in beautiful areas of the province, can sleep many, and have full kitchens, pools, hot tubs. They make good choices for families and for groups of friends, though a small Casas Rural could work well for a couple looking for a romantic getaway, too.
That was my plan: romantic getaway and snow sighting. In Barcelona, Spain, we don’t get much snow. So my sweetie and I drove north to La Seu d’Urgell, one of the last towns in Catalonia before hitting the tiny, mountain country Andorra. We had booked a portion of the enormous Casa Rural Cal Serni in a village called Calvinya, six kilometers north of La Seu d’Urgell on a snaking, one-lane goat path (ok, it wasn’t that bad, in fact, it was paved and snow-free!).
But what a view from the top of that goat path! Wowzer! We could see all of La Seu d’Urgell and many other mountain villages. While our portion of Casa Rural Cal Serni was just a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, patio and loft/TV room, a larger group could take the whole house, or a couple more portions of the house. Casa Rural Cal Serni is also a working farm, and there were goats, geese, chickens and even a donkey about, which was fun. Unlike most Casa Rurales, Cal Serni also has a small restaurant where they serve typical cuisine from the area, much of it produced on the farm, at reasonable prices ($15 for a full lunch, aprox).
For snow, we crossed the border and went to Encamp in Andorra, just a 30 minute drive from the house. Luckily there was not any snow on the way up to Cal Serni as driving that road in ice and snow would not be fun. This is the only issue that I saw with the whole experience, which was fabulous. I recommend Cal Serni in the summer or winter months for a rural escape in Spain.
$100 and up a night, depending on what you rent.
See all their rates here: http://www.calserni.com/
Photo and post by Regina Winkle-Bryan. See more of her tips on where to stay in rural Spain at : The Spain Scoop.com!