El Jardín Vertical is a five-storey, 17th century house that has been fully restored and renovated. Its walls and original structure have been conserved, as have certain architectural features like its lintels, openings, rows of balconies and beautiful floor made of handcrafted river stone. It has eight spacious outward-facing bedrooms, all individually decorated and with an ensuite bathroom, two lounges for reading, relaxation or work with a fireplace.

Its charming restaurant, which includes an open air terrace used in summer, serves breakfasts, lunch and dinner. The house rises up to the southwest, almost 60 metres above flat ground, close by the pathway that follows the city walls. This makes it an unparalleled vantage point, with views of peaceful almond groves and ancient olives which blossom in spring to create a bewitching spectacle.

Looking west from the bedrooms, you can see the barely excavated barrow of an Iberian settlement. A little further away, there is a special microclimate and an extraordinary area of countryside called El Clot. Close by to the north, meanwhile, there is a Roman arch and, just outside the town, you can visit its cave paintings. Last but not least, there is always good food, friendly sociable locals, and peace and quiet.

Services: Restaurant | Internet connection| Air-conditioned | Fireplace in common areas.

Vilafames is a hilltop village of flowers, red tiled roofs, turrets and towers, topped by a ruined castle. If the museum of contemporary art is the place to visit, El Jardin Vertical is the place to stay, with its rambling, enchanting layout and views that sweep across cherry and almond groves to the mountains beyond. It’s a 400-year-old house, a rustic-chic hideaway that’s been exquisitely styled. Floors are thick terracotta or 1920s cement-tiled, walls are open-stone or colourwashed plaster, and paintings and pottery, wicker chairs and Moroccan mosaics pepper the cool, serene reception area and the sitting room with its open fire. Rooms above the town walls have sensational views, others look onto pretty village streets; a spiral stair links the two levels of the duplex suite (with private patio). Pale tiled floors reflect warm colours, the bed linen is the finest. To crown it all is a fabulous cook; dine on the terrace by candlelight in summer.

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