OMG - the most amazing opportunity just came our way via the miraculous internet. We never would have found this place otherwise. I was looking on AAA Travel at their villas, many of which are certainly great-looking, but I just had this feeling that if I looked a bit deeper into the web, I'd find a much more personal, perhaps more cost-effective way to book a place for two weeks on the Costa del Sol in May.
And there it was: I Googled "costa del sol villa rental" and up came a GREAT site, www.ownersdirect.co.uk which has properties all over Europe that you can rent directly from the owners, as the site's title suggests. I have never been to the Costa del Sol before but looked around at some different properties. Then, there it was: a lovely, white-stucco rowhouse in Estepona, Spain, with flowers in the windowboxes, grillwork around the windows, and what looked to be a roof terrace for enjoying the sunshine. I read further...4 minutes' walk from Mediterranean beaches, in a neighborhood where we can stroll old Andalucian streets, troll for goodies in markets, and enjoy the shade and aroma of the orange trees planted along the avenues. As for the house itself: totally updated, 2BR's, and yes, it was a roof terrace I saw--WITH ITS OWN KITCHEN UP THERE. I have visions of plates of olives, bottles of wine, a lovely loaf of local bread, fresh fish sizzling on the grill. What an amazing place to enjoy sunrises, sunsets, and siesta with a good book.
And book I did--the villa, that is. A few quick email exchanges with the owner and I'm preparing to wire the deposit tomorrow. That's it! I'm still pinching myself. And since my parents hadn't settled on their plans yet, they've decided to join us too. My dad will love the marina, my mom will love the shopping, and my girls will love having Grampa and Gramma along.
Estepona is supposed to be a more typically Spanish town, closer to Gibraltar than Malaga, a "year-round" town as opposed to an in-season tourist trap. We can see The Alhambra from there as it's day-trippable, and hubby has plans to try going to Morocco via Gibraltar if time permits. Who knows what other adventures await us in beautiful Estepona?
All this for WAY less than we'd spend for a week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.