Chaparra Eco Lodge
Chaparra Eco Lodge, Lanjaron, Spain
In the interest of health and safety, here at Cool Camping we strongly suggest you pack a jaw-sling when visiting Chaparra Eco Lodge. Whilst making your way up the winding A-348, don’t allow the lower half of your face to succumb to the force of awe-inspired gravity; but be warned, that may be easier said than done. Nestled into the hillside of the spectacular Sierra Nevada (home to Spain’s tallest peaks) is Chaparra Eco Lodge, a fabulous glamping site with its very own natural springs.
Having taken in that epic view, prepare yourself for more delights as you navigate past the fruit and nut trees and into your gorgeously authentic yurt. Each surprisingly spacious and fully insulated abode comes lovingly furnished with a comfortable double bed, pillows, blankets, furniture, and halogen lamp lights; but what sets these yurts apart are the astonishing views across the Mediterranean, and all from the privacy of your own terrace. A glass of local wine + that view at sunset = sheer bliss!
When you finally decide to venture out of this idyllic setting, the loveably traditional spa town of Lanjaron is right on your doorstep. Lanjaron is a ‘real-deal’ Spanish town and a breath of fresh air compared to some of its neighbours that resemble jam-pots to the waspy swarm of tourists that gather every summer. The World Health Organization recognised friendly Lanjaron as a place of “Great Longevity” as many of its citizens live well into their hundreds. Given the quality of its water, climate, fresh mountain air and Mediterranean diet, it’s not hard to see why the locals are some of the healthiest on the planet.
In June the town celebrates its annual fiesta of San Juan, known as Spain’s biggest water fight. People from far and wide come to celebrate, with streets packed with crowds and their buckets, water pistols, fire hoses and even lorries filled with water!
Whether you’re here to horseback across dramatic mountain ranges, hike from one picturesque village to the next, or to take in a spot of bird watching (given the site's altitude, hunting birds of prey are regularly spotted), all these activities are quite literally on your doorstep. Or, you could always just relax by the pool; and with a view like that, who could blame you?
The Owner Says
A very special place
I stayed at Chaparra with two friends that I don't get to see very often - we were looking for a relaxing holiday with a beautiful setting. Chaparra is all of that and more - we had such a wonderful time lying by the pool, snoozing in the hammocks and BBQing with the other people staying there. It really is a unique and special environment and we enjoyed interacting with the other guests who were all lovely. The views are incredible and I found it very easy to chill out coming from my busy London life! Karin is an excellent cook (everyone mentions the breakfasts - for good reason!) and wonderful host who makes you feel welcome and has some great tips on places to eat and day trips to make, we visited a good few of them but to be honest - relaxing at Chaparra is all I felt like doing most of the time!! I had such a great time and could easily have stayed another week. Thank you Karin, I will definitely be back! Vicky (Menique & Rosie) x
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in August last year and felt quite emotional as we departed. Karin has a superb location with a steady breeze to keep the heat off and a breathtaking view. Seeing the view from above some cloud shortly after sunrise was a treat. The pool is a godsend for kids and adults alike, topped up with spring water regularly. Karin is a wonderful host, seeming to know exactly when you need her and disappearing when you don't. Her laid-back breakfasts are absolutely superb and she soon got to know our embarrassingly fussy boys' tastes. They had a super time and still talk about the adorable Bolli (dog) and the lovely Dutch family we met. We wanted a bit of adventure, and Karin was wonderful at organising riding for us and kayaking/ snorkelling ( on the coast but picked up locally). We had a fabulous day out at the Alhambra which was really easy to get to and a picturesque trip up to one of the mountain villages for dinner. We would love to return to Chaparral!
We had a lovely stay at Chaparra Eco Lodge, the place is super, the yurt is very nice and the pool is perfect. But what makes it even more special is the more than friendly host and their supersweet dog Bolli. The surrounding is so peaceful, relaxed and absolutely beautiful that you instantly feel relaxed. The fact that Karin serves you the most lovely breakfasts in the morning makes waking up in paradise even better. We definitely would love to come back!
The whole experience far exceeded our expectations. A lovely private Yurt with a big comfy bed. Hot, hot weather (only a tiny bit cooler than down below). Fabulous hand crafted Breakfast with lots of local produce and good strong coffee. Brushing your teeth by moonlight at the open basin, showering in the lovely outdoor shower bathed in sunlight, sitting up drinking and chatting watching the stars and milky way, swimming gentle laps of the pool to cool down before digging in to a good book whilst gently swaying in a hammock in the dappled light of the sun through the shade of the trees. Many happy hours spent gazing at the fabulous panoramic view, watching the birds of prey floating across vast distances without effort, healing the body and brain from all the business of life.
Did we leave the lodge at all? Not much, but there's plenty to do out there: walking, spa, massage, horse riding. And further afield there is tons to explore ... But why tear yourself away when you're already in paradise.
We had a few meals out in town and the food was amazing and the Sangria far too tasty to resist.
Obviously the privacy is lovely but we found ourselves drawn to enjoying plenty of social activity, it appears this location draws some very lovely and interesting people - many nights of eating, chatting and drinking as the sun goes down, all enjoying the panoramic view together, smiles on all faces.
Karin has created something very special, and shares it with us travellers in search of relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of life. Wonderful.
The perfect get away
Just to say a huge thank you for making our holiday such a special time. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and staying at Chaparra Eco Lodge. Karin is a fantastic host - all the extra touches, discrete attention to detail and a generous willingness to provide local information and help were really appreciated, not to mention the fabulous breakfasts!. We hope to return in the not too distant future but ara slightly worried all this fantastic but well deserved publicity will make it impossible to book
Top of The World
Remote, accessible, and very homely, Chaparra Eco Lodge has something for everyone 'we' think. We have stayed 3 times, in 2014 'summer & autumn'; with great weather (well twice anyway), wonderful foods (always) and tremendous hospitality (a given). A stunning 15 minute drive up the mountain from the well know spa town of Lanjaron, which offers great restaurants, local shops and bars, beautifully Spanish and is well worth the visit. The Alpujarra area, and Lecrin Valley are both stunning for dramatic scenery, and are very accessible with flights from London City to Granada (maybe 40 mins away including the 15 mins up the mountain) and flights to Malaga from almost everywhere; its a little bit further, but the new motorway access make its very easy. GO - its fabulous & PS: the views are extraordinary, and on a clear autumn day we could see the mountains of Morocco from the Lodge Deck.
My husband and I enjoyed 5 amazing days at Chaparra Eco, as soon as we arrived we felt relaxed and I am not someone who relaxes! We were shown to our 'Yurt' which was very spacious and had a lovely big bed and was very comfy to sleep in. We were able to help ourselves to wine or beer from the honesty bar and any food or drinks we got in town we could leave in the fridge.
The shower area had great views from it and plenty of hot water, you can drink from the fountain the water is very pure.
Each morning we had the best breakfast it really did set you up for the day!
The stars at night were so clear and close we saw shooting stars from the hammock, a great way to watch them.
The drive up the road about 6K is fun and our Fiat 500 was cut out for it!
Chaparra Eco is a lovely place and Karin has made it very special and is a lovely host, nothing was too much trouble, Karin booked our Alhambra tickets for us as I didn’t get round to it!
We look forward to returning to see Chaparra Eco and Karin!
Thank you for a lovely time...
A Spanish Sanctuary
We stayed at Chaparra Eco Lodge over the first May Bank Holiday and got far more than we expected. Even before arriving at the site, Karin the owner, ensured that we valued every moment of our stay including the journey. So we set off from Malaga destined to the halfway mark of Nerja recommended by Karin for a spot of lunch and dip in the sea. Upon arrival we all agreed that this really showed Karin's thoughtfulness in making our visit special. Chaparra Eco Lodge itself is beautifully located on the edge of the Sierra Nevada National Park, surrounded by mountains that glow a rustic red at sunset, which give way to an unbelievable number of stars at night. The yurts are comfortable and snug with blankets and towels provided.
Traditional spanish breakfasts are provided each morning utilising fruit and vegetables from the orchards and land around the site. Try the kiwi jam! The views offered are breathtaking, looking down into the south facing valley dotted with villages towards the coast, which can even be seen from the outdoor shower! BBQs can be enjoyed by the outdoor fire in the evenings and days can happily be spent lounging on the terrace and in the pool. What is even more wonderful is that the whole site is off grid and power is provided through wind and solar energy. Karin was happy to take us on a eco tour of the site showing and explaining the sustainable workings of Chaparra Eco Lodge.
We enjoyed hikes in the mountains routed out for us, lunch in recommended restaurants in nearby Lanjaron, a visit to Granada with tips on how to arrive and leave the city with avoiding traffic and a stop off at Almunecar on the way back to Malaga. It is incredible that one site can offer so many different experiences in such close proximity. Karin clearly knows the area well and makes an effort to get to know you in order to offer the right suggestions for your perfect stay and for that reason we will certainly be back and look forward to the exciting changes in the ongoing development of Chaparra Eco Lodge.
What a fabulous place!!
We spent four nights in this terrific spot just at the start of the 2014 season. Perched on the edge of the Sierra Nevada National Park, set amidst an olive grove with fruit and nut trees all around, it is a spot that is both tranquil and spectacular at the same time. Early morning birding was great, Nightjars flying at dusk, Scops owl calling at night and orchids already blooming in mid-April. The environment was perfect with no noise or other disturbances from anywhere, just the sound of nature and the nearby river. The owner has done a great job with the facilities: solar and wind power for electricity, water from the spring, wonderful hot shower and nice clean non-smelly composting toilet all add to the experience. The yurt was really comfortable, huge luxurious king-size bed, comfy chair, wonderful view, fresh towels, nice bedding, nothing else needed. Felt like a nice homely hotel without the environmental impact.
From the yurt door, and especially from the terrace unbeatable views across the lower slopes of the park all the way to the sea about 30kms away as the Eagle flies. On that same terrace we could light a fire at night and enjoy a glass of wine under the stars, relaxed warm and comfortable reflecting on the day. Lots of great trails to hike (by foot or by horse from nearby stables) right up into the park. Nearby Lanjaron town has all you need for supplies and the "white villages" of the Alpujarra are wonderful places to explore and get lost in. Granada only 45mins away if you want bigger things.
Most important was the start to each day. Karin is a wonderful host, warm and friendly and makes the best breakfast ever - cheese, jamon, eggs, pancakes, fresh bread, fresh oranges - all locally sourced. We never knew each day what we would get and each one was great! I strongly recommend a brisk pre-breakfast walk to make sure you are up to it, because a comfy chair and good book are in order afterwards.
We will definitely go back again for the complete chill-out experience on offer.
A beautiful place with an incredible host
I've now stayed at Chaparra Eco Lodge twice for short stays. It sits perched up on the hillside with incredible views. There is a steep and windy road up to it which takes you out of the town of Lanjaron and up into the hills above it. I've committed to cycling both down (fast) and up it (really tough) next time - that'll earn me a dip in the pool.
Karin, who runs it, is a wonderful host and wonderful company. She makes great breakfasts and can help with anything really. The yurts sit in the orchard and are big and clean and the facilities are great - mountain admirer above has covered them in more detail. Also, it's solar powered and spring water just pours out the ground!
For me it was a perfect spot to relax on the terrace with an incredible view for a few days and enjoy the great view, the constant sunshine during the day, and a good glass of red wine in the evening. I'd recommend it to anyone.
I have just got back from four days at the Chaparra Eco Lodge after a business trip and I could not have been more pleased with the whole place, such good value.
Despite it being right at the end of the season and arriving in the dark, the 20 minute drive up the mountain was an absolute delight and a lot of fun. We had a Seat Ibiza hire car which coped absolutely fine with the mountain road which is part gravel, part tarmac. It is a bit bumpy in places but you just need to take your time, giving you even more of an opportunity to enjoy the fantastic views over the surrounding towns, lakes and hills whilst you climb the mountain.
Once we arrived, we were shown to the beautiful yurt which had an absolutely massive bed, fire, chair and blankets. There was spring water, literally on tap. The shower room and toilet was well equipped with a gas fired shower and completely non-offensive compost toilet. The shower also benefits from a beautiful view over a lake and mountains and you can see the sea. And no one can see you!
It was a bit chilly in the evenings but as soon as the fire was lit (which was cleaned and prepared for us every day) it was warm and cosy and very easy to keep going. As we stayed at the end of October it was cold once the fire went out but extra blankets are available and you wouldn't have the same problem in the summer.
On the first day we had a hearty breakfast, cooked for when we wanted and sunbathed on the veranda looking out over stunning views. We couldn't use the pool because the lateness of the season but it is there for use otherwise. The owner Karin really couldn't do enough for us - we borrowed some magazines and she set-up the sun loungers for us so we were super comfortable. We bought food with us which we were able to put in the fridge for lunch everyday and we were provided with all the cutlery and crockery we needed all week (which was cleaned every day for us). There is also a place for charging electrical items.
The next days we went to Granada which is a beautiful city and not to be missed as it's only 45 minutes drive away. We also hiked further up the mountain, where there is a choice to take the mountain road or walk straight up through the various orchards and peaks. You really can go as far as you like and Karin was always on hand to give some route ideas and picnic spots. We went horse riding at the very nearby Caballo Blanco trekking centre which caters for all levels of experience. You can walk to it from the Lodge. We chose the two hour trek which took us down a bit and then around, on roads and over the hills. The guides were obviously super experienced and it was a great choice.
The nearby town of Lanjaron is a great little find. Not too many tourists but there is a Spa which we were told does some amazing treatments. There are lots of little shops selling jamon, cheese and local olive oil. Definitely worth a wander.
We decided not to eat out but there were clearly lots of options if you wanted to.
Overall the Chaparra Eco Lodge is an absolutely great find. It's perfect if you are super environmentally conscious and equally if you just want to stay somewhere which is far from the madding crowd. I could easily have spent two weeks there. The breakfast is great, the facilities are fantastic and the setting is like something off of a postcard.
You will not be disappointed.