Owner of Casa Agara Robert Thompson talks about his love for Cantabria!
“I fell in love with Spain many years ago. The country offers a fantastic mix of history, hospitality and culture. When I started looking for a base in Spain I knew I wanted something a bit different and the valley of Cabuerniga fits the bill.
Everyone talks about finding the ‘real’ Spain but in Cantabria you have something unique. It totally justifies its reputation as Green Spain. The coastline is stunning and the seafood even better. The drive to Casa Agara from the main autopista is designed to calm your mind. Miles and miles of green hills and valleys with many more bicycles than cars on the road.
Casa Agara used to be a rustic restaurant and I came here regularly to dine. It sits at the bottom of the Palombera pass in the heart of the Saja Natural Reserve, just 100 yards from the river. When the owner told me he was looking to sell up I could see its potential as a holiday property straight away.
Casa Agara was built as an inn and became a famous hunting lodge in the 1960s and 70s. Many prominent politicians, soldiers and business people would come to hunt deer, capercaillie and wild boar that still roam today. The famous guardian of the Saja reserve, Pepe de Fresneda, has his statue right opposite Casa Agara.
I wanted the house to have a relaxed atmosphere for visitors who could either rent it as a complete entity or reserve a room or two to enjoy walks in the surrounding countryside or as a home away from home. The large building means guests have plenty of space to spread out.
I appreciate that even if you do want to escape the rat race on a fitness or weight loss holiday, some aspects of modern life are essential. Everyone deserves to be looked after on holiday and I’ve looked to combine nice touches, including an impressive wine cellar and grand piano, with home comforts.
I went back to basics and set about ensuring an excellent water supply with piping hot water in every bathroom. The house is also rewired and the attractive rear patio is perfect for outdoor dining with views over the village and the mountains beyond. I love sitting here first thing in the morning absorbing the landscape that has barely changed in a thousand years.
The kitchen is well equipped for entertaining at home and there are plenty of authentic mountain restaurants in the hills around Casa Agara.
I have spent a lot of time at Casa Agara over the last year because of the travel restrictions and have managed to work perfectly well as the wi-fi signal is very strong.
When I’m not working, I just love heading out into the countryside. I can either grab a bicycle or put on my walking boots and head out into the hills from right outside the front door. I prefer to head out first thing in the morning, enjoying the perfect silence before everything begins to wake up. Calmness descends on me, preparing me for the day ahead.
If I crave entertainment, the coastal resorts are not far away. I can surf during the morning and then head to the beach and settle down in a restaurant for a fantastic meal with a glass of something cooling.
It’s been fun putting Casa Agara together and I’m very proud of everything that I have achieved working alongside local tradespeople. Casa Agara is now ready to welcome visitors and I look forward to meeting you.”
CASA AGARA WILL BE HOSTING ITS FIRST WEIGHT LOSS AND FITNESS RETREAT THIS JULY, CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS: https://newyouescapes.com/holidays/agara-cantabria/