Little-known Albuñuelas – a short drive from the Costa, 30 minutes from Granada – is a fetching little place surrounded by citrus groves. Approached by a steep road, El Cortijo del Pino sits high on a bluff, taking its name from the Aleppo pine that stands sentinel over house and valley. The sober lines of the building have an Italian feel and the sandy tones that soften the façade change with each passing hour. Perhaps it was the endlessly shifting light that attracted artist James Connel. His painterly eye and his wife Antonia’s decorative flair have created a warm enveloping place to stay, an open house for guests and friends. Find a warren of bedrooms with an old-fashioned charm: polished tiles, rustic beams, new mattresses on antique Spanish beds. Bathrooms are super. Outside, birdsong and church bells, roses and wisteria, a terrace with sweeping views, a gazebo overlooking the town below, a lovely, solar-heated pool… if you are inspired, grab a canvas and an easel and retire to James’s studio. Art lovers be warned: his paintings are on every wall and you may be tempted to buy! The walking is wonderful.