Leaving behind pretty Periana you climb through olive groves, then ascend a steep track to the sleepy old hamlet of El Canuelo – with glorious views of Lake Vinuela. The highest of several holiday homes, 300m above the restaurant/bar and pool (focal point of the village) is your house, 40 years old, with dreamy terraces to the front and side. At the back all is steep, rocky and scrubby; below, steps wind down to the pool and the terraces, bougainvillea, lavender, jasmine and sea views. The lovely Manolo and Anna who run the bar welcome you, and are happy to prepare you a paella if you ask in advance. Step in to a charming sitting room opening to a side terrace, with Guatamalan tapestries, comfy sofas and old feeding troughs on show (spotless and painted!). Then the dining room and the kitchen, rustic and rural, a practical space in which to cook. Bedrooms are sweet and cottagey, one is on the ground floor, some are beamed, and all have simple furniture and splashes of colour. A laundry room adjoins the house. The wonderful hot springs of Alhama de Granada are an easy drive, as is the Water Park in Torre del Mar.