If it’s solitude you’re after, Padre Avilés is one of the quietest and most relaxing spots in Andalusia, up in the hills 20 minutes from Málaga – and half an hour from the airport. It’s a converted 17th-century convent steeped in history. And behind its walls lie seven excellently equipped and spacious apartments, each with its own front door and private terrace with barbecues.
Bedrooms are light and airy, bedding crisp and white, mattresses orthopaedic; bathrooms have decent sinks and pretty mosaics; the cabin-style kitchen-diners have wood-burning stoves for chillier nights and English and Spanish TV channels. Families will not want to leave: there are two separate play areas, bikes, tennis courts, hammocks and two pools.
Take a well-worn path round the 180-acre estate scattered with olive and almond trees, or make for the national park just up the road. The nearest village, Olías is 2kms away for a restaurant, Bar Juan.