Frequently Asked Questions
With clear and simple answers.
Deciding when and where to go
We realize how important it is for you to be properly informed and advised before deciding where to go. Our Spain Holiday Guides explain in depth the attractions of the different regions, and special holiday areas within those regions.
In addition to the information below, you can also click the Climate tab in our Spain Holiday Guides. It is summer that provides most variety:
Those intent on warm sunny days and swims should generally think: June to September, while in Andalucia other months (April, May and October) are also very possible for warm sunny days and swims. We also have some villas with heated pools.
In Andalucia, the swimming pool season is long. At some villas, it can be year round. May to October is normally very warm and sunny. In Las Alpujarras, you should distinguish between the Low and the High Alpujarra. Low down in the valley, pools are often open in May and October. But higher up, in the mountains, the water temperature is too chilly (we think) before June and after September.
In Catalonia, the pool season is shorter than in Andalucia, but the Mediterranean climate gives every reason to expect a long summer.
Northern Spain (Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria) has a somewhat different, Atlantic weather system. July and August can be glorious and warm but also unsettled, and fairer weather can often be had in May, September and October. At Rustical Travel we know where the local microclimates are, which ensure milder weather and low rainfall, and we tend to feature properties in those areas. The spectacular mountainous landscapes of Asturias and Cantabria offer the best walking scenery and conditions. Galicia is warmer and here you will find a number of villas with swimming pools. If in doubt, ask us, and we will give you our honest opinion for any particular property.
If you have walking holidays in mind, Northern Spain and Catalonia are good all year round. In Andalucia, the hottest summer weeks of July and August present a challenge to hikers, unless of course you plan to do things Spanish-style, with shortish hikes early or late in the day, balanced by an afternoon siesta...
In Andalucia, the higher mountain villages (especially in the High Alpujarra) benefit from the altitude and even at the height of summer have balmy (but not hot) evenings and deliciously fresh nights. Cities like Seville, Madrid, Granada and Cordoba are very hot in July and August. They are exciting and wonderful places to visit but it's always a relief to return to the cooler, if still warm, environs of your rural holiday home.
If you are concerned about the heat at the height of summer, we can guide you to some excellent, clement options in the Catalonian Pyrennees, Asturias, Cantabria, Galicia, La Alpujarra and Sierra de Aracena. Having said which, even in hottest Andalucia, a shady terrace, country breezes and a pool tend to relieve the heat very satisfactorily.
The warmest areas outside of summer are Axarquia and Aracena and parts of Ronda. These areas are remarkably mild all year round and some pools remain open and usable even in winter months.
A beautiful time of year to visit rural Spain. Days are warm and nights are cool. Wild flowers abound, the weather is kind and the countryside comes alive. Walkers flock to the mountains at this time of year. Some showers are to be expected in northern Spain, but the south is already warming up for summer and shade is welcome at midday.
Perhaps the most attractive of all the seasons. The days are still sunny and warm but a welcome chill returns to the night. The rural world relaxes, trees putting on their red and orange for the occasion, nuts are ripe, wild mushrooms appear and grapes are trodden into wine. Along with spring months, this is the most popular time of year for hikers all over Spain.
For some people, especially those who desire a genuine experience of rural life free of the bustle of tourism, winter is the best time of all. Days can be remarkably dry and sunny, especially in Andalucia, and when rain falls, it brings snow to the higher peaks. Unhurried villages, healthy hikes along foot and mule paths, good country fare and log fires offer a holiday that no other season can give. Villas with heated pools create luxurious conditions in winter time.
Before you book
There are at least four good reasons for preferring to book and pay with Rustical Travel.
As a genuinely Spanish company (Rustical Travel is based in Madrid), our close working relationship with local owners and euro pricing allow us to offer very competitive rates.
More importantly, ours is not an advertising site. Properties do not (and cannot) pay to be featured on our site. Instead, they must meet our exacting standards, pass a rigorous inspection, and be special enough for us to feel that we can recommend them. There are far more properties that fail to make it onto our site than those that do. Note that our published descriptions are independent assessments: on pay-sites, owners may allow their enthusiasm to overstate the qualities of their property.
Also, we advise you to be very careful with Internet scams. The most reputable Internet sites for direct bookings with owners do themselves warn users and owners about the dangers of phishing (identity theft). Criminals can pretend to be the owner and take your money without either you or the owner being aware until it is too late.
Lastly, since no direct booking with owner constitutes a legal contract guaranteed by industry insurance, it is only as reliable as the particular owner with whom you make it.
Generally speaking, when making a holiday booking, it's better to be safe than sorry, even if you pay a little extra.
Rustical Travel is a registered property management intermediary agency with statutory insurance cover as required under European Union law. It is a registered, bonded Travel Agency with the Ministry of Tourism, Madrid (Spain) Nº CICMA2297.
Rustical travel is also a member of ABTA with membership number Y6086.
Your holiday property
We inspect and assess each rental property thoroughly before accepting it onto our website. If we consider that your peace and quiet might be compromised by untoward noise or busy roads, that property will be weeded out by our selection process and rejected before reaching our website. Rustical Travel cannot control the entire locality of a property, however, and there may be some village or country sounds, or some other temporary noise or fiesta.
You will enjoy full and private use of your holiday home. Do bear in mind, however, that houses with pools and gardens require regular maintenance to ensure that they are kept to high standards. So a caretaker or gardener is likely to come to tend the facilities, but they will be aware that your privacy is important and there will hopefully be no need to inconvenience you at all. If you require an extremely high level of privacy, please ask us specifically for a secluded property with no neighbours.
Travelling to your holiday property
Remember that it is your responsibility to phone the keyholder on arrival and that an operative mobile phone will usually be a necessity for this purpose. If you are unable to contact the keyholder, phone Rustical Travel on one of the emergency numbers on your directions and we'll do our best to help.
The particular check-in time for your villa or cottage will be arranged with you well in advance of the holiday by a Rustical Travel team member.
Check-out is by 10am unless arranged differently by special request.
Why can't I arrive earlier than the arranged time?
1. If you arrive earlier than the time pre-arranged by Rustical Travel, the person contracted to meet you will not be on duty and may not be available. This applies equally when the owner is the keyholder. They will organize their day with its obligations to work and family in advance, making sure to be available for you at the stated time, but not before.
2. The house needs to be properly cleaned and prepared for you. Rustical Travel prefers not to pressurize owners about early arrival, since we are the first to insist that holiday homes are not only clean but well-presented, and naturally this takes time. You will appreciate that owners also take a natural pride in wanting their accommodation to look and be at its best for you and they have a right to be allowed to do so.
3. Early arrival inevitably puts cleaning staff under stress. They feel obliged to finish much more quickly than they had planned and can thus be prevented from doing an adequate job.
4. We know that owners who perform their own cleaning and preparation are often upset if you arrive earlier than the stipulated time, even if it is just to drop off luggage. They want to greet you in a well-presented manner and expect you to give them the opportunity to wash and change clothes before meeting you.
Why can't I arrive later than 10 pm?
Unlike hotel staff, who may be contracted to work 24 hours, the keyholder for your holiday villa or cottage is contracted to receive guests until no later than 10 pm. After 10 pm, you should expect to make alternative arrangements for the night. Please note the importance of this fact when organizing travel to your holiday destination. Late arrivals may exceptionally be possible to arrange and they will normally incur an extra charge.
Why must I check out by the arranged time?
Cleaning staff who arrive at the check-out time are expected to start work and your cooperation in vacating the property by that time is a requisite. The contract for your holiday booking ends at that time on the last day and remaining in residence beyond that time is not permitted.
If it is especially important to you to arrive or leave outside the permitted times, it is essential that you contact us well in advance. It may be possible and we will do out best to arrange it for you, but you should be aware that it is by no means guaranteed.
About Rustical Travel
For guidance and queries, you are invited to contact our knowledgeable team
+ 34 913 013 086