And Finally!

OK, so if you’re like me you’ll have come to this page first! If not, then the first thing to say is, ‘Have you enjoyed your ‘virtual’ visit to Casa Rafela? And if not then please tell us why!’ If it’s given you a few enjoyable and informative minutes’ reading, that’s great. If it makes you want to come to this corner of Spain, so much the better. If it means that you want to come and stay at Casa Rafela – then that’s brilliant! But there’s more to writing this page than simply advertising the cottage; we aim to provide at Casa Rafela what we ourselves would, and occasionally do, expect of our own holidays, that is to say, independence, autonomy, and peace and quiet. We’ve always thought that if we wanted to be waited on, or have everything pre-arranged, say guided tours, etc., then we’d go to a hotel or have a proper ‘safari’ holiday. So from the beginning our watchword has been to provide what we would like ourselves and, funnily enough, having restored Casa Rafela primarily as our own ‘getaway’ it’s just about perfect in this sense.

Over the years we’ve noted that even if our guests told us that their aim was to “do nothing”, they found that there was so much to do, in fact, but so little time! So at least having been prepared with the research that scrutiny of these pages points to, folks can get straight down to whatever their ‘thing’ is – and that includes doing ‘nothing’! Furthermore, as we live over-the-hills-and-far-away, here to be precise, we’re not there to answer queries – although we are ‘on-call’ in case of any difficulties, of course! Another common observation is that even though they find that all the details, like the potato-peeler being exactly where it should be, due to the fact that Casa Rafela is still our ‘escape’ for much of the time, guests feel that the house has been truly ‘theirs’ during their stay. Perhaps the truth of the matter is that even though we love Casa Rafela dearly, and I hope this comes across in reading these pages, like the fabled recipe for a happy marriage, we avoid being too familiar with it!


Don't worry - Casa Rafela is considerably better organised than my 'office'!


That’s not to say that we don’t enjoy it to the full, however, even though the day job keeps us busy enough we still have as many ‘ganas’ to return there as do our guests . . .


A walk in the countryside immediately around Figols is a treat!


We have had some really useful feedback from our guests at Casa Rafela, much of which has been incorporated into our guides and hence into this site. As an extention of this we invite comments from readers – any feedback are extremely welcome as well as enquiries arising from it. Most welcome of all, perhaps, would be queries concerning things that don’t appear here, however, as this provides us with topics for more research!


10 Responses to “And Finally!”
  1. scrubmuncher says:

    Looks like a great place. I bet them there hills are crawling with all manner of beasts. I’ll have a to come and stay for a few days.

  2. casarafela says:

    Thanks, please do. And congratulations on being the first person to comment on the site – a complementary bottle of cava awaits your collection at Casa Rafela!


    Simon & Polly

  3. Julia says:

    Hi Simon and Polly

    Am off school with a chest infection and getting very bored, so decided to cheer myself up by reminding myself of what is waiting in the summer! The website is as informative and interesting as ever! You’ll be pleased to know that your books are in our school library (and looking at them the other week they have even been taken out!!) so I did the ‘I know him….’ bit to my colleagues!

    Must do a bit more walking this year, looking at some of the entries here. Bought some Cellers wine last time we were in Tremp and really liked it – is the vineyard yet at the stage where one can go there to buy it, or can we only get it in town?

    Are coming to you via Abalos,(ferry comes into Bilbao on Thursday 29th July – what a daft day to arrive!) so will probably pick up a crate of ‘Sonsierra’en route! Do you have any recommendations for good cava? We like it quite dry.

    Still working on the Spanish – about to start the ‘Intermediate’ books/tapes. But also going to France so it could get confusing.

    Really looking forward to 30 July – we need some warmth!! And the view from the patio is so good for the soul! We owe you a mug, too.


    • casarafela says:

      Hi Julia,

      Thanks for your kind comments – hope your are better by now! I’m very pleased to know that our books are actually being read by schoolchildren, although I don’t suppose I’ll be retiring on the Public Lending Rights just yet!

      Your journey via the La Rioja region sounds lovely. We’re going there ourselves sometime this month and your destination at Abalos has given some inspiration!

      The Cellers bodega in Tremp has closed, sadly, but the wine can indeed be bought from the winery itself, at Vilamitjana just outside Tremp – but one does get railroaded into the very thorough tour!

      Take a look at the Cava Regualtory Board’s pages for some ideas about the fizzy stuff. I’ve once tasted Cava from the Basque country and found it delicious, so maybe you can pick something up in Bilbao if you have time. Closer to home, Vilanova de Penedès is the ‘capital’ of Cava production as I’m sure you know. I was riding my motorbike in the mountains near there just yesterday – fabulous scenery, well worth the trip! – and I must do a new motoring itinerary there; along with writing up the new walks we’ve explored this year, finish the ‘Short (sic) History of Fígols’ . . . !

      We’re really looking forward to seeing you both again (fourth visit? – fifth?!!) at the end of July – not so very long away now!

      Simon & Polly

  4. have realy enjoyed looking at your web site,the house looks charming, and we would love to come and stay,but feel 2 weeks would be needed to do it justice, especially as we would be driving from U.K. (long drive just for a week) we stayed in a very simular house last year in luca spain, and we loved it, however this year we only have enough funds for 1 week, as we have already had a holiday in u.s.a. but will def keep it in mind for next year, so hope to see you then, unless we win the lotto in the near future, best wishes sandie & keith.

    • casarafela says:

      Hi Sandy and Keith,

      Thanks for your kind words about the website – as I write above on this page,

      “If it’s given you a few enjoyable and informative minutes’ reading, that’s great. If it makes you want to come to this corner of Spain, so much the better. If it means that you want to come and stay at Casa Rafela – then that’s brilliant!”

      So I think you’ve awarded the page a few brownie points!

      You’re right about the timing though, one week is cutting it fine – but most of our guest do in fact stay for just a week, and thanks to our guides they manage to get the most out of the time!

      A chilled bottle of cava awaits you as and when you do manage to get here!



  5. vickie watts says:

    Dont even know how I ended up here….glad I did! My mother is Catalan and I have been to Barcelona over the past 35 years about 5 times. I love this area and was hoping your Casita in los montanas was still available. I am looking for places to visit for my trip next year.
    I would love to live somewhere around this region for about 6months at a time when I retire in about 5 years. I live in Las Vegas and we are so……ready to get out of here soon. Been here almost all my life. Been here since 1962 when I was 4. Have a bi beautiful home on the foothills of town, away from the “strip”. And I have a great job with the gas company in Engineering. So….I can’t leave yet. let me know if your home is still available to the public. Thanks so much. Vickie

  6. David Halsey says:

    We have just returned from a fabulous week here as part of a wider trip along the Spanish Pyrenees and back, having taken the ferry from England to Bilbao. The view is sublime, the Casa very well equipped and Simon and Polly’s walking and other guides are a real boon.

    • Simon says:

      Hi David,

      Thanks fpr you very positive feedback – we are always pleased to know for sure that folks had a great time at Casa Rafela!

      Simon & Polly

  7. i would love to go there one day. its. been on my list of places to go for a while. lovely web site and thanks for the information about the Tren dels Llacs. I hope you dont mind but i just linked to your post from my blog where i was describing a recent trip on the train. The blog is here All the best. Kate

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  • Important Notice

    All material in this web page is subject to copyright: © 2012 Simon Rice. The downloadable guides are free to use.
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  • Generalitat de Catalunya

    Casa Rafela is a registered self-catering holiday accommodation. Nº HUTL-000734

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