We are open for retreats in our cottage or flat at 69 Carrer Mare de Deu del Miracle,  all year. We converted an old village house opposite our front door in 2003 to provide over-spill rooms for our residential courses here, but also to provide quiet, comfortable accommodation for retreats and relaxation, close to the village centre with its bars, small general store and thrice weekly market.  The cottage has three double bedrooms each with private facilities, a well equipped kitchen, a dining and living area and a first floor study. The self-contained flat has a single and a double bedroom, a fully equipped kitchen and a living area. The flat and cottage have a staircase connection which can be opened up if needed.

Included within our retreat package is easy and permanent access to our roomy terrace, swimming pool, outside workstations and recliners etc. and retreaters are free to wander through our almond, olive and citrus groves

Within the Almàssera we have printing/ copying facilities, Wi/fi (which extends to the cottage), a 4000 book library and a wide selection of DVDs. Both flat and Cottage are equipped with TVs.

We have recently had bookings from writing groups taking the opportunity to work together on writing projects or operating workshops. We can facilitate, group excursions to museums, galleries and places of local interest or organize and provide a pick up service for mountain walkers. I can also arrange local readings via connections with Alicante University. This is an active literary scene on the coast here.

For single writers, painters, walkers and tranquility seekersself-catered 35€ per night – For couples 50€ per night – discounts for stays over a week. We can  pick up and return to Alicante airport – 50€ per trip.

Overnights 35€ single occupation, 50€ double.

Delighted to receive yesterday John Godfrey’s latest poetry collection ‘Beautiful Contraptions’ – with a fine photograph on the cover of our Olive Mill. John visited the Almassera Vella on a Poetry course some years ago and I remember his fascination with the mill and the press and the way they used to operate. The picture shows one of the giant cones (‘Toledo granite’) and some of the workings. When we rebuilt the Almassera Vella in 2001 — the mill and press were two things that were untouched,  indeed the house was essentially designed around them. The cold press technique has largely given over these days to centrifugal presses — although there is still one cold press operating in the province. Some connoisseurs of Extra Virgin olive oil prefer cold-pressed olives. However at the Almassera Vella our mill and press are now simply precious sculptural objects. As John puts it:

Here is your olive-press – and still here –

though the sounds of it you’ll now

have to imagine: the effete huffs

of exhausting steam shouldn’t be too difficult;

the rush and slap of belts on pulleys,

the stutter of worn cogs a little harder maybe….


(‘Beautiful Contraptions’ by John Godfrey from Rockingham Press

ISBN978-1-904851-75-2 – available Amazon)

Ann Sansom of the Poetry Business ran a residential Poetry week at the Almassera Vella in June and it resulted in a happy coda as she invited me to read at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere and join a workshop there. Ann’s courses at the Almassera Vella have proved the birthplace of a good deal of published and prize-winning poetry — her methods almost force quality work out of you.

Peter Sansom ran the Grasmere workshop on similarly inspiring lines and and as the sun set over the fells, we indulged in a Wordsworth/Coleridge ‘walk and talk’ afterwards.