Mas de la Costa – Elegance, nature, cuisine – Nestled in 23 hectares of olive and almond groves in the Mattaraña area of Spain sits Mas de la Costa, a small four-star boutique hotel where time stands still and guests are invited to enjoy privileged moments of tranquillity and relaxation.

The owners of Mas de Costa, Françoise and Christian, fell in love with the area whilst on their own holidays, taking to the gentle pace of life and the beautiful natural surroundings. They had found a spot where they could truly relax and escape their hectic lives.  The surrounding landscape is gently mountainous and far from the crowds – the population of Aragon is below just 10 people to every 1 square km.

When they found the original 19th century farmhouse, they made the decision to turn it into an elegant country escape inspired by the nature and tranquillity of the region. Their philosophy: slow living, slow food, refers to the pace of life at Mas de la Costa, where relaxation and back to nature activities are complemented by leisurely culinary experiences – the Mas de la Costa restaurant is one of the top restaurants in the area.  Each room has been individually and tastefully created in a colonial yet cosy style with simplicity and elegance in mind and many of the original features have been preserved.  There are no televisions in the rooms – this is not a rustic retreat but somewhere where local style combines with charm to provide comfort and elegance and an escape from the everyday.  Personalised and discreet service completes the package.

The hotel is located approximately 2 hours from both Valencia and Barcelona airports.  A minimum 4 night stay is therefore recommended to enable guests to immerse themselves in the natural landscape and truly relax.  In fact, there is so much to do at Mas de la Costa, you could easily spend a week here and a twin centre break with one of the cities would work really well too.

Families as well as couples, single travellers and groups of friends will revel in the experience of Mas de la Costa.  From exploring local villages to hiking, cycling and even olive oil tasting, the hotel and surrounding region have so much to offer.

Here’s more about what you can do during a stay at the hotel.

The local villages of the Matarraña are tranquil and quaint.  They are architecturally interesting, telling ancient stories of medieval times gone by and are truly authentic in their cultural heritage.  There is a central hub to each village and churches and castles offer the opportunity to learn more about their history.  Start in the closest village to the hotel; Valderrobres, a charming medieval village with narrow cobbled streets, an impressive castle and the church of Santa Maria La Mayor at its heart. There are some lovely recommended lunch spots in the village too.   Several historical sights nearby relate to the 1930s Spanish Civil War as many battles were fought in battlefields close to the hotel.

During a short stay, discovering local villages is a must as is hiking in the Aragón. Hiking is the best way to really experience the beautiful Matarraña and there are several routes to be explored which will take you along winding dirt paths, across wooden walkways and through incredible flora and fauna.  See the rock paintings of Fenellasa en route to the striking Els Estrets del Parriza  – a canyon 60m in height and 200m long – via the Mattaraña River.

Cycling opportunities are also excellent and for both amateur and avid riders, the Matarraña offers some spectacular routes.  The Via Verde del Valle de Zafán follows an old railway route with sections suited to differing levels of cycling ability from children to more professional cyclists.  Along the way, cyclists will traverse through olive and almond groves and experience some inspiring scenery, ancient history and amazing views.  Take a picnic, packed up for you by the hotel and make the most of the day.

Bicycles can be rented locally or bringing your own is an option too as the hotel has secure storage for guests’ own bikes.  This is an ideal spot for those with a cycling focus and who want to set out on a different route each day

Another agreeable, more leisurely way to see the surrounding beauty of the area is on horseback and horse riding can be arranged locally by the hotel staff.

Whilst this is a place to relax and wander at a slow pace, adrenalin junkies won’t be disappointed with the local zip wire experience.  For bird enthusiasts; bird watching and the vulture observatory are also close by.  The friendly hotel and staff will happily arrange car hire too locally for those that want to take off and explore under their own steam.

Mas de la Costa is not a beach destination however the hotel does have a heated pool which is open from June to September and for winter visitors the sauna and Turkish bath are the best way to unwind.  Massages can be booked with a local professional masseuse in the tranquil surroundings of the wellness suite.

No visit at Mas de la Costa is complete without tasting some local wines and olive oil.  Aragón has a strong culture of food and wine and the wines here are very underrated.  Visit state of the art wineries and learn more about the different grape varieties grown in this varied climate.  Of course, you’ll be tasting the wines too and will see several on the hotel’s wine list.  Whilst the wine list does include an international selection, local and more widely sourced Spanish wines feature heavily and are the most popular.  A visit to a local producer to find out more is recommended.

Being surrounded by olive groves, Mas de la Costa is also the ideal spot for tasting exceptional olive oils.  Discover more about olive oil production and make up your own mind about the difference in taste between Spanish olives oils and those from other parts of the world.

Returning to the philosophy of slow living, slow food, after a day exploring the local area you will want to retreat to the hotel’s gastronomic fine dining restaurant. Dining here will slow the pace and allow you time to enjoy some truly superb cuisine. The restaurant menu changes every day. Ingredients are always the best available and sourced as locally and as sustainably as possible. The main influence is Mediterranean and the menu is seasonal and varied; popular local dishes feature alongside those inspired by the owners’ travels and the Venezuelan chef adds an international flare.  The hotel itself is working towards expanding production of its own produce – breakfast is always entirely locally sourced and includes the hotel’s own fruits and homemade conserves.

Touching on sustainability, the hotel could be described as off grid. This is as much as to say the hotel is not connected to main power lines but takes its supply mainly from sustainable solar panels and strives to be as environmentally focused and as sustainably run as possible.

Mas de la Costa offers the ultimate relaxing Spanish country retreat: comfortable yet elegant, tranquil yet with plenty to do, a back to nature experience with a touch of luxury.  Whether you are looking for a quiet couple’s getaway or a venue for a special occasion, the slow living, slow food philosophy of Mas de la Costa is as inspiring as it is inviting.

Mas de la Costa – elegance, nature, cuisine.