I was very impressed with my nice-sized apartment for a three-night stay. I arrived very late and had good communication with the owner about how to get access after dark. The room was wonderful, with a superb view. I see that there has been some criticism about the lack of late afternoon sun, but as I was out all day exploring the area I have no complaint there. If that is what you want, perhaps consider checking to see if that is available before you book? I don't think the large hill to the south of the property (blocking the late sun) was put there by the property owners.
I very much appreciated the surprise goodies in the kitchen as it provided me breakfast for my first morning when I headed out well before the shops would have been open. Overall, I do not believe I could have chosen a better place to stay away from the main valley (around Potes).
Husband and I had the 2-bedroom apartment. Lovely hosts in Richard and Suzanne, outdoor eating space, an amazing and ever-changing view depending on the weather, friendly neighbours in the other apartments, peace and quiet, bird-song, cow bells, unspoilt area, close to Potes for shopping, walks, churches, Los Picos... I could wax lyrical about the charms of the area for walking and bird watching but you'll have to come here to appreciate it for yourselves.
I'm a big fan of old character places and love the mountains; this place however was something of a disappointment. While full of character and with amazing views, little appears to have been altered in the owner's 25 years of ownership. The bathrooms and kitchen are very dated, and the bedrooms and lounge sparsely furnished. Although supposedly sleeping 14, some of the bedrooms are hardly viable and one of the bathrooms is simply not fit for purpose. With some serious investment the place could be wonderful, as it stands it feels very tired.
We spent a marvellous week here at the end of June. We had been originally attracted by the view up the valley on the Olmares website and the view from our ground floor apartment was almost as good!
The complex is made up of the original very large farmhouse which can host I believe up to 12 people, plus four apartments sleeping two each and one four.
Our apartment was well appointed with everything you would need, and nothing you didn't. There's a communal room full of comfy chairs etc and loads and loads of books on the local area, wildlife and walking, we used this the identify the numerous birds we came across including the magnificent Griffin Vultures.
There are a number of rules, but these ensure that everyone's visit is enjoyable, such as no smoking, no music or TV with patio doors open.
There's a large courtyard which also has a huge barbecue and a room upstairs in the old hay loft for washing, almost like a laundrette, very useful.
The apartment is some 15 minutes from Potes and is very secluded up the hillside, the only bar within walking distance is now closed, so no chance of a local drink, but that's no real hardship.
All your needs can be obtained from Potes, we used the Lupa as you enter the town which has a magnificent fresh fish counter and also the one opposite the Bus Station. There is a market on Monday's which sells a lot of local produce cheese, meats, veg, fruit etc and old antique type of stuff old tools and the like.
We drove from Bilbao but was unable to take advantage of the discounted ferry price provide by the owners of Olmares as we had already booked via a third party.
We spent our time walking, a bit of sight seeing and sitting on the veranda watching the lovely view and listening to cow bells, bird spotting and watching the hay making. I did not use the car much I think the furtherest I drove was to Espinama to walk to the cable car at Fuentes De and La Hermida.
The only downside was the parking, ok if you've got a hired car but when the apartments are fully booked it all becomes a bit tight, however during our stay most of the time we were the only ones there.
By the way you can walk up the zigzag path up to 'the old lady' Pena Ciquera by driving to Cueva.
This is a beautiful old and unspoilt, characterful manor house, away from main roads in a little village, with lots of space for our large group of 12 (family plus our daughters' 20-something year old friends). We walked daily in the most beautiful countryside with flowers everywhere (and hardly saw another walker) using the excellent Sunflower 'Walking the Picos de Europa' little guidebook and another '10 circular walks in Picos de Europa' - these proved essential, saved a lot of planning, took you to amazing places and we found the local maps give you little idea of how long something might take and there are so many tracks that aren't evident on the maps that we definitely would have got lost! We shopped in nearby Potes (15 minutes) and cooked every night in the kitchen or lovely barbecue area outside.
Plenty of bedrooms (comfy mattresses), bathrooms, space to escape, cool in the house even when hot outside, a top (3rd) storey where the youth could play cards or watch Poirot on videos and drink wine late into the night whilst those who needed sleep could get it downstairs! WiFi if you're desperate to keep in touch with the outside world and you know where to stand! The youth enjoyed canoeing down from Pannes to Unquerra one morning. Definitely worth stopping off at the very good La Lupa supermarket in Potes on the way to Olmares to stock up on fresh fish, bread, fruit and picnic items. Richard was a very welcoming host with helpful advice.