The holiday homes on our website are no exception; it is very normal in Spain that a house has a name. It will not surprise you that many places in Spanish inland do not even have an address by definition, so giving a name to a house or a cortijo is very handy. The vast majority of our holiday homes are no exception. To illustrate, we will mention a few examples, our range includes villas, casas, casitas, cortijos, fincas and piso or aticos.
These names say something about the size and original function of the home, and in this blog we would like to explain the differences.
The name piso is best translated as a floor or apartment, a piso is actually by definition in a larger multi-tenant building. Piso is also used in Andalusia to indicate the floor of a house with several floors. However, don’t let the term disappoint you about the size of a piso, in the centers of old Spanish villages, pisos with more than 4 bedrooms are often hidden behind narrow/small facades.
Then there is the term atico. An atico is also a floor or apartment, but in the form of a loft. A loft is a large house that usually consists of one room that the resident can arrange according to his own wishes. In that sense, it basically resembles a studio, but a studio is much smaller than an atico.
For an example of an atico in our offer, click here.
Casita or caseta is actually the diminutive for casa, and that is exactly what it means; a small house or cottage. The origin of this term is Mexican, in South America it is used to describe a worker’s house on a larger estate. In southern Spain it is a popular designation for guest house. A casita is always small and has only 1 bedroom, but a casita is not necessarily just one floor. In Andalusia, the current guest house was often a stable, for example for donkeys.
Renting an old donkey stable to spend your holiday, look here for a romantic spot for two.
A casa is a house, a house in the countryside or in a city or village. A casa can be detached or a terraced house. A casa usually has several floors and more than one sleeping quarters. The word casa is also used to indicate the term “at home”. For example, “estoy en casa” (I am at home) or “lo olvidé en casa” (I forgot that at home). The word casa in these examples says nothing about the shape or size of the house in question.
Example of a casa in the countryside? Click here.
Finca and Cortijo, or rather Finca òr Cortijo
Outside of Spain, there is confusion about the meanings of the words cortijo and finca. When you think of a finca, you usually think of a country house or farm on a large plot where the neighbors live at a considerable distance and privacy is therefore guaranteed. A Spanish finca is actually nothing more than a plot, a piece of land, whether or not built on. Cortijo would then be the name of the farm that’s on that piece of land, and a cortijo can be very large. A cortijo consists of a main house and outbuildings. In the original function of a cortijo, these outbuildings are intended as workers’ houses, stables, and for example a mill or barns. There are even cortijos that have a chapel on the estate. A cortijo is usually always walled in.
Whether the term finca or cortijo is used for a modern house, it is actually always an old, often detached farmhouse on a large piece of land. In Latin America, this type of property is known as haciendas. Although Haciendas were mainly engaged in animal husbandry, the southern Spanish fincas and cortijos are – nearly without exception – old olive farms .
Enjoy a holiday in complete privacy in the Andalusian countryside. These are examples of different fincas and cortijos from our offer:
And then there is the villa. In other words, a country house or estate built after the Romanian example. Imagine the most beautiful houses with large dining rooms, columns, long corridors and beautifully landscaped gardens. Think luxury and excess, as in Villa Mons Sacra.
Besides the fact that we wanted to find out for ourselves where all these names come from, we would like to convey with this blog that we have included something for everyone in our range of holiday homes. The houses are often hidden gems, without an address, which we have selected and visited ourselves. La Taha has really found the most beautiful holiday homes in Spain with the best location for you.
(The house in the picture is Finca Lomas de Tienda.)