*PLEASE NOTE THAT WE'RE CLOSED FOR B&B DURING THE WINTER MONTHS.*
Availability resumes as from 16 March 2014. In the meantime, we're happy to answer any queries you might have or/and booking requests for next Spring, Summer & Autumn.
An entirely off-grid (solar-powered/spring-water fed), stone farmhouse set in its own 200 acre valley, with great mountain and forest views, a creek (the Canaletes) with several swimming holes, a veranda from which to watch birds and take in the day/night sky, and no sound or smell of traffic whatsoever! It’s a perfect location for people wanting to get right away from it all and be steeped in nature.
Accommodation is rustic, basic, and comfortable. We live as ecologically and sustainably as possible here. We don't impose harsh limitations upon our visitors, but simply ask for care and mindfulness as regards use of our natural resources.
The attic is a lovely space. Perfect for group workshops, yoga etc. (dorm at one end), or just to enjoy as one big bedroom! The price per person includes ingredients for a hearty breakfast (plenty of choice).
Direct access is from La Via Verda, The Green Way, a former railway track between Tortosa and Alcaniz, which runs through spectacular scenery - now resurfaced for walkers, cyclists and people on horseback. The nearest parking (free, safe) is a few minutes drive off the C-12 at The Old Benifallet Station, now a café/restaurant/hostel/bike-hire - a 10-15 minute cycle ride or 25-30 minutes walk from us; best bring a rucksack... By the way, the tunnels along this stretch are not long, and are lit either by solar power or by daylight... and in between them plenty of reasons to stop and enjoy the view.. It's a magical way to arrive...
Note: An alternative way to arrive directly to the house (with parking on the premises) is via a long off-road mountain track, using a 4x4 (only).
I'm usually to be found in the garden, but am always on hand (or contactable when I have to go out) should there be any queries. There are two small, friendly dogs here, two cats, and eight chickens, and sometimes members of my family and/or friends, taking a break from their busy lives… We like welcoming people from all walks of life.
Organically grown herbs and vegetables, straight from the garden, and fresh free range eggs, are available during the day at an affordable price - we love offering great value..
All organic, from the garden (for example late October 2013): lettuce, 2 types of tomatoes, carrots, Italian red peppers, aubergine, cabbage, red-hot chilli peppers, sorrel, Italian rocket, flat-leafed parsley, 3 types of basil, mint, sage. On the land: pursale, wild fennel, thyme, rosemary. In the store: walnuts, garlic, salad onions, various dried herbs.
From the bee-man: Josep from El Perello - brings 80 -120 hives to the valley each late autumn and installs them on one of the top terraces the other side of La Via Verda. The bees stay with us until the following late spring. Josep pays us with his own olive oil, which we use for salads (too good to cook with), and jars of his delicious honey.
There has always been a congenial, communal atmosphere in the house, where people tend to share the preparation and cooking of meals and washing up, but self-catering is also fine.
The accommodation is flexible. The attic, for example, can be booked for a group of up to seven people (I offer a discount on any booking that includes more than 4 people - message me first so I can send you the offer), but sole occupancy is usually fine at no extra charge or supplement (first come first served). There is a writing desk/table in the room, and a small library downstairs.
For action-seekers there's wonderful cycling along the Green Way for many kilometers, much of it completely cut off from the rest of civilization.. Not far away is the as yet local secret: no-cost thermal bathing at picturesque (former monastery) La Fontcalda.. Terra Alta wine can be tasted in the village of Bot, an hour or so cycle ride north.. or/and, a bit further is Horta San Joan where Picasso visited and stayed on, living there twice in his twenties - he reckoned he learned everything he knew about drawing from drawing the rocks there, and when you see them you can see what he meant. If you're interested in seeing his early work from that time, the tiny Picasso center in the village is worth a visit. In fact, he walked from Tortosa Railway Station, along the Ebro river and then through the valley with a donkey and friend on his first trip to Horta as a young man - later writing of his euphoric experience along the Canaletes gorge - of camping in caves, and communing with the natural world - as his first real connection with nature.
There's some amazing, hard-core hiking to be had in the valley itself (mostly not for the very young or faint-hearted!!), and the climbing/abseiling/pot-holing is also good (so I'm told). It's also possible to go canoeing or barrancing locally with a group.
And for those just needing quiet and fresh air, and to totally relax - catch up with some reading maybe, or just soak up the morning or evening sun - you're very welcome to hang out here during the day too... recharge your batteries, reconnect with nature - it's wondrous sights, sounds, and energy... I think you'll love it here.
|Room type:||Private room|
|Bed type:||Real Bed|
|Extra people:||$36 / night after 2 guests|
|Minimum Stay:||2 nights|
|Weekly Price:||$257 /week|
|Monthly Price:||$928 /month|
|Check In:||4:00 PM|
|Check Out:||1:00 PM|
|City:||El Pinell de Brai district|
|Pet Owner:||Dog(s) and Cat(s)|
This is just a dream place.
Helen is both enormously inspiring and a generous human being.
We really enjoyed sharing meals and great conversations, plus we were so lucky to eat tasteful fresh organic vegetables from Helen's garden, where everything grows thanks to her expertise and deep respect for nature.
The area is just spectacular. Cycling through Via Verda was an amazing adventure and staying at Riberola such a nice experience. The attic is just an incredible space and a really cosy room with stunning views. Only one warning: it is so quiet that you just want to sleep in!
We learnt so many things about sustanaible live yet had the opportunity to practise English!
We will definitely come back and for sure, recommend it to all our friends!
Thank you again, Helen.
Alba i Carla
Aquest és un lloc d’ensomni.
La Helen és alhora una persona enormement inspiradora i generosa.
Vam disfrutar moltíssim compartint àpats i converses fascinants amb ella, alhora que tastàvem fruita i verdura deliciosa i ecològica directa de l’hort.
La zona és simplement espectacular. Anar amb bici per la Via Verda va ser una aventura fantàstica, i allotjar-nos a Riberola una experiència magnífica.
L'habitació de l'àtic es perfecte i molt acollidora, amb unes vistes precioses.
Vam tenir la oportunitat d’aprendre moltes coses sobre sostenibilitat, alhora que vam poder practicar anglès!
Tornarem segur i ho recomanarem a tothom!
Gràcies de nou, Helen.
Alba i Carla
The place is absolutely beautiful! It was great to get away from the city and smell the trees and the earth. We ate great food fresh from the garden and I took long walks with her sweet dogs. It's a great example on how to live off the grid and feel like you have it all. Helen was lovely company and we shared many great conversations and connections.
If only for the best grapes i have tasted in 59 years my visit to Helen's place Riberola would have been worth it. Intensely sweet and spicy with delicious skin and seeds. But what made me the absolute happiest was being able to bathe in the river after a long day hiking. Helen is and was a wonderful sweet kind host who i really appreciated both as a host and as a human being. She is one of a kind and this place is one of a kind. O to see only darkness and stars at night. O to breathe fresh sweet pine scented air. O to have a library of good books to read if you want to. . And what Helen does not mention is that she has, downstairs, a Bechtstein piano, so if you play, this is a fanatstic bonus. I also really appreciated the fact there is a kitchen and you can use it to make dinner. since its hard to get vegetables in the restaurants in Catalunya, and i mean cruciferous green ones, this is great. The Via Verde is also fine. Thank you Helen for making such a wonderful retreat. Bravo!
Wow. This place is amazing. Also very random! From the Old Benifallet Station a series of almost-forgotten railway tunnels links Helen's magical home to the outside world. Ever wondered what Alice in Wonderland felt like, or ever dreamed of finding Narnia at the other end of the wardrobe? Walk through the snaking underground passageways and wonder no longer ...
I love this place! The attic is a very fine space with a beautifull view over the valley. You will find at Riberola a nice river to swim, completely privately.
I had lovely and wonderful conversations with Helen. So great! I met some young Greek woofer. We eat together, did yoga together. I like it to prepare food from the organic garden. Every day fresh vegetables.
It's an absolute amazing place in beautiful silence nature! Love it!
We are Pat & Kilian a couple from Viladecavalls a village near Barcelona; we spent last weekend with Helen in her nice house. We really enjoyed it , Riberola is a relaxing and beautiful place where we felt very well. Helen is so nice and a special person and you can speak hours and hours with her. We hope to come back again soon!!
Hemos disfrutado de un magnífico fin de semana en casa de Helen, en plena Via Verda. Un paraje precioso, con muchísimo encanto. Ideal para disfrutar de unas vacaciones en pareja o en familia, hacer deporte y desconectar de la rutina. Volveremos con toda la familia. Gracias Helen!!!
This is a fantastic place to stay. Just as described, and Helen is a wonderful host and an overall wonderful person. Her beautiful stone farmhouse lies in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains. Just down a nearby path flows a creek that offers various swimming holes and river bottoms cloaked in sienna-colored clay to melt your toes into. It's amazing swimming in the river, knowing that you're in the middle of awesome nature.
Our three kids (5, 7 and 9) loved sharing a huge bed (made up with five mattresses -- very comfortable, soft sheets, a variety of comfy pillows) with my husband and I in the spacious attic, replete with beautiful views, ample storage space and cooling ceiling fans.
The area is just gorgeous -- Helen's garden is incredible (I hope she teaches me someday), and every day, Helen cut fresh lettuce for my family so we could all enjoy delicious salads with our meals (fresh eggs from her chickens in the morning). Helen took the time to share her garden with our children, who loved helping pick off the snails and re-house them elsewhere.
I can imagine that it wasn't always easy for Helen to be surrounded by three small (sometimes loud) children, but you wouldn't know it. She was so composed and relaxed and made us feel completely at home -- and best of all she was willing to spend time with us and with the kids, teaching them about her garden, about respecting the plants and trees (not thoughtlessly picking leaves, for instance).
Helen is really a great host -- caring, kind, thoughtful, attentive, respectful, informative and funny. One evening, she had me laughing to tears from one of her stories. We all really enjoyed her company.
We'll definitely go back one day soon. Thanks again, Helen.
My stay at Riberola was wonderful and such a lovely getaway from the cities. I loved being immersed in nature, undisturbed by cars and the chatter of everyday life. Helen has created a beautiful, inviting space in the attic upstairs. It could easily accomodate a large number of people but I had it all to myself...the open and welcoming space invites creativity to come flooding in. The hikes nearby are stunning...I went out walking every day! I highly recommend biking along the greenway, and definitely visiting the breathtaking monastery. There is so much beautiful space to explore all around. During my stay, another guest participated in a sweat lodge ceremony with a local healer Daniel...who knows, if you're interested, maybe more healing ceremonies will be available during your stay!
Riberola is a very special place, and Helen will do whatever she can to make your stay what you hoped for it to be. I very much hope I can return someday, thank you for everything Helen! If you're looking for a nature retreat in Spain, there's no place better.
Transportation notes: I took a bus (through the company Hife) from Valencia to Tortosa, and then immediately took another bus from Tortosa to Benifallet. The trip was 20 euro total. From the Benifallet bus stand, I went into the local bar and they called me a taxi to the old Benifallet station (Helen may be able to help you arrange this beforehand). I walked to Helen's from there. Be sure to be comfortable enough with your luggage to walk to Helen's, and to have a light for the tunnels! Another great option would be to have a bike and take the leisurely ride to Riberola.
Just as described - lovely scenery , quiet , remote . This was our second off-grid stay this time in the area - 2 very different approaches, so lots to experience . All very interesting & enjoyable . We arrived for our short stay after 2 days of rain so the loft was a bit cold for city dwellers but Helen was very generous with as many extra duvets as we wanted & we were warm & cosy round the stove for our evening meal . Helen is quite courageous living off-grid in such a remote place . Next time we will have to take more time to explore the Via Verde & all it's attractions . A great spot .