Living in El Maestrat


You must be mad! - my children said
You must be mad! – my children said


I have been going back and forth to the El Maestrat, Castellon for 16 years, striving towards the dream of a simpler, more fulfilling way of life.  It started with a ruin in the middle of nowhere.  After many adventures, trials and tribulations, and by some miracle, the dream is coming into focus. In some ways, already has. This is my blog of living totally off-grid up a mountain – no mains water, no mains electricity, no post, TV or any of that other stuff.  And definitely less worries. Well,…

My masia during the heatwave of 2022,El Maestrat
My masia during the heatwave of 2022,El Maestrat

It has been and continues to be a rollercoaster ride, exhilarating, scary and always amazing.  I feel Spanish, I do not look Spanish, but surely must have been in another life?  I hope you will enjoy reading these vignettes with all their foibles and nuttinesses. It is done for love of this amazing area and its people.

The mountains of Castellon
A winter sunset behind Penyagolosa in El Maestrat

An article has just been published in Le Temps by the dynamic Violeta Tena with wonderful photos by Carme Ripollés – The Times to you and me  – but of Valencia – about people from abroad coming to this region and making a life here, the old way, or even the new way to avoid all the stress of the world today – READ IT HERE!


  1. March 4, 2020

    Hi, I enjoyed your article in ‘The Local’. And, to some extent, empathised with it. Just over 19 years ago, I stood in the window of a modern town house with spectacular views over the city of Pontevedra and pondered whether I really should buy that place instead of a finca on which I could have built the sort of stone house I really wanted. but couldn’t find. Luckily for me, my 18 year old daughter was by my side and said: “Dad, you’ll be back home in the UK dealing at a distance with builders you don’t know and can’t trust, when not speaking a word of Spanish. You’ll be taken to the cleaners.” Fortunately for me, I listened to her and abandoned my dream, which I’ve never regretted. I bought the town house and moved into it a few months later. Five or six years after that, I set up a business to give legal and practical advice to foreigners looking to buy property in the Spanish jungle. Many years later, in the hands of my then Spanish (business) partner, it’s still going strong. Two of my key bits of advice were never to believe a word a Spanish gent told you – especially one who smiles a lot – and never to accept their recommendations for anything. By the way, I’m not sure there was anything you could have done to avoid the local gossip. Without data, they’d have simply I hope you enjoy your beautiful home for many years. Best wishes. Colin Davies P. S. I’m from Birkenhead and I’ve been writing my blog since 2003.

  2. harveymckeon
    May 27, 2016

    Great photos!

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