Inspired by our love of the Spanish countryside and lifestyle, we retired early from professional careers in the UK to restore a traditional Valencian farmhouse and establish a new life in the sun. For almost two decades we owned a holiday home in the beautiful medieval village of Bocairent on the edge of the Sierra de Mariola natural park.
Through our holidays we fell in love with rural Spanish life; the people, the food, the wine, the natural fauna and flora, the endless hiking and cross country mountain biking trails.
It was out cycling in the Sierra de Mariola National Park one day that Ben (a keen mountain biker) stumbled on El Cipreret and made a throwaway suggestion that we do a renovation project. The seed was sown and with a philosophy that life is short, we stepped away from our executive jobs to establish Mariola Secreta – a luxury rural retreat where activity and relaxation fuse together in a truly stunning setting.
Andrea and Ben Dillistone
My Dream Derelict Home in the Sun
We were fortunate to have our restoration journey recorded in a TV documentary. It is available on Discovery+. The series is called “My Dream Derelict Home in the Sun” and we are the first episode.