Things to do

 

This area of Andalucia offers an enormous array of activities and experiences from trips to historic cities or nearby sleepy villages to unforgettable adventures in a stunning landscape.

Ronda

 

Take time to explore the beautiful hilltop city of Ronda, wander the old town at your leisure and relish the slow pace of life, people watch at one of the many cafés and explore the architecture, palaces, gardens and rich cultural heritage of the City of Dreams.

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El Tajo

A spectacularly beautiful limestone ravine overlooking fertile valleys in an arid landscape, this is a photographer’s dream. Peregrine falcons and lesser kestrels nest on the sheer cliffs alongside a multitude of crag martins, pallid swifts, black redstarts, blue rock thrushes, choughs, rock doves and blackcaps. El Tajo is best viewed from the city’s main park, the Alameda del Tajo and the Mirador de Aldehuela, named after the architect who designed both the bridge and the bullring. Immortalised in Hemingway’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ the gorge was allegedly used by both sides during the civil war to dispatch enemies. The views are incredible, especially at sunset but if you suffer from vertigo – don’t look down.

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Puente Nuevo

Instantly recognisable, the ‘new bridge’ dates from 1793 and offers spectacular views over el Tajo, spanning the 120m deep ravine and connecting la Ciudad, the old Moorish town, to the newer Mercadillo. Beautiful vistas can be seen from viewpoints all along the bridge and the bridge itself can best be seen from the bottom of the gorge or follow el Camino de los Molinos but hang on to your hat.

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La Ciudad

The winding streets of the old town bring little surprises at every turn from the Moorish Minaret de San Sebastian where local craftsmen sit weaving rush seats onto miniature chairs, to the stately palaces of a bygone era, Palacio Mondragon, Casa del Rey Moro, and Casa Don Bosco to name a few, the Arab and Roman bridges, the eight spout fountain – Los Ocho Caños – (recognisable as the setting for the death scene in Francisco Rosi’s version of Bizet’s Carmen) and the serene, leafy, Plaza Duquesa de Parcent with its fabulous church, fairytale belltower and rows of orange trees around the town hall. Traditional Spanish guitar can be heard in squares looking out to the Serrania de Ronda and the pace of life is infectiously slow. Ornate ironwork, half hidden, jasmine filled gardens and crumbling mansions all add to the charm of the La Ciudad. There are bars aplenty serving an array of traditional tapas and many afford unforgettable views. Best appreciated after the day-trippers have gone, this is truly the romantic heart of the city.

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Plaza de Toros

Ronda’s famous bullring has the largest rueda (circle of sand) in the world and is home to the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda, Spain’s oldest and most noble order of horsemanship that was established in 1485. Whatever your feelings about bullfighting, the neo-classical architecture is stunning from the outside and even more so from within its high walls. Designed by José Martín de Aldehuela, the same architect responsible for the Puente Nuevo, and with covered seating for 5,000, the Plaza de Toros is an impressive landmark and serves as an excellent starting point for exploring the city.

Palacio Mondragon

Palacio de Mondragón

Once the palace of the Moorish King, the gardens are a cool oasis and some of the fabulous architecture dates from C12th. The palace houses the municipal museum that depicts the history and pre-history of the area, it is a crazy museum that is entertaining for all the wrong reasons but the gardens and balconied courtyards are wonderful.

Casa del Rey Moro Peggy S

© Peggy S

Casa del Rey Moro y La Miña

Since it was more likely that it was from Palacio de Mondragón that King Abomelic, son of the Sultan of Morocco, ruled, Casa del Rey Moro is ill-named, in fact, the palace dates from the C18th and the gardens were designed in 1912. Nonetheless, it sits above the genuinely Moorish water mine, cut into the rock to transport water to the city above. The descent passes through the Sala de Secretos which is said to display the same phenomenon as St Paul’s Whispering Gallery. Popular folklore holds that the mines and fortress still conceal Abomelic’s stash of gold. There are 231 steps to the bottom of the gorge but it is wonderfully cool inside the mine, even in the height of summer and the tranquility once you reach the Guadelevín at the bottom of the gorge is sublime.

Arab baths david jones

© David Jones

Baños Arabes

Dating from the 11th century, Ronda’s Arab baths have recently been restored and are amongst the best preserved in the entire Iberian Peninsula. Cool and tranquil, with star shaped vents in the domed ceiling, the Baños Arabes are an absolute delight.

City walls

City Walls

The Puerta del Almocábar is a beautifully shaped gate in the medieval city walls. Pass through at dusk and you will often see riders enjoying a cool evening drink beside their horses. You can walk to the end of the Almocábar wall and climb the steps looking out over the city. More of the walls can be seen on the outskirts of the city and near the Arab Baths, including the Puerta de la Cijara. It takes around an hour to walk the various sections of the wall.

Plaza Duquesa de Parcent Keith Roper

© Keith Roper

Plaza Duquesa de Parcent

Perhaps the most beautiful plaza in the whole of Ronda, still, calm and cool, an orange lined square with surely one of the most attractive town halls ever, an impressive church complete with loggia, Mudejar style belltower and Wizard of Oz looking lions adorning the walls. There are several cafés and bars and a good restaurant here - Meson el Sacristan. The square was once site of the market during Arab rule, the gardens were added by Jean Claude Forestier who also designed the gardens of the Casa del Rey Moro and the Maria Luisa Park in Seville.

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Barrio San Francisco

Located just outside the city walls, on the very edge of the countryside, the barrio is like a village in its own right. There is a wonderful flavour to this part of town, crumbling houses sit opposite excellent tapas bars, this is Ronda at its most authentic, welcoming and relaxed. You can climb the old city walls and look out over the barrio, enjoy a fabulous dinner or flamenco at one of the many bars, kids can play in the playground in the lovely leafy square that was once the city’s cemetery.

Plaza del Socorro Tomas Fano

© Tomás Fano

Plaza del Socorro

El Mercadillo, the ‘new’ town contains the popular Plaza del Socorro, central hub of the modern city and a plaza of great political significance, it was here that Blas Infante, father of Andalucian nationalism, first unfurled the Andalucian flag. Executed by Franco’s forces, Infante is memorialised by a statue and a beautiful paseo overlooking el Tajo. Plaza del Socorro is surrounded by restaurants and bars with some notable gems including La Taberna, a favourite with locals, Casa Ortega, where you can get a great zumo narañja and sliced jamon iberico de bellota cut by a cortador. This café restaurant has a great wine list and a rooftop terrace overlooking the square. Sample a leisurely tapa at one of the many bars, watching the world go by, then head down one of the shady side streets towards the bullring and the old town. This square is perhaps the most visited in Ronda but is still frequented by locals throughout the day and well into the night. Once the site of a muslim chapel, Nuestra Señora del Socorro chimes out the hour and startles the pigeons every time.

Beneath the plaza is a brilliant underground car park, numerous side streets hide a host of bars, cafes and restaurants including the fabulous Tragata, the more traditional El Porton and opposite the bull ring the aptly named Restaurante Pedro Romero. The main shopping street Carrera Espinel is a pedestrianised street with a wide variety of high street and independent shops and side streets selling pretty much everything. El Mercadillo is the modern, bustling heart of Ronda and although it lacks the historic appeal of the old town, it nonetheless has an authenticity that gives it a certain charm.

Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Merced keith Roper

© Keith Roper

The Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Merced

An impressive Merced Carmelite Convent, or more correctly, a basilica, since it contains the relic of the incorruptible hand of Saint Teresa of Avila (C17th) once seized by Franco during the civil war. The church is open daily and, as Jamie Oliver showed in ‘Jamie Does Spain’, the resident nuns sell pasteles from a revolving counter.

Mirador Hernan Pinera

© Hernán Piñera

Mirador d’ Aldeheula

Named after the architect who designed both the bridge and the bullring, the Mirador d’Aldeheula and the Balćon de Coño offer superb views over the gorge. Best at sunrise if you can bear to leave your bed this early, sunset is pretty good too.

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Alameda del Tajo

A fabulous park, the green lung of El Mercadillo, the park was apparently funded by fining Rondeños for lewd behaviour and swearing. They must have been a bawdy bunch because the result is fabulous, towering firs and cobbled paths lead to a fantastic view over the edge of the gorge. Words cannot do the beauty of this park justice but Rainer Maria Rilke, Argentinian born Jorge Luis Borges and James Joyce all did their best. A popular place for families and hub of the paseo, it is a great spot for an ice cream and quiet contemplation. No park in the world can beat the view.

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Flamenco

No holiday in Andalucia is complete without a little flamenco. Featuring on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list, artisans in Ronda are certainly helping to keep this wonderful tradition alive. There are several venues to choose from, El Quinque on Paseo Blas Infante, just behind the Parador, offers authentic daily performances involving every aspect of this fabulous art. Do not miss the Festival de Cante Grande in late August, one of the oldest flamenco festivals in the province which sees the cante - song, take centre stage.
(...view details)

Minaret de San sebastian

Minaret de San Sebastian

Wandering down through the old town takes you past this tiny minaret, all that remains of a former mosque, a beautiful Mudejar tower, part stone, part brick. Local gentlemen can often be found weaving rush seats onto miniature chairs on the adjacent street.

Ochos Canos Padre Jesus Elliott Brown

Los Ocho Caños

Lovers of Rosi’s version of Bizet’s opera will recognise the eight spout fountain on Calle Sta. Cecilia as the setting for Carmen’s death. This is a lovely quiet spot outside the Iglesia de Padre Jesús.

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Joaquín Peinado Museum

If art is your thing (or architecture or history for that matter) head into Old Town to the Museo Unicaja Joaquín Peinado. This small museum holds an excellent collection of Picasso's etchings (mostly in the minotaur vein) and a few Picasso ceramics as well as a permanent collection of Ronda's own neo-cubist, Peinado, a frequently changing calendar of temporary exhibitions and a superb bookshop. Small enough to complete in less than an hour, this museum is in the building that once housed the heirs of the last Aztec emperor Montezuma, the Mudejar-Renaissance aesthetic - Tuscan columns and beautiful Mudejar carved ceiling - sit comfortably alongside contemporary architecture. Located nearby the Palacio Mondragón, this part of town is the true historic heart of Ronda. (...view details)

Further afield

 

Los Pueblos Blancos – the white villages,  Andalucia’s historic sites, enchanting cities and unspoilt coast all wait to be explored.

Arcos de la Frontera

© Karan Jain

Arcos de la Frontera

Considered by many to be the quintessential white village, Arcos de la Frontera is perched atop a limestone plateau with incredible views into the valley. The charming old town was declared a national historic-artistic monument over 50 years ago and remains a traffic free, tangled warren of cobbled streets with Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Moorish influences. For the best views try a drink on the terrace of the Parador.

Setenil Samu

© Samu

Setenil de las Bodegas

An unusual village with houses cut right into the rock. There are numerous bars and restaurants where you can find authentic local cuisine. Former home to a flourishing wine trade (hence ‘bodega’), the cave like buildings once made excellent cellars. The locals are extremely welcoming and don’t seem to suffer from tourist fatigue. Setenil is about 8km from the former city of Acinipo (Ronda la Vieja) which is truly incredible.

Gaucin Expect Grain

© Expect Grain

Gaucin

With views from the aptly named Castillo del Aguila towards the mountains of Morocco and the Rock of Gibraltar, Gaucin has long been a favourite on the tourist trail. Gateway to the Serranía de Ronda from the Costa del Sol, only half an hour from the coast, Gaucin has a thriving artists’ community, sculptors, painters, photographers and printmakers, many of whom have open studios throughout much of the summer and restaurants with terraces overlooking the River Genal valley. The ruined castle is nonetheless impressive and the views are breathtaking.

Grazalema Turismo Cadiz

© Turismo Cádiz

Grazalema

Famed for its amazing birdlife, especially raptors, Grazalema is gateway to the Grazalema National Park. A whitewashed village with a lovely square surrounded by bars, restaurants and cafés. Sabores de Grazalema is a fabulous delicatessen not to be missed.

ACINIPO

Acinipo

Ronda la Vieja, the old Roman city, lies a few miles north of Ronda, once a city for retired soldiers of Ceasar’s army, the remains of the city itself amount to an eerie host of rubble mounds but the theatre is remarkably intact and visitors can see the circular seating, high walls and parts of the underground system and take turns to re-enact that scene from Gladiator. It is hard to believe that the theatre dates from the first century A.D. Walk beyond the top of the theatre seats for incredible, far reaching 360 degree views that are well worth the climb.

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Zahara de la Sierra

One of the most picturesque of the white villages, with a C13th Nasrid castle and sublime views over an insanely turquoise reservoir where you can indulge in a spot of wild swimming. The famous fiesta of Corpus Christi sees the entire village decorated with greenery and has been decalred of National Tourist Interest.

Cueva de la Pileta By Your

La Cueva de la Pileta

If the neoclassical bridge, Nasrid baths, medieval walls, and C1st A.D. ampitheatre are all a bit too modern for you, head towards Benoajan where you will find a series of caves with fantastically preserved Paleolithic cave paintings. La Cueva de la Pileta is completely uncommercialised: You turn up and wait for the group to grow large enough before heading into the caves for an hour long, guided, torchlight tour.

Playa de Bolonia Carlos ZGZ

Playa de Bolonia

Spain’s most beautiful beach is just over 2 hours away on the Costa de la Luz, it sits within El Parque Natural del Estrecho. Planning and construction laws have been rigorously introduced and enforced, this is a far cry from the high rise stretches of the Costa del Sol. Miles of fine white sand and views to Morocco.

Jerez

Jerez

Famous in equal measure for its wines, horses and flamenco tradition, Jerez is a noble city of palm lined plazas, aristocratic palaces, cobbled alleys, baroque churches and of course, wine cellars. Try sherry in the sherry capital itself where you can sample some of the finest fortified wines the independent makers have to offer then head to Jerez’s gastronomic golden mile. If you are visiting in late February to early March don’t miss the world famous Jerez Flamenco Festival.

Sevilla Plaza de Espana

© Malcolm Browne

Seville

Capital of Andalucia and birthplace of that fabulous Spanish creation - Tapas – Seville is an exuberant city with so much to offer, a day will barely do justice to its wonderfully eclectic sights. From the beautiful gardens of the Alcázar to the dreamy Maria Luisa Park, the Cathedral with its Giralda bell tower and the Torre del Orro on the banks of the Guadalquivir, the winding streets of Santa Cruz’s Jewish quarter to the contemporary Metropol Parasol – Seville positively bewitches.

Granada Long pool

Granada

Nestling at the foot of the Sierra de las Nieves, Granada is a city of contradictions: Rich in Arabic history yet stamped with the hallmarks of the Reconquista, a fusion of the ancient and the modern, from the abbey and flamenco bars of the Sacromonte to Granada’s Science Park. This complex city has both the gritty street art of El Niño de las Pinturas in the jewish quarter of the Realejo and the romantically rambling Moorish district of the Albaicín with its delightful walled gardens, or Carmens, looking towards the regal architecture of Granada’s crowning glory. The Alhambra and Generalife never cease to enthrall, the Nasrid Architecture is stunning and the plasterwork and cool pools hypnotic.

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Córdoba

Less visited than formidable Granada or joyous Sevilla, Córdoba may not be top of everyone’s list but this only adds to its special appeal. Former capital of Moorish Al–Andalus, Córdoba has a fantastic, UNESCO protected, historic centre that houses one of the finest Islamic structures in the world: The architectural gem that is La Mezquita, a stunning Mosque turned Cathedral that took over 200 years to complete. The 16 arched Puente Romano that leads to the old town is Córdoba’s other best known landmark (made globally recognisable by its appearance in Game of Thrones) and the streets facing the river are packed with bars and restaurants. Atmospheric and authentic, Córdoba’s Jewish and Muslim quarters spread from the Mezquita and are a network of narrow, twisting streets and whitewashed courtyards. For those with a keen interest in Islamic architecture or history, 8km from Córdoba lies the stunning Medina Azahara.

Vineyards

 

With a history of viticulture dating back 3,000 years, wines of the Serranía de Ronda are finally making a comeback.

The terroir and climate of The Serranía de Ronda made it an important area for viticulture dating back to the Phoenician period. The former city - Ronda la Vieja – has evidence of viticulture during the Roman era, when Ronda’s wines were sent to Rome from Malaga’s coastline, coins minted at Acinipo were stamped with a bunch of grapes and some can be seen as part of a collection of artefacts at one of the local vineyards. Today, the area forms part of the Denominacion de Origen de Sierras de Malaga, the vineyards in the Ronda area are the highest in this DO, at around 750 – 900m. There are over 21 Bodegas in the local area and the altitude and cooling influences of the Atlantic and Mediterranean create hot days and cool nights, this micro climate allows for slow ripening and maintains the acidity of the grapes.

Many of the local vineyards offer tours and wine tasting, often with food pairings in the form of tapas. With so many right on your doorstep it is difficult to know which to choose – perhaps one of the two most local vineyards, Joaquin Fernandez, which is within easy walking distance and offers fantastic views from its terrace, or the nearby Bodega Doña Felisa, where they make the fabulous Chinchilla wines and pride themselves on being a small producer, might be a good place to start.

Bodega Doña Felisa

Offers pre arranged tours for 5-25 people. The 2010 Encaste won Gold in Lyon and deservedly so. Gema speaks excellent English and gives a warm and very interesting tour. (...Visit website)

Descalzos Viejos

Produce wines in a beautifully restored C16th convent, in summer there are music concerts in the grounds – catch one if you can. (...Visit website)

Cortijo Los Aguilares

At 900m, this bodega produces some excellent wines from pinot noir, tempranillo, merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. Look out for their distinctive labels illustrating the vintner’s tools. (...Visit website)

Bodega Joaquin Fernandez

About 1km from the house, you could walk to this bodega if the weather allows. With a lovely cobbled courtyard and fantastic views. The tour is very informative and the organic wines are accompanied by tapas, or for a few Euros more, excellent barbecued meats and the best chips ever! (...Visit website)

La Melonera

A few kilometers further down the valley in a stunning setting, La Melonera offers pre-booked tours and has lovingly reintroduced traditional varietals that were wiped out by phylloxera plague of the mid C19th. (...Visit website)

F Schatz

Another local favourite with some excellent wines, F Schatz wines can be found in many of the finest local restaurants. Lemberger, chardonnay, and muskattrollinger are all grown, all grapes are organic and hand harvested. (...Visit website)

Activities

 

From gentle pursuits that soothe the soul to hair-raising adventures – The Serranía de Ronda has something for everyone.

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Walking

The area around Ronda is one of the most beautiful and rewarding areas for walking with an enormously varied landscape taking you on narrow paths through cork forests, olive groves, lush pastures and arid limestone mountains. Stunning walks with incredible views and unspoilt scenery are right on your doorstep, from the house, the hills invite exploration, local vineyards are easily accessible and single track lanes and footpaths lead out into a beautiful landscape. Further afield, the forests of Grazalema National Park offer more shade in the heat of summer and are a walker’s paradise. There are walks for all abilities, easy strolls through flower filled meadows or strenuous mountain ascents. Walks are possible from late winter to early summer and from early autumn until very late in the year. The Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park to the east is another fabulous base for walking. We highly recommend Guy Hunter Watt’s guidebook on ‘Walking in Andalucia’ that we have provided for guests’ use.

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Cycling

The Serrania de Ronda is a fabulous area for cycling, offering easy rides on long, flat roads and some incredibly demanding routes - professional cyclists often train in this area for long distance events. The 193km long ‘La Sufrida’ held on the first Saturday in June sees over 800 cyclists competing in the Serrania de Ronda and reaching altitudes of 1,200m. Challenging and rewarding, the mountainous terrain offers incredible views exploring the pueblos blancos or you can choose to explore flatter river basins and valleys. You can have bikes delivered to the door by www.cycleronda.com who will plan routes for you, from easy rides to more demanding routes, or simply set out with a picnic to explore the local area and cycle to Arriate to stock up on local specialities.
If you prefer to cycle without the hassle of passing traffic and to experience an abundance of wildlife and idyllic, untouched landscape along the way, there is a fabulous section of Via Verde from Puerto Serrano to Olvera that is a haven for less confident cyclists. Designed as a railway that was never completed, there are viaducts and tunnels and the route is almost entirely flat, there are no cars and few people and the surrounding landscape is a mix of ruined cortijos, water meadows, limestone outcrops, mountain and forest that few others have experienced.

Horse riding

Horse riding

Home to the prestigious Real Malestranza de Caballería de Ronda, Rondeños seem to incorporate equine skill into every festival, indeed the Andalucian horse has always been highly prized and is one of the region’s greatest exports. The Serranía de Ronda is a fantastic area for riding and there are many equestrian centres offering rides for every ability, from an hour’s trek for beginners, to a day’s ride through challenging terrain. Explore ancient tracks and hidden mountain paths, following the trails of bandoleros through open pastures and cork and chestnut forests and take in the unforgettable views.

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Birdwatching

The Serrania de Ronda is famous for its birdlife and private birdwatching tours can be arranged to take guests to some of the best spots. The garden, olive grove and immediate surrounding area is also a birdwatcher’s dream. Eegrits, kestrels, booted eagles, treecreepers, woodchat shrikes, owls and a host of finches can often be seen from the garden. The area lies on the migration route of many birds so early spring and mid autumn are great times to visit (the swallows arrive in early March). Nearby Grazalema National Park is home to a host of raptors (the town of Grazalema pays homage to this with tiled paintings throughout the town). There are dippers, hoopoes, bee-eaters and golden orioles in the surrounding woodland. Griffon vultures are common, sometimes up to seventy of them can be seen at a time circling overhead. Bonelli’s eagles, short toed eagles, golden eagles, Egyptian vultures, peregrine falcons, lesser kestrels, crag martins, swallows, pallid swifts, black redstarts, blue rock thrushes, choughs, rock doves, black wheatears, rock sparrows, rock buntings and blackcaps can all be seen. In the Sierra de las Nieves, Eagle owls and white-rumped swifts are also a possibility. We have bird guides at the house and binoculars for those that fancy a bit of twitching but for the more serious, a private jeep tour with professional guide is highly recommended. (...view details)

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Flora & Fauna

The Serranía de Ronda counts in excess of 80 butterfly species, 2000 plant species and 300 bird species, the varied geography and relatively sparse population ensures an enormously varied plant and animal population. The pristine Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (as is Grazalema National Park) and is home to an amazingly diverse array of plant and animal life; ibex, otter, mountain goat, fox, red deer, wild boar, stone marten, mouflon, meloncillo, corzo and royal owl.

Abies pinsapo, the Spanish fir, hails from the Tertiary period – a true ‘living fossil’ - endemic to this area and protected by law, it is found only in the southern mountains of Andalucia. Ash, chestnut, holly oak, holm oak, gall oak, carob tree, cork oak and of course, the native olive can all be seen in the surrounding area. Limestone, sedimentary rocks and sandy soils make for a vast array of wildflowers – spring is incredible here and comes very early. Over thirty species of wild orchids and rare species of flowers can be seen including paperwhite narcissus, autumn mandrake and the Grazalema poppy. The botanical gardens El Castillejo in Grazalema National Park are some of the best in Spain and showcase the wide variety of flora that can be found in the park.

Wild swimming Chris Mees 2

Wild Swimming

There are many spots for wild swimming all around the local area, incredibly turquoise reservoirs, hidden mountain lakes and beautiful river pools including the crystal clear, icy waters of the Cueva del Gato. The best way by far to get to the most remote places is via 4x4 and a jeep tour can easily be arranged with a local guide who knows all the best spots. In the heat of summer what better way to cool off than a dip in the clear mountain waters of the Serrania de Ronda. (...view details)

C more x 4

4 x 4 Tours

Bespoke, individually designed off road tours in a wonderfully customised 30 year old jeep that seats 8 guests. Combine a tour with walks through remote wildernesses, wild swimming in lakes or rivers, birdwatching where vultures, hoopoes, bee-eaters and a multitude of wildlife can be seen, travel through the Sierra de las Nieves and spend the day on one of Marbella’s fashionable beaches, or see Ronda from the bottom of el Tajo. Tours are completely flexible and custom created and can last a full day, half day or be charged by the hour. (...view details)

tennis Michael Duxbury

© Michael Duxbury

Tennis

The fabulous Andalucian climate makes tennis an almost year round activity. You can hire courts at Club de Tenis Serrania which has three clay courts and offers private classes or you can simply hire a court by the hour.

Golf Meindert Van D

Golf

There are no fewer than 66 golf courses in the province of Malaga, a 27 hole course at La Quinta Golf and Country Club near Benahavis, a nine hole course at Club de Golf El Higueral and an 18 hole course designed by Seve Ballesteros at Los Arqueros Golf & Country Club to name a few. You can hire clubs if you would prefer to avoid the hassle of bringing your own so there’s no excuse not to enjoy the greens and fairways whilst authentic Spain is right on your doorstep.

Yoga Take Back Your Health Conference

Yoga & Massage

Take your relaxation to a whole new level and book a private yoga session to improve your practice and brush up on your technique or get the whole group to try a few asanas for the first time. A local yoga teacher will come to the house and take you through your poses. From evening taster sessions facing the mountains, to daily sun salutations on the south facing terrace, you could create your very own, personal yoga retreat. Follow up with a massage on the terrace carried out by a local therapist. What better way to unwind?

Aguas de Ronda

Spa Sessions

Indulge in a spa session and full body massage at Ronda’s new spa Aguas de Ronda down in the old town, which recreates some of the atmosphere of a traditional hammam. Treatments include hot stones, wine, cherry and chocolate wraps – divine. (...view details)

paint brushes

Painting & Photography

The light here rivals that of Provence and the diversity of the landscape is inspirational: There is endless subject matter. The light and ambience of the house is perfect to encourage artistic creativity and there is plenty of space to sit and work in the shade. A short stroll will bring you to some incredibly far reaching views, although the lush valley and rugged mountains look pretty stunning from the house too. Ronda itself is a photographer’s dream, as is the old city of Acinipo. If you are still working with analogue – bring plenty of film. Many of the hotels and restaurants in the area act as galleries for local artists and Gaucin has many studios open to the public so there is plenty of opportunity to experience the local art scene. The Joaquin Peinado Museum in Ronda’s old town is also a great source of inspiration.

SNappa2006

Adrenalin Junkies

If total relaxation is not your thing there is a surprising number of activities to get keep the adrenals active. You can paraglide from rocky escarpments at Algodonales, try out a Via Ferrata (iron high ropes) across el Tajo or the newly refurbished Camininto del Rey at El Chorro, go caving or potholing (the third largest cavern in the world – chasm GESM - is in the province of Málaga), canyoning, paintballing, rock climbing in the Sierra de las Nieves, mountain biking, quad biking or try a hot air balloon flight over the beautiful city.

www.pangeacentral.com
www.alandalusactiva.com
www.flyspain.co.uk

Kayak Simone Lovati

© Simone Lovati

Kayaking

You can hire kayaks at the reservoir near Zahara de la Sierra. Local firm Zaharacatur offer a kayak session that begins an hour before dusk and ends in darkness with just the sound of the breeze and the splash of your oars – bliss. (...visit website)

shopping Sergio Russo

Shopping

Whilst Ronda cannot match the shopping experiences that Marbella, Malaga or Seville can offer, it does have its own treasures and the majority of shops are small, down to earth, family owned businesses. The main shopping street is the 1km long, pedestrianised Carrera Espinel (known locally as Calle la Bola, after a legendary snowball that rolled down the hill) there is a mix of high street and independent shops with a plethora of good cafés and bars and a fabulous chocolate shop. The old town has antique shops and shops selling leather goods, painted ceramics and embroidered linens. You can buy fabulous original etchings at Grabados Somera down a side street opposite the Parador. There are some excellent delicatessens selling local hams, wines and cheeses and you can follow in Jamie Oliver’s footsteps and visit La Casa del Jamón.

Get in touch if you have any questions or to check availability

 

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