Wildflowers in the Serrania de Ronda

In the immediate vicinity of the house you can find wild flowers everywhere. There are more than 1800 registered wildflowers, including some 40 different wild orchids. In the right seasons (mostly spring) and with a somewhat trained eye, you’ll stumble across the most marvelous specimens. There is a whole group of wild orchids, whose refined flower resembles the body of a bee. The trick is to look well around you because of their generally small size wildflowers can easily be overlooked. There are several guided day trips in case you don’t want to miss any!

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The White Villages of Andalucia

The famous white villages in and around the Serrania de Ronda are all within easy reach. Each has its own character and its own customs and traditions. Visit Grazalema in the mountains and surrounded by cork oaks, or Zahara for its beautiful location at the top of the big lake. Setenil has cave dwellings, Benalauria or all villages in the Valle del Genal are surrounded by chestnut woods and the so typical Mediterranean forest. Gaucin with its narrow streets gives top stunning views of Gibraltar and even Africa on a clear day.
Wool blankets are made ​​in Grazalema, cheeses in Villaluengua, sausages in Arriate, Benaoján and Montejaque, almond cookies in Atajate, leather goods in Ubrique, guitars in Algodonales .. And in almost all villages are restaurants serving typical local dishes.
One village has distinguished itself from the ‘white villages’: Júzcar has in 2011 exchanged her white outfit for ‘smurf blue’, on the occasion of the world premiere of the 3-D film ‘The Smurfs’. Since then, tourism in the hamlet of slightly more than 200 inhabitants has been booming and it was decided to, for the time being, maintain the colour of their houses blue.

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Where eat and drink?

In Andalusia there is no lack of bars and restaurants. I know of no other people who love to eat outdoors more than the Andalusian. So there are plenty of places, also in Ronda to help yourself to food, tapas, sweets or wines . In the tourist center there are many bars and restaurants to be found. Note however that not all places, even though they are well attended by one-day tourists, provide quality while they tend to use hefty prices. Here are some tips for finding restaurants and tapas bars that offer a fairly constant good quality:

Bar Restaurant Almocabar in the ‘Barrio de San Francisco’, just outside the city walls . Restaurant Carmen la de Ronda at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Restaurant Los Cazadores, famous for its fresh fish and fried eggplants . Restaurant Las Caballerías is at the bar (for tapas) somewhat pricy, but upstairs in the restaurant they offer you good and affordable local dishes . Good tapas bars include: La Taberna, Tragatapas or the somewhat newer Camelot near the new outgoing area  known popularly as ‘La Playita‘ (The beach), even though it only looks out on a public parking lot! Another acclaimed tapas bar is De Locos Tapas in the Barrio de San Francisco, where much attention goes to the specially presented and tasty tapas (and slightly less to the customer..). And if it’s too busy there, or you want something slightly more ‘normal’, than there are several other good places to eat in the ‘Barrio‘, such as Bar San Francisco, or the cheap Bar Benito .

Just outside Ronda in the old house from the train depot Arriate ( the village where also many ” cheap & cheerful ” find tapas bars ) is the El Muelle restaurant Arriate the sympathetic Dutch host Frank . The nice thing about this restaurant is , apart from the huge hospitable welcome, it is open from 13:00 to 01:00. Useful for anyone who can not take the late Spanish eating habits or a change .

There are also some very pleasant ‘pastelerías‘ or breakfast and lunch establishments like Daver Polo and Chocolat where a wide selection of tea, coffee and fresh juices is offered with breakfast, lunch or delicious sweets. Also handy is that both places have free Wifi.

The local wine production has pickes up a lot in recent years. And although the price-quality ratio has not (yet?) been in balance everywhere, you can see and taste for yourself at the wine routes in the Ronda area, where there are as much as sixteen Bodegas. Read more

The light of Ronda and other inspiring characteristics

Once you approach Ronda, coming from the coast, you notice two things. The temperature is slightly cooler and light is different. The sun casts shadows in this mountainous region, making the landscape a constantly changing one. This can be so exciting that it seems as if the sun shines differently here. Along with its exceptional location on the high plateau, the surrounding overwhelming nature and the historic buildings in the old town, it enables you to fall in love with this city. It is therefore that throughout the centuries many artists, temporarily or not, have established themselves in Ronda. Poets, painters, filmmakers, musicians and writers.

One of the best known writers is Rainer Maria Rilke, whose traces can still be found in the streetnames, museums and archives of Ronda, or even in company names. He wrote the much quoted phrase ‘He buscado por todas partes la ciudad Soñada, y al fin la he encontrado en Ronda’ (I have looked everywhere for the dream city, and finally found it in Ronda). Another well known writer is Ernest Hemingway. His book ‘the dangerous summer‘ is based on the rivalry between two of the greatest bullfighters of all time: the ‘RondeñoAntonio Ordoñez and his brother-in-law Luis Miguel Dominguín. Along with celebrities like Orson Welles or Ava Gardner, Hemingway was, due to his friendship with bullfighter Ordoñez, a frequent visitor to Ronda. Orson Welles was so deeply touched by Ronda and his friendship with Antonio, that his ashes have been scattered in the finca of Ordoñez.

Of foreign 20th century painters who felt attracted to Ronda, David Bomberg has probably been the most important. In his footprints followed a number of his students from the ‘Borough Group’, including Miles Richmond and Cliff Holden , permanently located in Ronda . Unfortunately Bomberg, as has been the fate of many artists, lived in extreme poverty . He has fallen somewhat into oblivion, but soon the BBC will show a documentary dedicated to his work and life.

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Outdoor activities

There are a number of organizations that offer outdoor activities in Ronda: Pangea Central, DiscoveryAl Andalus Activa, Hike + Bike, Sierraventura Ronda and Aventura Ronda. They offer the following activities (note that for some of these activities a certain degree of experience is required!)Caving: Can be practiced in four different caves , most notably the ” Cueva del Gato ” is . – Abseiling/canyoning: including a spectacular descent of the waterfall under the famous Puente Nuevo del Tajo . – Rock climbing: In some places you can slide along a ‘Tirolina’, a cable stretched across a gorge . – Horse riding: A wide variety of riding crossing streams; through valleys; passing quiet traditional villages and over mountains on old winding mule tracksin the surroundings of Ronda – Bungee jumping: for 18 years and older – Canoeing on the lake of Zahara de la Sierra . This can include counseling , but the boats can be rented free per half day or hour . – Routes for mountain bikes  Dutchman Ferry Staleman settled in Ronda years ago and runs a very successful bike rental company . Not only has he a wide range of rental bikes , such as road bike, mountain bike, hybrid or E -bike (electric bike) , but also has developed great cycling routes, he offers reliable cycling maps and other supplies, such as bottles , tools, gloves, etc. – Multi adventures especially fun for children . It contains programs which you can choose between different activities , eg archery , canoeing and climbing. – Paintball : to play , little war , there is a minimum of four people required. All protective clothing can be rented . – Routes 4×4 ( SUVs ) Do a half or a whole day with a multilingual guide in his 4×4 and discover places you wouldn’t have dreamt of! Contact through the owners of casa Vallecillo. – Buggy routes: If you like to drive a buggy yourself, goe and test your skills on the roads and tracks of the Serrania de Ronda. – Hiking : Due to the enormous amount of possible nature walks we have a special page on our website. All links that we give handle above their own prices, which may not correspond to the price on their site indicated . Always check this before you book! And always be cautious . Overconfidence is not a good trait in risky sports ..

  CHECK OUT THE ‘CAMINITO DEL REY’ has been restored and is open for visits. We can help you book the entrance tickets, just ask us!

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Birds in the Serrania de Ronda

We are still working on this page, meanwhile you can see the links below.

Bird routes in Ronda

Birdwatchers Paradise

Andalucian Birds

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Shopping in Ronda

In Ronda’s main shopping street, commonly known as ‘calle la Bola’, you will find an interesting mix of the old traditional shops, where handicrafts  are still practiced, and modern contemporary fashion shops and delicatessen. Read more here.

Here’s a quick peek.