Tag Archives: Gaucin

Gaucin, Genal Valley

Gaucin in the Genal Valley

Gaucin at the Southern end of the Serranía de Ronda is more than just a village in the middle of nowhere. This attractive white village founded by the Romans, and then expanded and heavily fortified by the Moors who named their village Gauzan, an Aran word meaning strong rock. These days Gaucin is better known as a haven for international artists who flock to the area for the peace and tranquility afforded them.

With a population of 2,000 and a few more scattered outside the village, Gaucin is large enough to have a small town centre, with markets, butchers, fruit shops, clothing, banks, and other miscellaneous traders. In fact many of the residents are able to buy everything they need on a daily basis in the village without having to travel to Ronda or the Costa del Sol.

At 626 metres, Gaucin is also high enough above sea level that the weather is noticeably cooler in summer and winter than the coast, which makes the village almost ideal for many foreign residents who choose to setup home, and then proceed to rip out the modern features of their homes and replace them with traditional wooden beams, tiled floors, and rough painted walls; to the endless amusement of Spanish residents.

For visitors, Gaucin is considered one of the prettiest of the pueblos blancos, malaga’s white villages, with narrow warren-like streets strewn together as if a large ball of twine had been dropped and houses built in the gaps between the string.

This may in fact have been intentional for two reasons. First, the castle above the village, perched on the crest of El Hacho mountain was of strategic importance from Roman and most especially in Moorish times, and narrow winding streets make an attack more difficult as soldiers have to first battle from street to street before reaching the formidable castle defences.

The second reason is more practical and perhaps more believable; narrow streets at odd angles from each other prevent the hot Sahara winds from overly heating the village houses in the summer, and in winter offer some protection against the cold northerly winds. Certainly other Moorish towns without a castle have a similar pattern so it isn’t impossible to assume weather played a bigger role in the town layout.

The castle of Gaucin, named Castillo del Aguila, the Eagle’s Castle, is an impressive structure visible above the village from many miles away, and is open to the public in the mornings and early evening. Great birds of prey such as eagles, vultures, and kestrels have always inhabited the mountains of inland Andalucia, so it is hardly surprising the castle would take its name from the eagles which can still be seen to this day circling the parapets.

Within Gaucin visitors will also see the church of san Sebastian built in 1487, on the ruins of the mosque destroyed when the town was taken by Christian conquerers. As well, Gaucin is home to a large convent built in the mid 1700s though abandoned in 1835 and now used by the town hal for concerts and other local events. Recent renovations have sadly destroyed the historic interior.

However, by far the best reason for visiting Gaucin is not for the monuments of the village, it is instead the streets and people of the village that will appeal. A simple walk around the town centre will impress how friendly the villagers are, whilst those with a penchant for the quaint will absolutely love the cute windows filled with flowers, or the tiled frescos adorning doorways and walls, or the cobbled streets that could tell a thousand stories.

Gaucin isn’t on the way to anywhere, the village is a destination of itself. Some choose to stay, others only pass through, but no visit to Andalucia will truly be complete until the soul of villages like Gaucin has touched your heart.

Hotel Caballa Andaluz, Gaucin

Hotel Caballo Andaluz, Gaucin **

Carretera 405 Gaucin – San Roque Km 0, 29480 Gaucín

Hotel Facilities

12 Rooms Room Service Parking Available High Speed Internet
Satellite TV Terrace Telephone in Room Air Conditioning
Central Heating Hair Dryer Restaurant Bar
Pet Friendly Safe-Deposit Box Laundry Service Tea/Coffee in Room
Check availability of rooms at Hotel Caballo Andaluz near Gaucin through Booking.com or Venere

Hotel Caballa Andaluz, Gaucin

The mountainous landscape of the Serranía de Ronda is in full view around the Hotel Caballo Andaluz, located near to one of the prettiest of the white villages, Gaucin. On a clear day views of Gibraltar and across to the Rif mountains of North Africa are possible.

Peaceful rural breaks are how the owners describe their hotel, which with just 12 rooms means you’ll have space to unwind whilst also making new friends with like minded souls. The Hotel Caballa Andaluz is a special place almost equidistant between the Parque Natural de Alcornocales and the Sierra de las Nieves UNESCO Biosphere. Enjoy long walks around the mountains and valleys, or ask reception to arrange a horse trekking excursion.

The hotel offers double room in standard or superior types, and all rooms are equipped with Satellite TV, telephone, en suite bathroom, air-conditioning and heating, and several include large terraces overlooking Gaucin village. For guests in need of extra attention before returning home, an in-room massage service with a choice of Shiatsu, Thai and Lymph Drainage massages can be requested.

Facilities on offer for those with the desire to stay active include access to a public outdoor swimming pool, onsite tennis court, and nearby cycling, hiking, and horseback riding tracks. Really there is no reason at all to prevent guests from remaining at Gaucin and truly relaxing, though Ronda or the Costa del Sol are not too far away if the city lights beckon.

Internet in the public areas, laundry services, and an onsite restaurant, El Balcon, with a French and Italian fusion menu are additional reasons to reserve a room at Caballo Andaluz.

Check availability of rooms at Hotel Caballo Andaluz near Gaucin through Booking.com or Venere

Hotel Caballo Andaluz Photos

Check availability of rooms at Hotel Caballo Andaluz near Gaucin through Booking.com or Venere
PM David Cameron at Bar Allioli

David Cameron, British Prime Minister Holidays near Ronda

The UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been a regular though little known about visitor to the Serranía de Ronda for several years, and this month holidayed at an exclusive hotel near Gaucin, but this time with full security as befitting a head of state.

Cameron and his wife Samantha who are keen walkers apparently love the district for its pristine nature and sometimes challenging walks over local mountains, and tracks in the Genal Valley and Guardiaro Valley are believed to be personal favorites of the couple, though with the couple expecting their first child a statement from Downing Street said it was unlikely they would do too much.

Arriving in Spain, the Prime Minister met Spain’s Premier José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and was quoted as saying that as PM his security entourage would make it difficult to enjoy walking in the Ronda campo, a situation he regretted.

Even though Cameron’s regular trips to the area were largely anonymous, he and his wife are known to have good friends who live at Gaucin, and the Prime Minister has been spotted in Jimera de Libar’s “Bar Allioli” owned by Paul Darwent. At the time Cameron was leader of the opposition and had walked Mr Henderson’s route from the station at Benaojan to the station at Jimera.

Casa Rural Los Pastores, Ronda

Hotel Casa Rural Los Pastores, Ronda

The Casa Rural Los Pastores is a rural hotel with its own Oak forest and 200 horse ranch. The hotel is located just a few minutes out of town on the Ronda-Gaucin road. The hotel combines its rural setting with modern interior design and contemporary art on display in the rooms. This combination provides a unique experience for visitors.

Casa Rural Los Pastores offers seven rooms and three apartments, each uniquely decorated. The hotel rooms are equipped with a fireplace and private bathrooms. The apartments are complete with open-plan kitchen and living room as well as the occupant’s own terrace where the stunning view of the countryside is in full display.

The facilities within the complex include a bar and a restaurant where homemade meals prepared with local and seasonal products are presented in traditional Andalusian style. A selection of locally made wines are always available as well.

Horse riding excursions on the property and into the countryside are a specialty, and with a large outdoor swimming pool and picnic facilities provided, the Casa Rural Los Pastores could be considered a destination for holiday makers. Ronda and the Serranía are on its doorstep, and the Sierra de las Nieves are only 15 minutes drive.

The front desk is staffed 24 hours a day, and free Internet is provided in all public areas. Parking is provided onsite.

Hotel Facilities

7 Rooms/3 Apartments Gardens Parking Available Swimming Pool
Television Terrace Telephone in Room Air Conditioning
Central Heating DVD Player Restaurant

Casa Rural Los Pastores Photos

Hotel Hacienda la Herriza, Gaucin

Hotel Hacienda la Herriza, Gaucin ****

Set within the scenic Ronda Mountains, the Hotel Hacienda La Herriza provides guests with a relaxing view all around. The hotel is just outside of the village Gaucin at the little village of El Colmenar, which is itself just a short distance away from Ronda or the Costa del Sol and its beautiful beaches.

Relaxation is easily attained in this hotel all rooms have terraces idea for soaking up the scenery of the area, especially as the grounds are well-kept. The area is know for its outstanding natural beauty and pristine condition.

The Hacienda la Herriza is made up of 17 individual cottages, with the option of one double room or two double rooms. All cottages are equipped with air conditioning, heating, satellite TV, minibar, hair dryer, and private terrace.

The hotel has bicycles for rent for people who would like to explore the surrounding area. Horseback riding classes are also available. An outdoor swimming pool is open seasonally as are sun lounges for attracting a sun tan, and BBQ facilities are available on site. An in-room massage service can be arranged to relieve tight muscles and enhance your enjoyment of the Andalucian experience.

A tour desk is also available to help guests plan the route they would take to visit some of the popular sites around the area.  Special diet meals can also be prepared at the hotel’s restaurant upon request. Wi-Fi internet connection is available as are  parking spots.

A restaurant, El Hacho, and named after the mountain on which Gaucin sits, is attached to the hotel and specialises in offering contemporary Andalusian and Mediterranean food, and a selection of Ronda and Spanish wines.

Hotel Facilities

24 Rooms Disabled Access Parking Available Swimming Pool
Satellite TV Terrace Laundry Air Conditioning
Central Heating Hair Dryer Restaurant Bar
Wi-Fi Internet Bathroom
Andalucían Alpacas in the Snow

Andalucían Alpacas in the Snow

Nigel and Ginny Cobb, a local couple who pioneered Alpaca breeding in Andalucía sent us this photo of their Alpacas sitting under a tree when the first snow arrived in Ronda a few days ago.

Their fibre keeps them warm and so long as they can get food (Nigel and Ginny go round with avena every day) they are quite happy.

Alpacas are originally found in South America but seem to thrive in Spanish conditions and their hair makes an excellent wool. Apart from Nigel and Ginny Cobb between Arriate and Setenil, there are also other breeders near Arriate and two breeders near Gaucín.

Nigel and Ginny are quite happy to meet people who might be interested in seeing their Alpacas, meetings can be arranged on their property near Ronda, and they often exhibit their Alpacas at local agricultural shows.

Too learn more, visit the Andalucían Alpaca website.

Lesley at Home

Lesley Riddihough, Artist in Andalusia

Born in the UK in 1943, Lesley remembers being interested in art and artistic endeavours from an early age. At school she remembers wanting to study art after completing High School, and she did, being admitted to the Birmingham College of Art for a three year program of study.

Soon after leaving college, Lesley found herself in demand in Paris by Lanvin, at the time one of the most influential fashion houses in France, if not the world. Lesley enjoyed her time modelling, and it was here that she became mother to two young girls.

By 1969, Lesley and her daughters longed for a quieter and more relaxing life, and the Balearic Islands beckoned. It was here that Lesley developed her talent for clothes design, opening a specialty boutique on Formentura.

The early 1980s, and a move to Ibiza, allowed Lesley to finally return to art, her passion since a child, but never indulged, and through the next few years exhibits in Ibiza, Formentura, England, and even Germany were common events.

We are fortunate here in the Serranía that Lesley visited and then fell madly in love with Gaucín on a trip in 2005, prompting an immediate move, and some of Lesley’s best works in the tranquility of Gaucín’s campo.

Since moving to the Serranía, Lesley has exhibited in Gaucín, in Ronda, and at several local hotels, and the first Sunday of every month will often find her in Plaza Duquesa de Parcent with her best pieces for sale to enthusiastic buyers.

Contact Lesley Riddihough

Lesley can be contacted for private commissions. Her paintings vary in size from about (90 x 65cm) to (116 x 81cm). She also has several small detail paintings of (20×20) for sale at the Andalucía Soap Company Shop in Ronda.

Would you like to purchase one of Lesley’s pieces? Lesley is a regular exhibitor in Ronda’s monthly Artesanía market held the first sunday of every month. She can be contacted on (+34) 952 117 152

Gallery of Lesley’s Paintings

To display larger images, click the thumbnail