Category Archives: Guest articles and blogs

Pueblos Blancos Music Festival

The 5th edition of this popular series of international rock music concerts known as the Pueblos Blancos Music Festival took place at the end of July 2022. Interrupted for two years by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2022 festival was eagerly anticipated by locals and visitors alike.

The series of concerts took place over four days and nights in Montejaque and two in the white villages of Grazalema, Ronda and Villaluenga del Rosario and was organised by Juan Castro (Montejaque), Josu Camacho (Madrid) and Philip Plata (Austin) via the Fundación Sierra de Libar, a local charity foundation.

60 bands from as far afield as Austin, Texas, Barcelona, Cádiz, Canada, Finland, France and Madrid made up the roll call. The musicians paid their own travel expenses but were provided with board and lodging free of charge by the councils of the four villages involved. They were not paid for their appearances. However, the artistes viewed the festival as a great shop window for their music. One band, Joe King Carrasco, has attended all five festivals to date, but many, such as The History Department, Robin Mordecai and Civas were making their debuts. To a man and woman they all intend to return in 2023, stay for longer and maybe pick up paid gigs on the Costa del Sol, or in bigger cities with a vibrant music scene, once the local festival is over. Indeed, some of the bands this time went on to play gigs in Estepona, Marbella, Madrid, Chinchón, Logroño and Santander.

The aim of the festival is to bring together musicians and the public for meetings and cultural exchanges. This proved to be the case, particularly for me. I was based in Montejaque and had the great pleasure to get to know most of the musicians who played there. Several Texas bands took to drinking tinto de verano on my recommendation as an alternative to the dreadful Cruzcampo, which they swore is worse than the atrocious Budweiser, ubiquitous in the USA.

As well as attending most sessions in Montejaque, I also went to Ronda for the Saturday night session. Performed in the open-air Greek-style theatre, Auditorio Blas Infante, with its stunning mountain backdrop and the setting sun, this was a spectacle and a half. The acoustics were perfect and the atmosphere was buzzing.

My personal favourite bands were Blueroomess (Barcelona), Civas (Madrid), The Del Valle Trustees (Austin), Donovan Keith (Austin), The History Department (Austin), Robin Mordecai (Austin), Sefo (Cadiz), Los Widowmakers (Madrid), and two acts which were totally different, Country and Western duo The Chisum Cattle Company (Madrid) and Jack King Noir, a solo Blues slide guitarist from Finland. There were several jam sessions where musicians who didn’t know each other played remarkable music together. During the final jam session in Montejaque , there was a guest appearance by 14-year-old Diego from England on guitar and drums. We hope he’ll be back next year.

Paul Whitelock

Paul Whitelock is a retired former languages teacher, school inspector and translator, who emigrated to the Serranía de Ronda in 2008, where he lives with his second wife, Rita. He spends his time between Montejaque and Ronda eating, doing DIY, gardening, writing and managing his portfolio of holiday rentals.

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Vegetarian – Vegan – Gluten free food options in Ronda

Some time ago here at Ronda Today we published an article to help people find vegetarian – vegan – gluten free food options in Ronda. Back then its was quite difficult and the article is here:

Now, local resident (and guest blogger for Ronda Today) Paul Whitelock has written about his experience of finding food for those people who don’t eat meat.

Where can I find vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free food in and around Ronda?

10 to 15 years ago, if asked that question, I would have said “practically nowhere”, but things have changed dramatically here in the Serranía de Ronda.

I have a vegan step-son and a vegan niece and finding vegan options used to be a nightmare. Even sourcing vegan ingredients from supermarkets was problematic. In restaurants waiters would routinely suggest a salad, forgetting that Spanish salads typically contain boiled eggs, tuna, cheese or small pieces of ham and there was very little understanding of what “veganism” means.

Olive oil tasting tour in Ronda

Immerse yourself in local products on this walking tour through olive groves, citrus trees and vineyards in Ronda. Discover the creative play between nature and spaces that demonstrate the vision of the French industrial architect and designer Philippe Starck.

olive oil tours in Ronda
Try an olive oil tasting tour. Just click the image above to reserve a visit.

With vegetarian family members, in the past, it used to be almost as bad. All there really was, were salads or dull pasta dishes.

Gluten-free has proved to be less of a problem. Supermarkets stock gluten-free beer, bread, cakes, burgers and other items. Mercadona is particularly good, but Super Carmela and Supeco aren´t far behind. Surprisingly the German discounters ALDI and LIDL offer very little in their Spanish stores (in Germany the situation is much better).

Several bars and restaurants also offer gluten-free bread as well as gluten-free beer, which pleases my son-in-law, Carlo, a great deal when he visits from London, where the gluten-free beer option is quite limited.

So, in answering that question “Where can I find vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free food in and around Ronda?” nowadays, my answer is not the same. It’s a different story altogether. :)

Vegetarian – Vegan – Gluten free food options in Ronda

Restaurante Bifana – Calle Comandante Carrasco s/n, near the bus station, is a vegan restaurant which also serves animal products for carnivores.

Restaurante Bifana - Ronda
Restaurante Bifana – Ronda

On Its current menu (July 2022) the highlights are Tabule, Onion, tomato and raisin salad, Fried aubergine with cane sugar honey, Tomato with extra virgin olive oil and garlic, Vegetable croquettes, Quinoa salad and Hummus with vegetables of the day.

Cafetería las Campanas in Plaza de Socorro proudly boasts that it is gluten-free. It’s a delightful place to sit outside and watch the world go by and not that expensive, given its location in one of the main squares in Ronda.

Cafeteria las Campanas
Cafeteria las Campanas

Restaurante Abades - Ronda
Restaurante Abades – Ronda

Restaurante Abades is behind the Plaza de Toros at Paseo Blas Infante 2 has recently reduced its vegan options which is a great shame as it used to have the most diverse menu for non meat/fish eaters.

Café Bar Murillo at Calle Santo Tomás 1, in the up-and-coming San Rafael district of town, also offers “opciones vegetarianas y veganas”. I’ve been there a few times. Great food at local prices. Clean, modern and busy with locals which is always a good sign.

Cafe bar Murillo - Ronda

Cerveceria el Bandolero on Plaza Ruedo Alameda 29, is located in the popular Barrio San Francisco to the south of the town. Rafael, whom I first met 21 years ago when he was a young waiter in another bar nearby, now owns his own place, together with his uncle. They also offer “opciones vegetarianas, veganas y sin gluten”. Sitting on the square over the road from this tiny bar, is a delightful experience. Good food at sensible non-city-centre prices.

Most Pizzerias will adapt their vegetarian options to make them vegan.

The outstanding pizzeria in Ronda is Il Forno a Ligna on Calle Tiendas 24. Omar, Italian and still in his twenties, is most accommodating.

Pizzeria Forno a Legna
Pizzeria Forno a Legna – Ronda

Pizzeria Michelangelo on Calle Lorenzo Borrego 25, just off Plaza del Socorro, is also very good value.

Pizzeria Michelangelo
Pizzeria Michelangelo – Ronda

Other restaurants in the Serranía de Ronda that serve vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free food

Since good restaurants invariably cook meals from scratch, many chefs are happy to adapt their standard dishes to make them conform to vegan or vegetarian criteria. So , for example, the scrambled eggs with asparagus and Iberian ham can be made a delicious vegetarian dish simply by asking the waiter to cut out the ham. The same goes with many other dishes. Salads and soups often have a sprinkling of ham or something else. The key here is just ask the waiter!

Restaurante la Cascada
Hotel Molino del Puente

All those years ago, when my afore-mentioned vegan step-son was living with us for several months, we found Ian at Restaurante la Cascada inside the Hotel Molino del Puente – Partida Fuente de la Higuera – Carretera de Ronda km 26. A most accommodating chef, he was happy to prepare vegan meals just for Johannes and 10 years on he was happy to do the same for my vegan niece Dana. Needless to say, we have eaten there a lot in the last dozen years.

Further afield

In the village of Montejaque, Max, the owner and chef at Restaurante la Casita, is happy to prepare vegan dishes to order.

In Gaucin, La Tienda Verde is a shop specialising in healthy, eco-friendly food products, always has a wide range of vegan products available and Restaurante Azulete – Calle Toledillo 13 has great reviews for its vegan food.

In tiny Atajate, the smallest village in Málaga province, is the outstanding Restaurante Audalazar – C. Nueva, 4 offer a great menu with Arabic influences, including several vegan and vegetarian options.

Key words in Spanish
  • Vegetarian = vegeteriano (male) – vegeteriana (female)
  • Vegan = vegano (male) – vegana (female)
  • Gluten free = sin gluten
  • Celiac = celiaco (Male) – celiaca (female)

So, all in all, vegetarian and vegan food, and gluten-free options in and around Ronda are fairly easy to find. I am an omnivore but I often eschew meat and/or fish and go for a vegetarian or vegan dish. I love it!

I hope you find my recommendations helpful.

¡Buen provecho! and please, feel free to leave a comment or suggestion to help other people get the most out of their eating experience during a visit to Ronda and the surrounding area.

The dozen best breakfasts in and around Ronda by Paul Whitelock

Paul Whitelock is a retired former languages teacher, school inspector and translator, who emigrated to the Serranía de Ronda in 2008, where he lives with his second wife, Rita. He spends his time between Montejaque and Ronda eating, doing DIY, gardening, writing and managing his portfolio of holiday rentals.

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The Grazalema Guide

The best way to see all our web projects in one place is over at the Grazalema Guide.

The Grazalema Guide – Tourist Information Portal for the Sierra de Grazalema, Wildside Holidays, the town of Ronda and the Caminito del Rey.

The dozen best breakfasts in and around Ronda

Going out for breakfast is an institution in Andalucía. Everybody does it, from the humble manual worker, to mechanics, to office workers, to shop assistants, bank managers, lawyers, politicians and even pensioners. And it’s a trend catching on amongst tourists also. Many accommodation deals don’t include breakfast, so you have to pay on top, typically between 5 and 10 euros per person, although the parador hotels charge an eye-watering 17 euros per person! So, if you are in the area on holiday, it makes sense to go out for this first meal of the day. Here are Paul Whitelock´s recommendations for the dozen best breakfasts in and around Ronda.

For a bit of linguistic help with ordering breakfasts have a look here:

Bar Ankanita (formerly Bar Stop), Estación de Benaoján

The dozen best breakfasts in and around Ronda

Estación, C. Benaoján, 29370 Benaoján, Málaga

This popular bar by the railway station in Benaoján opens at 7 am every day bar Thursday, and breakfast is available as soon as the local baker delivers his molletes, rustic bread and baguettes.

Breakfasts here are typical for this area, involving zurrapa, pates, ham, cheese, etc. Prices are good too, with coffee still at 1 euro and a chupito also 1 euro.

Cafetería Las Campanas, Plaza del Socorro, Ronda

The dozen best breakfasts in and around Ronda

Plaza del Socorro 17, 29400, Ronda, Málaga

The only affordable place on this town centre square. They only use gluten-free products, which is a bonus for coeliacs and other gluten-intolerant folk.

Again, a traditional offering, but sitting outside on the terrace and watching the world go by is very entertaining.

Casa del Jamón, Calle Jerez, Ronda

The dozen best breakfasts in and around Ronda

C. Jerez, 16, 29400 Ronda, Málaga

This is a really stylish place, a delicatessen really. They sell a wide range of local products, including local wines, in what is a museum of interesting artefacts, from old records to typewriters, and paraphernalia from the 20th century and earlier.
The breakfasts are rather special. We always have a serrano, which comprises a baguette with serrano ham plus coffee for 3.50 euro. Our vegetarian friend either goes for a nice payoyo cheese or tuna in place of the ham. If you get there early enough, they even have pan centeno (wholemeal) and pan de cereales. Read more here:

Bar Restaurante Entre Ascuas, Plaza de la Constitución, Montejaque

Plaza de la Constitución, 2, 29360 Montejaque, Málaga

This busy bar, adjacent to the Hotel Palacete de Mañara in the square in Montejaque, offers traditional breakfasts, but also a huge mollete stuffed with smoked bacon and two fried eggs. Delicious. You can switch the eggs for cheese, the favourite of my English builder friend Kevin and sidekick Stewart.

Reasonable prices and great value.

Bar La Fragua, Carretera de Campillos, Ronda

Paul Whitelock at Bar la Fragua

Ctra. Campillos, 2, 29400 Ronda, Málaga

Located close to the garden centre, Viveros Gómez, by the large roundabout to the north of Ronda. We probably go here more often than anywhere else.

They also offer a mean bacon and egg mollete, as well as typical Andalusian fare. And they have great coffee.
Owners Antonio and Charo and waitress Nati are so cheerful, it makes you feel ashamed if you are not.

Great terrace at the back and it’s always cheaper than you expect.

Las Maravillas, Carrer Vicente Espinel, Ronda

Las Maravillas Ronda

Carrera Espinel, 12, 29400 Ronda, Málaga

This delightful restaurant at the bottom of Calle La Bola (Carrer Vicente Espinel) lives up to its name. The breakfasts here are unique in my experience. Not traditional at all, but modern tiered and skewered slices of toasted bread with a range of fillings. I chose the vegetarian option last week and it was delicious.

More expensive than most, but worth it occasionally. Our bill for two with an extra coffee each came to around 16 euros last week.

Sitting on the terrace at the front watching the world scurry or stroll past is a great way to eat a leisurely breakfast.

Bar La Melli, Plaza de la Constitución, Montejaque

Mollettes for breakfast

Plaza Constitucion, 3, 29360 Montejaque, Málaga

What a great spot for breakfast; you can sit outside in sun or shade and watch Montejaque go about its daily business – deliveries, locals, tourists, workers, pensioners, shoppers. All life is here.
The coffees are great and the breakfasts, standard molletes or reganas (thick sliced toasted local bread) with whatever you like. Pepi, the proprietress, also does a mean bacon and egg mollete.

Cheap but delicious.

E.S. Montecorto (petrol station)

Montecorto petrol station

Ctra. Km 101,5 Ronda – Jerez, Montecorto

This petrol station has a great café and shop. A wide choice of breakfasts as well as great coffee and an amazing atmosphere. Villagers seem to use the café as a kind of meeting place or social centre.

There is also a general store and local products are on sale.


Cafeteria Churreria Naranja, opp. law courts, San Rafael, Ronda

Cafeteria Churreria Naranja

C. Médico Luis Peralta, 5, 29400 Ronda, Málaga

If you plan to breakfast here on a Sunday morning, either get there really early or forget it! There will be queues! This is possibly because they offer two types of churros – standard or made from potatoes. I love the latter – they’re tastier and less fatty.
All served with a smile and reasonably priced.

La Ponderosa, opp. Bus station, Ronda

La Ponderosa breakfast in Ronda

Pl. Concepción García Redondo, 1, 29400 Ronda, Málaga

Another churreria, which is usually busy, especially at the weekends. A generous portion of churros, with or without chocolate, washed down with coffee and fresh orange juice, makes for a great start to the day, whether at 8 am or midday.

You can watch the coachloads of tourists of all nationalities that alight their buses here and then trail into town.

Bar Sánchez, Calle Imágenes, Barrio San Francisco, Ronda

Bar Sanchez Ronda

This small bar just inside the Almocábar Gate to the south of town is a delightful venue for a relaxed and cheap breakfast. Traffic free, you can enjoy this sheltered spot, as you munch on your delicious mollete con aceite y tomate (toasted flat roll with olive oil and pureed tomato) or tostada con zurrapa de hígado (thick slice of toasted rustic bread with liver pate).

This is a good place to pause if you are following “Ronda, Andalucía’s City of Dreams: Walking Tour” (

Venta El Puente

Venta el Puente Ronda

Carretera de Benaojan, 91, La Indiana

This roadside inn by the bridge over the River Guadalcobacín has a large terrace, plus an indoor dining room and offers traditional Andalucían breakfasts at a good price. Great coffee and freshly pressed orange juice. There is also a children’s playground.

Cafetería La Rondeña

C. Francisco de Goya y Lucientes 1, San Rafael, Ronda

Very popular, this bar, owned by the wife of a civil guard, who often lends a hand when he’s not on duty, has a fast turnover with a wide variety of traditional breakfasts at an affordable price. Also, other local products are on sale at the counter.

That’s my dozen choices of breakfast bars in the Ronda area. Sharp-eyed and numerate readers will realise that I have listed 13 establishments. Well, it’s a baker’s dozen, isn’t it?

The dozen best breakfasts in and around Ronda by Paul Whitelock

Paul Whitelock is a retired former languages teacher, school inspector and translator, who emigrated to the Serranía de Ronda in 2008, where he lives with his second wife, Rita. He spends his time between Montejaque and Ronda eating breakfast, doing DIY, gardening, writing and managing his portfolio of holiday rentals.

Check out for great rental properties in the Serrania de Ronda, Andalucia