Deep in the green Genal Valley, but only a few kilometres from Ronda, lies the tiny village of Júzcar, almost invisible as the valley roads twist and turn along the length of the Genal River. Juzcar is small, and easily walked around in less than 30 minutes, you could blink and miss this little inland Andalucia village, but don’t or you’ll really kick yourself later.
A little bit about Juzcar. It really is blue? and Smurfs live there?
Juzcar is a small village located in the province of Malaga in Andalusia, southern Spain. It gained international fame in 2011 when it was painted blue for the promotion of the Smurfs movie. The village was chosen by Sony Pictures to celebrate the world premiere of the movie, and as part of the promotion, all the buildings in the village were painted blue, making it look like a real-life Smurf village.
The village was originally a traditional white Andalusian town, but after the success of the Smurf movie promotion, the residents of Juzcar voted to keep the blue color as a tribute to the famous blue cartoon characters. The blue paint used was eco-friendly and made with natural pigments, and it has become a tourist attraction ever since.
Continue reading Discover Juzcar
A colossus in our mountains! With a wingspan of 2.8 metres and weighing 8 kilos, that’s 9 foot and 17lbs in old money, Griffon Vultures Gyps fulvus is our largest resident raptor here in the Serranía de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema.
Essentially a specialist carrion eater, this enormous bird is spectacular and the most easily seen raptor in our mountains. Throughout Spain, this species has increased steadily over the past 15 years by the provision of feeding stations, the last official census carried out to ascertain the number of breeding birds put the population at 17,000 pairs.
Why not take a day out with Wildside Holidays to discover the wildlife of the Sierra de Grazalema
Continue reading Griffon Vulture of the Serranía
Bonelli’s Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) master of our skies.
If you were to search for an emblematic species which would define the importance of the Serranía de Ronda and the Sierra de Grazalema for wildlife, then the Bonelli’s Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) would be the definitive and unequivocal choice.
Among the rarest species of raptor in Europe, the Bonelli’s Eagle has perhaps, for the moment, its highest breeding density in the world right here in the Serranía de Ronda!
Continue reading Bonelli’s Eagle, Icon of the Serranía
The park Dehesa del Mercadillo is a pine forest just outside Ronda on the Ronda-Sevilla road, and is very easy to get to, however the direct route doesn’t take in any of the valley below Ronda, but using the industrial area of Ronda as a starting point passes through some gorgeous countryside with mountains on the horizon, along farm roads with numerous horse studs before finally entering the forest from the north. Continue reading Ronda Walk Pine Forest Dehesa del Mercadillo
I guess the first impressions you get from seeing a Hoopoe for the first time is a mixture of the comical as well as the beautiful! With its striking colours and very distinct black and white wing pattern the Hoopoe is a favourite among even the most casual observer.
The Hoopoe is a one-off polytypic species and is distributed widely throughout the Western Paleartic, but is only a resident in southern Spain, northern Africa, Egypt and the Lebanon. It is one of those birds whose presence during the winter months can more than make-up for the cooler temperatures.
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Continue reading Hoopoe – Upupa Epops (Abubilla) in the Serranía de Ronda