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Rustic Blue Guide to the Ronda Mountains

The wild and rugged tract of mountains which surrounds Ronda offers one of Andalucía's stunning visual experiences …

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The village of Colmenar (Estacion de Gaucín) in the valley below The village of Gaucín Looking down the Genil valley Ronda and its dizzy gorge A pastoral scene La Plaza del Socorro in the centre of Ronda Looking over the rooftops

Map of region

The Ronda Mountains

Map of Spain showing The Ronda Mountains region.

The Ronda Mountains

Description

A rich tapestry

Beautiful valleys flanked by dramatic cliff faces, caves etched into the rocks, bubbling brooks lined with colourful flowers … the Ronda Mountains has it all.

Jagged formations of deeply weathered limestone rise sharply above ancient groves of olives and almonds, flocks of sheep and goats graze the hillsides, eagles and vultures ride the winds high above. The scenery seems to change with every turn in the road and it is easy to see why the last of the 'bandaleros' were able to escape capture in this dramatic terrain.

Although not particularly high (the highest peak is 1,919 metres above sea level), the mountain landscape is impressive, a rich tapestry of profound valleys flanked by dramatic cliff faces, caves etched into the rocks and bubbling brooks lined with colourful flowers. The abyss known as the "Gesm" is the third deepest in the world. For anyone interested in botany and birdlife there are riches indeed.

The Romantic movement found the area a source of much inspiration and a visit to the town of Ronda became an essential part of any 'grand tour' through Spain. It appealed, too, to the officers of Gibraltar garrison who would ride up to Ronda to escape from the coastal heat.

So near, yet so far

The contrast with the busy beaches and bustling lifestyles on the Mediterranean coast, less than an hour's drive to the south, could hardly be greater.

The town's lofty position (almost 3,000 feet above sea level) means that even in mid-summer a cooling breeze often blows across the town. And although large numbers of visitors flock in from the resorts of the Costa del Sol, by mid-afternoon the buses are lumbering back down the hill and the town once again becomes a sleepy market town - and one of the most beautiful in Europe.

The contrast with the busy beaches of the Mediterranean, less than an hour's drive to the south from Ronda, could hardly be greater. Just yards from the town's famous bridge and bullring (the oldest in the world) are restaurants and bars where not a word of English is spoken, where the prices are right and where local folk will be interested by your presence and will certainly try to engage you in conversation.

To the east and west of the town are the natural parks of the Sierra de las Nieves (the mountains of the snows) and Grazalema where the possibilities for walking are endless. Many of these (often ancient) walking routes have recently been waymarked.

'Real Spain'

The Ronda Mountains is an area of outstanding natural beauty which offers a delightful slice of Spanish life at every twist and turn.

Each of the whitewashed villages in the mountains surrounding Ronda seems to have a character of its own. The organic, inward-looking houses of these places are strongly reminiscent of those of the Berber hill farmers who settled this area during the Moorish period.

Another spectacularly beautiful mountain village is Gaucín which enjoys sweeping views across the mountains to Gibraltar and the coast to the Rif Mountains of North Africa.

Once a major Roman settlement with a magnificent castle which dates back to these pre-Arabic times, the centre of the village is a pretty tangle of narrow, twisting streets, once a haven for brandy and tobacco smugglers. Today it's a little more civilized, a pleasing combination of traditional Andaluz and international amenities.

The Ronda Mountains is an area which really does offer you a taste of the much-touted 'Real Spain' an area which has made remarkably few concessions to mainstream tourism.

There is stacks to see and do in addition to the old mansion houses and churches of Ronda. You could visit the Pileta cave with its paleolithic cave art, you can take a balloon flight, ride, walk and visit any number of interesting villages.

To the north lies Sevilla, the magical, mesmerising capital of Andalucía. Should fancy a day on the beach, from most of our properties you'll be an hour or less away from the Mediterranean Sea.

And there's always Morocco …

Towns & Villages

Towns and Villages

Ronda

Famous worldwide for its dramatic views and for the bridge which straddles the extraordinary gorge which divides the town, Ronda is full of character and charm. With its mansion houses, quaint narrow streets, museums and Spain's oldest bullring, it is well worth visiting …

Gaucin

A spectacularly beautiful mountain village commanding sweeping views to Gibraltar and the Rif mountains of North Africa. A haven in the hills where you can enjoy the easy pace of Andalusian rural life, idle strolls, leisurely drinks and al fresco suppers in jasmine-scented air …

Holiday villas

Holiday villas in the Ronda Mountains

  • ZC 42 - Sleeps 2 and a baby

    Described by one client as "the most beautiful house I've ever seen" this is a delectable place to hide away with a loved one. The perfect place for a first (or second) honeymoon …

    from 1,300€ to 1,560€

  • ZC 61 - Sleeps 4/5

    With spectacular views of the mountains, this spacious, sunny holiday villa is located just outside Gaucín, one of the best loved white villages in Andalucía. It's comfortable and pretty, bright and cheerful, very nicely fitted throughout.

    from 1,110€ to 1,710€

  • ZC 108 - Sleeps 8 + 1 child

    This villa is ideally located for those wanting to spend some time relaxing by the pool. Gaucín is close enough to enjoy of an evening and there are a plethora of activities and sites in this area of Spain should you wish to adventure further afield.

    from 1,220€ to 2,050€

  • ZC 106 - Sleeps 12

    This amazing villa is surrounded by acres of landscaped olive groves. The style of architecture is Andalusian with a distinctly Andalusian inspired flavour - warm, welcoming and inviting … this is a villa you will never want to leave.

    From 6950 €

  • ZC 16 - Sleeps 4/5

    Offering country-style living at its absolute best, this really comfortable family home has charm, joy and rustic beauty in abundance. The pool and its surroundings are absolutely breathtaking. As one client put it, "this is probably the closest place to heaven we've visited".

    from 1,190€ to 2,790€

  • ZC 60 - Sleeps 2

    This compellingly romantic hideaway for a couple has bags of rustic charm and a really beautiful, lawned garden hidden away in the trees behind the cottage. A wonderful place to be with your loved one. Utterly charming, it's a perfect honeymoon retreat.

    from 590€ to 1,180€

  • ZC 27 - Sleeps 4

    Light and spacious, bright and cheerful, this modern property is perfect for a family holiday. In open countryside, just a few minutes drive from historic Ronda, it's within easy walking distance of Arriate, one of several charming little villages which are close at hand.

    from 680€ to 1,110€

  • ZC 67 - Sleeps 6

    Classic Spanish style is the order of the day here at this stylishly converted farmhouse set deep in the glorious countryside to the west of Gaucín village. Very comfortable and with a delightfully restful ambience it is an enchanting villa.

    from 1,030€ to 2,240€

  • ZC 22 - Sleeps 6

    This old farmers cottage in a wonderful setting has been restored with great love and respect for tradition. The result is beautiful. Set deep within a sea of glorious natural splendour, here you will enjoy pastoral bliss, comfort and very real, rustic charm.

    from 860€ to 1,800€

  • ZC 112 - Sleeps 10

    The entrance is through a conifer-lined drive to an Impressive low, wide, white villa with a lounging terrace at the front. Set in beautiful open country side, on the outskirts of the famous city of Ronda, you'll see cultivated fields with tractors and patchworks of ploughed land of all colours.

    from 1,540€ to 3,000€

  • ZC 15 - Sleeps 10

    From this secluded country house, set in its own 17 acres of pasture and ancient olive groves, you are within easy reach of the coast or the traditional inland villages of this region of Spain. Spacious, well equipped and attractively furnished, it's a quality, modern rental home.

    from 1,780€ to 4,980€

  • ZC 64 - Sleeps 14+2

    From the moment you walk through the front door you realise this is not a regular holiday home. The understated style and comfort is unbeatable, every detail has been carefully considered. This truly superb villa is set in seven acres of natural parkland with views to the Gibraltar Straits and Africa beyond.

    from 2,680€ to 4,680€

  • ZC 33 - Sleeps 10 plus staff

    This magnificent, majestic mansion in the hills has real charisma and exquisite, grandiose style. One of the most stunning and spectacular houses in all Spain - in an equally glorious setting, it is impossible not to be captivated by its sumptuous elegance and comfort.

    from 6,740€ to 7,490€

  • ZC 96 - Sleeps 14 + 1 child

    Although built in 2006, the feel of this villa is one of a traditional Spanish country house, with its terracotta pan-tiled roof, white walls, wrought ironwork and antique doors, the welcome is classic Andaluz. There are no other houses around, but you are still only a short drive from Ronda and all that it has to offer.

    from 6,650€ to 12,250€

  • ZC 68 - Sleeps 6 to 10

    Secluded and peaceful, deep in the gloriously forested hillsides of a superb, 500 acre estate, this quality holiday villa offers charm and eclectic (some might say eccentric) character in one of the most beautiful locations in rural Spain.

    from 2,210€ to 3,630€

  • ZC 115 - Sleeps 6

    The owners of this holiday home love renovating houses and tastefully furnishing them with artefacts from their European travels. The results are always top notch. Decorated to be in keeping with Gaucin's historical past, this centrally located house has a private swimming pool and provision for garage parking.

    from 560€ to 1,060€

  • ZC 73 - Sleeps 6

    Built around a Japanese garden patio, this villa has style! Minimalist elegance and panache in a magnificent mountain setting. Secluded and peaceful, deep in the hillsides of a 500 acre estate, this relaxing holiday villa has one of the most beautiful locations in all Spain.

    from 1,940€ to 2,840€

  • ZC 107 - Sleeps 6 + 1

    Set on the outskirts of Gaucín, this pretty little cortijo cottage is perfect for those who want to spend their days relaxing by the pool and be able to walk home after an evening out in the delightful village of Gaucín.

    from 1,090€ to 1,840€

  • ZC 75 - Sleeps 4

    Soaking up the sunshine, taking a dip in the pool, reading under the dappled shade of an old olive tree, this is what a holiday is all about. In a beautiful valley just outside Ronda, this spacious villa has lovely gardens and a pool to match.

    from 1,100€ to 1,600€

  • ZC 104 - Sleeps 6 or 8

    Set in its own 2 hector private estate, just 2 kms from Gaucin, this country house boasts lush gardens, a large pool and superb views of the coast and Gibraltar. Step out into this beautiful part of Spain and explore or just stay in and absorb the delights this villa has to offer.

    from 2,140€ to 4,790€

  • ZC 109 - Sleeps 6 or 10

    The owners built this house with their own young family in mind so as well as being elegant and tasteful, facilities have been provided for a lot of fun as well! Ideally situated for access to town and outings to a vast number of attractions both locally and further afield.

    from 1,760€ to 3,120€

  • ZC 63 - Sleeps 2 to 6

    This new, top-quality and thoroughly modern apartment has been designed and furnished to provide a beautiful living environment. In the heart of one of the classic villages of Andalucía, it enjoys fabulous, panoramic views over Gibraltar to the Rif Mountains of Morocco.

    from 760€ to 1,150€

  • ZC 74 - Sleeps 6

    In a beautiful valley just outside Ronda, this spacious villa has lovely gardens and a pool to match. A great choice for all the family. Simply relaxing here, soaking up the sunshine, taking a refreshing dip or two in the pool, it's a perfect antidote to the stresses of modern life.

    from 1,300€ to 1,850€

  • ZC 51 - Sleeps 4 or 6

    In the heart of picturesque Gaucín, this lovely village house is warm and welcoming. Traditional character and charm are delightfully combined with all mod cons to make a real home-from-home. Features include air conditioning in most rooms, central heating, satellite TV, a well appointed kitchen, a heated splash pool …

    from 830€ to 1,320€

  • ZC 43 - Sleeps 12

    A truly beautiful home of the very highest quality. This magnificent cortijo crowns the top of its eight hectare domain with panoramic views as far as the eye can see. The architecture, Andalucian in style, is perfect for both indoor and outdoor living.

    from 3,960€ to 5,990€

  • ZC 100 - Sleeps 6

    This beautiful house and garden are situated in the delightful town of Gaucin itself. The house is an absolutely stunning and original place to stay. With two bedrooms in the main house, and a third bedroom in the self-contained casita, there is plenty of space for all to relax.

    from £2,030 to £2,580

  • ZC 76 - Sleeps 8 & 2 children

    In a beautiful valley just outside Ronda, this wonderful country house has joyous views, landscaped gardens and an irresistible 15 metre pool. Spacious, stylish and immaculately appointed, this is a family home which functions superbly.

    from 3,000€ to 4,400€

  • ZC 12 - Sleeps 6 or 8

    Looking out from the forest above the little village to a heavenly panorama of mountain, hill and wooded slopes, this is an intimate, enjoyable and friendly holiday home. A great place to stay.

    from 1,300€ to 1,760€

  • ZC 21 - Sleeps 6 or 8

    You will be enchanted by this gorgeous country house, gracefully designed and beautifully furnished - a home of the highest quality, comfort and charm. It looks through the mountains and down to the sea where the peaks of Africa and Europe merge under a deep blue sky.

    from 2,110€ to 3,600€

  • ZC 79 - Sleeps 12

    Within its own 14 acres of delightful countryside, this farmhouse has been completely restored and refurbished to the very highest standards. Spacious, stylish and very comfortable, it offers serene and understated luxury. A piece of paradise tucked away in the Andalusian hills.

    from 4,470€ to 8,270€

  • ZC 36 - Sleeps 2 to 6

    The location of this traditional townhouse can't be beaten. With everything that this delightful village has to offer within a short walk, as well as stunning views, splash pool and rooftop jacuzzi, it's an ideal holiday home for your stay in Gaucin.

    from 690€ to 1,210€

More photos

More photos of the Ronda Mountains

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