The beginning of every new year is typically a time when we think about making changes in our lives: to exercise more, eat healthily, lose weight, spend more time with friends and family, drink less alcohol, and chase that dream. Why not tick several items off that list at once by booking a stay at La Cazalla de Ronda?
This summer we had a self-described ‘serious’ road cyclist stay with us during one of our summer of love celebrations and he couldn’t praise the local cycling highly enough, declaring it ‘a cycling gem’. In fact he felt that La Cazalla would be an ideal base for a holiday with his own cycling club, which led us to thinking about what kinds of experience we could provide for groups of cyclists. We are always responsive to new ideas from our guests and love bringing like-minded people to the region so that they too can enjoy everything the amazing Serranía de Ronda has to offer.
The beauty and intricacy of the Alhambra Palace, glowing warmly in front of its backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains; the winding cobbled streets and colourful bazaars of Albaicín; the humbling magnificence of the Cathedral; and the dazzling glory of the Basilica of St John of God. These delights and more are why you simply must visit Granada. Wake up with the valley's birdsong and take the easy two-hour drive from La Cazalla and spend your day soaking in the multicultural ambience of the city.
What more could you want?! The ancient port city of Jerez in neighbouring province Cádiz is well worth a visit during your stay at La Cazalla de Ronda. Just under 2 hours drive from our luxury villa rental in Ronda, Andalusia is a city famous for its Carthusian horses (considered to be the purest strain of Andalusian), flamenco and, most of all, its sherry wine.
What's the first image that comes to mind when you think of Spain? Blue skies? Beaches? Flamenco? Bullfighting? Paella? If you Google 'Spain' in images, actually the photos are predominantly of fantastic architecture and little white houses cascading down mountainsides. These are the pueblos blancos (white villages) and their strategically-defensive hill-top positions, narrow cobbled streets and brilliantly-white casas reflecting back the bright Andalusian sunshine make for interesting and picturesque places to visit. Here are five of our favourites within a short drive from your base at La Cazalla, our secluded luxury villa rental in Ronda:
A lovely family that stayed with us recently remarked upon how much they had enjoyed their day trip to Córdoba, so we thought it might be helpful to write a one-day walking guide to this ancient city. Cordoba is such a diverse city, where east truly meets west: the typical Spanish narrow streets, lined with white houses decorated with colourful flower pots, are surrounded by exquisite gems of Islamic architecture, remnants of a time when Muslims, Christians and Jews once lived peacefully side-by-side.
Andalusians have a reputation for being passionate, and according to award-winning flamenco dancer Sara Baras from Cádiz, passion is "the most important thing in flamenco". You don't have to understand Spanish to be able to appreciate this Andalusian art form. Flamenco shows are generally intimate, close-to-the-stage affairs. As the lights dim and the guitarist plucks the introduction, there's the click of heels and fingers, a swish of skirt, the song begins, and the raw emotion in the singer's voice will make your hairs stand on end.
Seville: romantic, lively, passionate and historical, and being located along a flat plain on the Guadalquivir River, the city is entirely walkable for a perfect day of exploration. Seville is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia. Its Old Town, with an area of 4 square kilometres (2 sq mi), contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies.
Dazzling in the bright Andalusian sunshine, the pueblos blancos (white villages) perch precariously on the mountainsides of southern Spain and are a delight for the discerning traveller seeking an authentic experience of the region. Tourist towns they are not, and wandering peacefully through their narrow streets with splashes of brightly-coloured potted flowers is a salve for the soul in this age of instant gratification and constant stimulation. Relax. Take a seat alongside the older town caballeros admiring the view and discussing the weather, and immerse yourself, slow-tourism style. Sample our five favourite interesting and lesser-visited white villages in the Serranía de Ronda: