Hiring a Flamenco Campers campervan makes for a holiday of adventure and discovery in Andalucia. Southern Spain is home to beautiful, historic, white-washed mountain villages. Discovering these delightful ‘pueblos blancos’ make for an unforgettable Flamenco Campers holiday.
Rural Andalucia offers a unique and picturesque insight into life in Southern Spain. Some of the most beautiful white villages can be found in Malaga province, close to the remarkable mountain town of Ronda, in the ‘Serranía de Ronda’ area, including the scenic Genal Valley and Guadiaro Valley. Also, Ronda is now a renowned for wine growing, and a visit to a few of the local wineries makes for a fun and fascinating experience.
Where is it?
The Serranía de Ronda is an area of valleys and mountains, a place of outstanding natural beauty, with the town of Ronda at its heart, a historic community of culture, art and architecture.
How to Get There
It takes less than one and half hours to drive from our Flamenco Campers base to the town of Ronda. You will be heading inland, into rural Andalucia; however, the country roads are very good quality, and the drive is beautiful.
From our base get onto the A-7052 heading north west, past Cartama, where you can join the A-357 that climbs north and then begins to descend towards Ronda.
On The Way, Visit…
Within about half an hour of leaving the Flamenco Campers base, and whilst on the A-357 you will pass the village of Carratraca. This makes for a wonderful place to take a break. Turn off the main road and drive up to this renowned thermal spa village. The Romans made bathing an integral part of their culture, so understandably when they occupied Iberia they were quick to exploit the many thermal water springs in Southern Spain, creating a network of thermal spas, known as ‘Balnearios’ – Carratraca is one of these historic spa villages.
This mountain town is one of the most famous in Andalucia, thanks to its spectacular setting on a rock outcrop with a deep gorge canyon that divides the old town and new town, which are connected by an impressive and historic bridge. A stop here is essential. In fact, it’s a good place to stay overnight as there is a charming campsite on the edge of town.
Ronda is rich in history and culture. The narrow streets and squares of old town follow the original layout of the Arab medina that stood here some thousand years ago. The new town also has many striking features, including the oldest bull-ring in Spain.
The town is full of excellent bars and restaurants, so you will be able to try many of the region’s specialities including, ‘ajo blanco’, (a white almond and garlic soup); ‘rabo de toro’ (slow cooked oxtail); and migas Rodeñas (a rustic dish of fried breadcrumbs with chorizo). If you have a sweet tooth try the ‘yemas de Tajo’ (sweet treats made with egg yolks and sugar). Also, the convents still make homemade biscuits, so if you have time visit one of them to buy a box of cookies to enjoy in your Flamenco Campers camper van.
Ronda has also emerged as a boutique wine growing area, with some renowned small-scale wineries. Many are open to the public and offer wine tastings. We particularly like:
Finca Descalzos Viejos – where the oak wine barrels are stored in an ancient chapel with priceless frescoed walls.
Bodega F. Schatz – the family was the first to restore the tradition of wine growing to the area towards the end of the last century.
Cortijo Los Aguilares – one of the most beautiful settings for a winery; charming tasting rooms serving great red and rose wines.
Bodega Doña Felisa – probably the most successful bodega in commercial terms, and with the biggest production.
Places to Eat
El Muelle – former railway station in the village of Arriate, is now a cosy restaurant offering excellent home-cooked seasonal food.
Molino Del Santo – charming family owned hotel with superb restaurant on the terrace over-looking the mountain river in the village of Benaoján.
Restaurante El Zucio – sophisticated restaurant in Ronda’s old town district of San Francisco.
Tragatapas – informal, on-trend tapas bar serving regional favourites in a contemporary style.
There are several campsites around Ronda. The most popular in terms of reviews on Euro Campings is:
Campsite El Sur – this terraced campsite is a few minutes’ drive from the town of Ronda, and you can get a taxi if you want to eat out in the town.
The Genal Valley – Sights to See
From Ronda take the A-369, known as the ‘Camino de los Ingleses’, as in the 18th century this was the route the Brits would take from Gibraltar to Ronda to enjoy the fresh mountain air. They loved it so much they even built a British engineered railway from the coast to Ronda, the route of which remains.
The road is one of the most picturesque in Southern Spain, offering stunning views out across the valleys and surrounding mountains. The landscape is of pine, oak and chestnut forests, with charming white villages.
Head south west, towards Gaucin. Take your time and enjoy the views; there are plenty of safe places to stop, with broad parking laybys with information about the local flora and fauna.
The white villages in the region include Atajate (19th century baroque church is at the centre. Look out for artisan products and local cheeses); Jimera de Libar (lovely restaurant here, called Quercus); Benadalid, Benalauria, Algatocin, Benarraba, Jubrique (stop and buy some organic honey), Genalgaucil (beautiful village home of the annual arts festival called ‘Los Encuentros de Arte del Valle del Gena’ – all year you can enjoy the sculptures in the village); Gaugin (a village renowned for its artists’ studios, some open to the public); and Casares (once voted one of Spain’s most beautiful villages).
There are many country roads meandering through the mountains, so enjoy the freedom of exploring Andalusia at your pace in your Flamenco Campers Van.
Places to Eat
La Fuente – smart village restaurant overlooking the square in Gaucin, open for daytime snacks and evening meals.
Mesón La Molienda – stunning restored olive mill, full of character, in the lovely village of Benalauria
The Forge – popular stylish country restaurant near Casares.
If you end your mountain Flamenco Campers adventure on the coast, then there is an excellent campsite on the beachfront, near Puerto de La Duquesa:
La Bella Vista – great beach front location; the facilities are new and well maintained.
Discover Malaga’s White Villages, with Flamenco Campers
So, we hope that this article from Flamenco Campers has whet your appetite for exploring Andalucia at your pace, with a campervan holiday discovering the beautiful white villages of Malaga, in the Serranía de Ronda. This route is enjoyable throughout the year, but is especially beautiful in the spring when the wild flowers bloom; and in autumn when one can enjoy the spectacular autumn colours of the chestnut forests.