Gaucin & Surrounding Area Inland Spain

Gaucin Property
stone water spring
From the Costa de Sol drive up the mountain roads past Casares and you arrive at the white village of Gaucin clinging to the rocks below the ancient 
Castle of Eagles-Castilo del Aguila 
making a spectacular backdrop with commanding views to the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and the Riff mountains of Morocco

After a many centuries of battles and conflict Gaucin is now a relaxing retreat from the busy coast
with meandering alleyways, geraniums spilling from balconies
pavement cafes/bars and restaurants

Several specialist shops include one with lovely
 soft wool wraps and throws
locally made at their own woolen mill Molino Taponero 
which can be visited and is situated down by the river Genal

You will find Ali's shop selling Persian carpets
a large variety of Moroccan wares, lamps, mirrors and ceramics.
 or an Art gallery specialising in Japanese art including
original obi designs and ancient silk screens
 all entice the visitor to linger a while.........

bay windows from street
bar in gaucin
ali's regales and persian rugs
​A stroll up to the castle where you feel immersed in the history of the area will reward you with a birds eye view ​high up in the sky with the eagles 

Approximately 5.5km from Gaucin in the direction
 of El Colmenar there is Bodega Cezar
they produce award winning Enkvist wines
beer and  olive oil, there is  also have a shop at the bodega

A speciality gin is made on a finca close to Gaucin called GauGin with a very refreshing hint of lemon for the Summer evenings

Many any local events take place such as 'Art Gaucin' week exhibiting the work by the many artists who live here
 also charity events, a Christmas fair ​  as well as
the traditional annual feria
and a reenactment of the battle fought 
when the French invaded

bar in gaucin
alleyway and gift shop
view of gaucin
view of gaucin
view of gaucin

Activities, Events
& Entertainment

almond blossom and olive groves
There are a range of activities in the whole of this area with an abundance of hiking trails, horse riding,
bird watching, tennis, yoga and tai chi
or cycling, caving and rock climbing

 Of course the coast is only 25 minutes drive with 
​golf courses, long sandy beaches,  marinas and
polo events at Sotogrande

Off the wild Atlantic coast at Tariffa you can go

wind surfing or whale watching​
or from Gibraltar you can go to see dolphins

Further afield the Sierra Nevada is Europe's most southerly ski resort it has a good snow record
and extensive snow making equipment
Entertainment events often take place and we are very fortunate to have several  local musicians
including a fabulous jazz singer Elizabeth Zeder 
 also the talented Marcus Myers  singer, songwriter and acoustic/electric guitarist
see his upcoming gigs here: marcusmyersmusic

Cortes de la Frontera

gr7 route sign post
Only 20 minutes from Gaucin is Cortes de la Frontera
and very much the real Spain where the locals are very friendly and accepting of newcomers who will speak to you no matter if you don't speak the language! 

 Nestled into the mountain below Parque Natural de Sierra de Grazalema and Biosphere Reserve through which the European GR7 walking route passes

Cortes is also on the border of the magnificent
Mediterranean cork forest Parque Natural de Los Alcornacales (towards Ubrique) 

​​The clarity of light and low light pollution makes this area ideal for astronomy, photography and for artists
almond blossom and olive groves
houses in cortes de la frontera
view to cortes de la frontera
stone house paleo christian origin
bar in gaucin
​​ There are many ancient remnants of the past
old Roman roads and aqueducts scatter the countryside

Roman sulpher springs 
which only the locals may know the whereabouts 
or visit the well known sulpher baths at Manilva
When Julius Caesar governed Southern Spain
it is rumored a skin condition was cured when he bathed in the sulphur baths 

On the way up to Cortes from Cañada del Real Tesoro
is an interesting rock 'stone house' of Paleo/Christian origin  ​totally hollowed out inside and richly carved on the outside thought to have been a clandestine temple constructed by the Christians who lived
under Muslim dominion
Later this was used as a wine press

view across guadiaro valley
painting of flamenco dancer
view across guadiaro valley
stone house paleo christian origin
Geologists and botanists find a wealth of interest in this area due to the diversity of the terrain the gorges limestone rock formations and springs all creating micro climates for the flora that grow in this region which amounts to more than 1,300 species

 In the Springtime the whole area​ is a vast array of colour with 
different plants growing on different levels in
their own specific areas
it is like living in an enormous garden 

​Wild herbs can be harvested

as you walk you smell the fennel, oregano or lavender
with only dragonflies for company ​ 


El Colmenar ​​​(Estacion de Gaucin)

The land that time forgot is the best way to describe El Colmenar
Total escape from the outside world where you can be at one with nature

The river Guadiaro runs through here
as well as the single track railway with it's station named Estacion de Gaucin 
even though it is approximately 30 minutes away from Gaucin

Reaching up above this village is the 
Mediterranean cork forest
Parque Natural de Los Alcornacales
within this rich habitat there is abundance for wild life such as wild boar, red fox, deer, Egyptian mongoose, badgers and ibex

The cork forests where the harvesting is all done by hand and taken out by mules
also offers prized wild mushrooms
such as chanterelles, boletus, morels or
amanita caesarea​

Tree heather covers the under growth of the forest that is harvested to make thatching for pergolas and fences creating an eco friendly local industry​​

A large variety of bird life can be seen in the whole area with Vultures, Bonelli's and Golden Eagles
Peregrine Falcon, Herons and Storks
  look out for the colorful Bee-eaters, Hoopoe and Woodpecker

stone house paleo christian origin
amanita caesarea

Cañada del Real Tesoro
​(Estacion de Cortes de la Frontera)

estacion de cortes de la frontera
dragon fly

The village of Cañada del Real Tesoro

is situated by the river Guadiaro
one of the few rivers that flow all year
 With it's own single track railway line and
station named
Estacion de Cortes de la Frontera 
you can go on the train to Ronda,
Granada to see the Alhambra
or even Madrid 

The route through the village is part of what once was a drover's road
used by smugglers and bandits to bring goods from Gibraltar to inland Spain
arab watch tower torre de paso
estacion de cortes de la frontera

​​Sitting above the village is a 13th Century Arab tower 'Torre de Paso' 

The Cañón de las Buitreras Gorge of the Vultures
  is a natural monument named after the colony of griffon vultures
that nest in the area
 The gorge with near-vertical sides
that can reach 200m high
In the bottom is the Guadiaro river which has eroded the limestone rock face
Inland Spain.........
view to caseres
statue of bull fighter
​One of the things we love about living here is the is the diverse landscape from the sierras, the forests

or bare craggy topped mountains then down to the
coastal areas with  dolphins swimming off Gibraltar
Skiing at the Sierra Nevada
everything you would find if you travelled through Spain
with out having to travel very far at all!!
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The village of Benarrabá  is 10 minutes drive from Gaucin.  There are tapas bars, a butcher, corner shops and hotel 'Banu Rabbah' from where you can enjoy the stunning mountain scenary of Sierra de las Nieves, organic menu with locally grown vegatables and apparently the owners are allow use of the pool on request

The village of Benarrabá also holds a Gastronomic Fair
in the early Spring (around February) with local cheese, wine, jamon etc​​​​

Between Cortes and Benaoján
Cueva de la Pileta - a cave discovered in 1905 by the local farming family
whose descendants still own it
with stalactites ancient cave paintings dating back 25,000 years this makes for an interesting visit - it is best to book in advance
and wear sensible shoes as it can be damp underfoot

If you continue to Montejaque and take a sharp right as you enter the village it takes you past a reservoir that was never able to hold water due to leakage
through the limestone rock

Between Benaojan and Ronda is Cueva de Gato where the crystal clear
icy cold waters immerse from the mountain

Ronda of course is very well known and a beautiful place to visit
the Gorge joining the old and new town, Arab baths and the oldest bullring in Spain
to name a few.............

The road from Gaucin to Ronda, past Algatocin has only been built in the last 100 years 
before this the road was further up the mountain with just a track of it to the village
Down the mountain from Algatocin you will come to the river Genal
 you will find a different area again with Spanish chestnut trees
from there on it can be quite remote
with out electric and many places depending only on solar power

Further inland in the county of Cadiz is the bustling town bustling town of Ubrique which is renowned for making  leather products for famous designer names​​

view to caseres
view to caseres

The richness of the countryside with its fresh water springs and rivers, fruits of the forest and abundance of wild life no doubt brought the first inhabitants to this area
 Today the abundant natural beauty attracts visitors from all over the world for those looking not only for sunshine but to change their life and enjoy walking, hiking, bird watching,  astronomy, ease of travel within mainland Europe and perhaps a more gentle way of life..........

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​We hope this article helps you make the most of your visit to this facinating area and if you discover anything of interest you would like to share with others do let us know​