Coming back down to the main road from Castellar de la Frontera, turn left and follow the road to Jimena de la Frontera. This drive isnt quite so hair-raising.
Because of its position and remoteness this was once a refuge for smugglers. On the top of the hill stands the ruins of a moorish castle.
The town streets are very narrow and winding and a lot are one way for obvious reasons. There is a small parking area at the top near to the ruined castle.
Set in the Parque Natural this village stands high on a hill with on a clerar day amazing views of the Atlas Mountains of Africa and the Rock of Gibraltar.
Such a quaint little place you think its a castle but on entering its a village with tiny cobbled streets.
We took the road from La Linea (over the border from Gibraltar) and headed towards Algeciras. You will then see signs for Castellar de la Frontera. Again this road is very windy, worse in fact I thought that the road to Ronda which was bad enough. Its a bit like riding on a roller coaster except it goes on longer! Wonderful views if you can bare to look!
through the world,you'll find it only here and in some rare californian places!
for the botanists,as a "dinosaur" tree!
a tree which has stopped evolving...
you'll find on the very picturesque mountain road A366 ,near km 20,coming from ronda...4km before el burgo.
also in a pretty botanical garden of "el bosque" ,road A372,49km from ronda,on the way to arcos de la frontera.
26km east through very picturesque and spectacular C344 to coin and then to malaga or marbella.
a summary of andalusia's history:
-ruins of roman road to malaga
-ruins of arab castle
further to coin you enter in natural park "sierra de las nieves" and its "pinsapos" a very old pine,rare species which has never advanced since dinosaurs times! if you miss them here,you have to go to california,the only other place through the world where you'll find them!
We were staying in Gibraltar and hired a car for 3 days to pop into Spain and have a look around. This was our first trip and we went to Estapona. Quite a nice place, except everywhere seemed to be like a building site. Construction was going on everywhere, and in every direction you could see huge cranes!
Walked along the beach and had a paddle, showers along the beach for showering and ones just to wash your feet in.
Nice little cobbled streets, with may restaurants, cafe, bars, and shops.
Unfortunately my husband forgot the camera!!!!!! Needless to say he was in big trouble!
Why not take a trip to Gibraltar if you are staying in the Andalucia area. If you are driving it will only take about 1.1/2 hours.
Gibraltar is celebrating 400 years of British rule this year. It is a haven for day trippers from Spain. There is quite a lot to see, the Rock of course, and the monkeys who live there. Lots of british pubs serving typically british food. Prices are good as well, petrol cheaper, although a word of warning, if you are driving dont cross into Gibraltar in your car the queue at customs/border control can be horrendous and can take 2 hours of queuing in the summer. Leave your car in La Linea and walk across the border. Dont forget you will need your passport though. Also the currency is not euros but british pounds. Lots of shops along Main Street selling Lladro and cigarette shops where they cost approximately £9 for 200.
You can get the cable car up the rock to see the monkeys or taxis ply for business, if there are a few of you sharing it will work out cheaper and you can get these taxi's at different places but one spot is by the Trafalgar Cemetary.This picture is taken from near the cable car at the top, you can see Spain in the distance.
So diverse is the allure of Ronda that it became a regular haunt for twentieth century cultural luminaries such as Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles.
In fact, after he died on October 10, 1985, Ronda became the final resting place of the actor Orson Welles whose radio broadcast of ‘War of the Worlds’ caused an American panic in 1938.
His ashes are buried inside an old well covered by flowers, within the rural property of retired bullfighter Antonio Ordonez.
Since I love history and historical sites, a very interesting place that I came across, between the Church of El Padre Jesus and the ‘Old’ Bridge was a construction project that had exposed a portion of the old city wall in cross-section.
I was able to get right up to this truncated wall and see exactly how it was constructed. It was clear that these walls were filled with ancient mortar and the old, thin, red Roman bricks and other masonry filling.
Touching that wall, running my hand over its materials, knowing that it was probably originally built in the 13th century - 800 years ago - was quite a thrill for me! I stood there and imagined the myriads of unknown workers, in classical dress, sweating and toiling away in the hot, parching sun building that wall brick by brick. How long and unending that work must have seemed to those ancient craftsmen.
At the Bullring, just off of Calle Virgen de la Paz, you will see some horse carriages. It is possible to hop on a horse carriage here that tours Ronda for a modest fee.
The horse and carriage form of locomotion boomed in the middle of the 19th century with the appearance of the spherical suspension springs or shock absorbers. Until then, fixed metal bars were used from which the boxes or coaches were hung with chains - as you can imagine they would not have been very comfortable. During the 18th century this suspension method improved and irons in a ‘C’ shape were introduced, having strips or belts attached to the top, from which the carriage hung called ‘Sopanda’ suspension as that was the name given to the ‘C’ shaped metal bars.
Then the automobile appeared in the 20th century. With this, the carriage began its long, slow descent into oblivion, which, had it not been for a few enthusiasts and art collectors who were in love with this beautiful way of traveling, would probably have become completely extinct today. Thankfully, in Ronda, the Real Maestranza de Caballeria has been responsible for keeping this tradition alive. So please take a minute to admire these old carriages and, if time permits, take an adventure riding one of them around the town.
Just so you will know, next to the bullring you will also find a very helpful tourist office and public toilets that are quite a rarity in Spain.
Ronda is well known for its pottery, leatherwork and wrought iron products. In particular, wrought iron balconies are very typical on many of the buildings in Ronda.
As you meander through the narrow streets of whitewashed houses, or take a stroll before enjoying a leisurely meal in one of the many local restaurants, take a keen look around and notice all of the buildings with their fine facades and wrought iron balconies especially in the city's beautifully preserved old quarter.
The Mirador commands a wide and beautiful prospect of the fertile valley or vega and the sierras beyond.
This promenade itself is a beautiful area that is replete with colorful flowerbeds and a long rustic railing for sightseers to lean against as they gaze in awe at the heights of these cliffs and off into the distance over the lovely valley. Be cautious if you have Acrophobia, a fear of heights, as the rail and balconies are perched directly over the edge of the precipice.
Ronda La Vieja is the abandoned ancient village of Ronda. What remains are only rock stubbles and part of a roman theatre structure. Not easy to get to if you don't drive. Now the place is occupied by a herd of sheep! :-)
The rare 'Pinsapo' or 'Spanish Fir' only occurs in the mountains around Ronda, and in northern Morocco. They are an ancient relic of the forrests of millions of years ago. They have recently been threatened by the pine needle devouring caterpillers of the Pine Processionary moth, these are best steered clear of as the caterpillers fur can cause a sore rash.
I met this wild mountain goat, up in the hills near Ronda. We became great friends, in fact she followed me everywhere for the next half hour. My friend thought she was In love with me... lol.