Ronda is well-known for its rich history and retaining its Spanish charm. Located around 100 kilometers from Málaga city, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Andalusia, overtaking Córdoba, Sevilla and Granada.
The historic town is famous around the world for its views and attractions. One of the most popular attractions in the old town is the Puente Nuevo, an 18th Century bridge offering exceptional views of the Serranía de Ronda.
Ronda is also widely considered the birthplace of modern bullfighting. The local Plaza de Toros is famed all around the country, and in 2006 attracted many Spanish celebrities during its 50th anniversary celebrations.
For people coming Spain who are interested in visiting somewhere with rich history, Ronda is a must!
Gaucín is a beautiful, typical whitewashed Spanish pueblo located just a half hour drive from the Costa. Due to its location in the mountains, Gaucín offers stunning views of the Mediterranen coastline, as well as Gibraltar and, on a clear day, North Africa.
The village serves as the gateway to the Serranía de Ronda mountain range. Due to its incredible array of flora, from red poppies to wild orchids, Gaucín offers an exceptional colour palette, which varies depending on the season.
Although just a small town with under 2,000 residents, Gaucín is famed around the world for its community of international artists. With its traditional whitewashed pueblo style, the narrow streets are filled with tall, narrow white houses.
Gaucín is also widely famed for its fauna, and is a common bird watching destination. Eagles can often be found circling the area, as well as kestrels nesting in walls. It isn’t uncommon to see different birds during different seasons of the year due to migrating.
Home to just three thousand residents, Casares is yet another picture-perfect Andalusian style pueblo, nestled in the mountainside, just 14 kilometres from the Costa. Like many other villages inland of the coast, Casares is made up by beautiful white houses, lining narrow, cobbled streets.
The stunning castle can be found nestled within the town, which was built during the Arab ruling of Andalusia, which was then known as Al-Andalus.
The town is famed for being the birthplace of Spanish politician, writer and historian Blas Infante, and his place of birth is one of the popular tourist destinations in town. The local cultural centre has also been named after Infante.
Monda is a tiny town with less than 2,000 residents sitting 365 metres above sea-level. The recently built road, linking the town to Marbella, has seen tourism increase in the area.
The traditional white-washed town is famed for its castle, nestled just above the town. The castle has now been converted into a hotel, with Moorish style interiors, and offering exceptional accommodation and cuisine.
Monda is yet another inland town that offers an incredibly rich history. Storytellers in the area claim that the Battle of Munda between the forces of Pompei and the forces of Julius Caesar took place in Monda, due to the similarity of the names. Although unlikely, the town likes to boast to any visitors who may be interested. Still, Monda was once occupied by the Romans during the 3rd to 1st Centuries BC. It was later used by the Moors who built a fortress, and later was conquered by the Catholic Church in 1485. The fortress was later demolished in the 16th Century.
Guaro is another small white town perched on the edge of the Sierra de las Nieves national park. The area is well known for its stunning views of the countryside due to its elevated position, sitting over 350 metres above sea level.
At the top of the narrow, winding, traditional pueblo-style streets, visitors can find the 16th Century church of San Miguel, which again offers some of the best views in town.
For a long time, the town was known for producing almonds, although in more recent times, it has become more known for its production of biscuits and cakes, using locally cultivated almonds. Originally these baked goods were produced in a factory, which has since closed, and the production of such has been taken over by smaller local businesses.
Another important factor in the local economy is olive growing. The town is home to its own olive oil mill, where local producers take their cultivated olives to be pressed. The town is also well-known for its hiking trails, due to its location on the edge of the national park.
Alhaurín el Grande
Alhaurín el Grande offers a lot of history, being occupied by Neolithics, Romans, Visigoths and Moors before the reconquest of the Catholic Church.
Already an established town before the Romans arrived, the town’s original name was never recorded, and then became known as Lauro Nova during the Roman settlement. The town was known among the Romans as an area blessed by the gods, and therefore was built up by Roman villas, which still today stand as ruins in the surrounding areas.
Although the town saw its Golden Age during the Roman settlement, it was then somewhat tarnished during the Visigoth occupation, as development was brought to a halt. During the occupation of the Moors, however, a fortress was built atop the hill and was named the Torres de Fahala. The Moors then named the town Alhaurín, which means Garden of Allah.
Although the fortress was demolished following the reconquest of the Catholic Church, the name remained the same and the village survived. The town is known for surviving a great deal, such as several invasions, epidemics of plague, and the earthquake in 1680. It was once even occupied by French troops during the Peninsula War of 1808-1814.
Located in the valley of the Río Grande, Coín was an established town long before the Roman settlement. It was the Romans who gave it the first name of Lacibis, and it was known as a market town.
The town was deserted during the Visigoth settlement, and much like Alhaurín el Grande, it thrived once again when it was occupied by the Moors. Although by this time, much of the Roman heritage that once stood in Coín was long gone.
Coín was reconquered by the Catholic Church in 1485. Rumour has it that there was a siege in which Christopher Columbus took part. Famously, in 1829, Captain Cook of the Royal Navy visited Coín and wrote about its picturesque beauty.
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