Relax, read a book and take in the views.
Alaju has to be one of the most spectacularly placed villas. The front terrace enjoys the most beautiful view of the waters of Lake Zahara, with the small white village and its castle at the far end. It’s the perfect spot, to just sit back, relax and unwind.
Be King of the Castle!
Visit the pretty village of Zahara de la Sierra, as seen from the villa. It's a steep walk up to the medieval castle perched high above on the rock - but well worth the effort to enjoy fabulous views over the lake, the terracota roof tops below and the mountains far beyond. This small but lively village has a welcoming square, perfect to sit in one of its many terraces and sip a cool drink and just watch the world go by.
Mix with the locals
A five minute drive from Villa Alaju is the pretty village of El Gastor. Its white washed houses adorned with geraniums are sure to enchant you. There is a wonderful local bakery for fresh bread or pastries, and small supermarkets for any provisions you may need. Locals are very friendly and welcoming, making sure you soon feel at ease.
Enjoy the Lake
Overlooking the turquoise waters of the lake from the villa, you will be sure to be enticed into dipping into the waters. You can hire kayaks and explore. Also nearby, in the summer months there is La Playita, a lagoon of fresh spring waters, with grassed areas, trees for shade and a bar serving snacks.
Zahara de la Sierra
Alaju is a good base for touring the white towns. An excellent example is opposite, the town of Zahara de la Sierra, set in a magnificient landscape and crowned by a 10th century Moorish castle.
Cycle the Green Way
The "Via Verde" runs for 36 kilometers along the old railway line, from the nearby village of Olvera. This is an ecotourism route that can be done on foot, bicycle, horseback, and even donkey! This permits hikers to contemplate exuberant nature, valuable plant and animal species and the most beautiful landscape. http://www.fundacionviaverdedelasierra.com/
Nature Park of Grazalema
When you leave Zahara, aim for Grazalema, in the heart of the Nature Park of Grazalema. Although the road from Zahara to Grazalema is very narrow and has lots of bends, the views are incredible.
Discover local walks in the village of El Gastor
El Dolmen del Gigante (The Giant’s Dolmen) is a megalithic passage tomb chamber on the hill of Algarin, behind Villa Alaju. It is the largest dolmen in the province of Cádiz, with large vertical megaliths and covered with stone slabs. From here you can enjoy impressive views too.
Serrania de Ronda
Grazalema is perhaps the most perfectly preserved of all the white villages dotted around the Serrania de Ronda. Try the tapas bar and restaurants there too - it also has a reputation for producing excellent blankets and rugs.
La Pileta Cave
This impressive cave, with its even more impressive wall paintings, is just beyond the nearby village of Benaoján. Visits are by candlelight and the caves have some fascinating pre-historic cave paintings.
Arcos de la Frontera
is often described as a smaller, prettier version of Ronda due to its setting between two gorges. Arcos is a town not to be missed. Superbly situated on the edge of a precarious cliff, it has the most expansive views of the surrounding countryside
Jerez de la Frontera
Jerez de la Frontera, another easy day trip, will take you about 1 hour. Jerez is the home of many of the great sherry companies, often with English names. A number of these offer regular daily tours after which you are invited to taste different sherries, working from dry to sweet.
Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Arts
Try to time your visit to Jerez for the Thursday show of the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Arts. Book your tickets in advance.
Ronda is a must
divided by its famous ravine, and adorned with impressive palaces, Moorish baths, and the bullring. Built in 1784, it is one of the oldest in Spain and is the second most important monument of the town. For a small admission charge you can visit the bullring and its museum. Whilst in Ronda, also visit the city centre and the old town, still very charming
'Ronda Romantica', is celebrated in May in each year. The whole town centre comes alive with the Recreation of the Romantic Era. A genuine encounter with the legendary past of this land and its identity. There are parades, battles, markets and parties galore as everyone is dressed up as old age travellers, horsemen and Bandits of the Serrania de Ronda. For the old and the young it’s a great Festival in Ronda.
Classic Flamenco Guitar Concert
If you are a fan of classical music, or even just fancy a taste of some real Spanish music - Celia Morales is a classical Spanish guitarist who performs small and intimate concerts in her academy in Ronda."For anyone not exposed to Flamenco guitar, the performance was an eye-opening display of virtuosity, and the music was representative of the best of Flamenco -- full of passion and colour."
Holy Week Processions
Easter week is a wonderful time to visit Andalucia. Procession takes place in every small village, town and city.
Puente Nuevo (the New Bridge built in the 18C!)
New visitors to Ronda make for the Puente Nuevo (the New Bridge built in the 18C!) to see the gorge which has a sheer drop of 90 metres. We recommend you go to see the views from the balconies in the park. The sunset from here is spectacular.
Shopping in Ronda
Shopping in Ronda is fun. Most of the shops are concentrated around the long pedestrianised street, Calle La Bola, and the minor streets off it, which together make up Ronda´s main shopping area.
Ronda from a distance
Perhaps the best views of Ronda are not from the bottom of the gorge but rather opposite it. Drive to the walls of the old town and follow signs for Algerciras. Look for the purple sign for Ermita Rupestre, from where you have a spectacular view of Ronda from a distance.
Visit the beaches of the Costa de la Luz
Alaju is just over an hour's easy drive from some of Europe's most stunning beaches, on the Costa de la Luz. This is the Atlantic coast, and here you will find hidden small coves and spectacular long stretches of golden sands. Never overcowded, and great fun for enjoying watersports.
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