Enjoy walking in the beautiful local countryside
If you like walking, then this is the area for you. The famous Grazalema natural park is a just short drive away but El Gastor has its own attractions for walkers. The two peaks behind the village can be easily reached on foot and the views from there are incredible.
Take a drive and explore Olvera
Olvera is a beautiful, unspoilt white hillside town with a castle and large church towering over the village. Rest before you continue the climb up to the cafe in the town square that serves great tapas and meals.
Fancy a tipple?
Jerez is home to many of the great Sherry companies, which often have English names. A number of these offer regular daily tours, such as Tio Pepe. After the tour, you will sit at long tables and have the chance to taste all the different Sherry varieties, working your way through them from dry to sweet.
Enjoy the sights of Seville!
There is so much to see and do in the vibrant, colourful city of Seville. It's an easy to drive to the outskirts where there is free parking and then you can take the metro into the centre. The Cathedral, Giralda tower, Real Alcázar Palace, Plaza de España and Maria Luisa park are just a few things to see. Take a bus tour, hire a biycle, horse and carriage or just by foot, there are many ways to take in the sights. The charasmatic capital of Andalucía is just over an hours drive. For more information visit: http://andalucia.com/cities/sevilla.htm
Bring your binoculars!
The views from El Patio are amazing, but are even better if you have some binoculars. There are vistas all around the house, towards the white washed village of Algodonales and Sierra Lijar behind it and Zaframagon Rock. Bird watchers will not be disappointed, especially with large groups of Griffon Vultures riding the thermals above the villa.
La Pileta Caves
Situated just beyond the village of Benaoján, two guides take candlelit tours of up to 25 people in each group to see the impressive Pileta cave which is well known for its pre-historic cave paintings.
Take the Green Way
Hire bikes and ride along the Via Verde! The Via Verde or Green Way runs for 36 kilometers along the old railway line from Jerez to Almargen, between the provinces of Seville and Cadiz, linking the towns of Olvera and Puerto Serrano. This is an ecotourism route that can be explored on foot, bicycle, horseback, and even donkey!
Make the most of the pretty nearby village of El Gastor
Wander around this friendly village, with its white-washed walls and wrought iron balconies with cascades of colourful geraniums. Try some tapas in one of the bars, mixing with the locals in the small square is a great way to relax and you'll soon feel at home here. The village has a bakery, small supermarket, butchers and a fishmonger so you will find all you need.
Be King of the Castle!
Visit the pretty nearby village, Zahara de la Sierra. It's a steep walk up to the medieval castle perched high above the village 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 down on its many terraces and sip a cool drink and just watch the world go by.
Visit Ronda - "the City of Dreams"
The beautiful, historic town of Ronda, with its impressive gorge, is only a 30 minute drive away. Take refreshment at a café table in one of the lively squares, marvel at the amazing views from the famous bridge, stroll through the cobbled streets of the old town, or sit back and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride around the many places of interest. The third most visited place in Andalucía, Ronda has something for everyone and is one of Spain's most beautiful towns.
Take it easy!
With the refreshing pool at El Patio to enjoy, you'll find it difficult to tear yourself away! Sip a drink, read a book, take a snooze, or just marvel at the view from the infinity edge of the pool. It's just perfect!
A firm favourite with many guests is a visit to the mountain village of Grazalema. Just the wonderful drive there is enjoyable. It has an excellent choice of places to eat, at very reasonable prices. You can easily spend an afternoon wandering around the array of gift shops selling local hand made products. Hand woven wool shawls and blankets, pottery and ceramics, cheese, cakes and leather goods can all be found here.
Have a day at the beach!
From El Patio it's easy to reach 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.
Enjoy the Lake
Just nearby is the large lake of El Gastor - Zahara. You can hire kayaks and explore. Also in the summer months there is La Playita, a lagoon of fresh spring waters, with grassed areas and trees for shade. There is even an adventure playground with zip lines, swinging bridges, a climbing wall and all kinds of fun things to keep the whole family entertained. View a promotional video via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX6I2iMyP_M
Join in the local festivities
The Spanish love a party and know how to do it well! The first weekend of August is the Feria in El Gastor, with plenty of socialising, flamenco singing and dancing, horses, bulls and games to enjoy. In the first week of October the locals also pay homage to their Patron Saint, "Virgen del Rosario", celebrating with colourful processions. It's a lovely experience and a chance to see the true Andalusian spirit.
Feria de Pedro Romero in September
Ronda celebrates its fair and festival in honour of Pedro Romero, the only fair in the world dedicated to a bullfighter, on the first weekend of September each year. “Rondeños” (locals of Ronda) and visitors alike can enjoy a whole week of fun and festivities. There are celebrations in the main town centre near to the bullring during the day. The main attraction is the “Corrida Goyesca”, a bullfight with the “toreros” wearing a traditional Goyesca style costumes based on the Spanish artist Goya. The first bullfight of this style was celebrated in 1954, on the 200th anniversary of the birth of the famous bullfighter from Ronda, Pedro Romero. There is also a large fairground on the outskirts of the town, near the roundabout. Bullfighting is not the only thing to see; ladies dressed in traditional gypsy flamenco dresses and the beautiful horse and carriage parade on Sunday are unquestionably worth seeing.
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