A paradise for cyclists and walkers
This area of Andalucía is perfect for cyclists and walkers too. Cycles can be hired in Ronda and the nearby natural parks such as Los Alcornocales and the Sierra de Grazalema form the perfect backdrop for those who like to explore stunning countryside, whether on two wheels or two feet.
Explore elegant cities
This part of Andalucía is famous for its elegant and historic cities such as Sevilla, Cádiz and Jerez, all of which are within an easy drive of El Balcon. They're all different, so you'll find it hard to choose just one to visit.
El Balcon is only half an hour from Arcos Gardens golf course, which - keen golfers tell us - is excellent. Non-golfers in your party won't feel left out, as they can explore the beautiful and ancient hilltop town of Arcos de la Frontera; it's so old that according to legend it was founded by a grandson of Noah.
Don't miss Ronda
The beautiful, historic town of Ronda, with its impressive gorge, is only 25 minutes away. Take refreshment at a café table in one of the lovely squares, marvel at the views, stroll through the cobbled streets of the oldest part of town, or sit back and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride round the many places of interest. Ronda has some great restaurants and shops, too!
There are over 30 different species of wild orchid to be found in this area. Springtime is best, when wild flowers display their colours in the surrounding fields and olive groves beside El Balcon.
Head for the beach
El Balcon 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 gorgeous small bays and spectacular long stretches of white sand, fringed with palm trees. A perfect day out.
Discover a local walk.
El Dolmen del Gigante (The Giant’s Dolmen) is a megalithic passage tomb chamber on the hill of Algarin. 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.
Try some tapas
The picturesque nearby village of El Gastor has some great tapas bars where you can try local specialities. Try La Cancela, in the heart of the village and just off the pretty church square, or the bar at the municipal swimming pool at the top of the village, with its lovely views, to mention just a couple.
Just sit and gaze
Sit beside El Balcon's lovely big pool or on the shady upper terrace and just gaze... at the stunning view, at the large variety of birds flying by, at the pretty white villages in the distance. This is true relaxation therapy.
Sherry in Jerez
The lovely city of Jerez is less than an hour from the house. Plenty to do here - visit a 'bodega', where the sherry, wines and brandy are made, see the 'How The Andalucían Horses Dance' show on a Tuesday or Thursday, visit the cathedral, relax outside a café and listen to the gypsies sing flamenco, eat in the many excellent restaurants, or shop until you drop in Calle Larga, the main pedestrian street.
Work off calories and then indulge
Make use of El Balcon's gym equipment and then feel virtuous as you tuck into some local delicacies - we highly recommend the Payoyo goat cheese from the artisan factory in Villaluenga and sticky 'borrachuelos' or other delicious, traditional cakes from a local bakery.
Cycle along the "Green Way"
The Via Verde or Green Way runs for 36 kilometers along the old railway line. 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.
Take a day trip to Cordoba
Cordoba is a delight at any time, but especially in May, when the “Patios de Cordoba” takes place. A competition of Courtyards and Crosses - locals decorate their houses and patios with thousands of geraniums. Walking through the Jewish quarter, you catch tantalising glimpses of flower-filled patios with tiled fountains. Of course Cordoba's cathedral, La Mezquita,once a mosque, is the oldest in Spain and has just reopened in time to celebrate its 700th anniversary in 2015.
Have you visited El Balcón?
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