If you’ve never been to Andalucia in Spain, and in particular the stunning and historic town of Ronda, then you need to add it to your bucket list. Just an hour and 20 minute drive inland from Malaga airport, the region has the most amazing scenery, laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, gorgeous food (the BEST olives I’ve ever tasted) and wonderfully friendly Spanish folk.
Last week was our third visit to the region and @doublewoo and I always go with the same friends (including a fluent Spanish speaker who is an Andulcian aficionado – not a necessity for all visitors but a definite bonus!) In the past we’ve rented villas for groups of us including children however, this summer it was a hotel and a child-free break.
We stayed at Hotel La Fuente de la Higuera, a converted centuries-old millhouse surrounded by olive groves. The centrepiece of the lovingly-tended gardens is the pool with sweeping views over the hills and valleys featuring cypress, walnut, chestnut, olive, lemon and palm trees.
The hotel is run by a lovely Dutch couple and is so luxurious and relaxed that we chilled out from the moment we arrived. With just 12 bedrooms and suites, it felt like the whole place was ours and the staff were attentive but not overbearing – the perfect mix! The incredibly well-stocked ‘honesty bar’ was also an amazing addition.
The menu was varied with a delicious buffet-style breakfast, an a la carte lunch menu and set dinner menus – the chef trained at ElBulli and we weren’t disappointed.
Although we paid half board, one night we ventured into Ronda to visit the Michelin-starred Bardarl restaurant, which was an incredible gastronomic feast with a 15-course tasting menu.
We pottered around Ronda quite a bit, soaking up the atmosphere of the bustling tapas bars and admiring the absolutely awe-inspiring views from the bridge (see below). I am always gobsmacked by the views every time I visit and will never tire of how beautiful it is!
This area of Spain is totally unspoilt - although very popular with travellers this has done little to dampen the feel of the region. Historic yet stylish where, for foodies, Spanish tradition meets modern innovation and the mix is such a treat.
I can’t wait to go back and experience it all over again. Make sure you visit soon and tell your friends, just not too many of them!