El Olivar is a private and tranquil hideaway without being remote, with easy access to Ronda and the pueblos blancos. Sun drenched land of glittering sea and rugged mountains, open skies and untouched forest, where tradition endures and the pace is unhurried – call it Andalucía or Andalusia, this is archetypal Spain.
Head inland from the popular beaches to the whitewashed towns and sleepy pueblos perched on hilltops where horses graze in flower filled pastures. Birthplace of flamenco, this is a world of passion, story and song, where festival, folklore, and ancient cultures meet.
In an elevated position, amongst open olive groves and set in its own two acres, against a backdrop of rolling hills, Finca El Olivar faces south with uninterrupted views towards the beautiful hilltop city of Ronda. To the east lies the verdant valley of Llano de la Cruz and beyond this, the untouched Sierra de las Nieves. To the west stands the mountainous majesty of the Serranía de Ronda and Grazalema National Park.
Rural enough to offer complete tranquility but less than ten minutes from the enchanting and romantic hilltop city of Ronda, the most spectacular of the pueblos blancos, this is an area of outstanding beauty and stunning geographic diversity. Dotted with whitewashed villages clinging perilously to rocky outcrops, the pace of life is infectiously slow and the locals extremely welcoming.
The village of Arriate is only three miles away and offers a surprising wealth of amenities; fish and seafood, fresh from the coast, a bounty of Mediterranean vegetables, local specialities and a flavour of undiscovered Andalucía. Every town and village has a yearly calendar packed full of fiestas and Arriate is no exception.
Los Frontones is an extremely favoured area with an exceptional hotel restaurant less than a mile away (a relaxed stroll back under the stars) creating exciting dishes from the very best local produce. Down to earth fare at a local bar, exceptionally creative tapas in Ronda’s barrio, or world class fine dining, there is something here for everyone.
The area has an enormous amount to offer whether your preference is for history and architecture, gastronomy, hiking, cycling, horseriding, birdwatching, golf, tennis, wild swimming, ballooning, or more extreme sports like mountain climbing, paragliding and potholing. Lazy days by the pool and short excursions exploring the pueblos blancos or the many local vineyards can be combined with trips further afield to the beautiful Andalucian capital of Seville, the Moorish cities of Granada and lesser known Cordóba, the sherry capital Jerez, the coastal resorts of glamorous Marbella and eclectic Malaga, birthplace of Picasso, or even the north coast of Morocco.
El Olivar is just over an hour from Malaga, 1½ hours from Seville or Jerez and just over two hours from Granada. The Mediterranean coast is under an hour away and the unspoilt Atlantic an hour and a half.
Steeped in history and romance and immortalised in literature, the ancient city of Ronda sits strategically positioned atop a limestone plateau, split in two by a spectacular gorge, with breathtaking views of the mountains of the Serranía de Ronda.
Despite its popularity (it is the third most visited city in Andalucia and the most impressive of all the hilltop towns) Ronda retains much of its historic charm. It is a beautiful Arabic city, the last stronghold of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada, even today the Arabic influence can be seen throughout the city.
750 metres above sea level, Ronda is the coolest of Andalucian cities, even in the unforgiving heat of summer, spring comes early and brings carpets of wild flowers and migrating birds, autumn is the ideal season for walking and cycling holidays before the brief, cold snap of winter reaches this far south.
Ernest Hemmingway, Orson Welles, Laurie Lee and James Joyce all found inspiration in Ronda. Prague born poet, Rainer Maria Rilke named Ronda 'Ciudad Soñada' – the ‘city of dreams’ - and its romance remains, from the cobbled labyrinthine old town with its flower filled courtyards and plazas lined with orange trees, to the spectacular and dizzying 120 meter deep el Tajo splitting the old town from the new and spanned by the impressive Puente Nuevo. Ronda boasts Roman, Arabic, and neoclassical architecture from the fantastically preserved Baños Arabes and city walls to the Plaza de Toros.
Ronda is one of the most romantic cities in the world, a fantastic choice for a honeymoon, Valentine’s break or romantic getaway. With an enormous romantic heritage, tales of gypsies, bandits, smugglers and travellers abound. This is where Francesco Rosi chose to film Carmen. A city where Islamic, Roman and gypsy culture co-exist with modern Spain. Despite its popularity, nowhere evokes the romance of Andalucia better than Ronda.
Traditional Spanish guitar can be heard in leafy plazas where lovers gaze at the view and dream. Fabulous sunsets can be enjoyed from restaurant terraces overlooking the magnificent Tajo across the Serranía de Ronda. Flamenco and Flamenco fusion can be heard in numerous bars, and August sees Ronda host the flamenco Festival de Cante Grande, one of the oldest flamenco festivals in Andalucia. Gypsy culture remains an integral part of Ronda’s special appeal.
"We had a truly fun and uplifting time! Being bold and diving in the crystal blue water at the Cueva del Gato, going on a jeep tour and wine tasting in stunning Ronda - a very memorable time."Jamie & Lizzie - Somerset, UK
"The location of the house is phenomenal and the surrounding landscape as well. The pictures show exactly what it looks like. Total peace can be found here. The house is beautifully decorated and the 3 terraces let you live with the rhythm of the sun."Karolien - Vosselare, Belgium
"We were looking for a quiet, relaxing break from the stresses of work and we certainly got that here! Everything has been so carefully thought out was really appreciated! When we could tear ourselves away from the poolside we loved wandering around Ronda and Arriate as well as a breathtaking walk in the hills with unmissable views at sunset!"Lisa & Lisa - Brighton
"Beautiful house in a great location in Ronda's beautiful surroundings. No need to go out if you don't feel like it, 'cause everything is here! Ronda Guitar House is great for an intimate Spanish guitar concert. We were lucky to be here during Sevilla's Feria de avril...Sevillanos know how to party!"Monique & family - Antwerp, Belgium