From gentle pursuits that soothe the soul to hair-raising adventures – The Serranía de Ronda has something for everyone

Explore the stunning landscape on foot, on horseback or by bike, discover secret wild swimming spots and hidden niches of paradise and delight in the slow pace of life or try something different and get your adrenalin pumping!


The area around Ronda is one of the most beautiful and rewarding areas for walking with an enormously varied landscape taking you on narrow paths through cork forests, olive groves, lush pastures and arid limestone mountains. Stunning walks with incredible views and unspoilt scenery are right on your doorstep, from the house, the hills invite exploration, local vineyards are easily accessible and single track lanes and footpaths lead out into a beautiful landscape. Further afield, the forests of Grazalema National Park offer more shade in the heat of summer and are a walker’s paradise. There are walks for all abilities, easy strolls through flower filled meadows or strenuous mountain ascents. Walks are possible from late winter to early summer and from early autumn until very late in the year. The Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park to the east is another fabulous base for walking. We highly recommend Guy Hunter Watt’s guidebook on ‘Walking in Andalucia’ that we have provided for guests’ use.


The Serrania de Ronda is a fabulous area for cycling, offering easy rides on long, flat roads and some incredibly demanding routes - professional cyclists often train in this area for long distance events. The 193km long ‘La Sufrida’ held on the first Saturday in June sees over 800 cyclists competing in the Serrania de Ronda and reaching altitudes of 1,200m. Challenging and rewarding, the mountainous terrain offers incredible views exploring the pueblos blancos or you can choose to explore flatter river basins and valleys. You can have bikes delivered to the door by who will plan routes for you, from easy rides to more demanding routes, or simply set out with a picnic to explore the local area and cycle to Arriate to stock up on local specialities.
If you prefer to cycle without the hassle of passing traffic and to experience an abundance of wildlife and idyllic, untouched landscape along the way, there is a fabulous section of Via Verde from Puerto Serrano to Olvera that is a haven for less confident cyclists. Designed as a railway that was never completed, there are viaducts and tunnels and the route is almost entirely flat, there are no cars and few people and the surrounding landscape is a mix of ruined cortijos, water meadows, limestone outcrops, mountain and forest that few others have experienced.

Caminito del Rey

Opened by King Alfonso XIII in 1921, once the world’s most dangerous path, the Caminito del Rey has undergone an enormous reconstruction project and is now open for guided tours along it’s 3km length. With a new visitor centre due to open in 2019, the Caminito del Rey consists of a 100m hanging boardwalk on the side of the canyon Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, part of El Chorro gorge. Tickets must be booked in advance and are not for the faint-hearted. The walk takes you past azure waters, between sheer cliff faces and beneath circling vultures. We haven’t tried it yet, not just because it is a rickety plank path halfway up a mountain and was once known as the ‘walkway of death’, it needs to be done outside the hot season (that is our excuse anyway). Daredevlis of all ages will love it!

Horse riding

Home to the prestigious Real Malestranza de Caballería de Ronda, Rondeños seem to incorporate equine skill into every festival, indeed the Andalucian horse has always been highly prized and is one of the region’s greatest exports. The Serranía de Ronda is a fantastic area for riding and there are many equestrian centres offering rides for every ability, from an hour’s trek for beginners, to a day’s ride through challenging terrain. Explore ancient tracks and hidden mountain paths, following the trails of bandoleros through open pastures and cork and chestnut forests and take in the unforgettable views.

Wild Swimming

There are many spots for wild swimming all around the local area, incredibly turquoise reservoirs, hidden mountain lakes and beautiful river pools including the crystal clear, icy waters of the Cueva del Gato. The best way by far to get to the most remote places is via 4x4 and a jeep tour can easily be arranged with a local guide who knows all the best spots. In the heat of summer what better way to cool off than a dip in the clear mountain waters of the Serrania de Ronda.

4 x 4 Tours

Bespoke, individually designed off road tours in a wonderfully customised 30 year old jeep that seats 8 guests. Combine a tour with walks through remote wildernesses, wild swimming in lakes or rivers, birdwatching where vultures, hoopoes, bee-eaters and a multitude of wildlife can be seen, travel through the Sierra de las Nieves and spend the day on one of Marbella’s fashionable beaches, or see Ronda from the bottom of el Tajo. Tours are completely flexible and custom created and can last a full day, half day or be charged by the hour.

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The fabulous Andalucian climate makes tennis an almost year round activity. You can hire courts at Club de Tenis Serrania which has three clay courts and offers private classes or you can simply hire a court by the hour.

Yoga & Massage

Take your relaxation to a whole new level and book a private yoga session to improve your practice and brush up on your technique or get the whole group to try a few asanas for the first time. A local yoga teacher will come to the house and take you through your poses. From evening taster sessions facing the mountains, to daily sun salutations on the south facing terrace, you could create your very own, personal yoga retreat. Follow up with a massage on the terrace carried out by a local therapist. What better way to unwind?

Spa Sessions

Indulge in a spa session and full body massage at Ronda’s new spa Aguas de Ronda down in the old town, which recreates some of the atmosphere of a traditional hammam. Treatments include hot stones, wine, cherry and chocolate wraps – divine.

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Painting & Photography

The light here rivals that of Provence and the diversity of the landscape is inspirational: There is endless subject matter. The light and ambience of the house is perfect to encourage artistic creativity and there is plenty of space to sit and work in the shade. A short stroll will bring you to some incredibly far reaching views, although the lush valley and rugged mountains look pretty stunning from the house too. Ronda itself is a photographer’s dream, as is the old city of Acinipo. If you are still working with analogue – bring plenty of film. Many of the hotels and restaurants in the area act as galleries for local artists and Gaucin has many studios open to the public so there is plenty of opportunity to experience the local art scene. The Joaquin Peinado Museum in Ronda’s old town is also a great source of inspiration.

Adrenalin Junkies

If total relaxation is not your thing there is a surprising number of activities to get keep the adrenals active. You can paraglide from rocky escarpments at Algodonales, try out a Via Ferrata (iron high ropes) across el Tajo or the newly refurbished Camininto del Rey at El Chorro, go caving or potholing (the third largest cavern in the world – chasm GESM - is in the province of Málaga), canyoning, paintballing, rock climbing in the Sierra de las Nieves, mountain biking, quad biking or try a hot air balloon flight over the beautiful city.


You can hire kayaks at the reservoir near Zahara de la Sierra. Local firm Zaharacatur offer a kayak session that begins an hour before dusk and ends in darkness with just the sound of the breeze and the splash of your oars – bliss.

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Kayak Simone Lovati v2

© Simone Lovati


Whilst Ronda cannot match the shopping experiences that Marbella, Malaga or Seville can offer, it does have its own treasures and the majority of shops are small, down to earth, family owned businesses. The main shopping street is the 1km long, pedestrianised Carrera Espinel (known locally as Calle la Bola, after a legendary snowball that rolled down the hill) there is a mix of high street and independent shops with a plethora of good cafés and bars and a fabulous chocolate shop. The old town has antique shops and shops selling leather goods, painted ceramics and embroidered linens. You can buy fabulous original etchings at Grabados Somera down a side street opposite the Parador. There are some excellent delicatessens selling local hams, wines and cheeses and you can follow in Jamie Oliver’s footsteps and visit La Casa del Jamón.