"Well summarised by my 8 year old son - 'best holiday ever!'"

Ronda and the surrounding area is very welcoming to children and there is plenty to keep them occupied. Here are a few of our top picks for kids.

Take a pony and cart ride around the old town

For around thirty Euros you can take a half hour ride around la Ciudad, starting outside the Plaza de Toros, the ponies’ reins are adorned with jingling bells which help warn pedestrians in the narrow, cobbled streets of the old town.

The playground in Barrio San Fransisco

Just outside the city walls, is set in a beautiful leafy square which happens to be by two of the best restaurants in town (de Locos Tapas and Almocabar). As dusk falls this is a favourite spot for children while their parents and older folk sit on benches or enjoy a drink at one of the local bars.

Food

Even the fussiest eaters will find something to enjoy, paella, pizza (try Nonno Peppe for genuine Italian fare) pasta and chips. You will find many of the local eateries very accommodating with babies and children.

La Chocolaterie

La Chocolaterie is on the main shopping street and has exquisite handmade chocolates and patisserie, granitas, milkshakes, tortes, cakes and macaroons, a whole menu of hot chocolates, hand made ice creams, iced teas, good coffee and excellent sandwiches made with their own organic rolls.

The park

Alameda del Tajo is a C19th park paid for by fines collected from the locals (for swearing and obscene behaviour!) This is the hub of the paseo and a lovely cool spot in the heat of the day with broad promenades and towering pines, roses and fountains laid out in a beautiful, formal style. There is also a small duck pond with a dovecot and a little playground. The best thing about the park, (although kids may not agree), has to be the jaw dropping views over el Tajo.

Casa del Rey Moro

In the old town, has peacocks and enough steps cut into the stone of the Moorish mines to keep young ones counting. Legend has it that the old Moorish king secreted away his treasure in the depths of the fortress and the silence at the bottom of the gorge is very atmospheric. Don't forget to try out the sala de secrets, a room which possesses the same phenomenon as St Paul's whispering gallery.

The old Arab city wall

The old Arab city wall can be climbed from near the Peurte Arabe down in the barrio and this is a favourite activity for kids, you can stand sentry on the look out posts of the ramparts but watch out for the lack of railings along the wall.

The Arab baths

The Arab baths are a cool respite from the summer heat with star shaped holes in the domed ceiling. A rather unconvincing CGI film shows how they were once used but even for those who are not keen on history the Baños Arabes are an atmospheric treasure. You can explore a bit more of the medieval city walls just outside the baths.

Shopping for kids

There is a traditional toy shop with beautifully tiled frontage, El Pensamiento, on the main shopping street, and several, rather soulless but more modern, ‘Toy Planet’s. There are dresses and fans aplenty for would be flamenco dancers. If high street fashion is their thing then kids clothes can be found at Mayoral and Zara on C/Espinel and the popular Ale-hop sells everything from hats and purses to kid styled stationery. A wooden sword (espada) if you can find one, prior to a trip to the old Roman city of Acinipo is a top tip for would be gladiators. Ice cream can be found all over town but you can get Italian gelato at Heladeria E’Gelato in over thirty flavours.

La Playita & Zahara Catur

La Playita (the little beach) at Arroyomolinos Recreational Area is a sand edged, spring fed lake bordered by lush gardens with treetop adventure park, zipwires and climbing walls. Suitable for kids of all ages, there is a good expanse of shallow water before it gets really deep, we put it off for ages (thought it would be very crowded) but in the end we enjoyed ourselves. Zahara Catur is the activity company based at La Playita that offers year round archery, kayaking, hiking and other activities that are particularly suitable for older children and teenagers. The high ropes look great fun and end with an impressive zip wire that leaves you shaking.

The torchlight tour of La Cueva de la Pileta

The torchlight tour of La Cueva de la Pileta is very atmospheric and nothing like any cave experience the kids may have has so far. Halfway up the side of a rugged hill with vertiginous views out over the valley. No lights or fancy sign-posts, its almost as it was when it was discovered in 1905. The cave paintings inside are pretty impressive but it is the lack of commercialism that makes this so worthwhile. Raw nature as man first experienced it. If your kids have read Tolkien’s The Hobbit or The Lord of The Rings this subterranean labyrinth will be all the more appreciated, you can almost hear the drums...

Maria Luisa Park

Further afield, the beautiful Maria Luisa Park in Seville has hundreds of white doves you can feed in Plaza América, Star Wars fans might recognise the incredible Plaza de España from Episode 1, the park is one of the loveliest in Europe with a truly fairytale atmosphere with its themed pavillions, rows of oranges, palms, pines, elms and fountains half hidden amongst climbing roses. You can take a horse and cart from outside the cathedral after exploring the stunning gardens of the Real Alcazar and ride in style through the park.

Alhambra and Generalife

The Alhambra and Generalife at Granada are simply incredible and the excellent gift shop at the entrance sells guidebooks for children that make the visit even more enjoyable (who doesn’t love stickers?) The serenity of the gardens and magnificent architecture of the palaces is unforgettable but the hot sun can be relentless, you could opt for a night visit to the Nasrid palaces and soak up the atmosphere by moonlight instead.