La Casa Del Arriero

A romantic and secluded cottage in magnificent walking country

 
   

Eating and Drinking

Without doubt the activity closest to our hearts! We are real foodies and as a result we like to ensure that our clients have the best "gastro" experience that the highlands of Ronda can offer. Before you depart we send you a beautiful folder of information packed with top tips on how to eat like Kings (and Queens!) during your stay. We tell you what produce is in season at which time of the year, best meat cuts to buy, which fish is farmed, food you can pick from the wild etc etc. In the cottage you will find an extensive list of best local eateries, and if you have the time or the inclination to explore further afield you might be interested in this website - Dining Secrets of Andalucia.

In the folder we also include our own suggestions and guidelines on buying wines, and the good news on that front is that Ronda is rapidly re-emerging as another interesting wine-producing region of Spain. During the Roman times much of the landscape of the Sierra de Ronda was planted with vines, indeed the motif on some of the local coinage was a bunch of grapes. However most of these vines were destroyed in the phylloxera epidemic of the late 1800´s. The new wave of wine production began about 30 years ago with a very enterprising Austrian who started one of the first organic vineyards in southern Spain. There are now a total of about 15 bodegas in the area which can be visited. This needs to be by appointment so we advise you to call or e mail to arrange a visit. Our favourites are Descalzos Viejos, Schatz (the enterprising Austrian!), and Vinos Conrad.

Even if you are unable to visit any of the vineyards you will find a number of restaurants in this area will stock local Ronda wines so you should have the chance to sample some with a gorgeous meal somewhere.

Walking

Cortes is without doubt a magical place for nature lovers and what better way to explore the area than on foot or horseback? The Cortes valley is made up of a whole network of footpaths (some of them still with sections of ancient stone paving) and there are walks to be enjoyed for people of all levels of fitness.

As well as self-guided route notes of the immediate area there is also a reference copy of Walking in Andalucia in the cottage. The author has focused on some of the most beautiful areas of Southern Spain and staying in Cortes you will have easy access to 2 or 3 of the areas featured.

Horses and Bulls

If you prefer 4 legs to 2, then this is also a fabulous area for riding. The valley is criss-crossed with tracks and footpaths, so depending on your preference and riding experience, you can enjoy the gentler slopes and green pastures of the lower valley or ride high into the mountains. For more information, click here.

If you´re not a rider but apreciate the grace and beauty of horses there are a number of events you ought to try and catch – the famous “dancing horses” is a show held in Jerez every Thursday. Also in Jerez, is the Feria de Caballo in mid May which is a visual feast of horses, Flamenco and sherry – very Spanish and great fun. Finally, the most impressive of all, is the “rejoneo” (bull fighting on horseback) in early September. The event is held in Ronda at one of the oldest bullrings in the country and the skill of the skill of the horses and their riders is truly astonishing.

If you happen to visit any other time of the year and are interested in the deep-rooted Spanish culture of fighting bulls, you might consider a visit to a very impressive bull farm just outside Ronda which has recently opened to the public.

They offer visits twice a day from Monday to Saturday at 12.30pm and 4pm. You can either take a private minibus from the tourist information office in Ronda, or just turn up at the farm in your car. They have English speaking guides, the tour lasts about 1 1/2 hours and offers a fascinating insight into the breeding and rearing of these magnificent beasts.

Other activities:

Swimming:
If you visit the cottage between the months of May and September you will definitely want to know what the swimming options are. We are very lucky to have some fantastic pools in the area, including a 25m pool in the village. After your swim, you can either lounge on the grassy slopes under the shade of a tree or retreat to the terrace of the restaurant that overlooks the pool. An alternative and more “natural” swimming experience is to drive to the village of Zahara de la Sierra where there is a huge lake. The setting is quite magical and its amazing diving into its cool, fresh water. For the more active or those with children it´s very easy and great fun to rent a canoe and head out across the lake.

Cycling:
You don´t need to be an avid mountain biker to explore the magical nature park of los Alcornocales on 2 wheels. Bikes can be rented at a very reasonable rate and you will have the choice of several routes– one of these involves following a small tarmac road which snakes down through the cork forest and ends up in the village of El Colmenar in time for a cold beer and a plate of tapas before you catch the train back to Cortes.

Bird watching:
Cortes is on the migratory route for birds flying to and from Africa. There are reference books in the cottage for you to consult, otherwise day trips can be organised with a specialist ornothologist. For more information, click here.

 

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La Casa Del Arriero   Cortes de la Frontera   Andalucia   Tel: +44 (0) 1380 816658  Mobile: +44 (0)7881 361471   Mail: