Cortijo El Peso is perfectly located in the south of Spain’s Andalucia with some amazing sights just a short drive away.
La Costa del Sol with its wealth of sandy beaches, sun, fun and nightlife is just 30 minutes away. Resort towns include Estepona (45 minutes) and glitzy, glamorous Marbella (under an hour).
Gibraltar, steeped in history, VAT free shops … and plenty of fish & chips is 1¼ hours away.
Tarifa on the southernmost point of Spain is 1½ hours from here. Looking directly across the Straits of Gibraltar to Morocco, Africa is so close you feel that you can almost touch it!
Beyond lie mile upon mile of magnificent white beaches on Spain’s Atlantic coast, the Costa de la Luz.
A taste of Morocco perhaps? The fast boat from Tarifa to Tangiers takes 35 minutes, so you can be exploring the local souks in just a few hours. Fascinating and colourful, it really is a different world.
Spain’s unique sherry wine region (Jerez and Sanlúcar), is well worth a visit, enhanced no doubt by stopping at one or two of the famous bodegas along the way! Jerez de la Frontera is 2 hours.
Cádiz (2¼ hours) continues to evoke the romance, intrigue and mystery of centuries of trade (some legal, some not so) between Europe, Africa and the Americas.
One of Europe’s most important wetland reserves and bird sanctuaries, the Doñana National Park, is a popular attraction for nature lovers (4 hours). Its enormous variety of bird species include everything from flamingos to imperial eagles.
A beautiful road winds over the spectacular mountains to Ronda (45 minutes), with its spectacular gorge and Spain’s oldest bullring, Hemingway’s favourite town in all of Spain.
Seville takes 2½ hours. It is impossible not to be captivated by its exuberant atmosphere: stylish, confident, ancient and proud, yet also convivial, intimate and fun-loving. If you don’t know what alegría means, Sevilla is the place to learn!
The fantastic railway between Algeciras on the coast and Ronda, to the north, stops at the little pueblo of El Colmenar (20 minutes away). One of Europe’s great short railway journeys, running through landscapes which offer constantly plunging and spectacular views, this is a remarkable and wonderful way to see some of Andalucía’s best and most dramatic countryside.
There are a plethora of beautiful white villages and hilltop towns to explore and enjoy in the magnificent countryside of the Serranía de Ronda – Jimena de la Frontera, Casares and Genalguacil to name but a few.
Nearby natural parks include the fabulous Los Alcornocales and Grazalema, one of the most beautiful tracks of mountain anywhere in Europe. Jagged peaks, gorges, chasms, faults and caves, underground rivers and deep canyons are interspersed, here and there, by some of the prettiest villages in Spain, Grazalema, Zahara, Setenil and the other famous “pueblos blancos”.
Córdoba and Granada are both 3 hours drive from Cortijo El Peso.
When to visit
The weather is getting warmer, into the ’70s, but the nights are cool. The wildflowers are blooming everywhere: April and May. Easter, ‘Semana Santa’ processions are held in all big Spanish towns, with Seville’s being the most famous. The Feria de Abril is also a huge festival in Seville.
Toro de Cuerda (Easter Sunday) – the most popular event in the village calendar. Two fighting bulls, one in the morning and the second in the afternoon, are let loose in the narrow village streets and those foolish enough can run with the bull. The village is heaving with visitors and cars are removed to the outskirts of the village. Drinking and dancing continue until the next day.
The Feria de Mayo is a feature of Andalucia, the May fair celebrates the Reconquest – Ronda has its own feria.
Things are really hotting up. Temperatures into the 80s. Romeria for Our Lady of Cabeza in Ronda, in June. The Feria de Ronda takes place in late August, with a flamenco festival on the last Saturday.
Romeria (weekend closest to 21 June) – a quieter more relaxed celebration out in the countryside where villagers take picnics and listen to more traditional music. There is also some flamenco dancing and exhibition horse riding.
Feria (first weekend in August) – A three-day fiesta where the fair comes to Gaucín and is set up on the edge of town. A Feria queen is chosen to open the fair and hand out prizes to winners in various sporting contests. Several bands, including traditional music, play throughout the three days. Kiosks sell sweets, hot snacks and small toys.
Santo Niño (last weekend in August or first in September)- principally a religious festival to celebrate the village legend of the child Jesus who appeared to St. Juan de Dios in the countryside outside the village. A church has been built on the spot and the fiesta begins with a procession to the church to celebrate mass. At midnight, statues of Jesus and other religious figures are carried by men of the village through the streets from the church to the castle, while the women chant and sing hymns.
The days can still be warm to very warm, with the nights cooling down. Ronda has the Pedro Romero Festival with bullfights in ‘Goyaesque’ attire.
International Folk Festival in September as well.
The weather is mixed. It can be mild and sunny one day, cool and wet the next. The higher up you go, the colder it gets. But it’s peaceful and you can really wind down.
Fiesta de la Virgen de la Paz in Ronda on January 24.
Carnaval (Feb/Mar) – the whole village dresses up in costume and dances into the early hours to live music in the village square.