From whitewashed mountain villages to flamenco dancing, from world-famous art in Picasso’s birthplace Malaga to the scent of orange blossom in Seville, Andalucia is a region that never fails to enchant.
Alluring Andalucia; the stunning region in Southern Spain steeped in history and full of character. It may well best be known for its rural landscapes and glittering Mediterranean beaches – not to mention the infamous hub that is Marbella but look a little deeper in to this wonderfully cultural region and there are some really delightful hidden gems to explore.
Most visitors flock to Seville, Granada and Marbella for traditional tapas, flamenco and controversial bullfighting – but there is so much to discover beyond these magnificent cities, allow us to suggest three wonderful locations within Andalucia that would make an ideal intimate get-away with any one of our stunning ladies.
Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Sur, an isolated landscape filled with olive trees halfway between Malaga and Seville, this beautiful Spanish pueblo makes for a wonderful romantic weekend break. This beautiful Spanish town is often overlooked by most tourists; however if you are looking for a true Spanish experience, rich in history and culture combined with beauty and charm, this is one hidden gem not to be missed.
Osuna is a truly charming traditional white pueblo with a surprisingly rich architectural and cultural heritage. There are row upon row of white stucco homes, streets dotted with orange trees and Renaissance and Baroque churches galore. The city has kept its old quarter to perfection and Unesco declared Calle San Pedro was the second most beautiful street in Europe with the town being declared a Historic-Artistic site.
It is true, the first impression of Osuna is of the architecture. The magnificent 16th Century Baroque buildings are built from a warm, mellow sandstone quarried nearby. There are at least three palaces; a church and various municipal buildings, all constructed of the same stone. Overlooking the town is the most prominent of those, the University of Osuna founded in the 16th Century.
This pueblo, thanks in part to the television series Game of Thrones, is now famous worldwide due to some of the most dramatic scenes from the show being filmed within the town and the local bullring, the Plaza de Toroz. Osuna is very proud of its involvement in the series and therefore the local museum now dedicates two rooms to a collection of Game of Thrones materials. Visitors are able to see replica weapons, helmets and shields, as well as costumes, statues and artwork. There is also a significant collection of photos from filming and original autographs from the actors and actresses featured in the series.
You may think that a small town off the beaten track may be lacking in wonderful dining opportunities but this is Spain after all: you are never far away from a wonderful tapas restaurant, especially near Seville – the self-proclaimed inventors of Tapas. For those of you that have never experienced these small appetisers, it is not so much a type of food but a way of eating and there are two particularly fantastic options to explore in Osuna:
- Taberna Jicales. This terrific taverna offers conventional Andalucian cuisine accompanied by modern touches in a wonderfully traditional setting. The portions are on the larger side so one or two plates per person is likely to suffice; their potato salad with Galician octopus is particularly delicious when combined with a bottle of Rioja Gran Reserva.
- Casa Curro. A wonderfully quaint local restaurant frequented by the cast of Game of Thrones during their time in the town; they even created a special menu to honour the protagonists, including a Khaleesi spinach, Arya salad, a Jon Snow chicken curry, and even a venison stew called Lannister.
The most romantic and idyllic setting to relax after exploring the town is without doubt the Hotel Palacio Marques de la Gomera. It is situated on the second most beautiful street in Europe – so as you can imagine, it is pretty special. The rooms are traditional, with antique furnishings while the large central courtyard features a beautiful octagonal fountain with a lion centre-piece, surrounded with marble columns – altogether stunning. The restaurant offers a delicious variety of inspiring dishes – the perfect hidden gem for an unforgettable weekend encounter with one of our gorgeous ladies.
One of the oldest, most beautiful towns in Andalucía and breathing tranquillity is Ronda; perched high on a plateau above the El Tajo Gorge. It was established in the 9th Century BC and the city dates back to Islamic times when it was lined with eminent mosques and wealthy palaces. The city has a colourful past in Spanish folklore being also a favourite spot of many romantics in the late 19th Century. Several well renowned artists and writers have mentioned visiting Ronda, including Alexandre Dumas, Ernest Hemingway, Rainer Maria Rilke and Orson Welles. Why not discover this hidden gem for yourself and see what inspiration this stunning location will bring; who better than to experience it with than one of our stunning ladies.
Probably the most obvious but equally as magical things to do here is to take a walk to admire El Tajo Gorge; featuring the most enchanting row of white washed houses teetering on the edge. This triple arched bridge is the famous landmark of Ronda which also separates the old Moorish town from the new, with some captivating views over the countryside. If you really want to experience the sense of scale, take a walk from the Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora square and follow the trail that begins from the viewpoint opposite El Campillo restaurant (a great little place to stop for lunch). This trail will lead you to the Guadalevin River banks and waterfall which is a lovely romantic spot and not discovered by the majority of tourists.
If stunning views are your thing, then you could also consider the view at sunset from Balcon del Cono; located in the Alameda del Tajo gardens, take a look through the row of trees and find the iron balcony that hangs over the cliff – maybe not a place to go if you don’t like heights – it is a 120 metre drop – but would make for an exquisite and intimate experience.
As you can perhaps now visualise, Ronda is all about the views – this is no different when it comes to choosing a great place to sample the local cuisine. All the restaurants or tapas bars have a traditional menu (this region is famous for Iberica ham with fresh tomato) but they all also boast amazing views so any of them would make for a lovely setting with your stunning companion.
- El Campillo is one of the loveliest lunch/breakfast spots, featuring a large terrace, stunning flowers and a balcony view of the countryside. At some point during the day they also host live acoustic music.
- Meson el Sacristan hidden down a cobbled square provides an intimate experience, with an attractive terrace, attentive waiters and delicious food this really is a hidden gem.
There are several options when you are booking somewhere to stay in Ronda but perhaps the most suitable choice for your weekend getaway with one of our lovely ladies would be The Catalonia Ronda hotel. With its infinity pool, hot tub and rooftop terrace overlooking the oldest bullring in Spain, the views really are second to none and the overall experience here is unrivalled. The restaurant has a stunning menu and the suites are full of character with a simply sublime vista.
A huge part of this tiny town’s charm is that fact that it goes mostly unnoticed, however this true hidden gem is perfect for spending a few romantic days with one of our wonderful companions in a whitewashed, medieval-era town filled with atmospheric, narrow lane ways, friendly bars and authentic Spanish restaurants perched on the crest of the Sierra del Hacho.
Overlooking the valley of the Rio Genal it has a splendid vantage point and the views are simply sensational; the Mediterranean Sea to the Rock of Gibraltar and across to the Rif Mountains of Morocco beyond. All around are the mountains of the Serranía de Ronda which provide brilliant brush strokes of colour: red poppies, yellow mimosa and wild orchids are tempered by the cool green of olive groves and an occasional splash of pale pink almond blossom. You will also find stunning natural areas, such as the cork forests and even fossils within the stonework of the streets.
Due to its key strategic position it was once a major Roman settlement and its magnificent castle, now mostly ruins, Castillo del Aguila (Eagles Castle) dates from this era, although the fortress remnants seen today were built by the Arabs in the 13th Century. Though it’s a steep climb, you’ll be rewarded with the best 360-degrees views in the region.
Despite its small population, Gaucín does not disappoint with the selection of bars and restaurants where you and your companion will find a warm welcome.
- Platero & Co enjoy your meal on the private outdoor terrace with spectacular views of the Guadiaro Valley and Sierra de Grazalema. The menu here changes weekly and is based on international cuisine with a touch of Andalusia. It offers a wide variety of seasonal produce from the mountains, like its goat cheeses, wild mushrooms, cured meats, organic wines, cherries and chestnuts. Normally with eight starters, six main courses and five homemade desserts.
- Textures by MR – This beautifully recently renovated restaurant in the grounds of La Fructosa Hotel is run by Michelin starred Chef Michael Riemenschneider and as you would expect, has opened to rave reviews. One of the most popular options for diners is the “Menu Surprise”; allow him to propose a personalised menu for you featuring the best produce of the day, from the neighbouring farms and markets within the region.
After enjoying a delicious meal and hand selected Riojas in the restaurant, it would perhaps be the most obvious option to stay a while longer; enjoy the incredible atmosphere (and company) and book into the Hotel. La Fructosa offers several rooms, all individual and charming and if you request Las Aves (The Birds) we can guarantee the views will be stunning all year round!
This hidden gem, Gaucín, really does make the ideal romantic getaway with one of our Alluring ladies.
All bookings to Malaga, Seville or anywhere else in Southern Spain must be a minimum of 24 hours in duration and we would be delighted to assist you in arranging your meeting via the online booking form.