El Gastor

Mountain scenery

El Gastor is a quiet Andalusian mountain village with cobbled streets, whitewashed houses and just enough shops and tapas bars to suit the locals. It’s distanced itself from the bustle of the Costa del Sol, so rest and relaxation are easy to come by here. And so are the views, what with it being sandwiched between two natural parks with a lake on the side.

Pools and lakes

It’s an hour or so to the coast, but El Gastor does very well without sand and sea. For starters, it’s got its own pool, which comes with showers and a bar-restaurant. Then there’s nearby Lake Zahara, whose turquoise waters welcome swimmers and you can hire kayaks, canoes and paddle boats. Completing the line-up is La Playita, a mini-lake right in Grazalema Natural Park.

Daytrips to Ronda and beyond

The historic city of Ronda is about 30 minutes’ drive away. Houses cling precariously to the top of El Tajo, a spectacular gorge that divides the place in half. On one side there’s Moorish history in the Arab Baths and Mondragon Palace, on the other you’ve got Spain’s oldest bullring. Further afield, you could be in bustling, atmospheric Seville in an hour and a half.

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Where we go in El Gastor