Roman baths near Manilva

Set in the tranquil and rural landscape between Manilva and Casares, Hedionda Roman baths are the remains of the ancient bathhouse which dates back to the 1st century BC. The structure is still available for use today, free of charge. The remains of the underground bathing facility consist of two chambers –  a smaller outer chamber and a much bigger inner chamber.

Roman baths are not very popular among tourists and most of the time the place looks almost abandoned. However, during hot summer weekends you will find there lots of locals taking advantage not only of the healing properties of the water, but also of the curative mud scrapped from the popular mud wall.



Follow in Julius Caesar’s footsteps

According to the ancient sources, the sulphurous spring was very popular among both Romans and Arabs. One of the old stories holds that Julius Caesar himself took to the waters on a regular basis to cure himself of a skin infection when he was a governor of southern Spain.

Walking routes

Canuto de la Utrera and Charco del Infierno/Diablo are two spectacular walking routes available for tourists near the Roman baths. The first one takes you into a valley-gorge with beautiful limestone rock formations on both sides. Because of the unusual rock forms, Sierra de Utrera is called by some people ‘small Torcal de Antequera’. The second route leads along the Rio de Manilva, and a couple of times across the river, to a charming swimming pond with a waterfall. It is possible to connect both routes into one 8 km long circular route.

Charco del Diablo near Manilva

Charco del Diablo near Manilva

Getting there

From the coastal A7, take a turn inland at the Lidl roundabout in Sabinillas. Follow the Camino los Baños road. Just before the road passes under the highway bridge, turn slightly to the right on a dirt track. After 200 meters, you will find a small parking space on the left, opposite the old Los Alamos restaurant. Continue on foot until you reach Baños De La Hedionda. The Roman Baths are also easily accessible from the A7 highway.

Rio Chillar in Nerja

Must-do in summer

Rio Chillar, the chill-out river, is located just five minutes’ drive from the Nerja centre, at the Sierras de Tejeda mountains. It’s a very popular spot for Spanish families. Both kids and grown-ups can enjoy fantastic walk full of splashing in the crystal clear water.


Step by step

The route down the river starts very inconspicuously as initially the water barely covers your feet. On the sides of the river bed you will see some bushes, rocks and trees. Nothing spectacular. After 20 minutes of walking, the landscape gradually changes. The river enters a narrow gorge and the water starts to get slightly deeper, but don’t worry, in most places it should never reach your knees. The high cliffs provide plenty of shade, making the walk really enjoyable for everyone.

And that’s when the real fun starts! Jumping and splashing around, dipping in one of the several natural pools formed by the river, sitting underneath a waterfall – all these irresistible attractions can be found in Rio Chillar. Your kids will burn all their energy in no time. It takes around 3-4 hours to complete the whole route. However, you don’t need to reach the very end of the river to experience all the joys of Rio Chillar. Enjoy!

Rio Chillar2_400x630

Tips for the trip

A good pair of shoes is recommended as there will be lots of slippery pebbles and rocks under your feet most of the time. If you haven’t got anything suitable, visit a good sports shop with a wide range of light water shoes. During summer weekends Rio Chillar can get a bit busy, try to avoid that time. However, arriving in the morning can be a a good way of avoiding the crowds. Never visit Rio Chillar right after intense rainfall or when there is a forecast of rain as heavy rain causes water levels to rise very quickly.


Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas village view

View of Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de Bodegas is a small Spanish ‘cave town’ located in the heart of Andalucia, near Ronda. This sleepy pueblo blanco is located deep in a river gorge and it’s famous for unique houses which are built into the rock.

It’s worth to walk all around this white village, up and down, as different viewing points allow to see the curious dwellings and rock formations in a different way and then to take most incredible photos.

This small forgotten village is also famous for chorizo sausage. There are a couple of nice restaurants and bars in the village and the inhabitants are very friendly and helpful.

We do not recommend driving to the very centre of Setenil de Bodegas as the streets might be too narrow for your car to turn, and reversing on those narrow steep streets often turns into a real nightmare! Setenil is recommended for half day trip – well-worth a detour when visiting Ronda.

Setenil de las Bodegas dwellings

Setenil de las Bodegas dwellings

El Torcal


El Torcal Park is a nature reserve located near Antequera in Andalusia, only 40 mins drive from the Malaga airport. It’s famous for amazing and strangely-looking Jurassic age limestone formations. The highest point of the nature reserve is Camorro de las Siete Mesas at 1336 metres.

Getting to El Torcal

Whether you choose to drive from the direction of Antequera or Villanueva de la Concepcion, the road to El Torcal is full of amazing atmospheric scenary. The El Torcal Centre consists of a medium size parking and visitor’s building.

Like walking on the moon

Wandering around the geologically stunning El Torcal is like being on another planet. Under the sea until 150 million years ago, this land was suddenly pushed upwards around that time. Over millions of years she slow but continuous natural forces of wind, snow and rain have shaped the limestone into weird structures. The limestone rocks take most outwardly shapes connecting with each other at funniest angles. Some look like a stack of plates, others remind of a hat, a monster or a human face – depending on the imagination of the person who looks at them.


El Torcal de Antequera offers a couple nice walking routes – a green one of 1,5 km, a yellow one of 2,5 km and a red one of 4,5 km – both for the beginners and experts looking for a challenge. Even if you pick the shortest green route you will be able to see plenty of mind-boggling rocks and some wildlife as well, e.g. mountain goats climbing the rocks, foxes hiding in the bushes or vultures circling over the rocks. Additionally, there are two viewing points offering some great panoramic vistas near the car parking.


Pick the right time

A good tip for photographers is to come very early in the morning when the light is softer and creates nice shadows. There is also a little bit of fog in the early hours of the days which adds to the spiritual side of Torcal de Antequera.

Another tip is to come in spring or autumn, when the sight is less crowdy, and you can enjoy the nature even more. El Torcal can be very hot in July and August. Try to avoid wet season when El Torcal is full of mud and slippery rocks, and even good shoes will not make the walk enjoyable.



City with ancient heritage

Antequera is a fairly inconspicuous city north of Malaga. Because of it’s central position in Andalucia, between Seville, Granada, and Cordoba, it is often called “the heart of Andalucía”. Antequera boasts many interesting places to see, however, it remains unspoilt by massive tourism.

The fortress of Alcazaba stands out as a dominating feature over Antequera. You can visit Alcazaba’s walls and the main tower and enjoy spectacular panoramic views from the top. It is also worth to visit the churches in the centre: Iglesia de San Sebastian and Iglesia de Sanitago.

Those interested in the prehistory should visit the Dolmen of Menga at the city outskirts. It’s an access corridor and an oval-shaped burial chamber from 3000 BC. The tomb most probably served as a grave for the ruling families. Hundreds of people were buried there. If you stand just inside the entrance to this ancient site, you will clearly see Pena de los Enamorados (The Lovers Rock) also known as Montana del Indio (Indian Mountain), because the 880 metre mountain looks like a head of a sleeping Indian.

Another interesting megalithic construction located just outside the city is Dolmen del Romeral. Lastly, there is a megalithic sepulchre of Tholos de El Romeral located 3 kms north of the city. Access to all three archaeological sites is free.

Nature and adventure around Antequera

We also recommend exploring the Antequera region. Whether you are interested in wild animals, climbing, canyoning or hiking, you will surely find something for your liking near Antequera.

Central Andalucia, including the Antequera region, is a real paradise for climbers. The small towns of Villanueva del Rosario, El Chorro, Archidona as well as small villages of Valle de Adaliajis or Pinares de San Anton are very popular climbing destinations. Ten kms south of Antequera there is a Wolf Park (Lobo Park) for those who would like to learn more a about wolves and observe wolves  in an environment that is very close to real nature.

El Torcal Natural Park, located just a couple of kilometers south of Antequera, is a definite must-see. It is famous for weird and bizarre rock formations which are wonderful to look at. Each of these intriguing rocks resembles something different and has some affectionate name, e.g. camel or canary.


Bird lovers or hikers should not miss Fuente de Piedra lagoon. This beautiful park is located 20 kms north-west of Antequera. It boasts second largest colony of flamingos in Europe.

Iznajar, located around 60 kms north of Antequera, is another interesting place to visit. It’s a classic white village perched on a hill, beside the largest lake in Andalucia. Iznajar boasts spectacular views of the extensive lake and olive hills that surround it from all sides.  The views from Iznajar castle stretch as far as the snow-capped Sierra Nevada.


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Located in the picturesque foothills of the Sierra de Ronda, Gaucin is a must see for anyone interested in “white villages.” It’s located not far away from another whitewashed village, Casares, so it might be a good idea to visit both on the same day.

Gaucin’s top attraction is the Moorish Castillo del Aguila, perched right above the village. It sits 626 metres above sea level, so spectacular views of Gibraltar and the Moroccan mountains are guaranteed on a clear day.

Gaucin tends to be very quiet all year round, as not many tourists remember about this beautiful place.  Artists, birdwatchers and hikers visit Gaucin most often. There are hundreds of kilometres of pathways, some of them signposted some of them wild, that lead through varied magical landscape.

If you are looking for a remote romantic getaway, want to esacpe the hustle and bustle of the busy city life, or simply get closer to nature, make sure to visit Gaucin.

Gaucin – nearest destinations: Ronda, Casares, Jimena de la Frontera.


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Magical, enchanting and unique. One of the most idyllic places in Andalucia, Casares is a small forgotten village located between Estepona and Manilva. Casares’ iconic centuries-old white-washed houses clinging to a steep hillside draw thousands of photographers every year.

Whether you approach Casares from the East or from the West, the views of the village are equally sensational. Once you arrive at the spot, one of the many winding streets will get you to the centre of Casares. Find a sign that shows the way uphill to the castle. Words can’t describe the panorama that streteches from the 11-th cenutry fortress. On a sunny day, you will be able to see a vast stretch of Costa del Sol as well as the distant Rock of Gibraltar and Africa.

Since Casares lies at the border of the incredible Sierra Crestelina, it is a great place for hikers. There are more than 200 km of versatile footpaths surrounding and crossing the village. This historic rural place is also recommended by Best Andalucia to families for a one day trip just to escape the busy Costa del Sol and get close to nature, or for a romantic weekend for couples. Apart from the ruins of the castle, a church and a museum, Casares doesn’t hold other attractions. However, there are some good local restaurants and ventas.

Casares – nearest destinations: Estepona, Ronda

Casares Holidays in Spain

Find all the practical information, helpful tips and opinions on holidays in Casares, Spain. Check out Casares’s top attractions, recommended places to stay and best things to do. Read about the best restaurants in Casares, Andalucia. Plan and book your vacations today with Best Andalucia guide. Casares can be a perfect place for  romantic retreat holidays.

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IMG_4459_400c630Located in stunning scenery between Estepona and San Pedro Alcantara, tranquil Benahavis is a very popular rural retreat of the super rich. British actor Hugh Grant, rock star Rod Stewart as well as the Russian president Vladimir Putin all own summer homes in Benahavis. The town is nestled in the foothills of the rugged Serrania de Ronda Mountains offering breath-taking views of the Mediterranean and the Guadalmina River. Benahavis is surrounded by high, nearly vertical cliffs, amazing gorges and wild rivers.

Benahavis is a famous golfing hotspot as well.  It is home to nine amazing golf courses, which suit all levels of players, including La Zagaleta, Los Flamingos, Atalaya or the famous La Quinta, all with more than 18 holes. 320 sunny days a year allow golfers to play here all year round.

This little town is also famous for a wide selection of first-class restaurants and bars. In most places typically Spanish cuisine is served, however the enthusiasts of Indian curries, Italian food or French cuisine will also find some fine restaurants there. Benahavis is probably the best place to eat out on Costa del Sol.

Benahavis is also one of the best destinations for canyoning, travelling in canyons using variety of techniques such as walking, climbing, swimming and even jumping. GOPR2203_630x400Spectacular gorges and canyons, stunning water falls in Guadalmina River and Rio Verde provide excellent conditions for amazing canyoning adventure in Spanish Andalusia. Organized tours in safe environment and for different levels are available almost all year round. Summer is the best time for canyoning is Benahavis.

Benahavis is conveniently located seven kilometres inland of main coast road, only 10 minutes drive from the famous Marbella and Puerto Banus.

Benahavis – nearest destinations: Estepona, San Pedro Alcantara, Marbella


Aracena is a small untouristy town located in the hills of the western Sierra Morena in the Huelva province. It lies north of the road between Huelva and Seville, not far from the Portuguese border.

The number one attraction of Arcaena is the famous Gruta de la Maravillas (Cave of Wonders). It’s a stunningly beautiful network of caves interconnected by walking trails. The guided tour allows you to explore only ten percent of all the chambers, but that’s enough to leave you awestruck. As the caves can only be visited by a limited number of people at one time (usually it’s 40), we recommend that you prepare yourself for possible delays once you buy the ticket. Another popular tourist spots in Aracena are the ruins of a castle overlooking the town and a beautiful Gothic church Iglesia de la Asuncion.

Walking path along the mines

Walking path along the mines

Aracena is one of the best destinations for hiking holidays. This green kingdom of Holm Oak and Cork Oak trees in Sierra Aracena is rarely visited by tourists. However, it is an excellent region for hikers, as it boasts more than 600 km of various path and trails.The well-marked local trails will lead you through beautiful scenary of hills, cork and oak forests, chestnut groves, citrus plantations and small white towns.

Rio Tinto Mines

Peña del Hierro in the Rio Tinto Mines

Peña del Hierro in the Rio Tinto Mines

Rio Tinto Mines is another fascinating tourist attraction near Aracena. Minas de Rio Tinto village is located only 35 kms south of Aracena. Intensively red, surrealistic landscape of Rio Tinto mines, one of the oldest mines in the world, is an incredible view to behold. The feeling is that you have been suddenly teleported from Earth to Mars!

To see all the attractions of the mines might take at least half a day. Great panoramic views of the mines are available through two miradors on the A-461 as well as through viewing points in Alto de la Mesa. There is an interesting Mining Museum in the Minas the Rio Tinto village. It features the displays of artefacts generated by 5000 years of mining activities. A 22-km long recreational tour along the Rio Tinto river in the 19th-century trains is also available for tourists there.  If you follow the signs and drive a little bit deeper into the mines, heading north past the village of Nerva, you will reach the Pena de Hierro, 85-metre deep openpit mine which is surrounded by some nice walking paths.

Aracena- nearest destinations: Seville, Huelva.

Nearest airports: Jerez de la Frontera, Seville.

Zahara de la Sierra

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A fairy-tale small white village, Zahara de la Sierra extends a warm welcome to all those seeking some quiet time in absolutely spectacular settings. Zahara is perched on top of a steep rocky hill overlooking the turquoise waters of the Zahara-el Gastor reservoir. A crumbling old castle, once a major Moorish outpost, towers over the tranquil pueblo blanco. Among the fortress ruins you will find Zahara’s most famous attraction, the lookout tower, the Torre del Homenaje.

Zahara lies in the heart of Sierra de Grazalema Naural Park, one of Spain’s most famous and most visited natural parks, renowned for great hiking trails and varied wildlife.

Zahara de la Sierra is one of the best Andalucian destinations for romantic holidays. Also recommended for anyone interested in hiking, exploring nature, or to kayaking enthusiasts!

Zahara de la Sierra – nearest destinations: Ronda, Casares

Zahara de la Sierra Holidays in Spain

Check helpful tips and different opinions on holidays in Zahara de la Sierra, Spain. Check out Zahara de la Sierra’s top attractions, recommended places to stay and best things to do. Read about the best restaurants in Zahara de la Sierra, Andalucia. Plan and book your vacations now.  Zahara de la Sierra is a top spot for short romantic holidays.

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