Andalucia, Costa del Sol - steeped in history
Ronda is a truly beautiful town with lots to see, and worth at least a couple of trips. It’s a delightful journey. The prime sights in Ronda are the oldest bull-ring in Spain, which has a fascinating museum, the view of the gorge from the old bridge, and the view of the mountains from the terrace gardens, plus lots of beautiful old buildings and a good selection of museums and tapas bars.
Jerez de la Frontera and Cadiz are approx. 1½-2 hours’ drive, and worth a day trip, including a fascinating visit to one of Jerez’ famous sherry Bodegas, such as Harveys, or Gonzalez Byass (tours in various languages, plus tastings).
Tarifa, on the very southwestern tip of Spain, is approx. 1 ¼ hours drive. It is one of the top three windsurfing locations in the world as well as a popular spot for birdwatching. On a clear day you can see Tangier in north Africa. The town itself is steeped in history, with the old town walls much in evidence, narrow lanes, old churches, an ancient castle, originally the 10th century Moorish Alcázar, and a museum with artefacts from Neolithic, Roman and Moorish periods.
North of Tarifa, on the Costa de la Luz, is Baleo Claudia, the remains of a major Roman town, established in the 2nd century BC. Excavations began in 1917; a tour of the site takes in temples, basilica, market, main street, baths, theatre and most famously, a fish factory which produced garum, the Romans favourite relish, made from tuna or mackerel,which was shipped all over the world.
The nearby beach at Bolonia is white sand with sand dunes and excellent beach bars.
Further afield, Seville, Córdoba and Granada are two to three hours’ drive. You should consider an overnight stay as there is a lot to see and do in all of these great cities. Granada can also be reached by train from Estación Gaucín, saving finding parking in Granada.
Marbella has a highly acclaimed old town, with beautiful buildings, narrow streets, museums (including a bonsai museum!) and is well-worth a half-day excursion.
Gibraltar, although not particularly beautiful, there’s no denying the historical importance of the Rock. There are some interesting sightseeing opportunities and tours, including the cable car to the top of the rock (Passport required)