Sol y Monte is gorgeously situated in the middle of one of the most stunning areas of Andalucía, near the picturesque Moorish town of Alora. This typically ‘white’ Spanish town lies on two hillsides and grants you a spectacular view across wheat fields and various olive groves, as well as a selection of almond and citrus trees. On the highest hill lies the grand Moorish Castillo de Alora, which dates from Phoenician times, providing you with a breath-taking panoramic view over the valley of the Guadalhorce river. On Plaza Baja de la Despedía you’ll find the second oldest church of Spain; the Iglesia de la Encarnación. Additionally, every Monday the weekly market provides you with an exquisite selection of local fruits, vegetables and a variety of textiles.
Caminito del Rey
A mere twenty-minute drive away from Alora, situated in the El Chorro Lake District, you’ll find one of Spain’s biggest tourist attractions; ‘Caminito del Rey’ (The King’s Trail). This spectacular hike guides you through truly stunning gorges and crystal clear lakes, making it no coincidence that it’s been placed on the Unesco World Heritage List in 2016. These lakes are so clear that they’re perfectly suited for swimming, canoeing and the area even facilitates anglers, who can rent fishing rods on-site.
The ‘Parque Natural del Torcal’ consists of extraordinary limestone rock formations which have been chiselled into the most unusual shapes by millions of years of wind and rain. Incidentally, famous American actor John Wayne has been known to choose this particular site to shoot many of his movies. This park is an absolute paradise for everyone, but especially for biologists as its flora and fauna are incredibly extensive. It harbours several rare plants and flowers and is inhabited by foxes, weasels, vultures, hawks and even eagles.
Deep in the valley of the Guadalhorce River lies the area’s commercial centre, the busy trading town of Antequera. Of the staggering 36 churches you can admire here, you really should not miss the ‘Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen’. Several kilometres outside the city-centre you’ll find three impressive archaeological dolmens (pre-historic burial sites, which are over 4000 and sometimes even 5000 years old).
One of the most spectacularly situated cities of Spain is Ronda. This old city is divided in two parts by a huge clove of almost 100 meters deep. The rather picturesque road leads you right through the natural reserve of ‘Sierra de las Nieves’, which was named a ‘biosphere reserve’ by Unesco in 1995 because of its unique ‘pinsapos’ (conifers). Additionally, you’ll find Spain’s oldest still existing bull-fighting arena. Currently it hosts 4 annual bullfights in its ‘Plaza de Toros’ (all-in September), the rest of the year it’s opened as a museum which is well-worth a visit.
The vibrant port-city of Malaga is the second biggest city of Andalucía. Among other things, you can visit the Museo de Picasso, and the Malaga Alcazaba is equally spectacular. On a hillside right behind the Alcazaba lie the ruins of the ‘Castillo de Gibralfara’, an astonishing 14th century Moorish castle. From here you’ll have a stunning view over the old city, the harbour and Malaga’s bull-fighting arena.
THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE OF ANDALUCIA
Alora is the absolute perfect base to explore the many surrounding sites and discover the breath-taking nature that illustrate this magnificent part of Spain. This charming village is in the exact historic centre of the so-called ‘Golden Triangle of Andalucía’; Cordoba, Granada and Sevilla.
Surrounded by an almost desolate scenery lies Cordoba. This old city lies around the ‘Mezquiza’, a grand mosque, which is located on the banks of the Guadalquivir river. In the immediate surroundings of the Mezquiza lies the Jewish district, which is marked by its very own synagogue. A stroll through this neighbourhood throws you right back to the Middle Ages, as you’ll find narrow car-free street, secret nooks and crannies, artisanal workshops where silversmiths make handmade jewellery and charming little taverns with the most exquisite snacks. Furthermore, the ‘Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos’ palace is certainly worth a visit, as it has the most magnificent gardens. Near the garden’s fountains you can frequently enjoy a magical late-night water/light show.
Granada is just a lovely city with its many terraces and shops, but it is mainly famous for its ‘Alhambra’. This fortress was built by the Moors right on top of the hill in the middle of the city. This tourist attraction holds the most beautiful gardens and can be visited for free (although you do need a ticket to enter the palace itself). To avoid disappointment, we advise you to buy a ticket of admission in advance at www.alhambra-patronato.es.
Sevilla is Andalucía’s capital and has an incredibly rich history. Many of its most important landmarks lie right in the city-centre on the left bank of the ‘Rio Guadalquivir’. In this astonishing city you’ll find, among other things, the ‘Santa Maria de la Sede’ cathedral, ‘la Giraldo’, the royal palace of Alcázares, the ‘Museo de Bellas Artes’ and Sevilla’s bull-fighting arena. If you’re looking for authentic Spanish tapas bars, the ‘Macarena’ district is an absolute must-visit. Considering the numerous possibilities and lovely atmosphere this city has to offer, we strongly advise our guests to also book at least one overnight stay in Sevilla.