Explore the local area from your villa
Casares is one of the first villages you come as you drive in land on the famous ‘Ruta de Pueblos Blancos’ or white village route. A charming, picturesque village with a ruined Moorish castle at the top of village approx 13km inland from the Mediterranean coast, 1,400 ft above sea level it offers panoramic views down to the coast , Gibraltar and Morocco. The Sierra Crestellina Nature Reserve lies alongside the village a popular destination for bird watchers and walkers.
Gaucin is another 10 kms inland after a delightful drive across the valley separating the two villages. There is a nice walk up to the castle that sits on a rocky outcrop overlooking the village. The area offers many nature trails. The flora is diverse with thick forests of Coak Oak and Spanish Fir (Pinsapo). In the skies Griffon Vultures with a wing span of two meters, glide on thermals high above the countryside.
Down on the Mediterranean coast is the exclusive port and marina of Sotogrande, offering a range of upscale bars and restaurants. It’s a perfect spot to relax in the sun surrounded by yachts and motorboats, and also offers some upmarket shopping. Sotogrande is also renowned for its summer season of Horse polo and the local golf courses of Valderama and San Roque Golf Club. Sotogrande riding stables can be are nearby offering local hacks in the surrounding nature park, as well as lessons for children.
All the local beaches from Casares Costa to Sotogrande have their own chirinquitos, rustic bar/restaurants right on the beach, serving deliciously fresh ‘pescado frito’ and other seafood specialities.
Estepona is another popular, all year round holiday destination. There is still plenty of evidence of it’s fishing village past, picturesque squares, traditional buildings and unpretentious tapas bars.You can dine Al Fresco in one of the many local and international restaurants in the Marina.
Estepona has four museum's located in the town's bullring, charting this area's colourful past which include periods of domination by the Romans and the Moors.
Nature lovers can take a stroll through one of the town's many beautiful parks or head into the stunning Sierra Bermeja mountains, a nature reserve with breathtaking views.
Try to plan your visit around one of the big fiestas, and be included in the traditional andalucian culture of Flamenco music and dancing.The biggest fiesta is a week-long extravaganza held in July when the town parties around the clock with fun fairs, music and dancing, and a giant Paella for all revellers.
Marbella & Puerto Banus
Around three quarters of an hour’s drive east from Casares is the town of Marbella, with its famous ‘golden mile’ of hotels and beachfront villas. Tucked away a few blocks from the seafront, Marbella’s old town El Casco Antiguo is delightful, with traditional Andalucian architecture. A labyrinth of cobbled streets, beautiful squares,traditional buildings and churches, and a wide selection of excellent restaurants.
A few kilometres west is Puerto Banus, where you can find all the latest designer shops while admiring the large yachts and motor cruisers that are moored there all year round. And there is a very lively nightlife including alfresco bars, piano bars, and discos for the more adventurous.
Gibraltar is worth a visit too – todays modern world mixed with plenty of history, caves and rock with infamous apes.One of the worlds most famous landmarks, the Rock of Gibraltar rises to approximately 1400 feet. A museum at the top highlights the fascinating history of the region displaying military and architectual points of interest.
St Michael's Cave attracts visitors since Roman times and during World War 2 the cave was prepared as an emergency hospital, but never used.The spectacular Cathedral Cave is open to visitors and is also an unique auditorium for concerts, ballets and dramas.Taking the "The official Rock Tour" by taxi or coach guides, is the best way to visit the rock. The tour takes approximately 90 minutes.
Other places of interest are the Alameda Botanical Gardens, City Gates and Fortifications (first built by the moors).The Convent, official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar since 1728. The Convent is haunted by a Franciscan Nun dating foom 1531 who was caught trying to elope with her sweetheart.
For nature lovers, spectacular migration of hundreds of birds to Africa, the Rock apes, dolphins in the Bay of Gibraltar, Pilot and Sperm Whales in the Straits, and a wide array of plant life.
Costa de la Luz – The Atlantic Coast
Just over an hour’s drive to the west of Casares – past Gibraltar and Algeciras – are the golden beaches of Spain’s Atlantic coast, and a world famous destination for kite surfing and windsurfing.
The charming and historic town of Tarifa is at the southern most tip of continental Europe, and is a haven for surfers and holidaymakers, with excellent shopping and nightlife. There are numerous local beaches and teaching schools to brush up on your watersports.
The golden-sanded beaches run almost uninterrupted for 50kms, and offer some excellent day trips or overnight camping opportunities.
For more info visit www.andalucia.com