Immerse yourself in the real Andalusia in the divine mountain pueblo blanco of Cartajima, a 15-minute drive from Ronda. Di has created Los Castaños, an airy retreat full of welcoming spaces and quirky corners. Escape the sun in the cool entrance and lounge, or snuggle down with a book in front of the fire in winter. Up top, take evening drinks on the roof terrace with its tiled fountain (paddling permitted!) and enjoy stunning views over the mountainous countryside. Guests spend hours watching stars, observing the villagers below as they come and go, taking the sun or reading in the shade.
Cartajima, population 100, is that rarest of Andalusian finds: an untouched white village, with traditional ways of living. Everyone has a bit of land, and olives, avocados, peppers and tomatoes, lemons, plums, peaches, figs – not to mention chestnuts (castaños) – all come straight from the mountain in season. There is not much to do here, but that is maybe the whole point. Should the need arise, Cartajima is located almost in the centre of Andalusia, a perfect base to experience the romantic cities of southern Spain: Sevilla, Granada, Jerez, Málaga, Cordoba, and Cadiz.
The spacious and comfortable guest rooms come in different shapes, but all have terracotta-tiled floors, colourful rugs and throws, cast-iron mirror frames from Morocco, comfy rocking chairs, excellent lighting and neat en-suite bathrooms with walk-in showers (one also with tub). There are balconies, too, with little Moorish tables and chairs and heavenly views over the village and valley. Enjoy utmost peace, not even a TV to disturb you.
The dining area opens onto a small whitewashed courtyard, where you can eat in summer, with pots of colour all over the place and the church bell tower gazing down on you. In the morning start with a breakfast feast: you get homemade bread, freshly-squeezed orange juice, exciting jams, good strong coffee and local cheeses, plus eggs on request.
After a day of sight seeing, hiking, bird watching – or doing absolutely nothing, return to the hotel for a delicious, award-winning, candle-lit dinner in a romantic setting. Di only cooks for her guests so let her know in the morning – it’s proper slow food, whatever’s in season, much from the fields and farms around you.
The airy, open plan ground floor with its open fire has a convivial atmosphere which results in a salon type atmosphere on most busy evenings. Alternatively, relax with a good book from the library, watch some TV or choose between a good selection of films, games and music. Or find your inner artist – painting materials provided! There is fabulous hiking and bird watching to do – maps and picnics provided. Los Castaños has no pool, but in season there is a public pool in the village.
Your hosts: Di & John
✅ free Wi-Fi • 6 rooms (22-25m2) ✅ free parking possible nearby • Ronda: 14km • Malága Airport: 104km • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • laundry service • adults only (children aged 12 and older welcome) • open all year