La Fructuosa

Gaucin, Ronda & the White Villages, Spain Book from

Reviewed by Nikki Tinto
Cheap & chic: a Spanish-owned hotel with great views in the heart of a pretty hilltop village
When owners Jesus Balsa and Luis Ruiberriz first visited the tiny hilltop village of Gaucin 20 years ago, it was love at first sight. And upon hearing that this abandoned 19th-century inn was up for sale, it wasn’t long before they upped sticks and set about restoring the building to its former glory. Today paintings and sculptures by local artists adorn the walls, and the original chestnut beams and wine press add an authentic sense of history. Gaucin residents know that La Fructuosa’s restaurant, in the old wine cellar, is the place to go for a convivial atmosphere and hearty Spanish food.

Upstairs, 5 cheerful and unique bedrooms make a restorative base for overnight guests, and the views of the distant coast are fabulous. By day, the area is ideal for relaxing, walking in the mountains and exploring Andalucia's iconic pueblos blancos (white hilltop towns).


  • Its location perched in a pretty mountain village with views out to Gibraltar and beyond
  • Utterly Spanish and a window into traditional village life; the restaurant is a firm favourite with locals as well as weary travellers
  • Guests have access to a shared roof terrace with fabulous views to the coast, where you can happily while away the hours with a bottle of red
  • It's brilliant value for money
  • A laid back, friendly atmosphere


  • The restaurant is only open 2 nights a week (and may be closed in winter)
  • Staff are lovely and helpful but they’re only on site for part of the day, so it’s best suited to more independent travellers
  • There's no swimming pool or garden, but there is a large roof terrace
  • WiFi can be patchy - but that is not the reason you come to La Fructuosa

Best time to go

Come in spring and autumn for walking, April/May for wild flowers and migratory birds. July and August can be very hot and there is no swimming pool, although being high up in the mountains always ensures it is a few degrees cooler than on the coast.

Our top tips

Although Gaucin's chaotic maze of tiny cobbled streets and whitewashed houses can seem daunting at first, after 24 hours in the village you will be navigating them like a pro. Don’t miss a sunset walk up to the castillo (castle), with a warm, ‘Hola’ to every friendly villager who passes by.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 5 guest rooms
  • Breakfast (+ restaurant 2 nights per week)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Alamagra


Jesus and Luis have decorated this old house in an artistic traditional Spanish style, using bright warm colours to create 5 light, spacious and cheerful rooms. Each is unique though stunning views are guaranteed in all.

The tiny top-floor Soberao room was our favourite, despite being the only option without a Jacuzzi tub. Here, an antique clock-face, originally displayed on the village’s central tower, hangs proudly above the bed. Architecture buffs will like the Doña Concha room, where guests can sleep beneath the house’s original roof (an additional storey was later added to much of the property) while outdoorsy types are likely to gravitate towards the sunshine yellow Pension room, where French doors and a Juliet balcony overlook open panoramas.

Well-stocked and reasonably priced minibars are handy for evening tipples, plus there are TVs, WiFi, fans to keep you cool in summer and heating for winter.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Terrace
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Breakfast is an array of fresh local pastries, Andalusian salami and Spanish cheeses. Be sure to say yes when offered the fresh juice is offered, it was some of the best we’ve tasted. In summer, the jasmine and honeysuckle laden terrace has magical views of the surrounding mountains and the Mediterranean coast in the distance. In cooler months, guests eat in the converted wine cellar dining room with its intimate alcoves, vases filled with arum lilies and walls adorned with local art.

Open on Friday and Saturday night (in summer), the La Fructuosa restaurant enjoys a good reputation for no-nonsense Spanish and Mediterranean food. Try the presa iberica - a tasty cut of meat from forest pigs who feed on wild acorns.

When the restaurant is closed, Gaucin has a number of other great small bars and restaurants. El Zorro was our favourite for local specialities such as fried aubergine drizzled with wild honey and garlic marinated aceitunas (green olives).

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby


  • Explore Gaucin village and get a taste of local life
  • Dine on the restaurant terrace overlooking the mountains
  • Go walking in the surrounding mountains
  • Play golf on one of the region's many golf courses
  • Visit the beautiful windswept, but unspoilt beach at Bolonia (60-90 minutes away)
  • Drive to Ronda with its spectacular gorge, bridge and bullring (45 minutes) or Jimena de la Frontera (25 minutes)
  • Take the fast boat from Tarifa to Tangiers for a day trip (45 minutes each way) or stay a couple of days in the laid back village of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Tennis
  • Traditional cultures


This is a typically Spanish hotel where children are welcomed with open arms. Under 3s stay for free.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Pension (a Twin with Jacuzzi) has a double sofabed and space for a baby cots; Almagra (a Double with Jacuzzi) has a single sofabed plus space for a baby cot. All rooms can hold a baby cot.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The hotel restaurant is child-friendly, although it's only open 2 nights per week.

Kids Activities on site:

  • TV
  • WiFi

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Walking in the Andalusian hills
  • Horse riding
  • Beaches (around an hour's drive)


  • Airport: 45 minutes (Gibraltar), 1.5 hours (Malaga)
  • Hospital: 45 minutes
Kid Friendly:

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