The province of Malaga contains some of Andalucia’s best scenery as well as some of its worst. 'Best' are those white-washed, hilltop villages, bristling with ruined Moorish castles and fortifications and set against a backdrop of dark, olive- or pine-clad mountains. Ronda is the largest and most famous of these pueblos blancos, with its historic bullring, magnificent views over the deep gorge gashing through the town. And there are dozens more beautiful villages within the Arcos – Ronda – Jimena triangle, each with its own highlights.
Commanding some of the best views in the region is Gaucin. In the sierra expect great panoramic views and great horse riding and hiking. Not far away unspoilt Jimena de la Frontera makes a great base for nature lovers.
The stunning scenery - mountains, caves, lakes, gorges -makes a tour through this area a delight, with plenty of craft shops and tapas bars to break the journey. And its rich variety of natural colours, from orchids, poppies and sunflowers to almond blossom and silvery cork-oaks, make it a real eye-opener for the artistic traveller.
And don’t think you have to travel by car all the time: some of the rail journeys, particularly the ascent from Gibraltar to Ronda and the passage through the El Chorro gorge, are among Europe’s most breathtaking rides.