Gaucin is breathtakingly beautiful mountain village boasting stunning views to Gibraltar and the Rif mountains of North Africa. The commanding backdrop of the Serranía de Ronda and the stunning surrounding scenery, are a nature lovers paradise all-year round.
Until a few years ago, the villages residents were used to no running water and living with one light bulb, but things have changed slightly since then and many of the homes have been tastefully refurbished, in keeping with the traditional style, but which boast every mod con you could imagine!
Gaucin has a population of just 2000 and is perched 626 metres above sea level. Reaching Gaucin is like climbing up the stairway to heaven; expect lots of twists and hairpin bends as you climb up into the mountains. The journey from Gibraltar airport
Like so much of Andalusia, Gaucin has had fascinating, if somewhat turbulent history. The name derives from the Arab word, guazan (strong rock); the village, perched as it is on the crest of the Sierra del Hacho, was a valuable strategic point and was also once a major Roman settlement.
The labyrinth of narrow, twisting streets and alleys in the centre of Gaucin were once a haven for brandy and tobacco smugglers, who travelled through the surrounding countryside.
The National Park of Los Alcornocales borders the village and is the largest and oldest forest in Europe. The forest is a remnant of the great forest that covered the whole of Spain before they started to cut it down in the 16th century.
Places to visit
The Castillo del Aguila (Eagles Castle) dates back to the Roman occupation and was later expanded by the Arabs into a fortress. The castle lives up to its name and its not unusual to seek eagles circling the towers here, while kestrels regularly nest in the walls of the mediaeval convent; a fantastic spot for bird-watchers.
The castle is open to visitors most days and occasional concerts are held in the grounds. Over at the convent, there are often flamenco performances and classical recitals take place in the church.
There is also the Church of San Sebastian, the Carmelite Convent and the 16th century Fuente (Fountan) de los canos, which is the focal point of the village.
Further afield, the historical town of Ronda is around 40 minutes drive away, the coastal area of Estepona and Duquesa, around 30 minutes drive and land of sherry Jerez is about a 2 hour drive away.
If you are an outdoor fiend, then you will love Gaucin; the stunning natural environment is perfect for so many forms of outdoor activity, including: walking, a hiking club meets at the petrol station every Saturday morning at 10am; plus there are organized village to village walks, bird-watching, Gaucin is an important area for the transit of migratory birds, tennis, mountain biking, horse riding, golf and relax, there is a sp located just outside of the village.
Gaucin offers an excellent restaurant selection; the village is small, yet the choice of restaurants is good and selective. From Spanish Menu del Dia to luxury dining.
As with much of Andalusia the summers are particularly hot and here there is no respite from sea breeze, the winters are mild, although can be a little more harsh than down by the coast, where there is protection from the mountains; in Gaucin you are on top of the mountain!