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There are many activities that you may undertake during your stay at Hotel Restaurante Bandolero. While here, why not enjoy a bit of nature in the Upper Genal Valley or in one of the area’s three national parks, Sierra de Grazalema, Sierra de las Nieves or Los Alcornocales? One of the most popular outdoor activities in Júzcar (and not so difficult either) is the rappelling in the river’s cascades known as “La Sima del Diablo”, the Devil’s Chasm. Or why not partake in one of the group organised holidays, painting, birding or cycling? Below find information regarding group theme holidays and how to become join and enjoy.
Further down the page is a list of activities available in the Genal Valley and the Serrania de Ronda area. Contact details for some of these activities are also provided as links to third part websites where you will find details on the offered packages. You can also give us a ring and we will be happy to provide further information or to make advance arrangements on your behalf with a local service provider.
ABOUT BIRD WATCHING
Though just a short journey away from Málaga, the remote wooded mountains of the Serranía de Ronda are worlds apart from Spain’s bustling Costa del Sol.
Situated between the limestone crags of the Sierra de la Grazalema Natural Park and Sierra de las Nieves Biosphere Reserve, and just a short journey away from the lagoons and plains of the lowlands, allows you to experience the range and depth of this area’s extraordinary biodiversity.
This little-visited but astoundingly beautiful area hosts the densest raptor populations in Europe, at this time of the year (June) featuring Griffon Vultures, Bonelli’s and Golden Eagle, Hen Harrier, Peregrine Falcon and Eurasian Eagle Owl. In late winter, hardy mountain birds such as Black Wheatear, Rock Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush, Red-billed Chough and Alpine Accentor hang out amongst the imposing limestone crags. Spanish Ibex cling to seemingly sheer rock faces. Thousands of acres of Mediterranean scrub and Sweet Chestnut forests provide food and shelter for wintering Ring Ouzels, Rock Petronia and Black Redstarts as well as woodland birds like Crested Tit, Hawfinch, Short-toed Treecreeper, and Firecrest.
Nearby, the Fuente de Piedra lake covers an area of almost 1,400 hectares. The shallow, salt water of this outstanding protected wetland is home to the largest colony of Greater Flamingoes on the Iberian Peninsula. White-headed and Ferruginous Ducks, Red-crested Pochards, Black-necked Grebes and Purple Swamphens stand out amongst the pink-feathered haze, and Black-winged Stilts, Little Stints, Kentish and overwintering Little Ringed Plovers parade in the shallows.
On the surrounding plains and farmland, you can enjoy the spectacular sights and sounds of hundreds of Common Cranes resting and feeding before they disperse to their northern breeding grounds, and with luck, groups of Little and Great Bustards and Black-bellied Sandgrouse. Iberian Grey Shrike and Black-winged Kite, Eurasian Stone Curlew and Bluethroat star amid huge flocks of wintering Eurasian Skylarks, Corn Buntings, Spanish Sparrows, Calandra, Crested and Thekla Larks.
Combine with a visit to the beautiful town of Ronda – its three historic bridges straddling the Tajo Gorge in spectacular fashion don’t be caught here without your binoculars though – the town’s birding is also impressive, with Red Crossbill possible in the town parks, Red-billed Chough often dropping in, plentiful raptors overhead and wintering Blue Rock Thrush in the gorge itself!
Bird watching tours
For information about pricing & dates on the birds of the Serrania de Ronda, please contact Hotel Restaurante Bandolero directly or via this link to our friends at INGLORIOUS BUSTARDS.
Lounging poolside here at El Bandolero enjoying a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains and valley.
Júzcar Zip-line – a recent addition to the village of Juzcar was a 100M zip-line which is the only zip-line in Andalucia that crosses the heart village itself making it a unique experience. For more information on operating hours and price, please call the village tourist office on mobile 633 808 929.
LOCAL MUSHROOM CULTURE
The Genal Valley has more than one mushroom club and more than one annual mushroom conference. The mushroom culture in Júzcar has been growing for more than 13 years. Each year since 2008, the village hall organises a weekend conference which include lectures from fungi experts from all over Spain, a mushroom hunts, an exposition of results and an Mushroom and Chestnut Cooking session held here in El Bandolero on several occasions. In its season, one can organise guided mushroom walks though the countryside.
Guided mushroom hunts: take a guided walk though the countryside looking for mushrooms, learn what is edible and what is dangerous to touch with your local well informed guide. Seasonal in autumn. Hotel Restaurante Bandolero can organise your mushroom adventure walk with a local guide.
Walking: explore the trails linking the seven villages that comprise the Alto Genal and the rest of the Genal Valley. In springtime, the valley is covered with hundreds of wild flowers, changing from week to week.
Mr Henderson’s Railway Walk:– This short and easy walk in the Guadiaro Valley follows a delightful riverside & cliffside path, which links the sleepy village of Estacion de Benaoján with the sleepier-still hamlet of Estacion de Jimera de Libar. It begins at the Molino del Santo, a hotel just up from the railway line.
Hiking and trekking through the Genal Valley or one of the local natural parks, Sierra de Grazalema, Los Alcornocales or La Sierra de las Nieves Biosphere. This can be done on your own, exploring the local parks and trails or you can have a guide to take you along, explaining the plants and wildlife in the area as you go. If you would like to organise guided hiking, please contact us at Hotel Bandolero.
EXTREME OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Canyoning “The Devil’s Chasm” (“La Sima del Diablo”) in the Júzcar river. Highly recommended for all who come to Júzcar; the landscape along the river banks in the Genal Valley are not to be missed!!
Canyoning thru the Gorge of Ronda, El Tajo. Now that the river is clean, one can climb down to the river and trek through it to arrive at a couple of great cascades and then rappel yourself down the cliff face to the bottom of the river below Ronda. For more information on this adventure, please contact Hotel Bandolero directly.
Cooking classes at Hotel Restaurante Bandolero – Enjoy a cooking class with Chef Iván Sastre while staying at in the Genal Valley. Try your hand at Ajo Blanco or a new original Chef Iván dessert. Call Hotel Restaurante Bandolero directly for information and reservations.
Organised painting holidays: – Come and enjoy a week of painting in the Genal Valley and surrounding areas. Any medium of painting is welcome while the workshops specialise in pastels and oils. Please see contact us directly for more information and dates on the next painting holiday.
Bird watching:- English language guided tours by Inglorious Bustards are available with a locally resident bird and wild life experts. La Serrania de Ronda is home to many species of birds including the largest colonies of raptors in Europe and more being located in an important migratory corridor. Vultures & eagles are among the most common raptors soaring above the Genal Valley. Upcoming holidays dates for El Bandolero include October and November 2020 and January and February 2021.
For more information, pricing and reservations on the birds of the Serrania de Ronda, please contact Hotel Restaurante Bandolero directly or via this link to our friends at INGLORIOUS BUSTARDS.
Enjoy beautiful views of Genal Valley and the La Serrania de Ronda. Contact El Bandolero for more information about the Genal Valley.
Ronda la Vieja (Acinipo):- Hilltop ruins of an old Roman town, with partially reconstructed amphitheatre.
Cueva de Pileta, Benaoján:– Palaeolithic paintings of horses, goats, fish and a seal dating from 20,000 to 25,000 years ago preserved in this impressive cave. For details on admission fee and opening hours, please contact Hotel Bandolero or check out the cave’s webpage.
Ronda Wine Museum (Bodegas La Sangre de Ronda):- Wine museum offering the opportunity to learn about the Ronda wines and the wine making process. The Ronda wine tradition goes back for 6,000 years; the museum is housed in an old villa in the historic old town of Ronda.
Ronda Vineyard Tour:- The Ronda area now has more than ten bodegas (“vineyards”) which should be of interest to wine connoisseurs or anyone who enjoys wine; take a tour of one of the Ronda vineyards. Here are a few of Ronda’s bodegas:
Bodegas F. Schatz
Bodegas Cuesta la Viña
Bodegas Los Frutales
Bodegas Cortijo Los Aguilares
Bodegas Descalzos Viejos
Bodegas Doña Felisa
Bodegas Joaquin Fernandez
Ronda: many sites of historical and cultural interest. Why not enjoy a morning in historic Ronda and then spend some time relaxing in a few tapas bars, having a glass of Ronda wine or a caña (small draft beer) and try a few tapas?
Cycling & Mountain Biking – Rental bikes are available in Ronda.
Horse riding in Ronda.
Caving and/or rock climbing in Grazalema Natural Park or La Sierra de las Nieves Park
Kayaking and canoeing in smooth water and white water rapids.
Swimming in the Rio Genal below Júzcar village on the road to Pujerra one can find a beautifully shaded water hole to cool off from the summer heat.
Swimming in the Júzcar village pool, only a short walk from Hotel Bandolero, admission gratis. There is also a bar / snack-stand. (closed for the 2020 season)
White Villages: take a driving tour of the mountain villages of the Genal Valley and the Serrania de Ronda with more than 20 white villages.
The Serranía de Ronda: the mountains all around Júzcar.
The Genal Valley : A walk down to La Real Fabrica de Hojalata de San Miguel (Old Royal Tin Factory Ruin), the oldest factory in Spain. See its ruins on a finca in Juzcar; it was first opened in 1731 to secretly produce tin for the royal army. The hard part is returning up the hill to the village to enjoy that ice-cold beer awaiting you on the hotel terrace.
Marbella / San Pedro de Alcantara / Puerto Banus: coastal resort town with a charming old town, beaches, expensive shops and an exclusive marina filled with crazy expensive yachts and boats.
Beaches: all along the Costa del Sol from Málaga to Estepona, only 50 – 90 minutes from Júzcar
Golf: there are many golf course options on the Costa de Golf starting with the closest in San Pedro de Alcantara, only a 45 minute drive from Júzcar.
Autumnal chestnut picking as well as brilliant autumnal foliage.
Take a tour of La Sierra de las Nieves where you will discover Pinsapo Trees, walking trails, birds, flowers and much more that nature has to offer.
Enjoy beautiful views of Genal Valley and the La Serrania de Ronda.
As one may see, there are many activities that one can enjoy here in the Genal Valley from bird watching to wild mushrooms walks to walking the many trails, viewing the spectacular wild flowers in springtime, local wine tastings, mountain biking, painting, photography, learning a new recipe in a cooking class, having a massage or other body treatment, rappelling in a wet suit enjoying a guided walk or simply enjoying a scrumptious meal topped off with a spectacular dessert, all while relaxing at the Hotel Restaurante Bandolero. Go ahead, make your booking today!