You’ll have to take a serpentine road up to the old town of Castellar de la Frontera but it is worth the twisty turns. Old Castellar is perched on the hilltop above the Guadarranque Reservoir and among the Parque Natural Los Alconocales, which makes it an ideal place for biking, hiking and kayaking on the lake below once you are finished discovering the town, but be careful, you might just wonder the streets and lose track of time in this enchanting pueblo inside the castle walls.
Inside you will find many boutique shops selling artsy crafts made from blown glass,cork, leather and other oddities. You will also see many casa rurales, which are popular to stay in during the summer. Daily during the summertime there is a craft market that lines the streets with various vendors all the way into the castle.
– El Capitán Luis: Luis is from Sevilla and escaped the hustle and bustle and opened this gallery that is located in charming alley.Call before you go to make sure his gallery is open. Tel: 610-284-096
– Riccardo Pasquini’s Studio: Fantastic studio, working with natural materials and primarily paints on canvas with bold colors. The artwork is abstract and modern.
-O’Chio: This artisan shop has a wide range of bizarre souvenirs including cork, glass and jewelry.
-Pena Flamenco: Diego Oca owns a specialty shop/gallery/venue for intimate flamenco shows. He orchestrates live shows for groups of 4 to 15 people. If you are staying the night, call ahead and have an flamenco show all to yourself! During the summer he hosts Flamenco in the patio when you first enter the Castle, get on his e-mailing list for future performance information. Tel:956.64.7087
Go Eat at:
Bar El Cortijo:Try their specials. I had a quesadilla with cardoon, swiss chard and spring baby garlic, it was amazing. Of course I also indulged in a lemon mini cake and some Maier Beer from Cadiz, which will be blogged about later.
Stevie’s Casa Rural – This casa rural came highly recommended if you like to socialize especially with people who live inside the Castle. It looks like LOADS of fun!
Tugasa Castillo Castellar Hotel – you’ll have the opportunity to stay in the actual Castle rooms that are nice. Price: 70-80 euro.
TUGASA Casas Rurales Castillo de Castellar– Rural homes that are located inside the castle walls, allowing you to stay in private homes or rent a room in someone’s home. Diego Oca suggests getting your own private house. 50-140 euro depending on number of people in homes.
Villas.com– A private home that is SUPER artsy located inside the castle walls, typically wants someone to rent for seven days, it could be an awesome jumping off point to venture to other places.
The route: Hop on A-4 from A-491 and take exit 658 to Cetra. Portal, get on A-381 from A-408. Continue on A-381 and stay left onto E-15/A-7 toward San Roque/Estepona/Málaga, then take exit 116 towards Miraflores and continue on A-405. WARNING: You will see the new town of Castellar de la Frontera but don’t be tempted to turn right, continue on the road until you reach a roundabout take the exit CA-9201 Castellar de la Frontera with a picture of a castle.
Tip: Skip the first parking lot and head on up to the castle. Once the castle is on your left and you pass other parked cars, look for a place to park.