When we have visitors, one of the first places we take them is the gorgeous hilltop village of Castellar de la Frontera. Partly because it’s only a short drive from where we live but also because it’s just so lovely – it really is picture postcard beautiful.
There’s actually not that much to do in the village (it has a hotel and some small shops, bars and restaurants) so an hour or two is pretty much all we’ve ever needed to wander round its tiny cobbled whitewashed streets. Mind you, each time we’ve been we’ve ended up down different little lanes and alleyways so maybe we should spend longer next time. I imagine it would be a real treat to stay overnight too for a new perspective so maybe I’ll put a stay in one of the Casa Rurales in the village on my to do list!
From the village there are stunning views over the Guadarranque reservoir and the Parque Natural Los Acornocales and, on a clear day, Gibraltar and the mountains of Africa in the distance. Eagle sightings are also pretty much guaranteed – we’ve never been let down on that score.
It’s a walled village and, every day during the summer, there’s a market at the entrance selling local handicrafts. Cork items in particular are really popular (not surprising given its location – Los Alcornocales translates as ‘cork oak groves’) – best buys are probably the cork planters in various sizes.
There’s a real bohemian feel to the village which is no doubt due to its past life as a hippy colony. In the late 1960s a new town (Nuevo Castellar) was built further down in the valley and most of the inhabitants of Castellar were re-housed there at which point the hippies moved in. Some are still there and, to be honest, I can’t say I blame them!