Category Archives: Places to visit

Ronda the “city of dreams”

Ronda “the city of dreams” is one of Spain’s most visited cities. It is a little city, more of a big town really and famous for the impressive Puente Nuevo (new bridge) that spans the gorge that seperates the old town from the new town. The Real Maestranza bullring is oe of the oldest in Spain and is where modern bullfighting was conceived. the many beautiful churches, museums, wonderful coffee shops and tapas bars are all within a short 30 minute walk.

As well as being blessed with some of Spain’s most impressive nature and historic monuments, so too are Ronda hotels special, not least because several offer views of the Tajo gorge from their windows, or views of the mountains surrounding the city. As one of the most visited cities in Spain, Ronda has a fantastic selection of hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and self-catered accommodation guaranteed to suit all tastes.

Our four star hotels include the Parador, Molino del Arco, Reina Victoria, Montelirio, Maestranza, Acinipo, Don Benito, and Hotel San Gabriel.

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Dolmen La Giganta – Dolmen el Chopo

The “Dolmen la Giganta” is also known as the “Dolmen del Chopo” (after the name of the farm where it is situated. Chopo is the poplar tree in English)

Location of the Dolmen el Gigante / Chopo in the Sierra de Grazalema

Dolmens are stone built burial chambers or tombs. They are created by standing huge stones on their edges to create the basic form and then these are capped with massive slabs. Soil would have been used to totally cover the entire area, but this has washed away over the centuries.

this dolmen is a longer structure, forming a corridor for multiple burials. Another name for such tombs such as these is Megalith, which refers to the huge stone slabs used to cap the roof. Many are dated to the Neolithic period around 4000 to 3000 BC.

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Findings within the better preserved tombs include hand thrown pottery, stone tools such as flint axes, beads and other ornaments. They are often positioned on a high plateaux or places surrounded by tremendous scenery.

Dolmen La Giganta is a long chambered dolmen, it still has several support stones and an impressive top stone in place, quite amazing when you consider its age and exposed position. It is believed that this funerary monument may date from the end of the Neolithic period. Standing alongside it one can wonder at how much time and effort went into quarrying, transporting and lifting such enormous stones with only the most basic of tools.

How much the people of that time must have valued the purpose of creating such a monument and placing gifts beside the deceased. They have chosen an amazing site as from here there are fabulous views towards Sierra de las Nieves and the foothills of the Sierra de Grazalema.

How to get there

The Dolmen del Chopo is situated between Ronda and Grazalema, indeed it is very close to the main Ronda to Jerez road but as there are no sign posts for it so most people are unaware of its presence.

From Ronda drive towards Jerez de la Frontera. Turn off the A374 onto the A372 signposted towards “Parque Natural Sierra de Grazalema” just before the “Puerto de Montejaque”.

After 1km, you will see a tight loop in the road with a large white farm house and building housing goats.

Immediately after this the road forks take the left curve towards Grazalema and straight away on the left there is sufficient area to park your car.

From here walk back past the farm house and goat shed which is now on your left and after the road curves to the left, turn right along a dirt track that has a chain across the entrance.

You will pass an old farm on the left and continue uphill to the right onto a plateau with arable fields and scenic distant views of a mountain ridge.

Follow the track to the left and now there is arable land on your right and a steep bank with eucalyptus trees on the left.

Ahead you can see an olive grove, we are aiming for the far side of this. As you reach the far end, you will see a gated driveway, and from here you can now spot the dolmen.

Turn right at the end of the fence, walking at the edge of the arable land…caution. If it has rained recently this field becomes impassable due to heavy mud!

You cannot get right up to the dolmen as it is on the other side of the wire fence.

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