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 THE HAPPY LIST 


Compiled to bring the best possible experiences and activities together for your perfect happiness holiday, check out our Happy List. 

We suggest you take your pick from each section, "Happy Days", "Deep Dive into Happiness", "Cup Half Full" and "Happy Bites" to create your perfect holiday with us. 

We think this gives a perfect balance of things to do which not only promise boost well-being and happiness but offer opportunities for me time, free time and well just "Be" time.

If you want to mix it up and go rogue just tell us what your top picks are and we will tailor it your way, and if you´re feeling a little "extra" and want to add in even more just ask!




Happiness is a journey not a destination.




HAPPY DAYS.


These experiences have been devised to combine the benefits our privileged location with activities that really encourage us to be present in the moment and enjoy the connection between ourselves and nature.


CHOOSE 1


Photography

Learn new skills while connecting deeply with your environment. Whether you are a camera owner and want tuition or simply want to learn how to use your smart phone to capture precious moments this experience is for you. You will spend the day with experienced teacher Rob Bell while exploring our beautiful local area. As well as hints, tips and tuition during the day Rob provides extensive downloadable notes for you to take away.

Rob is a successful photographer with 30 years’s experience. Originally from Weymouth in Dorset he now lives in the beautiful village of Torrox. He has a great passion for photography and capturing unique moments in time. He is inspired by his love of nature, the wonderful sights, colours and shapes that surround him every day. While you are enjoying your holiday here in Andalucia, with its rich history and culture as well as amazing architecture, Rob will be here to help you improve your photography with a practical hands on approach whatever your skill level may be.


Birdwatching

Whether you enjoy spectacular scenery or fauna and flora, then this personally guided birdwatching tour of the Serranía de Ronda is for you! With mountains and hills predominately of limestone, the bio-diversity of the Serranía and Sierras is stunning. From rocky outcrops, mountaintop and valleys, the birding tour will take you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Spain. Birds of interest are virtually guaranteed, though of course time of year and the weather, will dictate the number and type of bird species you will see. Accompanied by your own expert tour guide, you will waste no time searching for those elusive ‘best bird areas’. Your birding guide will be able to assist beginners and discuss the area with visiting experienced birders. So whatever your level of expertise, there will be much to reward your birding trip.


Watercolouring in nature

Have you always wanted to paint? Learn a new skill and discover your creative talents. Spending a day immersed in the beautiful surroundings of the Alto Genal valley you will be led by expert artists and your own imagination.


Discovering clay

Take a journey through time connected by art and the human instinct to create from the prehistoric cave paintings of our ancestors to a hands on experience in the artists studio.

You will visit the extraordinary Cueva de la Pileta home to cave art dating back at least 20,000 years.

You will then return to the studio to explore your own creative instincts, experiment with clay and discover the therapeutic nature of the artistic experience at Ronda Arte Academy.

Run by Liliana and Carlos , both International artists with decades of experience



DEEP DIVE INTO HAPPINESS


These masterclass sessions with well-being experts are designed to provide a deeper insight into practices and habits we can learn and use to bring happiness and well-being into our lives on a deep body, mind and soul level.


CHOOSE 1


Integral Psychotherapy with Gabriella Kortsch, PhD (Psychology)

Author of four books: the bestselling Rewiring the Soul (2011), The Tao of Spiritual Partnership (2012), The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self (2013), and Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin (2014).

She works in private practice as an integral (holistic) psychotherapist, relationship and life coach with an international clientele in southern Spain using an integral focus on body, mind and soul.  She works in depth with people who are interested in moving forward in their process of inner growth, and as a relationship coach, for those who want to improve their communication skills whilst also learning how to become more conscious and aware.

From workshops exploring living your best life to loving the self and self care programs this experience will provide major insight and tools to take forward on your happy journey.


Yoga and Thai Massage with Mara

Meet Mara, she has been sharing her love and passion for Yoga and healing therapeutic Thai Yoga Massage for nearly 20 years.

Her Dharma in this life is to bring Light and Magic into the lives of everyone she meets.

Her teaching style is unique, inspirational and playful, with a down to earth attitude, making your yoga journey comfortable and joyful and accessible to all levels.

Mara uses Thai Yoga Massage in combination with osteopathy, therapeutic flying and Wuo Tai, a combination of incredible techniques that are more than just bodywork; it is more like a poetry of movement, an adventure of the Spirit, artfully blending and customizing each treatment according to your individual needs.

Mara's philosophy is simple:

"Be good and Do good. Keep your body strong and healthy, and mind open and relaxed in order to live a peaceful, useful and ease full life and be in service to others”.

This masterclass will offer a chance to benefit and learn from Mara´s yoga insight as well as experience the power and benefits of Thai massage.


Aromatherapy with Coral


Dating back 6000 years Aromatherapy has been used from Egyptian times to the present day to improve health and mood. This deep dive is perfect for those wanting to explore the physical and mental benefits of this ancient practice.
Coral Gonzalez-Taylor is a qualified Aromatherapist and certified “Raindrop Technique” Practitioner.
She brings experience gained from a life-long interest in natural health and healing and has also trained in Thai massage in Thailand and has also completed a Yoga course in India and although she doesn't call her self a yoga teacher she is very much aware of the principles. She is also practicing and learning the art of Solestry. Coral loves working with clients from all walks of life, sharing the wisdom she’s gained along the path to help support others maintain good health naturally. She offers deeply relaxing aromatherapy treatments where oils are selected and blended to suit each individual client
In this masterclass she will lead a wonderful Aromatherapy workshop, teaching you how to create natural, non-toxic personalised products for your skin and share her knowledge of how you can boost health and happiness with essential oils.


Integrative Breathwork and Yoga with Zarah.

Coming from a dance background, Zarah easefully transitioned to yoga around 15 years ago and felt immediately nurtured not only physically but emotionally and spiritually. From this point her passion grew rapidly and in 2012, she completed her first TTC in London,  going on to travel and study in India with intensive studies of Astanga Vinyasa, Hatha, Pranayama and Indian Philosophy and bodywork/massage.   Above all else, and central to the very essence of life, the breath has been a huge source of inspiration for Zarah ,who has acquired much experience in Pranayama (yogic breathing exercises) and is facilitating Integrative Breathwork which incorporates breath awareness and conscious breathing for healing, growth, personal awakening and transformation.

This masterclass will delve into this powerful practice which is becoming a widely recognised and scientifically proven tool in cultivating good health and holistic wellness; mentally, physically and emotionally. The original medicine and an intrinsic part of every human being, the breath is our very source of life.
Breathwork is a powerful path into self exploration, self empowerment and healing. Drawing on concepts from ancient traditions, eastern approaches, various schools of psychology and research from modern consciousness theories, Breathwork works on all levels of being.  
Zarah also works with massage using a combination of two ancient healing systems incorporating acupressure, reflexology, assisted yoga postures, reflexology and deep tissue work. Moving into the muscle fibres and fascia with the help of detoxifying ayurvedic herbs, this is a unique and powerful massage to open, restore and refresh the body.






CUP HALF FULL



Fun , relaxing and inspiring activities that don’t eat up the whole day leaving that important extra time to chill….

CHOOSE 1

(for 7 night stay choose 2)


LA organic + Wine-tasting.

If food and drink is your thing this is a great option for you. Being conscious and aware of where our food comes from can be quite enlightening in these times of neat packaged supermarket food consumption.

You will start the day with a visit to the LA organic experience- a really fascinating project, fairly new to Ronda, which promotes sustainable farming and combines design with Olive oil in a surprising and innovative way.

From olives to grapes your next stop will be a vineyard tour.

There are 18 vineyards in the area each producing small quantities of excellent wines with the D.O. Sierras de Malaga, category Serranía de Ronda.

Let us book and arrange your tours each lasting around an hour.

 

Aguas de Ronda.

Reviving the traditions of the 13th century Arab baths found alongside, Aquas de Ronda is a Hammam Spa .

With 5 pools, Turkish bath, Infrared room, Warm beds, Ice fountain, Tea, Gold rooms (traditional arab Hammam) the Spa is a real treat for the body.

Enjoy a 2 hour circuit and a massage and indulge in a bit of “me-time”


Horseriding

Enjoy an authentic experience with happy healthy horses following spectacular routes through pristine forests. Spending time in nature with our fellow animals is a powerful way to feel connected and present and boost well-being.

The philosophy at Paddock Paradise is to replicate as far s possible a natural environment for their horses with natural obstacles for them to exercise daily, sandbanks to enjoy wallowing, water to drink and wash, and wide spaces so they don't feel closed in. Horses are essentially nomads who enjoy traveling many kilometers on a daily basis to look for food and water, to run leadership competitions or to search for wild berries.

Their project prides itself on treating their horses without violence, limited their work time, feeding them in a natural way from their organic meadow- located just 4 kms from Ronda in a beautiful Mediterranean forest.

No experience necessary for a 2 hour ride.


Cookery experience.

The best way to eat consciously and healthily for ourselves and for the planet is quite simply to cook and the act of cooking itself can be a really enjoyable way to focus attention and be mindfully aware.

Our fave Micheal Pollen talks about this a lot- we blame lack of time and lack of skills but cooking doesn’t have to be time consuming and it doesn’t have to be complicated.

The Mediterranean diet , despite the myriad of alternatives that have promised to be better, leaner and cleaner remains one of the healthiest most balanced ways of eating.

With it´s emphasis on fruits and vegetables, grains and pulses, fish, lean meats and healthy oils time and again it is linked with good health and longevity.

Join your hostess Di in the kitchen and learn to cook an extravaganza of typical Spanish dishes, from tapas favourites to divine typical desserts.


Guided tour of Ronda.

Prefer the company of an expert when visiting the sights?

Want to make sure you don’t miss the best bits, step off the tourist trail with your expert guide and discover parts of this wonderful town that not everyone finds. As well as getting to see the Puente Nuevo, get that all important Instagram shot you also visit the amazing Arab Baths- the best conserved example in Spain and get an authentic feel of the culture and history ronda has to offer. 


Book a massage.

Want some "me time" without moving a finger book a full massage with our professional therapist who will come straight to your door.

Warm up those muscles first in our infra-red sauna,  enjoy a relaxing full body massage and afterwards relax on the rooftop terrace. Heaven.




HAPPY BITES


These little bites of happiness add some extra hassle free joy to your holiday as we take care of everything. You just need to arrive and enjoy.


Ronda tourist ticket- this handy package gives you access to the most important monuments to visit in Ronda:

The intepretation centre of the new bridge (Puente Nuevo)

The Museum of Ronda

The Arab baths

Also (as of the date of this post) Entrance to the painting museum Joaquin Peinado.

Cueva de la Pileta - discovered in 1905 by José Bullón Lobato the cave still guarded by the Bullón family is home to cave art dating back at least 20,000 years. Let us book your tickets and arrange your visit. Around 40 mins from Los Castaños

Guitar Concert- What better to boost your happy mood than a live music experience. Let us book your spot at an intimate and sensational guitar concert with Paco Seco. A programme dedicated to music from the Romantic & Baroque periods up to modern day contemporary Andaluz & Flamenco styles. Learn about the history of the Spanish guitar and the pieces played. Starts daily at 19.00 at Ronda Guitar House-

Caminito del Rey- Fancy braving the dizzying heights of the Caminito? The Gorge “Desfiladero de los Gaitanes” is a natural beauty spot, placed in the centre of the province, between the towns of Alora, Antequera and Ardales. This is one of the most beautiful spots of the Malaga Mountains.El Caminito del Rey is a precarious walkway that rises over 100 metres (328ft) above the river below.It was a popular challenge for adventurers until five people lost their lives while taking on the path between 1999 and 2000 but after an extensive €2.8 million restoration it was reopened in 2015.The pathway has also been reinforced with an extra security fence and despite offering up some dizzying views is entirely safe. If you fancy braving the dizzying heights and taking in the spectacular scenery we will include your entrance tickets and arrange your visit.

Around an hour away from Los Castaños a visit to the Caminito del Rey is worthwhile day out and guarantees a special memory to take home and keep.



Self guided walks.


As well as the menu of curated activities you will also be able to take advantage of our self guided, personalised walks.

Walking in nature is being increasingly proved to be a vital boost for healthy minds and bodies and promoting happiness and well-being.

Set out to explore the ancient trails connecting traditional whitewashed pueblos blancos clinging to the hillsides of the Serrania de Ronda like a string of pearls. Experience the heights of the little-known National Park the Sierra de las Nieves with its wealth of wildlife and views of Gibraltar and Africa. Venture through dramatic limestone karst that forms the backdrop to the Alto Genal Valley and explore the weird jurassic rock formations of Los Riscos.
Medium-level rambling accessible to all (can be modified to suit your abilities and motivation!)


Our walks are tried and tested and we give you detailed notes. Plus we are always available to help if you are unsure of the route or get lost. Just call!.


Explore the local area.


With your hire car at the ready you are free to explore the area near and far. Although you find us in an almost hidden paradise we are also in a perfectly central spot to explore Andalucia.

On our doorstep you can meander through the quite unspoilt Alto Genal Valley, explore our neighbouring villages, from Parauta to Pujerra , Igualeja to Juzcar (which you will easily recognise as all the houses are painted blue!) and not forgetting of course Cartajima itself where although inhabitants may be few and far between we have plenty of bars- most of which assure an authentic experience!


If you crave vitamin sea as part of your holiday the Costa del Sol is only 45 minutes down the mountain. From the glitz of Marbella to the more typical floral streets of old town Estepona there is plenty to see and do easily in a day.


Cordoba, Granada, Seville and Malaga are all also within visiting distance.


Highly recommended activity.


Saving the best till last one of our most popular activities .

When planning inspiring and happiness inducing activities perhaps top spot goes to this one,


NOTHING


That is why you are on holiday, remember!

We have some amazing spaces for you to do nothing in.

You can do nothing while sitting on your mountain view balcony, you could do nothing in the moorish courtyard, if the weather is inclement you could do nothing by the fireplace...but my suggestion would be to do nothing on the rooftop terrace whilst dangling your feet in the water and gazing at the view.