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 The A to Z of Rural Andalucia
El Gastor and El Bosque
 El Gastor
Visit these ENCHANTING white villages.

The village of EL GASTOR is just off the main road north-west from Ronda to Algodonales and a few kilometres from ZAHARA DE LA SIERRA. It is also known as the ‘Balcony of the White Villages’ because from the two mountain peaks in its municipality, El Algarín and Las Grajas, there are magnificent views of other little villages in the area and the surrounding countryside.

The region has been settled since prehistoric times and around EL GASTOR evidence has been found of dolmens, or Megalithic burial grounds. The most famous of these is EL CHARCON, commonly known as THE GIANT'S TOMB’ dating from the Bronze Age.

The old HERMANOS PALOMINO MILL has been well preserved and, although now under private ownership, can be visited in order to see the vast, revolving circular stones, used to press the olives gathered from the surrounding countryside, and the deposits where the oil was collected.

Also of interest is the Museo de Usos y Costumbres Populares, a museum dedicated to EL TEMPRANILLO, one of the most famous bandits in 19th-century Andalucía. Situated next to the Town Hall, this museum exhibits ancient agricultural and household tools depicting the traditions and customs of the region and other items used over the centuries.

EL GASTOR is close to the towns of GRAZALEMA and ZAHARA, and is famous for its crafts and gastronomic specialities such as guisote, a tasty stew made with breadcrumbs, wild asparagus and garlic, and also its special chicken dish with almonds. Fresh tomato soup, black pudding, chorizo and chicharrones (pork scratchings) are also very popular.

Have you wondered how EL GASTOR got its name?

Several theories were formed as to the origin of its name but one stands as the town's favourite, the name EL GASTOR was coined from the words "TOMB OF THE GIANT", as, according to myth, Dolmens, (burial chambers), inhabited the area long ago. Although remains of giants have been discovered in many lands no trace has been found of Dolmens in the immediate area of EL GASTOR but three very important historic Megalithic Dolmen sites lie just outside of Antequera, so EL GASTOR is not just another pretty, white village, but one that might be hiding a secret!!

Visit this charming and unusual small town for yourself, you might just find the elusive TOMB OF THE GIANT.
 Ermita del Calvario
The picturesque village of EL BOSQUE in the Province of Cadiz is part of the Pueblos Blancos route and has narrow winding streets dotted with fountains and flowers. Situated in front of the Sierra de Albarracin 32 kms East of ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA and considered the gateway to the nature reserve the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema.

El BOSQUE at 287 m above sea level was founded by the Duke of Arcos and was originally named Los Banos del Duque meaning "The Dukes Bath". Then it became MARCHENILLA owing to the fact that the Dukes of Arcos were lords of MARCHENA. At the end of the 18th century the name changed again to Santa Maria de Guadalupe de El Bosque in honor of the Virgen of Guadalupe to whom the Duke and Duchess were greatly devoted, and in 1815 Fernando VII officially declared EL BOSQUE a township after the War of Independence.

EL BOSQUE is watered by the Majaceite river and is primarily a hunting and fishing town, producing quality trout from its hatcheries, and is proud of its gastronomic interpretations of trout specialities, and also famous for its excellent cuts of cold meats, no visitor should leave without tasting some.

With its open spaces of great natural beauty this is one of the best places for hang gliding with an annual championship being held here.

Visit the Ermita del Calvario and the Igelesia Parroquial de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe both built in the 18th century, and also the 18th century mill, MOLINO DEL DUQUE is another popular site to visitors.

El Bosque is ensconced amidst leafy woods and strewn with springs of medicinal water, making it the perfect environment for all kinds of active tourism.

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