Our pet-friendly escape to the Serranía de Ronda this weekend was fantastic. There were no crowds, the weather was perfect, and Pumba (our dog) had an absolute blast.
Javi and I bring Pumba to the sierras of Cádiz and Malaga a few times a year…but this recent trip is one of my favorites! We wanted to hike secluded areas where Pumba could run off the leash without disturbing other hikers. Keep in mind he’s a huge chocolate lab and weighs 40 kilos (90 lbs)—understandably people get scared when they see him barreling up the path. 😛 Luckily our friends (another couple with two dogs of their own) knew just the place to go in the Serranía de Ronda.
We had a fab time eating delicious food, drinking cheap beer, and enjoying gorgeous views of the mountains—but I have to say the dogs probably enjoyed the trip most of all! They loved swimming in the clear river water and running free along the mountain’s secluded paths.
Swimming at the Cueva del Gato
Thanks to pure luck we stopped at La Venta de la Cueva del Gato (founded 1976) for lunch on our way to Jubrique. While enjoying our meal we noticed photos on the wall of a gorgeous waterfall and cave. We asked our server about the photos and he explained the Cueva del Gato (“Cat’s Cave”) was just 5 minutes away. Apparently the cave got its name because the entrance is shaped like a cat’s face. Interestingly, it is also one of the most unique cave complexes in Andalusia.
After lunch we parked by the river and walked along the path until we reached the pool and waterfall. The cave entrance it located above the waterfall (there are stone steps you can use to access it). In summer this area gets very crowded, but since we’re halfway through October the dogs were the only ones who wanted to swim in the chilly water. 🙂
Please note if you want to explore the cave you should book a tour; it’s extremely dangerous to enter the cave without a guide and you’ll need proper equipment too.
Dog friendly hotel in the Serranía de Ronda
Javi and I (and almost everyone else we know) had never heard of Jubrique before this weekend. This little pueblo is hidden along the Serranía de Ronda, an area scarcely populated with the exception of the famous pueblos blancos (white villages) scattered throughout the countryside. Apart from the white villages the area is also known for its rivers, sunflower and wheat fields, cork forests, and limestone formations. Jubrique is beautiful but there isn’t much to do other than hiking nearby trails; you’ll find a few restaurants and plenty of gorgeous views though!
Upon arrival we checked in to the Posada Mirador de Jubrique, a family owned and dog-friendly establishment. The hotel is listed on travelguau.com, a website featuring pet-friendly accommodation options throughout Spain. We were able to eat our meals outside with the dogs on the terrace (and luckily the weather was perfect). The hotel owner was very nice and recommended a local spot we could take the dogs to for a swim (20 minute drive away).
In the off season (fall/winter) I would definitely recommend this area for enjoying the mountains with your pet. Check out trails near Genalguacil, Jubrique, and Benarrabá. Don’t forget the beautiful coastal town of Estepona is close by too; you can get the best of both worlds and head to the beach after a morning hike!
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