Holidays in Jimena

Everything you need to plan the perfect holiday in Jimena: how to get there, the best places to stay, the best times of year to go, and an unbeatable selection of hand-picked holiday villas and cottages.

Find your Holiday home in Jimena

Jimena lies between the Ronda mountains and the bay at Algeciras on a major bird migration route to and from Africa. It’s an attractive, relaxed and friendly small town of cobbled streets and views.

While a proportion of foreign residents make up the numbers, it remains a quintessentially Andalusian community, the kind of place where people still have time to stop and chat and children play football together.

A steepish climb up to the Moorish castle is rewarded with views far and wide over the countryside, while down below the town the River Hozgarganta forms pools deep enough for swimming.

Keen walkers will want to head off to hiking opportunities in the Alcornocales Natural Park that encompasses the village.

The less energetic will appreciate how conveniently close to one another restaurants and bar-cafés are located.

Mail Online journalist Liz Todd writing of her stay at one of our Jimena villas:

"Along our hike late spring flowers form a carpet of colour, deep purples and blues and vibrant yellows across the hillsides".

Once the venue for an international summer jazz festival, the village retains a musical flavor with occasional classical and jazz concerts.

Beaches and golf courses are an easy 35 minute drive and a special excursion deep into the Natural Park brings you to a special cave...

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Summary

Jimena lies between the Ronda mountains and the bay at Algeciras on a major bird migration route to and from Africa. It’s an attractive, relaxed and friendly small town of cobbled streets and views.

While a proportion of foreign residents make up the numbers, it remains a quintessentially Andalusian community, the kind of place where people still have time to stop and chat and children play football together.

A steepish climb up to the Moorish castle is rewarded with views far and wide over the countryside, while down below the town the River Hozgarganta forms pools deep enough for swimming.

Keen walkers will want to head off to hiking opportunities in the Alcornocales Natural Park that encompasses the village.

The less energetic will appreciate how conveniently close to one another restaurants and bar-cafés are located.

Mail Online journalist Liz Todd writing of her stay at one of our Jimena villas:

"Along our hike late spring flowers form a carpet of colour, deep purples and blues and vibrant yellows across the hillsides".

Once the venue for an international summer jazz festival, the village retains a musical flavor with occasional classical and jazz concerts.

Beaches and golf courses are an easy 35 minute drive and a special excursion deep into the Natural Park brings you to a special cave...

+ Read more

Overview

JIMENA CASTLE

Based on Roman fortifications, the castle you see today was built by the Moors in the 13th century. We recommend a sunset visit to the castle.

A Rustical Client wrote: "Drive up to the square about 1,5 hours before sundown, and walk the rest of the way. The narrow cobbled streets are sparsely populated by elderly Jimenians sitting on their stoops, and children playing in the streets, and many cats and dogs. The castle and the grounds were virtually deserted and magical. The views are spectacular. As the sun sets, one can look over the entire town while the houses turn from white to pink to a deep rose to gray, and the hills descend into darkness, and the swallows come out and begin circling the castle like acrobats. One gets a strong feeling of the history of the place, both human and geological; it's humbling and dreamlike."

 

RIVER HOZGARGANTA

Walk along the banks of the river below Jimena and you´ll come across the remains of an aqueduct and artillery blast furnace made by King Carlos III in the 1770's to furnish cannonballs for the battles of Gibraltar. Children might like to throw bread to the turtles and fish. You may see kingfishers, swallows and, if you're lucky, otters or mongeese. There are spots along the river for swimming.

 

NATURAL PARK OF ALCORNOCALES

Jimena is located within the "cork oak park" and it is this emblematic tree which forms rich forest by the village. Walks in the forest will inevitably show you trunks semi-stripped for the cork, which is exported from there all over the world.

 

LA LAJA CAVE

Deep within the Natural Park, in the Gomero Gorge, La Laja Cave has some very special prehistoric paintings. Discovered only in 1978, the schematic representations are fascinatingly unique in depicting pre-Roman sailing vessels, which would have plied across the Strait of Gibraltar between the nearby coast and northern Africa.

 

BEACHES

In less than 40 minutes you can be at the coast. Rustical Travel's recommended beaches are at Torreguadiaro, Playa de las Arenas which stretches out from Cala de la Sardina bay, and Playa de Chullera at Manilva.

 

BEST OF THE REST

Historic sites by Jimena Castle

The Moorish Queen's Bath (Baño de la Reina Mora) behind the castle is the name given to a deep stone basin that is probably not Moorish at all, but Christian in origin, and used for baptisms.

The Church of 'La Misericordia', possibly the first church built after the Christian reconquest of Jimena in the 15th century, is no longer a place of worship and now houses the Tourism Office and the Los Alcornocales Nature Park Information Point. It is frequently used for recitals and concerts by visiting musicians. Located just below the Castle.

 

Swimming pools

The very pleasant public pool at the foot of the village is open on weekdays during July and August. Another pool, this time at the top of the village: is generally open June to October at the campsite (camping), which is on the road out of the village towards Ubrique.

 

Park

A modest park in the lower reaches of Jimena town has tall, leafy trees that make it a pleasant, shady place to sit during the heat of the day.

 

Horseriding

A ranch 5 minutes from the Jimena offers some stunning rides in the forest and crossing rivers.

 

Golf

A 40-minute drive down the A-405 road brings you to three golf courses at Sotogrande: Real Club de Valderrama, La Reserva de Sotogrande and San Roque.

 

Local train

Jimena's train station is in nearby Los Angeles. There are departures to Ronda on a pleasant little train with large windows, but only 3 a day. If you get up early enough, there's a morning train to Granada, which would allow you to see the Alhambra on a day trip.

 

Tarifa (1 hr)

This is where the Atlantic's sandy beaches begin. Tarifa is especially well-known for windsurfing and kitesurfing. There's a fast ferry from Tarifa to Tangiers in Morocco making daytrips a possibility. Boat trips are also available to go whale watching (best in July) and dolphin watching.

 

Gibraltar (1 hr)

The British overseas territory gives the impression of being trapped in a time warp from 30 years ago. Take the cable car at the end of Main Street to visit the limestone caves: St Michael's Cave, the old siege tunnels and the old Moorish castle. Visit also the Trafalgar cemetery for its interesting headstones. Watch the monkeys (semi-wild Barbary Macaques) but watch they don't snatch your things! Or take a boat trip to see and maybe even swim with the dolphins. Duty-free shopping is available in Gibraltar.

 

Ronda (1 hr 15 mins)

The historic town is a big draw for many with its Puente Nuevo bridge over the deep gorge, bullring (the oldest in Spain) and museum, gardens and palaces. The drive to Ronda along he mountain road from Gaucin is an attraction in itself.

 

Jimena fiestas

Carnaval, celebrated on Shrove Tuesday, has a local tradition amongst the women of a game throwing each other a pot or a pumpkin, trying to keep it from falling to the ground.

Día de la Cruz: on 3rd May, old clothes are stuffed with paper to make dolls with pots for heads (tíos de ricia), which are then placed in streets with signs alluding to some local (preferably scandalous) event that has happened during the previous year.

Feria de Mayo: in mid May, a show which centres on livestock and cattle breeding.

Feria de Agosto: the main summer fair is usually held on the second weekend in August.

Nuestra Señora de los Remedios: on 7th September the image of the village's patron Virgin Mary is carried from her sanctuary down to Jimena village, where it is left on display for 3 days, before being ceremoniously returned by the townspeople. The events are marked by the risky throwing of bangers, jumping jacks and other fireworks, the idea being to jump away and evade them...

 

FOOD AND DRINK

For all general provisions, there's one supermarket opposite the petrol station and another (Ruiz Galan) opposite La Cuenca restaurant. For the best butcher's (carnicería) in Jimena go to the shop run by Carlos, 50 metres past the health centre as you drive into the village. Market day in Jimena is Friday.

For restaurants in Jimena, there are a number of options conveniently close to each other in the centre of town.

• El Anon - It has a lovely old pub-style atmosphere and good "international" food.

• El Ventorrillo - The owner is likely to come to your table and ask what you like rather than have a waiter give you a menu. Terrific for fish, also lamb and venison, also local mushroom dishes in season.

• Bar-Restaurante Cuenca - It is a large establishment which divides into three parts. At the front is a bar where you can get tapas and raciones; in the middle there's the more formal sit-down restaurant; and at the back is a large open-air terrace with views where you can also order food. A good place for typical Spanish dishes that was once voted the best tapas bar in Andalucia, but we think that reputation is frankly overrated.

• La Tasca - Situated on the main square, one Rustical Travel client lamented its poor value, while another told us that it gave them the best meal of the trip. When we tried it out, we thought it was perfectly good and had a congenial atmosphere to boot.

Close to Jimena, in Los Angeles:

• La Vía - Upmarket fish restaurant run by a former chef at El Copo, Algeciras. It has a summer terrace and an air-conditioned indoor dining room. We recommend the home-made desserts.

In San Pablo is perhaps the best restaurant in the Jimena area:

• La Estación - It is made from a converted train station building, it has lots of charm and excellent Mediterranean cuisine. Curiously, passengers can still alight and get on trains here. So you could leave the car here, take a train to Ronda (or Algeciras, even Granada if you change trains, although that's a long way), come back, have dinner at the restaurant and drive home.

Recommendations for Ronda restaurants and tapas bars are listed in the complete, detailed Jimena de la Frontera guide that we send our clients.

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Photos

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Climate

Jimena de la Frontera is remarkably warm with an average yearly temperature of close to 20ºC.

An altitude of slightly above sea level means that it does not experience inland mountain weather. It doesn't have the elevated position of other nearby Ronda mountain villages, but the proximity to the sea and the presence of a major cork oak forest by the village help to regulate temperatures all year round.

Jimena is more or less equidistant to the Mediterranean Sea (to the south-east) and the Atlantic Ocean (to the south-west): both are approximately 20 km away.

Summers are long and dry. Sunny weather is the norm from May to October, June to September being distinctly hotter than the other months.

A warm, semi-tropical climate normally prevails, however, all year round, and frosts are rare. There are almost endless hours of sun per year despite there being a well-defined wet season, which is confined to the winter and to a lesser extent, early spring and late autumn. Rains can then be generous.

Proximity to the sea and the presence of a major cork oak forest by the village help to regulate temperatures all year round.

When winter weather fronts make their way to Andalucia from the south-west, gathering humidity from the Atlantic, they reach Andalucia to leave the entire western region overcast, but they are particularly generous with Jimena. Westerlies arrive at the coast already thick with humidity and carry on gathering more damp from Los Alcornocales cork oak forest as they move further east, leaving "proper rain" in Jimena and surroundings.

Marked rainy spells often followed by warmth and sun: this goes to explain the fascinating natural world around Jimena. Plants and forests thrive under these conditions. The people from the Arconocales Natural Park tell us that the area gets plenty of sun but a decently wet winter season (cork oaks need both rain and lots of sun!).

If we compare the climate of Jimena to other areas of Andalucia, the difference here is not so much in the number of rainy days, similar to other areas and relatively few, or hours of sun per year, which are pretty high here, but simply how much rain is collected when it does actually fall.

 

What clothes should I bring?

In summer, you may need a very light jersey, at most. If you plan to go walking in spring or autumn, light rain wear may be advisable. Hiking in July and August is often simply too hot and a light stroll among shady trees by the river or in the forest will be enough.

In winter you should bring normal winter clothing, even if temperatures of 20 degrees are not unheard of on sunny winter days.

 

JIMENA DE LA FRONTERA CLIMATE SUMMARY

Jimena´s climate is predominantly Mediterranean, with an Atlantic influence and semi-tropical temperatures most of the year.

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Maps

Getting there

AIRPORTS FOR JIMENA DE LA FRONTERA

The closest airports for holiday villas in Jimena de la Frontera are Gibraltar Airport (GIB) at just 50 mins and Malaga Airport (AGP) at 1 hr 30 mins from the village.

Alternatives are:
Jerez Airport (XRY) 1 hr 40 mins and Seville Airport (SVQ) 2 hrs 15 mins.

Malaga Airport is by far the largest airport and has the most flights to choose from, but you might find a better offer to one of the others.

 

CAR HIRE

We recommend a car for getting to your rural holiday villa in Jimena. It's practical, convenient and needn't be expensive. A car may well be the only way of reaching your property, and is then invaluable for shopping, visiting places of interest, and making an easy return trip at the end of your stay.

The road in network in southern Spain is good and well-maintained, roads are quieter than in many other European countries, and parking in Jimena is free.

Driving times from the airports above are shown on the villa's individual property page. You will receive a map with detailed directions for your holiday villa as one of your holiday documents from Rustical Travel.

If you're not making the long drive down from France, or Santander / Bilbao ferry ports, you'll need to hire a car.

Rustical Travel doesn't have a professional arrangement with any particular car hire company and we suggest you shop around for car hire using a broker such as rentalcars.com or similar.

It's easy to compare prices of rentals with companies that operate at the airport you fly into, and all the reputable agencies have online payment for advance booking these days.

You don't have to use the broker. If you prefer, you can check the car hire companies own websites, compare prices, and book direct.

Jimena village has some steep, narrow streets and we advise against renting a large, bulky vehicle.

 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

If you fly into Gibraltar and take a taxi to Algeciras, just four buses a day go to Jimena de la Frontera. Otherwise, travelling by public transport to Jimena from airports tends to be laborious, inconvenient or plain impossible.

The train connection (if your flight time permits) from Malaga's Maria Zambrano station means changing trains at Bobadilla. From there, however, the rail journey passes through some spectacular scenery. This option involves a taxi at either end, especially as Jimena de la Frontera's train station is not in Jimena itself nearby Los Angeles.

It's much easier and quicker to come from airports by hire car.

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