How does one cope with the stresses of living within the confines of a small or medium sized sailing yacht berthed at Gibraltar? Once you have visited all of the many places of historical or cultural interest, climbed Mediterranean Steps and introduced yourself to the Barbary Macaques you are still suffering from cabin fever. But there is a treatment.

I have just spent three days immersed in treatment. It’s simple, take a hike up the Guadiaro Valley all the way to Ronda, a town with new cultural and gastronomic delights to sample. Most yachties berthed at Gibraltar won’t have a car so here is the plan. On the Spanish side of the border take a 15 minute taxi ride to the “Estación de San Roque”. A train leaves there for Ronda at 12:03 every day. You can pay for your fare, which is only a few Euros, at the station or on the train. There is no price difference. You are not going to ride the train all the way to Ronda you will alight at Jimera de Libar a picturesque village in the Guadiaro Valley. The train ride is about 35 minutes and goes through some spectacular mountain scenery and through the Grazalema National Park. At Jimera de Libar walk along the platform and then drop down to the bank of the river and along it in the same direction as your train departs the station. You now have a relatively easy hike of some 12 kms to the next village called Benajoán. At Benaoján you can find accommodation at Hostal Nacimiento (find it at . Hostal Nacimiento is a very clean, comfortable and affordable apartment that can accommodate a group of up to 4/5 persons (as long as there are two couples!). The cost is €110 per night for the whole apartment. The hostal is managed by a very welcoming and accommodating hostess (Ani). You will be short of nothing. With its own well equipped kitchen, bathroom with washing machine and 3 TVs and wifi you will be able to rest your sore legs. Ani provides everything you need for breakfast including fresh bread.The following morning you can continue your hike up to Ronda along a very well marked track. This hike is also beautiful although it ends with a steep climb up to Ronda town. At Ronda, apart from the absolutely spectacular views, there are many bars and restaurants where you can sample the best selection of tapas or bull’s tail stew this side of the Euphrates! For those with limited time they can return to the starting point from Ronda station. For the more adventurous and young at heart there are other tracks that lead back down to either Jimera de Libar or Cortes de la Frontera from where a train back down to San Roque can be caught mid-afternoon or evening.