17 May, 2015 @ 16:18
2 mins read

Gaucin: The hidden hot-spot to the rich and famous

gaucin panoramic e

gaucin panoramicROUNDING the final corner of the ancient Roman road into the hilltop village of Gaucin, you could be forgiven for thinking little has changed since the first stones were laid.

And perhaps that is what brings discerning celebrities and captains of industry to this unspoilt spot, clinging to the rocky ridge between Gibraltar and Ronda.

The rich and famous, too, are frequently rewarded for braving the winding road to arrive in this fairytale location.

And they are an undeniably high-calibre bunch… Just ask DJ Fatboy Slim and wife Zoe Ball who have holidayed there, or Hollywood superstar Claire Danes, who actually spent her honeymoon in the village with English acting heartthrob Hugh Dancy.

Then there are superchefs Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, who have hung out and filmed in the town’s many charming cafes and restaurants.

Most recently Ramsay headed over to film for an episode of his show Kitchen Nightmares taking on the fledgling – and struggling – restaurant Granada Divino.

Following a gruelling experience it is now dubbed by various critics as Gaucin’s best restaurant.

But it is the recent buyers of properties in the town that has most raised eyebrows of late.

While whispers suggest that the CEO of auction house Sotheby’s has recently bought a home in the town, what is certain is that one of the UK’s most successful captains of industry David Sainsbury has recently been seduced by the picture-perfect, slow-pace of the town.

Billed as having ‘one of the best swimming pools in Spain’, the eight-bedroom former guest house El Nobo oozes charm and secluded-exclusivity.

Money cannot always buy this tranquility and David Sainsbury – worth a cool €1 billion – would know.

This property, alongside countless others, offers a chance to escape from the outside world to a paparazzi-free paradise and pure relaxation.

Homeland star Claire Danes and British actor Hugh Dancy handpicked the property as the perfect place to hide out after they wed in a low-key ceremony in 2009.

There is something in the description of the Genal Valley (which Gaucin overlooks) as the ‘Cotswolds of Spain’ that resonates with visitors.

Or maybe it is the overwhelming sense of quality, inherent class – a million miles from the bright lights of Banus or the spray-tan beach-bunnies of Marbella.

Renowned architect of the Puente Romano hotel Milan Varmuza moved here ten years ago.

“I was on a road trip and it just felt right.

“People are honest here, it is an incredibly beautiful area and it’s great for all walks of life from families to couples seeking peace and quiet.

“Highly successful people know they can find the tranquillity they need in Gaucin.”

Overlooked by a ruined Roman castle and watered by the cleanest river in Europe, Gaucin perches aloof and untouched as the balcony of the Serrania.

Today, a favourite chill-out enclave for artists due to the abundance of character and charm, local painters are inspired by lush landscapes and higgledy piggledy architecture.

Inhabited by the Romans and fortified by the Moors, the town is steeped in history –  and it hits you when meandering through the ceramic lizard-lined streets.

It is also home to perhaps the most important collection of artists on the Costa del Sol who fling their studio doors open to the public for two weekends of May.

Summer months will see the town’s population of 2,000 grow – but Gaucin never loses its character of peace and seclusion.

So, celebrity or not, keep a beady eye on the horizon for Gaucin, as stars have a knack of identifying the hottest – or coolest – places to set up camp.

Just make sure you’re wearing your seatbelt when you are distracted by the breathtaking views!

Iona Napier

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  1. Sigh, just an advertorial for someone called Milan Varmuza and his portfolio/restaurant, as people who allready know about Gaucin, know about the many “famous” people coming and going.
    The anonymity, privacy and peace these and other people seek has now been ruined.

    Congratulations !

  2. I used to live in Gaucin. The expats there are mainly struggling arty farty types hoping someone from the coast will take a trip and buy one of their works. Nice place but not reall full of celebs….thank God.

  3. Tranquillity? The two one-way main streets inside the village are so small riddled with nooks and crannies. Therefor Gaucin most times suffers from traffic jam. Have you ever tried to reach the cemetery below the Castle del Aguilla at Easter? Who knows why most of the citizens of Gaucin have to go there by car?
    I remember a Sunday when the A369 was closed. All traffic from Manilva to Ronda had to go thru the center of Gaucin as a circumvention. That was true for our tour bus too. Our driver needed 90 minutes maneuvering the large bus around the small corners, thereby blocking the rest of the traffic and tearing down the festoons which were hanging over the street as part of the local election campaign.
    This cute ancient village in the form of a crocodile needs a total car ban in order to become tranquil.
    Are the citizens of Gaucin, especially the Rich and Beauty, ready for a walk?

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