The municipality of El Gastor is located in the northeastern end of the province of Cádiz, between the Guadalete River and the Guadalporcún River. It is part of the Route of the White Villages, and is known as the Balcony of the White Villages for the magnificent views that can be seen from the Tagus Algarín.
The municipality of El Gastor has several scattered population centers: El Jaral, Nuevas Ventas, Era de la Viña and Arroyomolinos.
The first human settlements are attested by the existence of a megalithic monument of great importance, the Dolmen of the Giant.
However, El Gastor owes its origin as a population to the Granada War, since Zahara de la Sierra used it as a military plaza. Later and after the reconquest of the Christians of these lands, repopulation policies were carried out and the colonization of Villa of El Gastor began, treating it as a hamlet of Zahara de la Sierra.
With the war of independence against France, El Gastor was home to bandits, among which José María El Tempranillo who had his girlfriend in this municipality. During this war, El Gastor became independent from Zahara de la Sierra and obtained the title of Villa in 1834.
It is interesting to make a route for its architectural heritage where you can see one of the following places we recommend.
Dolmen of the Giant: This is an ancient megalithic tomb located on the slopes of Lagarín Peak, next to El Gastor. The plant is about nine meters long and a variable width from the two meters of the entrance to the three of the inner chamber. In this enclosure they have found valuable pieces such as arrowheads, polished axes and remains of handmade ceramics with silex recordings.
Balcony of the White Villages: Due to the belonging of El Gastor to the Route of the White Villages, this town is also known as the Balcony of the White Villages since it is the highest point of the route and from it you can see some beautiful views of El Gastor and neighboring towns, characterized by the predominance of white houses.
Parochial Church of San José: It is a church of neoclassical structure built in the mid-eighteenth century. Inside is the Virgin of El Rosario, patron saint of El Gastor. It kept important canvases, although it was looted in the Civil War, a fact that had to be reconstructed. It is located in the Constitución Square, next to the Town Hall, two interesting places to see.
Cave of Fariña: This cave served as a hiding place for great bandits. It is difficult to access, since the entrance is almost the size of a person, but it is a place worth visiting.
Fountain of El Gastor: Neoclassical style of the 18th century, inside houses the images of the patron saint Virgin of El Rosario and patron San José.
There are different attractions to enjoy El Gastor as it is the visit to a museum or to carry out some of the routes we propose.
Museum of Use and Popular Customs José María El Tempranillo: In El Gastor his famous brigand José María El Tempranillo had his girlfriend, and because of his famous character, a museum of the same name recreates the historical period in which "king of Andalusia" frequented the town. It is located next to the City Hall building and collects articles, instruments and equipment that show the traditions and customs of this beautiful town.
Route of the Dolmen of the Giant: This route is recommended because of the interesting nature of the resource. Located in the estate of "El Charcón", on the border with the municipality of Ronda, the dolmen is formed by large vertical stones two meters high. The route is approximately 2 km long, it is about 2 hours long, it is considered medium-low difficulty and its route is linear.
Route of the Tagus Algarín: Route to the highest point of El Gastor, where you can discover the reason why this town is known as the Balcony of the White Villages. The route is approximately 4 km, it takes about 4 hours to travel, the difficulty is medium-high and the route is circular.
Route to La Grajas: This is a route where you can see different species of birds among which the griffon vulture. Its route is approximately 4 km, its duration is about 4 hours, its difficulty is medium-high and it has a circular route.
Route of the Tajillo: Path that begins obtaining panoramic views of the urban framework of El Gastor to later discover vestiges that were part of the culture and custom of this town. It has a distance of about 2 km, a medium-high difficulty, a duration of about 2 hours and a circular course.
Route of the Plateras: Route that passes between the typical vegetation of the place where you will be able to visualize almond trees, olive trees, holm oaks and prickly pears, and that finishes in the zone of rural houses more typical of El Gastor.
Next to El Gastor is the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, where you can enjoy beautiful landscapes characterized by a variety of vegetation and fauna.
Among the different celebrations that we can find in the municipality of El Gastor deserves to be highlighted the following:
Corpus Christi: Celebrated in June, considered a National Tourist Interest Festival. It has the appeal of decorating facades and paved with bouquets and sedges, which gives the population the appearance of a garden. This festival has been celebrated here since the mid-eighteenth century. In the context of this festival is also celebrated the already famous annual gaita Gastoreña contest, which is a unique wind musical instrument.
Also, among the most common festivities we find the Romería in the Vega del Valle on the first sunday in may, the Fairs and Festivals in August and the Patronal Feast of the Virgen of El Rosario.
Emphasizes the camper chicken, the seasoned olives, the pegás soups, the roasted chestnuts and the stew.
Outstanding in its craftsmanship, the manufacture of the famous "Gaita Gastoreña", made of wood, horn and wicker.