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The "Guiri" Gourmet

The "Guiri" Gourmet likes his food. He eats well at home, as his wife is an outstanding cook, but they also like to dine out or go on a "tapas" tour. This blog is about some of their experiences, both in Spain and elsewhere.

The Best “Station” in the Serrania de Ronda – Estación de Benaoján
Saturday, May 11, 2024 @ 11:14 AM

The railway line from Algeciras to Ronda and beyond runs through the Guadiaro valley. As a result several “new” settlements developed adjacent to the line which ostensibly were to serve the old Arab villages up the hill. So, Gaucín has Estación de Gaucín ( El Colmenar), Cortes de la Frontera has Estación de Cortes, also known as Cañada del Real Tesoro, Jimera de Líbar has Estación de Jimera de Líbar and Montejaque and Benaojan have Estación de Benaoján.

It is this latter “settlement”, which is the subject of this article.



Estación de Benaoján, population 1,437 (2023), is possibly unique, in that every hostelry is exceptional for its type. As you drop down the hill from Montejaque and Benaoján, you discover an amazing choice right by the station.


La Cantina

The bar at the station is small and basic, but they have tapas and drinks, all at reasonable prices. A very pleasant spot to sit while waiting for your train, or at the beginning or end of a hike through the valley.


Restaurante El Muelle

As the name suggests this is a converted railway shed* at the far end of the platform. This place is for carnivores; there are no vegetarian or vegan options. The meat is prepared in/on a wood oven.

Cristóbal, the chef, and wife, Gina, front of house, offer a warm welcome and great value-for-money with large portions and reasonable prices.


Bar Ankanita

Back to the road junction opposite the stationand we have Bar Ankanita (previously Bar Stop).

This is a very popular place for breakfast and lunch. It doesn’t open on the evenings. The menu del día for 12€ is outstanding. It’s best to book, or you might be disappointed.

It is normally full of workers from the local ham factory, as well as locals and the cognoscenti amongst the foreigners who live in the area.

Diego, the head waiter, and XXX, the chef, used to work at the excellent Hotel Molino del Santo in the village, but they fell out with the owners and took over this bar when Ani retired.


Bar La Esquina

Also here, in the former offices of Serranía Eléctrica, is Bar La Esquina. The bar has the best toilet I have seen in these parts.

It also has interesting posters, slogans and sayings on the walls.

Owner Carmen offers a range of quality beers and great tapas.



Hotel Molino del Santo

Finally, tucked away by the river, we come to the afore-mentioned Hotel Molino del Santo and its very classy restaurant.

Some 40 years ago it was a dilapidated olive mill. It was spotted by a couple of young teachers from England who were holidaying in the area. Pauline, a Spanish teacher, and Andy, a PE teacher, promptly bought it, left teaching and emigrated.


They did it up and turned it into one of the most popular bijou hotels in the valley.

Andy and Pauline retired a couple of years ago and the hotel and restaurant are now in the hands of Juan, half Argentinian, half English, and his French wife, Brigitte.

This restaurant was always a class act and still is. All the staff are local people, which ensures that the Spanish as well as international guests feel at home here.

For us pensioners it’s expensive, but we do go for special occasions, like birthdays or anniversaries, or when we have family staying with us. My kids Amy and Tom love it as their young children can play safely with no dangerous road nearby.



Estación de Benaoján, the only place I know where every hostelry is excellent. I frequent them all.


© The “Guiri” Gourmet


*There are a good few restaurants housed in old railway sheds. Look here:




A1 Inmobiliaria



Karl Smallman

Secret Serrania




A1 Inmobiliaria, Asador El Muelle, Bar Ankanita, Bar Stop, Benaoján, El Muelle, Estación de Benaoján, Facebook, “Guiri” Gourmet, HRS, Karl Smallman, La Cantina, La Esquina, Molino del Puente, Montejaque, Secret Serrania


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