THEY are as much a part of Andalucia as fish and chip shops in Britain or bistros in Paris.
The roadside ventas lining the highways of Spain’s largest region have been providing sustenance to the weary traveller for centuries.
Take any main motorway or winding A-road and, chances are, after a few kilometres you will come across one.
Normally squat ugly rectangles, you’ll know them from the line of metal parking shades out front.
Utterly unprepossessing in the main, there’s rarely a hint of the quality of food and on most occasions you will leave largely unimpressed.
Yet, every once in a while the lowly roadside venta will blow you away.
OPEN: The huge shaded terrace of Venta Polverilla just outside Ronda
Take the wonderful 16th century Venta Galwey on the ancient winding road into the Montes de Malaga park, or the ancient Venta Alfarnate which once imprisoned Andalucia’s most famous bandit, El Tempranillo. They are unforgettable.
Just as breathtaking is the isolated huntsmen’s hideout of Puerto de Galiz, in the middle of Los Alcornocales natural park, which Rough Guide editor Geoff Garvey highlighted in our last issue…