With its whitewashed houses and typical Andalusian streets, Gaucín clings to a rocky hillside in the heart of the Serranía de Ronda. The village is famed for its vino de mosto and artisanal brandy. It was at the foot of the castle, in 1309, that Guzmán el Bueno fell; he was one of the medieval Spanish heros of the Reconquista who enabled it to secure immense swathes of Andalusia. In the 19C the village was a popular holiday resort with British officers garrisoned in Gibraltar. When Prosper Mérimée wrote his short story Carmen, he drew on the life of one such man.