The White Towns of Malaga Featured

Treasures of an Arab history, north of Marbella.

by Violeta Casado Muñoz

Marbella is always a synonym of great vacations by the Mediterranean Sea. But not all the experiences are in the city centre. When culture, history, delicious food and adventure call your name, start exploring these small towns from the mitic Ronda to the authentic Frigiliana.

Mijas and Its Views of the Mediterranean

Mijas

Since the 1970s, many tourists have fallen in love with this little village. Quite a few of them are current neighbours of Mijas nowadays. Walking along the streets that surround the mountain slope as if it were a great garland is a particularly memorable experience. The Andalusian white little houses embroider the narrow sidewalks. Natural materials as wicker, linen and leather play an essential role in almost all Mudejar traditional crafts. Markets, workshops and boutiques all over the town are a deep journey into the culture of the area. Food and drinks are influenced by the tradition as well, this is the place to taste grapes, olives, tomatoes and fresh fish. It’s easy to understand now why many tourists stay in Mijas forever.

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Casares, A Hanging Village

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A special atmosphere surrounds Casares. Located in the well-known ‘Serranía de Ronda’ and almost bordering Cádiz, its white houses, paved grounds, grilles adorned with flowers and charming public squares will captivate you from the first sight. This was the hometown of Blas Infante, a notorious character from the last century in Andalusia. The castle and church are located on the rocky clifftop, which offers sweeping views over the town and the Mediterrenean Sea, as far as Africa. Sunny bars and taverns serve delicious food with a traditional touch. Casares is the perfect first stop on a trip to Ronda by crossing the mountains.

Frigiliana, the Pearl of the Axerquía

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Head to northeast Málaga and discover this stunning town. To get there you can drive along the coast and admire how the landscape changes. Frigiliana is famous for its history, beauty and the tropical climate where abundant fruit grows and boasts many sunny days. Adventurous spirits will enjoy climbing along Frigiliana admiring the majesty of the limestone mountain. Manrique De Lara’s manor widely known as ‘El Ingenio’ and the botanical garden with Al-Andalus tree species welcome you at the entrance of the town. Taste the traditional recipes that are served in restaurants or bars, and why not stock a local product such as unique artisanal cane honey or the organic raisins.

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Gaucín and Its Little Wonders

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On the Serranía de Ronda, Gaucín combines its ethnic heritage with an idyllic location near the slope of the limestone mountain. The whole town, teeming with churches, noble stone shields and Mediterranean vegetation like nothing you have ever seen, exudes a peaceful atmosphere. Don’t leave without trying artisan sweets made with almonds, grapes and cinnamon, a pure delicious Arab tradition!

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Unique Ronda

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One of the most famous places in Andalusia, Ronda’s bullfighting tradition became a symbol when Hemingway began writing about it. Did you know that Orson Wells’ grave is in Ronda? This village became very famous in Hollywood during the 1950s and 1960s when many celebrities went to visit it, the most legendary one amongst them was Ava Gardner. Undoubtedly, another emblematic symbol of Ronda is the bridge, known as ‘Tajo de Ronda’, though its official name is Puente Nuevo. It links both sides of a gorge that is 100 metres deep. Monuments in Ronda are something else: Spain’s most famous bullring, unique Arab baths, museums and churches are all worth a visit. The town centre is the perfect place to try its incredible restaurants. When you leave Ronda, you will be convinced that you won’t see a similar village in any other place.

 

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