One of the most picturesque villages on the Costa del Sol, Ojén, is found with the mountain at its back and the sea in front of it. The British newspaper The Times has included it in its list of the 50 best cities in the world to live. And it’s no wonder. Its climate, the warmth of its people, its natural spaces and the tranquillity of the area are just some of the aspects that have led it to appear in higher positions in the list than cities like Paris or Rome. If you travel to the coast of Málaga, make sure you come to Ojén, near Marbella, and see for yourself why this is one of the best towns to live in.
PEACE AND QUIET
Tranquillity is one of the main factors valued by the British. The older people in the village stroll peacefully through the main square, with its narrow streets and outside the village. Children can play outside without fear of something happening to them. They are like a big family and everyone knows everyone else. This fact is even appreciated by the teachers of the people who say that students raised with this freedom “are more sociable”.
Ojén is surrounded several viewpoints from which you can admire the traditional Andalusian white landscape in a relaxed atmosphere. Come and experience the tranquillity that has attracted foreign media. Although it is known for its tranquillity, during the month of July, Ojén is filled with young and not so young people from all parts of Spain attracted by its indie music festival, Ojeando.
While peace is an important reason to live in Ojén, so is its beauty. This town of Málaga is a beautiful sight. Narrow streets of whitewashed houses and a main square with a church: this is the typical Andalusian layout you can find. Without a doubt, if you want a typical place in the south where you can take good pictures, Ojén is the perfect place.
Excursions arrive daily from Marbella or other parts of the province to see the town. Its climbing lemon plants (although this plant is not the real thing, it is pruned to appear so) is a beautiful mural on the walls of the parish in a square full of tapas bars. The Fuente de los Caños is one of the most visited attractions, also located in the same place. The pots of geraniums hanging from the balconies and windows are, in a way, another symbol of Andalusia. In this town, they take good care of their plants. Every morning you can see grandmothers cutting the stems that are growing wrongly or watering their pots.
Ojén has won the hearts of many, one of whom is its most illustrious son, Julio Iglesias. 20 years ago, this international singer laid eyes on this town and bought a house here. Don’t miss the beauty of any corner of this Málaga village.
This is one of the strengths of Ojén: its food. The main square is littered with small tapas bars offering the best homemade Mediterranean recipes.
One of the most famous sites is Sierra Gourmet and we recommend that you visit it and sample the best snacks in the region. Upon entering the restaurant, your appetite is immediately whetted. In addition to the extensive menu of handcrafted tapas, the place has a range of local products. Visitors can find here the famous Ojén brandy or honey, famous throughout the province. Wines with a designation of origin, handmade jams or the best olive oils complete Pepa García’s pantry in this traditional destination.
In the plaza, you can also find other bars where you can ask for homemade croquettes or some grilled chicken. The chairs and tables are placed on the terrace overlooking the beautiful landscape that includes a fountain and climbing lemon plants so that you will enjoy not only the food but the sights.
Another reason this town is so special is the capacity is has for practising outdoor sports. Both hiking and bicycle trails are spread over the mountains and the hamlet of El Juanar is one of the most coveted on the Costa del Sol. On most Sundays, groups of friends from across the province come together to cycle in the area and travel more than 40 kilometres. At sunset, is very common to find groups of women who walk through the natural environment.
The mountains of Ojén have great Mediterranean forests of oak, cork oak, pine, agave and cactus which extend to the edge of the road and are another gem found in the town. In these forests you can find examples of the ibex, a protected species and virtually extinct, and the golden eagle.
There are also the genet, mongoose, polecats and many small mammals, birds and insects of various species. In addition to this, there are various medicinal plants such as sage, rosemary, thyme, cantahueso, fennel or chamomile. In the underbrush, there is an abundance of gorse, broom thickets, abulagas or evergreens. And, there is a rare colony of Spanish fir trees, a kind of typical hundred-year-old European spruce from Grazalema.
On the Almadán River and in places like “El Charco Las Viñas”, it is common to find turtles, frogs or snakes. Fragrant flowers like the orchid and the gymnadenia rhellicani abound in the landscape of the Sierra de Ojén, home to the Eurasian eagle-owl, an endangered bird which is currently very difficult to spot.
Another key reason why Ojén has been included in the list compiled by The Times is the friendliness of its people. The locals are open people who are happy to receive anyone who decides to visit. Not surprisingly in recent years, the number of foreign families who have decided to move to Ojén to live has grown by 20%.
The article in The Times consolidates Ojén as a prime tourist destination, as the authentic Andalusian experience, perfect for the sun and beach that nearby Marbella offers.
If you decide to visit Ojén, we recommend staying in a prestigious hotel in nearby Marbella. Fuerte Marbella and Fuerte Miramar offer you all kinds of services and amenities in the heart of this town. This chain has over 50 years of experience as a leading chain. Holidays with friends, with family or friends, however you choose to travel fits these hotels perfectly.