Júzcar, el pueblo Pitufo

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won’t want to miss

This is a list of ten villages but it could be many more, because Málaga is full of small picture postcard villages by the sea or perched on mountains, some with white houses and full balconies of flowers, narrow streets and shaded patios, others laden with art and tradition, and certainly all very charming places. You have to walk slowly through their streets, stopping at viewpoints, breathing in the air and chating with people. Here is what you can expect to find if you travel to these beautiful southern villages.

Ronda

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won't want to miss: Ronda

Land of bandits, the so-called Ciudad del Tajo is one of the municipalities which simply must be visited when it comes to the province of Málaga. It inspired writers such as Ernest Hemingway and was the final resting place of Orson Welles. Its relationship with bullfighting can be seen most clearly in the eighteenth century bullring which hosts the classic annual Goyesca run.

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Marbella

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won't want to miss: Marbella

Luxury, glamour and money. A lot of money. The “jewel of the Costa del Sol” is still one of the most exclusive destinations in the world and is a holiday destination and place of residence to some of the wealthiest in the world. Puerto Banús is a gateway through which sportspeople pass and their impressive yachts dock and where the leading firms in the world try to entice wealthy buyers. There are beach clubs where champagne bottles can exceed 1,000 euros each and an offer of nightlife for all tastes.

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Antequera

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won't want to miss: Antequera

Antequera is a monumental town nestled in the heart of Andalusia, with a unique historical and artistic heritage. It holds more than fifty unique architectural treasures from its past and archaeological sites such as the Dolmens of Menga, Viera and El Romeral. Churches, convents and palaces fill out its vast catalogue of tourist attractions alongside the Alcazaba. Antequera also has amazing natural sites, including the karst landscape of El Torcal. This is a sample of the vagaries of nature and a spectacular stage to watch the Leonids meteor shower.

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Nerja

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won't want to miss: Nerja

Nerja boasts the most spectacular coastal scenery in the region of Axarquia. At the eastern end of the town, the foothills of the Sierra de Almijara burst into the sea forming the cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo. The natural area contains a series of virgin coves. The rest of the coast front is dotted with dark sandy beaches and crystalline waters. The beaches at Caletilla and Calahonda stretch at the foot of the Balcón de Europa, a viewpoint with stunning views of the Mediterranean. The Church of El Salvador, the hermitage of las Angustias and the Acueducto del Águila are three of the jewels in this area. However, its tourist attraction par excellence is the Cueva de Nerja.

Arriving at the Balcón de Europa after walking through its streets is an unmissable experience.

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Júzcar

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won't want to miss: Júzcar

The “Smurf Village” has crept into the guide books after being “dyed” blue. The residents of this municipality in the Serrania de Ronda all had their houses painted this colour after being chosen to promote the film characters created by the cartoonist Peyo.

But Júzcar has much more to offer thanks to a unique popular architectural style due to the rugged terrain on which it sits. Their houses huddle over each other to minimise the changes in landscape, drawing a picturesque urban image. The church of Santa Catalina and the remains of the old Tin Factory are the major tourist spots in this municipality of Serranía de Ronda. Júzcar also has stunning scenery, such as the Sima del Diablo, ideal for climbing and canyoning.

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Archidona

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won't want to miss: Archidona

With the Plaza Ochavada as a hallmark, Archidona has been influenced by different cultures to become a city full of history and curious celebrations. One is the Day of Caterpillar which dates back to 1743, when an epidemic of caterpillars ravaged the nearby fields and Our Lady of Grace miraculously made them disappear. This town is also known for its food, linked to the generating of excellent oil present in dishes such as the “cazuelilla moruna” or the “guisillo San Jose”.

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Álora

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won't want to miss: Álora

Another dish, Perota soup, has become part of the hallmark of Álora. It shares this distinction with the aloreña olive, a native variety whose production is delimited by mountainous areas. The town is also known for its Moorish castle from the Middle Ages, declared a national monument in 1931. Nearby is El Chorro, a place of “pilgrimage” for climbers and campers from all over the country.

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Genalguacil

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won't want to miss: Genalguacil

Situated in the Serrania de Ronda, this village of whitewashed streets with Andalusian charm looks over the Genal valley as if it were a balcony. Each of its beautiful corners surprises us with paintings, sculptures, carved tree trunks, etc.

The main attraction of this town is that, every two years, artists from all over gather here for a week to create different works of art which are then kept permanently in the streets, turning it into a “museum-town”.

From its natural setting of the “Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja”, via its routes and trails, we can see fir forests and find “Los Morterestes”, is where the first settlers crushed the ore that was extracted from gold mines nearby.

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Casabermeja

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won't want to miss: Casabermeja

A gateway to the Málaga capital through the road known as Las Pedrizas, this town is best-known for its cemetery, declared a historic-artistic monument. The fact that higher cemeteries overhang created the myth that the dead were buried standing up.

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Frigiliana

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won't want to miss: Frigiliana

The anarchic municipality par excellence. Located in the Natural Park of the Sierras of Almijara, Tejeda and Alhama, Frigiliana overlooks the Mediterranean from the mountain. Its streets keep the essence of Arabic architecture and its historic centre forms a unique urban fabric of small houses which clamber over one another.

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Where to stay

Malaga: 10 charming villages you won't want to miss: Fuerte calaceite

Fuerte Hoteles is always the best option to stay in Andalusia, see its cities and rest. The chain has branches where you can enjoy the best of each area throughout the region, in addition to its services. With more than 50 years of experience, this is the best guarantee and the starting point for each experience except you want to undertake.

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