Hills clad in vine and olive groves, the back drop of beautiful mountains and the impeccable white washed villages make this trip absolutely worthwhile.

Setting out East from Malaga, one drives towards Nerja some 50 km away. It is worth pausing whilst in this busy tourist enclave, even though it has grown from its original small status as a fishing village. It still retains its charm and has much to warrant a visit before heading north towards Frigiliana.

Traces of Phoenician, Roman and Moorish settlements abound in its surrounding areas. But its main claim to fame are the spectacular caves that were discovered by some young boys from the town in 1959. The interior of its main cave matches that of the largest cathedral built by man. It is immense and is augmented by dramatic stalagmites and stalactites. There is a stage within the great hall where shows such as classical ballet are staged on a regular basis.

A visit to one of the Costa’s prettiest pueblos, Frigiliana

Within the town itself, Nerja is famous for its palm fringed promenade known as the Balcony of Europe. The town has a relaxing feel about it which is reflected in its Hotel Parador. This is beautifully located overlooking the Burriana beach prettily placed again with a special charm about it.

On leaving Nerja and heading up towards Frigiliana, the road winds through fields of sweet potatoes and avocado orchards. The Pueblo is only 6 km from the coast but at 300 m above sea level, it still retains its ancient character. With its traditional architecture and mosaic cobbled streets it has won many of Spain’s national and regional prizes for the best preserved and beautiful Pueblo. It is good to know that the local law protects this presentation of unspoiled beauty by banning any deviation from the traditional Andalusian build. Walking around the Pueblo and behind it, the site of the ancient Moorish fort can be found, commanding spectacular views out to sea and the mountains behind. All that remains are remnants of the old walls as it was razed to the ground over 400 years ago. It is interesting to know that one of the streets of Frigiliana is named after the leader of the Moors.

12 ceramic plaques sited around the Pueblo tell the story of the Moors making their last stand against the forces of Philip 11. These really epitomise the story of Frigiliana and the spirit shown over many hundreds of years.

Heading back to Malaga, one can take the road to Torrox. It passes close by the 3000 m high mountain that is El Fuerte and where the Moriscos made their last stand against Philip. There is a cliff of reddish bare rock where it is said many moors leapt to their deaths rather than be captured. In the first part of the last century, an old road nearby used to be busy every night with men urging their donkeys onward to distant Granada carrying their loads of fresh fish from Nerja to sell in the market there.

The Frigiliana to Torrox Road is beautiful particularly in February and early March when almond blossom is at its height. As the road winds along the ridges, the high Sierra’s soar and the steep hillsides sweep away with their olive trees and vineyards. There is a pleasant Plaza situated outside Torrox town Hall with cafes offering refreshment as a break on the trip back to the city.

CarGest car hire offer vehicles for rent to take advantage of this and other wonderful scenic drives. They will be delighted to give advice on many aspects of other sites to be seen on one’s travels.

 

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