Benamargosa, a hidden gem in the Axarquía region of Málaga, unfolds its historical charm and natural wealth in a setting of unique beauty. With its cobbled streets and squares, this town also invites exploration of its surroundings through hiking trails with breathtaking views.

For those looking to fully experience Benamargosa, car rental in Málaga provides the freedom to discover every corner of this historically rich and charming region.

History of Benamargosa

The history of Benamargosa dates back from Roman times to Muslim rule when it was fortified to protect against Christian incursions. However, its consolidation as a town occurred in the Middle Ages when the Catholic Monarchs definitively conquered it in the 15th century.

Over the years, agriculture, especially the production of olive oil, was crucial for its development, along with the textile and silk industry in the 19th century. Benamargosa also earned the nickname “Little Gibraltar” as many villagers engaged in tobacco and fabric smuggling from Gibraltar.

Side view of the village of Benamargosa
Side view of the village of Benamargosa |

Despite social and economic changes, Benamargosa has preserved its cultural and historical essence. Today, the town takes pride in its past and works to keep it alive by combining heritage and modernity.

What to See and Do in Benamargosa

Benamargosa is located in the Axarquía region, surrounded by hills, orchards, and fields, and crossed by the river of the same name. Thus, it is an attractive village that surprises visitors both with its surroundings and its monuments and picturesque streets.

What to See in Benamargosa

The historical and architectural heritage of Benamargosa is impressive. Strolling through the cobblestone streets of the town, visiting its churches, and discovering hidden corners is an experience not to be missed.

Santa María de la Encarnación Church

The Santa María de la Encarnación Church features a façade and Mudéjar-style bell tower. This tower rises on the horizon of Benamargosa, adding a striking visual element to the town’s architecture. Inside, valuable altarpieces and historical sculptures are on display.

Church of Santa María de la Encarnación from the 16th century
Church of Santa María de la Encarnación from the 16th century |

Aside from being a place of worship, the Santa María de la Encarnación Church is a central piece in Benamargosa’s history and culture, having been constructed in the 16th century on the site of the town’s former mosque.

San Sebastián Hermitage

The San Sebastián Hermitage is a sanctuary located at the top of a hill. The walk to the hermitage is a pleasant one, and once at the summit, visitors are rewarded with panoramic views of the town, making it a place of tranquility.

The hermitage of San Sebastián, a place of tranquillity
The hermitage of San Sebastián, a place of tranquillity |

It is a symbol of religious devotion and an integral part of Benamargosa’s life, housing the Virgin of the Purísima, the protagonist of the well-known pilgrimage held in the month of May.

Arco de la Huerta

In a corner of Benamargosa’s historic center, the Arco de la Huerta (Arch of the Orchard) has been preserved. In recent times, it has been restored and enhanced with nighttime illumination, highlighting the natural beauty of the place.

Arco de la huerta, illuminated at night
Arco de la huerta, illuminated at night |

This infrastructure had great importance in the past as it played an essential role in providing water to the agricultural areas, a function that continued until a few years ago.

Nature and Hiking

Benamargosa is surrounded by the characteristic landscapes of the Axarquía, inviting you to explore its mountainous terrain and valleys through a variety of hiking routes. Without a doubt, Benamargosa is the ideal destination for those looking to connect with nature.

Río Benamargosa Route

This route follows the course of the Benamargosa River, offering a relaxing walk through the surrounding nature. With flat trails and minimal elevation gain, it is suitable for hikers of all levels, including families with children. Enjoy the river and the tranquility of the surroundings as you immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region.

Points of Interest

  • Estimated Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Kilometers: 5 km
  • Elevation Gain: 90 meters
  • Estimated Location: Near the town of Benamargosa
  • Difficulty: Easy

Málaga to Almáchar Path

Start at the picturesque Benamargosa Bridge and continue along the road to Cútar. At the intersection with the famous Málaga to Almáchar Path, the ascent begins. This historic cattle trail, a shortcut to Málaga due to its accessibility and short distance, offers views of the valley where Benamargosa is located.

Benamargosa river, with its spectacular Ten Eyes Bridge
Benamargosa river, with its spectacular Ten Eyes Bridge |

As you ascend, La Maroma, the iconic peak of the Axarquía, comes into view until you reach the highest point, which is at the boundary with Almáchar. After enjoying the views, the return to Benamargosa follows the same route.

Points of Interest

  • Estimated Time: 2 hours
  • Kilometers: 4 km
  • Elevation Gain: 180 meters
  • Estimated Location: Benamargosa – Almáchar
  • Difficulty: Moderate

El Borge Circular Route

The El Borge Circular Route offers stunning views, making it a popular hiking option. Despite its difficulty, the route is accessible year-round, allowing adventurers to explore it in any season.

This is a circular route through the Axarquía that starts and ends in Benamargosa, passing through the towns of Cútar, Almáchar, and El Borge while traversing the entire mountain range. This route is ideal for a day-long hike, with stops in one of the itinerary’s villages for lunch and enjoyment of the surroundings.

Points of Interest

  • Estimated Time: 7 hours
  • Kilometers: 21.9 km
  • Elevation Gain: 1100 meters
  • Estimated Location: Near Benamargosa
  • Difficulty: Moderate – High

Popular Festivals and Gastronomy

Benamargosa comes to life during its festivals and events, which celebrate the culture, history, and traditions of the region. On the highlighted dates, the town is filled with music, dance, equestrian shows, religious events, and, of course, delicious food.

Field Fair

On a Sunday in April, the Field Fair is celebrated in Benamargosa. This fair is an event that highlights the importance of agriculture and rural life in the locality, featuring stalls, processions, and various concerts throughout the day, filling the streets of the town with color and joy.

Romería de la Purísima

The Romería de la Purísima is an annual tradition in Benamargosa that takes place in May. During this event, the residents of the town spend the night on the banks of the Benamargosa River, enjoying various activities.

Horseback riding in the pilgrimage of La Purísima
Horseback riding in the pilgrimage of La Purísima |

Midnight marks the time for praying the Salve Rociera in honor of La Purísima, and on Sunday, it culminates with a popular paella.

August Fair

The August Fair is one of the most prominent festivities in Benamargosa, where the characteristic fair atmosphere of the Axarquía region comes to life in the town. Music, dance, and gastronomy come together to create a festive atmosphere, providing an opportunity to enjoy the warm August nights.


Benamargosa’s cuisine is a delightful blend of Mediterranean and Andalusian flavors. Dishes are based on fresh, local ingredients, with a focus on agricultural products from the region.

Batycate, a sweet and smooth avocado smoothie
Batycate, a sweet and smooth avocado smoothie |

Some standout dishes include ‘batycate,’ a sweet and smooth avocado shake; the refreshing ‘zoque,’ made with pear lemon, garlic, and peppers. There’s also ‘ajoblanco,’ a variation of gazpacho with almonds, tomato soup with seafood and almonds, and, to finish with a sweet touch, the typical olive oil cakes.

How to Get to Benamargosa

Getting to Benamargosa will take you through the landscapes of the Axarquía region. The accessibility to this beautiful Andalusian village has improved over time, although it can still be challenging to reach by public transport.

How to Get There by Public Transport

To reach Benamargosa, you can take routes from Málaga’s bus station that connect to Vélez-Málaga, and from there, you can take a taxi or a local bus to Benamargosa.

Another option is to take a train from Málaga to Vélez-Málaga and then complete the journey by bus. The train will offer you panoramic views of the coastal landscape before arriving in Vélez-Málaga, where you can catch a bus or taxi to Benamargosa.

How to Get There by Car

The most common way to reach Benamargosa is by car. From Málaga, take the A-7 motorway towards Almería and then take the exit towards Vélez-Málaga. As you progress, follow the signs to Benamargosa, which is located about 30 kilometers northwest of Vélez-Málaga.

The journey will take you through roads surrounded by olive groves and typical countryside of the region, allowing you to stop at other nearby towns of interest, such as Almáchar or Comares.

Map of Benamargosa

The following map will provide you with a clearer view of the location of interesting places such as monuments, hiking trails, and other iconic sites. Explore the historical and natural charm of Benamargosa through this guide that will help you plan and enjoy your visit to the fullest.

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