We invite you to immerse yourself in the beauty and authenticity of Casarabonela, a charming village located in the province of Málaga. In this article, we will show you everything that this small white village on the Costa del Sol has to offer.
History of Casarabonela
During prehistoric times, the first settlers settled in the area. These settlements remained until the Roman domination period, and there are remains of these settlements, which called the city Castra Vinaria due to its wine production area.
However, it was during the Arab occupation that the village experienced significant development. It was named “Qasr Bunayra” and left a lasting imprint on its architecture and culture, becoming a strategic defensive point for the Caliphate of Cordoba.
Later, during the Reconquest in the late 15th century, a large part of the Muslim population was forcibly expelled to other areas of the Peninsula due to repeated uprisings. Subsequently, King Philip II granted it the status of a village.
What to See and Do in Casarabonela
When visiting Casarabonela, we recommend starting your tour at Plaza de España, the heart of the village. Stroll through its narrow streets and discover the most picturesque corners, such as the Ermita de la Veracruz or the Arco de Entrada Fuente Cristo, an arch built during the Spanish Civil War at the entrance of the village.
What to See in Casarabonela
Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol
Built in the 15th century on the site of an ancient mosque, it has undergone significant modifications since its origins.
It houses a museum inside, the Museum of Sacred Art. Inaugurated in 2003, you can appreciate objects and articles of religious themes that represent the historical customs of Spain.
- Address: Calle Baluarte, s/n, 29566 Casarabonela, Málaga
- Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Phone: 952 219 661
Jardín Botánico de Cactus
The Cactus Botanical Garden is an impressive natural space that houses a wide collection of cacti of various species and sizes. Marvel at the beauty and diversity of these fascinating plants, some of which are truly rare and exotic.
- Address: A-7275, Km. 0.5, 29566 Casarabonela, Málaga
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Price: €3 general admission – Children under 12 and adults over 80 free
- Phone: 951 74 31 72
Ermita de la Veracruz
The Ermita de la Veracruz is a religious building dating back to the 18th century. It consists of a single nave, covered with wooden materials, and its entire exterior facade is made of brick.
Historically, it has had other uses, such as a school for child care or political party talks during the Civil War. Also, every December 12, it houses the Virgen de los Rondeles, which is transferred to the Church of Santiago Apóstol.
- Address: Veracruz, 11, 29566 Casarabonela, Málaga
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Phone: 652 61 23 43
Nature and Hiking
Nature and hiking enthusiasts will find a true paradise in Casarabonela. The Sierra de las Nieves, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, is located just a few kilometers away and offers a great variety of routes to explore.
Mirador del Castillo Qasr Bunayra
From the tourist viewpoint of the ancient Qasr Bunayra Arab Castle, you can see from the Guadalhorce Valley to the Sierra de las Nieves. This castle was an important place for defensive operations in the 10th century against Bobastro.
Enjoy this urban route that goes from the heart of the village, passing through the white streets of Casarabonela and ending with the final climb to the castle, where the views will leave you speechless.
Casarabonela – Cueva de la Jácara
This circular route with a distance of approximately 8 km starts on the outskirts of the village. It will take you to the Jácara Cave, located in the southern area of Sierra Prieta. During the route, you will be able to see all the nature that characterizes the Sierra de las Nieves.
This route has a significant elevation gain and rocky formations, so it is considered moderately challenging.
Puerto Martínez-Pico Alcaparaín
The Puerto Martínez-Pico Alcaparaín trail starts in the north of Casarabonela. It is a circular trail with a distance of 9 km and is considered moderately challenging. This whole area is frequented by wildlife such as the golden eagle or the peregrine falcon, among others.
The end of this route leads to the Pico de Alcaparaín, a viewpoint with panoramic views of the Sierra de Alcaparaín and other neighboring towns such as Ardales and Carratraca.
Popular Festivals and Gastronomy
Annually celebrated in the months of March or April, depending on the calendar of each year. This characteristic celebration throughout Andalusia also has representation in Casarabonela.
Processional floats are carried on the shoulders through the urban area, followed by their brotherhoods in a solemn atmosphere. It is worth noting that some of these brotherhoods and fraternities were founded more than 300 years ago.
On July 1st, some of the most renowned flamenco guitarists in Andalusia gather in the village, along with local dance groups, to give a show that was born more than 40 years ago.
This celebration is considered by the locals as a cultural reference that contributes to the promotion of the municipality and the province of Málaga.
A celebration with almost 20 years of history, where activities, concerts, theater performances, typical local food, and other activities take place, keeping the youngest entertained throughout the day.
Cultural Week is celebrated at the end of August or beginning of September, depending on each year.
Gastronomy of Casarabonela
The Dia Del Pipeo is a celebration held by the inhabitants of Casarabonela in the first days of April, where, in addition to tasting their traditional dish, el Pipeo, they learn to cook it while listening to live music that accompanies the activities.
Don’t miss the traditional dishes such as arrope, guiso de conejo, and goat, accompanied by a good local wine.
How to Get to Casarabonela
How to Get to Casarabonela by Bus
You can reach Casarabonela by bus from Málaga. The Sierra de las Nieves private transportation company offers recommended travel options that take you directly to the village. Check the schedules and fares to plan your trip efficiently.
How to Get to Casarabonela by Car
If you want to enjoy the comfort and flexibility of exploring the surroundings of Casarabonela at your own pace, hiring an automatic car at Malaga Airport is the ideal option.
From the airport, take the MA-20 towards Sevilla and take exit 7, following the signs for Cártama (A-357). Once on this road, simply follow it until you find the detour to Casarabonela (A-354), just after passing Pizarra.
This approximately 45-minute route will allow you to enjoy beautiful landscapes of green mountains and orchards during your journey and get closer to visiting other interesting towns in Málaga such as Álora, Carratraca, or Coín.
Map of Casarabonela
To help you explore Casarabonela more efficiently, we have prepared a map with all the relevant points marked. Check the map below and plan your visit so you don’t miss anything in this charming town. Enjoy your trip to Casarabonela!
Best time of year to visit: Between the months of March and August
Must-try: Taste the village’s star dish, el Pipeo, to replenish your energy after a day exploring the nearby hiking trails.
Nearby places to eat: Among the places where you can have an excellent gastronomic experience are Tomate Algo, Bar Nuevo, and Hotel Restaurante Cortijo San Antonio.
For more information about the town, you can visit the Casarabonela City Council’s website: https://www.casarabonela.es/