Located in the heart of the Genal Valley, Genalguacil is known as the museum village of the Serranía de Ronda. Its narrow, white streets hold the history of the Arab legacy of this town, but also numerous artworks created by resident artists and a natural environment that delights the eyes.

Visiting Genalguacil is a surprise every year, as biennially the streets are intervened by different artists with ephemeral artworks that turn its corners into spaces of unique beauty.

Visitors who want to go to the museum village of the Genal Valley can rent an all-inclusive car at Malaga Airport and travel along the coast to gradually enter the mountains until reaching this hidden village that holds a special charm.

History of Genalguacil

The history of Genalguacil is based on the influence of Arab culture, which baptized this small municipality as ‘Genna-Ahuacir,’ which translates to ‘Gardens of the Vizier’, something that is undoubtedly given by the wild and colorful nature that surrounds the town.

Aerial view of Genalguacil
Aerial view of Genalguacil |

After the Reconquest by the Catholic Monarchs, the town was granted to the Duke of Arcos, and many Muslims, known as Mudéjars, continued to live there, preserving their religion in exchange for paying a tribute. In the year 1500, there was a revolt by these citizens that led to personal intervention by Ferdinand the Catholic.

That is why Genalguacil preserves its Muslim roots, visible in the layout of its streets, although there are also traces of other civilizations such as the Phoenician and Greek who exploited its gold, silver, and copper deposits in the Cueva de Baque.

What to See and Do in Genalguacil

Genalguacil is one of the white villages of Malaga worth visiting, but it can be seen in just one morning. This museum village is ideal to visit in the morning when the sun shines on its streets to enjoy the colors of the landscape.

What to See in Genalguacil

Although it does not have many monuments, Genalguacil exudes art and color in every corner. Furthermore, its past marked by the passage of different civilizations means that its streets are full of beauty, surrounded by lush nature.

Street Artworks

Since 1994, Genalguacil has made contemporary art an essential pillar of its development. Despite being a small town with just 400 inhabitants, it has managed to stand out in the Spanish art scene due to its focus on contemporary creation.

Contemporary art in the streets of Genalguacil
Contemporary art in the streets of Genalguacil |

The Encounters of Art have been held since then, bringing together artists from within and outside the country to intervene in its streets and its museum, presenting their proposals to a professional jury. More than 200 artisans and creators have left their legacy in Genalguacil, earning it the title of a museum village.

Although some artworks have already become part of its heritage, others are ephemeral, being replaced by new creations that are distributed throughout the streets to keep the village alive and in constant change.

Contemporary Art Museum

The ‘Fernando Centeno’ Contemporary Art Museum opened in 2004 after the consolidation of Genalguacil as a reference for contemporary art in Spain. With the title of Inhabited Museum Village, artistic interventions in the urban environment led to the need for an exhibition space to preserve them.

The museum houses a valuable permanent collection and offers itinerant exhibitions in two nationally and internationally acclaimed rooms. In addition, it is the headquarters of the ‘Genalguacil Pueblo Museo’ Foundation, responsible for maintaining and enriching artistic projects.

Church of San Pedro Mártir de Verona

In every Andalusian village, there must be a church, a central element in the heart of the town that dominates Constitution Square, located next to a beautiful panoramic viewpoint.

The Church of San Pedro Mártir de Verona dates back to the 16th century, although it was burned during the Morisco rebellion in 1570 when 500 Christian soldiers were sent to the area to depopulate it and turn the citizens into slaves.

Church of San Pedro Martir de Verona from the 16th century
Church of San Pedro Martir de Verona from the 16th century |

Angry, the Moriscos who inhabited the area surrounded the church where the soldiers barricaded themselves with women and children, released the hostages, and set fire to the temple with the soldiers inside.

This church was rebuilt in the late 18th century, maintaining a baroque style with the presence of Mudéjar art and a simple aesthetic without ornaments.


Although Genalguacil is full of artworks, one of its natural attractions is the surrounding environment. Its privileged position on the heights of Sierra Bermeja turns every corner into a surprising viewpoint.

Among the best-known viewpoints is primarily the Plaza viewpoint, located next to the church, which offers views of the Genal Valley dotted with other villages like Casares or Gaucín.

Views from one of the viewpoints of Genalguacil
Views from one of the viewpoints of Genalguacil |

In its surroundings, visitors can also find other viewpoints like the Lentisco Viewpoint, from which you can take a postcard-worthy photo of the village of Genalguacil, or the Poyetes Viewpoint.

Nature and Hiking

Once you have visited the village, Genalguacil offers nature lovers a rich and surprising environment where you can enjoy routes through its chestnut forests, Spanish firs, and pine groves, walking to other nearby municipalities with a lot to offer.

River Genal Footbridges Route from Venta San Juan

The round-trip trail starts at Venta San Juan, in the Lower Genal Valley. The route follows the course of the River Genal and has three sections of metal footbridges to overcome areas where floods have damaged the original path.

Spectacular route for hiking in Genalguacil
Spectacular route for hiking in Genalguacil |

During the journey, you will cross the Monardillo River on a wooden bridge, finishing the outward journey at the third footbridge, near a recreational area called Prado de la Escribana, where you start the return to Venta San Juan, crossing the concrete bridge over the River Genal.

Points of Interest

  • Estimated Time: 3 hours and 20 minutes
  • Kilometers: 7.16 km
  • Elevation Gain: 290 m
  • Estimated Location: Lower Genal Valley
  • Difficulty: Easy

Pinsapar de Los Reales – Pico Los Reales Route

Starting the route at the Los Reales refuge, the itinerary follows the Pinsapos Walk Path, then continues along the Realillos Path to reach the summit of Pico Los Reales at 1452 meters.

On the way, hikers will find a mural located in Genalguacil’s Plazoleta with a poem dedicated to the trees. The trail is comfortable until the ascent to the summit of Los Reales, and the views of Sierra Bermeja are incredible.

Points of Interest

  • Estimated Time: 2 hours and 17 minutes
  • Kilometers: 6.14 km
  • Elevation Gain: 329 m
  • Estimated Location: Los Reales Natural Area
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Genalguacil – Jubrique Route

For visitors who want to explore the neighboring villages of Genalguacil and enjoy its flora and fauna, the route to Jubrique is one of the most beautiful hiking routes on the Costa del Sol in close contact with nature.

The route starts in the heart of the village of Genalguacil and goes through the lush Genal Valley, combining stretches of road with pure forest, where you will find shaded areas to rest by the river. The route is well signposted, and you can complete it in Jubrique with a delicious meal.

Points of Interest

  • Estimated Time: 3 hours and 36 minutes
  • Kilometers: 11.99 km
  • Elevation Gain: 675 m
  • Estimated Location: Genal Valley
  • Difficulty: Moderate to High

Popular Festivals and Gastronomy

If there’s one thing that characterizes a town, it’s its typical dishes and celebrations, which speak of its history, customs, and people. Here, we gather some of the most typical festivals and foods of Genalguacil.

Popular Festivals in Genalguacil

Festivals in Genalguacil extend throughout the year, with its major festival being that of San Pedro Mártir de Verona, which takes place on April 29. These festivals are characterized by the procession of the saint through the streets of the village while the residents throw rice from the windows, concluding with a popular dance.

Holy Week is another important moment in the festive calendar. The event of Huerto del Niño stands out, combining agricultural tradition with religious devotion. The moving procession of the Virgin with the Child Jesus reflects the deep faith and community participation in this sacred celebration.

Celebration of the Holy Week
Celebration of the Holy Week |

Another major event in Genalguacil is its Meetings of Arts in the Genal Valley, which have been held since 1994, bringing together various artists who create and share their works, leaving their mark on the village.

In addition to these festivities, other celebrations such as San Juan Festival, Carnival, and Tostón in November further enrich Genalguacil’s festive calendar.

Typical Dishes of Genalguacil

Both in Genalguacil and in other towns in the Genal Valley, the most typical gastronomy combines seasonal products with traditional cooking techniques, using ingredients from the orchard and game meat as main ingredients, along with quality olive oil.

Gazpacho Caliente de Genalguacil
Gazpacho Caliente de Genalguacil |

Among the most popular dishes are hot gazpacho, salmorejo with meat, olla serrana (mountain stew), tomato soup, scrambled wild garlic, chickpea stew, and rabbit stew. The region is also famous for its cured meats and homemade sweets, such as Christmas fritters.

How to Get to Genalguacil

As mentioned earlier, the village of Genalguacil is located in the heart of the Genal Valley, amidst a natural mountainous area, and reaching it requires taking a long mountain road.

While this village is only 40km from Ronda, its distance from the provincial capital is over 150km, so public transportation options are limited.

How to Get There by Public Transport

To reach the heart of the Genal Valley by public transport, the best option is to do so from Ronda, with regular bus connections departing from the Bus Station. There is no direct connection from Malaga to this locality.

How to Get There by Car

Given its limited public transport connections, the best way to visit Genalguacil is by car.

  • From Malaga Airport, you should take the AP-7 highway towards Algeciras and then take exit 157 towards A-377/Manilva/Casares.
  • From that junction, take the A-377 and continue for 44km until you reach Genalguacil.

The road is long and narrow, but it offers beautiful views of the Estepona coast during the ascent, immersing you in nature afterward. A journey to be taken at a leisurely pace to enjoy the ride.

Map of Genalguacil

Genalguacil is undoubtedly one of the most impressive tourist itineraries on the Costa del Sol due to its uniqueness, leaving all travelers speechless. In the following map, you can locate some of the points of interest mentioned in this post so you won’t miss anything on your visit to the museum village.

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