Mollina, a charming town located in the heart of Andalusia, is one of those places that captivate you with its rich history and natural beauty. This picturesque village is located in the Antequera region and stands out for its historical legacy, vibrant festivals, and exquisite cuisine.

If anything characterizes this inland town of Malaga, it’s its wine culture, with a landscape surrounded by vineyards that produce its wines with designation of origin. This production is so important that one of its most significant festivals is the Grape Harvest Fair.

If your goal is to explore everything this town has to offer and savor its finest wines, a good option is to rent a sports car at Malaga Airport and drive through the interior to reach Mollina.

History of Mollina

The history of Mollina dates back to prehistoric times, with archaeological evidence suggesting human settlements in the area thousands of years ago. However, Mollina’s heyday came with Roman and Arab influences.

During the Roman occupation, Mollina, then known as ‘Mures,’ was a strategic point in the communication network connecting several important cities in the region. The Romans left their mark in the form of ruins and ancient artifacts that can still be admired in the town, such as the Mausoleum of La Capuchina.

Aerial view of the village of Mollina
Aerial view of the village of Mollina |

The Arab domination also left a significant legacy in Mollina, although its peak period came after the Reconquest by the Catholic Monarchs when it became the area with the highest number of olive trees in the region, experiencing significant agricultural and demographic growth.

What to See and Do in Mollina

Mollina is a destination that perfectly combines historical richness with natural beauty. Here, we present a list of the most prominent places you shouldn’t miss during your visit:

What to See in Mollina

Convent of the Ascension

Also known as the Cortijo de la Villa, this 18th-century building is known for its unique sundial, as well as its Baroque-style door and courtyard with a chapel. It was around this structure that the current Mollina urban center grew. Today, it is used for concerts and theater performances in the summer.

Convent of La Ascensión from the 18th century
Convent of La Ascensión from the 18th century |

  • Opening Hours:
  • Price: Free
  • Location: Plaza de la Constitución, 5

Church of Our Lady of Olives

Near the Convent of the Ascension is the 1687 church, with a basilica plan featuring three naves separated by pillars displaying numerous religious images. This church is of interest to both architecture enthusiasts and those looking to explore the area’s religious heritage.

  • Opening Hours:
    • Summer: Wednesdays and Fridays at 20:00, Sundays 12:30
    • Winter: Wednesdays and Fridays at 19:00, Sundays 12:30
  • Price: Free
  • Location: Plaza de la Constitución, 5

Roman Archaeological Sites

The history of Mollina bears witness to the presence of numerous civilizations, including the Romans, who left many traces of their presence in the town. Thus, you can find at least two Roman archaeological sites on the outskirts of the municipality.

At 4 km, you’ll find the Castellum de Santillán, an archaeological site covering 1400 square meters that preserves remains of a dominant family’s residence from the era, surrounded by a walled enclosure.

Mousoleo de la Capuchina, a Roman funerary building
Mousoleo de la Capuchina, a Roman funerary building |

A bit further, 7 km from the town, is the Mausoleum of La Capuchina, a funerary building with a crypt and an upper space for honoring the deceased.

Carpe Diem Winery

With an area of 20,000 square meters, this winery offers a wide variety of white, sweet, and red wines with two different designations of origin.

Visitors can enjoy a wine tourism experience lasting between 45 and 60 minutes, during which they will learn how these wines are produced and taste some of their best vintages.

  • Opening Hours: Monday to Wednesday from 08:00 AM to 02:00 PM, Thursday and Friday with afternoon hours from 03:30 PM to 05:00 PM. On Saturdays, the hours are from 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM.
  • Price: 20€ – 30€
  • Location: Avenida de América, 35

Nature and Hiking

Mollina is not only rich in history but also in natural beauty. Visitors looking to explore its surroundings will encounter incredible landscapes and natural treasures of great beauty.

Mollina Torca Route

This easy route is very popular among hikers in the area and is often quite crowded due to its simplicity, speed, and excellent views. The route is a linear round trip starting from the town of Alameda, with a rocky and steep path that ends at the Mollina Torca cave.

The cobblestone route of the torca
The cobblestone route of the torca |

Interesting Information

  • Estimated Time: 47 minutes
  • Kilometers: 1.8 km
  • Elevation: 136 meters
  • Approximate Location: Bajo Valle Genal
  • Difficulty: Easy

Santillán Park – Sierra de la Camorra Route

Part of the Great Malaga Path and located between Alameda and Fuente de Piedra, this linear route begins at Santillán Park and follows a road before ascending on dirt paths toward the summit of the Sierra de la Camorra, an 8 km massif.

In the vicinity, hikers can find some caves such as Sima del Gato, Cueva de la Gotera, or Cueva de Salas, from where you can enjoy incredible views of the Fuente de Piedra lagoon.

Interesting Information

  • Estimated Time: 1 hour 17 minutes
  • Kilometers: 5.53 km
  • Elevation: 113 meters
  • Approximate Location: Sierra de Camorra
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Soldier’s Chasm and Organ Cave Route

Although this route can be considered moderately challenging due to the simplicity of the route, it can also be a challenge for less prepared travelers. Generally, this route progresses along straightforward paths with two notable ascents in Soldier’s Chasm and Organ Cave.

Once these summits are conquered, hikers will begin the descent to Mollina Torca along a pleasant trail surrounded by olive trees. Along the way, you’ll encounter a ruined farmhouse where you can replenish water and enjoy the views.

Interesting Information

  • Estimated Time: 1 hour 58 minutes
  • Kilometers: 10.3 km
  • Elevation: 331 meters
  • Approximate Location: Loma del Pegote
  • Difficulty: Moderate to High

Popular Festivals and Gastronomy

Mollina is known for its lively festivals, with the Mollina Fair in honor of San Juan Bautista being the most prominent. Visitors can take advantage of these marked dates on the calendar to sample some of the region’s most typical dishes.

Popular Festivals in Mollina

Candlemas Festival

On February 1st, the Candlemas Festival is celebrated in Mollina, originally intended to protect against fires in granaries and barns. The tradition includes bonfires where locals enjoy chorizos, sardines, and local wine, often burning a cloth doll filled with sawdust.

Pilgrimage of the Virgin of Olives

The pilgrimage in honor of the Virgin of Olives has been held since its inception in the 1980s on the second weekend of May in the natural area of Santillán. The image of the Virgin is transported on a cart adorned with flowers, accompanied by Rocío music, and with streets adorned with decorations such as potted plants and quilts.

Since 2003, there has been a transfer on Saturday afternoon to the Santillán Hermitage, where devotees accompany her throughout the night, followed by a pilgrim’s mass on Sunday morning. In addition, a popular dance is held as a prelude to the celebration.

August Fair

The August Fair in Mollina honors the Virgin of the Olive and is celebrated around August 15th. During this festival, the Day Fair livens up the streets with bars and restaurants collaborating to create one of the best daytime fairs in the province.

Mollina Fair, one of the best in Malaga
Mollina Fair, one of the best in Malaga |

Additionally, the evenings offer entertainment with concerts and night festivals. The festivities also include novenas, a floral offering, and a procession in honor of the Virgin. Undoubtedly, this is the most anticipated festival by the local residents.

Grape Harvest Fair

The second weekend of September is the time for the Grape Harvest Fair in the surroundings of Athens Square. Here, you can taste some of the best wines in the region.

The Mollina Grape Harvest Fair begins with its Inaugural Proclamation and stands out for its poetry contest, wine tastings, and horse ribbon races, as well as lively nighttime festivities.

Typical Dishes of Mollina

Without a doubt, wine is the most valuable product on the table in Mollina, with some of the most renowned producers in the province gaining national recognition.

Artisan-made cured meats are among the most exquisite bites in the area, but also noteworthy are dishes like migas (breadcrumbs), hot porrillas, gachas de mosto (grape porridge), and fresh porra (cold tomato soup) in the summer.

Borrachuelos, typical Christmas sweets of the area
Borrachuelos, typical Christmas sweets of the area |

Regarding their pastries, their sweets are famous throughout the region, with treats like borrachuelos, pestiños, and muffins. Also, more seasonal items like mantecados (crumbly shortbread) and roscos (ring-shaped pastries).

How to Get to Mollina

Mollina is easily accessible from the capital, Malaga, both by car and public transportation, with no difficulty reaching the nearby Antequera and exploring some neighboring towns along the way, such as Alameda, Fuente de Piedra, or Campillos.

How to Get There by Public Transport

If your goal is to stay in the capital and use public transportation, you can reach Mollina by train with a stop in Antequera or directly by bus.

The bus connection is operated by Alsa and has an average price of 10 euros. This line offers services from the Bus Station at various times, from morning until 7:00 PM. The estimated duration is 1 hour and 10 minutes.

For those who prefer the convenience of the train and want to reduce travel time, you can take the Avant train at Malaga María Zambrano Station to Antequera, with a duration of 21 minutes. Once there, you can request a taxi transfer to Mollina for an average price of 18 euros or take a bus there.

How to Get There by Car

Undoubtedly, the best option to reach Mollina from the capital is by your own vehicle, allowing you to explore other nearby towns during your visit to the province’s interior. The journey takes 49 minutes, and here are the directions:

  • Exit Málaga via Avenida de Andalucía and take A-45 and A-92 towards A-7280.
  • Take exit 138 from A-92.
  • Join the Circunvalación de Málaga and take the exit towards MA-20/Almería/A-45/Córdoba/Granada/Málaga
  • Join A-7
  • Take exit 983 towards Córdoba/Granada/Sevilla
  • Take exit 98 to join A-92 towards Sevilla
  • Take exit 138 towards Mollina

Mollina Map

To help you plan your visit to Mollina, here’s a map showing the main points of tourist interest in the town. We hope you enjoy your time in this charming town in the Antequera region!

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