Just over 20km from Marbella is the village of Monda, an inland white village at the foot of the Sierra de las Nieves. A population of less than 3,000 inhabitants, its proximity to a natural park and the beauty of a white village on the Costa del Sol make Monda an exceptional place to seek peace and relaxation.
History of Monda
Remains of Neolithic tools have been found around the village, suggesting the presence of a settlement in the area. However, its origin is confirmed in Roman times. A road, a bridge and the foundations of a castle belong to this period.
However, it was during the Muslim period that it reached its greatest splendour, with the construction of the castle of Al-Mudat. In this way, this village was included in the impassable defensive network of the Guadalhorce Valley, which would not be assaulted until the Reconquest of Malaga in 1487.
What to see and do in Monda
Monuments and places of interest
Monda Castle: although the castle was a construction of Arab origin built in various stages between the Nasrid period and the Taifa kingdoms, it was built on the foundations of a Roman fortress.
During the Reconquest the castle was dismantled and rebuilt in Christian style. Today there is an impressive hotel inside the castle. As a result, practically nothing remains of the original construction.
Church of Santiago Apóstol: built in the 16th century on the site of an Arab oratory, it was later rebuilt in the 17th century in the Mudejar style.
Roman road: next to the Casarín stream and in the direction of Coín can be seen a Roman road in perfect condition that connected this village with other settlements in the area.
Popular festivals and gastronomy
Mondeña Soup Day: this curious festivity dedicates a day to commemorating the traditional Mondeña soup, which you can taste in the streets of the village.
Via Crucis: Holy Week, as in the rest of Malaga, is celebrated with great fervour. In this village, the highlight is the Via Crucis up to the monument of El Calvario.
Villa de Monda Flamenco Festival: held on 6 and 7 July, with local and national artists. It takes place in different buildings in the village and admission is free to all of them.
Feria de San Roque: held in August, between the 12th and 16th, the patron saint’s pilgrimage marks the start of the fair. It is followed by a variety of activities for all ages, with music and concerts throughout the day, and different places to try typical food.
Of course, the highlight is the “sopa mondeña”, which, as you can see, has its own day. During Easter Week it is typical to eat the potaje de Vigilia, a stew made with chickpeas, cod and chard, which is commonly eaten on the Friday of Lent.
One of the most attractive dishes is salmorejo de bacalao (cod gazpacho). It should be noted that it has nothing to do with the salmorejo or porra antequerana that is understood in the rest of Spain. In this case it is very similar to the Malaga salad, based on oranges, cod and seasoned boiled potato.
Nature and hiking
The stunning Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park is just a few kilometres away, so if you’re looking for mountain activities or to explore this natural area, this is the place for you.
Monda is located in the Sierra de Canucha mountain range, where you will find many hiking routes that extend into the Nature Reserve. If you prefer a flatter route, there is a nice path that goes from Monda to Coín, jumping several rivers and streams along the way, as well as a beautiful hermitage near the destination.
If you are looking for mountain routes, the Arroyo Moratán path leads to the Alto de Canucha and its views of the surrounding area. You can also follow the Carretera de Cerro Gordo, which connects to this and many other trails to get lost in the sierra.
How to get to Monda
How to get there by bus
Despite the distance between Malaga and Monda, there is a direct route that goes through villages such as Alhaurín El Grande or Coín, and arrives at Av. de Guaro, in Monda. From Malaga you can take the M344, which costs 2.05 euros, and in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes you will be at your destination.
The main disadvantage is the frequency, as there is only one journey a day, leaving from Malaga bus station at 13:50 at weekends and at 14:50 Monday to Friday.
H3 How to get there by car
If you have already planned your trip and have decided that you want to enjoy the freedom of driving your own car, you can hire your car from the best car hire company at Malaga airport with CarGest.
The best route to get to Monda from Malaga is to take the MA-23, which connects the airport with the MA-20. Follow this road until you find exit 7 towards Cártama (A-357). After taking exit 48 you will connect with the road A-355, which you will have to follow without turning off until you reach the entrance of the village, taking the road A-7101. Below on the map you can check the exact route.
Map of Monda
Explore this map by CarGest and discover all that awaits you in Monda, a welcoming village less than 5km from Guaro. A castle dominating the area, a few kilometres from a natural park, in a beautiful white village: the ideal place to relax, away from the hustle and bustle of cities like Marbella or Fuengirola.
Best time of year to visit: Winter or spring.
Not to miss: Visit Monda Castle and explore some of the nearby hiking trails.
Places to eat nearby: You can eat in one of the traditional local bars such as Restaurante La Rubia and the old Bar Luna, or eat in the Hotel del Castillo de Monda on the hill of La Veleta. You can also buy typical Malaga food, such as the delicious camperos, and take these sandwiches with you on your walks in the mountains.
For more information visit the website of Monda Town Hall: https://www.monda.es/