Nestled in a beautiful valley in the province of Málaga, Riogordo awaits you to show you its rural charm and rich history. With cobblestone streets, white houses adorned with colorful flower pots, and a welcoming atmosphere, this Andalusian village invites you to immerse yourself in its authenticity.

Let yourself be captivated by its natural beauty, cultural heritage, its hypnotic hills of olive fields, and its warm hospitality. Are you ready to discover everything Riogordo has to offer?

History of Riogordo

Remains found in the Cueva River indicate that there were settlements in Riogordo during the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age, taking advantage of its proximity to the flowing river, hence the name of the town. Centuries later, the area was colonized by the Phoenicians, and various tombs have been found in the Sierrecilla del Rey.

Its greatest development took place during the Arab period, as they knew how to make use of all the natural resources offered by the area and exploit them to facilitate their commercial expansion. Some of its original streets date back to this period.

From the 15th century and with an enormous bell tower: Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church
From the 15th century and with an enormous bell tower: Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church |

After the reconquest by the Catholic Monarchs in 1487, Riogordo became a military camp used to dominate the lands of Vélez-Málaga. As a result, Riogordo doubled its population and managed to maintain its status as a popular town in the region, achieving independence in 1552.

What to See and Do in Riogordo

If you visit Riogordo, there are several places you must not miss.

The ideal starting point is in the heart of the village, where you can enjoy the authenticity of local life and relax on one of the terraces while contemplating the beauty of the surroundings. We recommend immersing yourself in its old town and exploring the most interesting places in Riogordo along the way.

Hornacinas, small monuments, that pay homage to the Holy Week in Riogordo
Hornacinas, small monuments, that pay homage to the Holy Week in Riogordo |

The Church of Nuestra Señora de Gracia is one of its most prominent monuments, a beautiful religious building dating back to the 15th century, with an impressive bell tower featuring medieval characteristics. You can also find 13 niche-chapels scattered throughout the streets of the town and a mural that pays tribute to El Paso de Riogordo.

If you want to explore a 19th-century olive oil mill, you must visit the Ethnographic Museum of Riogordo. It showcases a variety of tools used in the past, allowing you to observe the customs and traditions of the time.

Traditional objects from the Ethnographic Museum
Traditional objects from the Ethnographic Museum |

The highlight of this place is the old oil mill, the wine cellars with large jars, and the room dedicated to “vino de la pasa” (raisin wine). The upper floor of the building is an exhibition hall where works by contemporary artists are displayed. It is undoubtedly the perfect plan to spend a morning exploring the town’s history.

  • Address: C/ Iglesia, 14 – 29180 Riogordo
  • Opening hours: Thursday from 10:00 to 14:00, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 17:00 to 21:00, Sundays from 9:00 to 17:00.
  • Price: Free admission
  • Phone: 952 732 620

Opening hours may vary depending on the season. We recommend checking the town hall’s website before visiting. You will find the link at the end of this page.

Nature and Hiking

Riogordo is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes that invite you to explore and enjoy nature. These routes will allow you to experience the tranquility of the natural environment and find moments of peace away from the hustle and bustle of the coastal areas.

Tajos de Sabar Route

This route is perfect for families as it does not require much physical preparation. It is almost 6 kilometers long and has a circular path. It starts at Cortijo de Auta, about 5 kilometers from the town center, and along the way, you will encounter a rock formation where fossils have been found.

Quiet, easy and family friendly: Ruta Tajos de Sabar
Quiet, easy and family friendly: Ruta Tajos de Sabar |

Riogordo-Mondrón Circular Route

If you are looking for a greater adventure, this circular route of about 15 kilometers is the best option. It starts at the El Campillo Service Station, following the rural road eastwards and continuing until you reach the foothills of Cerro Alcolea. During the journey, you can discover neighboring villages such as Mondrón and Los Marines, which belong to the municipality of Periana.

Exercise caution in areas marked as “vado peligroso” (dangerous ford), as some sections near the river have very slippery rocks.

Popular Festivals and Gastronomy

This white village is known for the spectacular Paso de Riogordo, a highly realistic recreation of the life of Jesus. It takes place during Holy Week, on Good Friday, and is classified as the best Passion Play in Europe thanks to the dedication and precision that the entire village puts into bringing this religious moment closer to the thousands of visitors it receives each year.

Precise recreation in the Paso de Riogordo
Precise recreation in the Paso de Riogordo |

It consists of a total of 17 scenes in which the locals theatrically depict each moment, reflecting the passion and attachment of their people to their traditions. However, this is not the only festival to take into account, although it is the most well-known.

The Riogordo Fair is a very popular festivity in the area, honoring the patrons of the town, San Jacinto and Nuestra Señora de Gracia. Every year, they transport the patrons from the hermitage of San Sebastián to the parish church.

On August 15th, Riogordo starts the first day of the fair, celebrating the opening ceremony and fireworks. In addition, there are music performances and dances in the Municipal Pavilion.

At the beginning of September, Riogordo hosts the Fiesta del Candil, or Night of the Candles, a truly spectacular event with ancestral origins in the village, attracting a multitude of visitors. In the streets, you can see a great variety of straw dolls made by the children of the town.

The dates of several of these festivals may vary depending on the year. It is recommended to check the town hall’s website.

Subsequently, a contest for the best dolls takes place. Bonfires are also lit, which according to tradition, ward off evil spirits to protect the crops. The true origin of these types of festivals, very typical in the villages of the region, is unknown to this day.

Finally, if you enjoy gastronomic festivals, Riogordo offers the Day of the Snail. At the end of May, a feast of free tastings with snails as the centerpiece is celebrated, along with traditional performances such as “pandas de verdiales” (folk music groups). Additionally, you can taste the exquisite snails in broth, which is a typical dish of the area.

The snail, traditional dish of Riogordo
The snail, traditional dish of Riogordo |

Regarding gastronomy, in addition to these typical snails, Riogordo will delight you with its traditional cuisine and authentic flavors. You must try typical dishes such as migas, which are typical throughout the interior of the Costa del Sol, and the famous mollete riogordeño, a delicious traditional bread.

Furthermore, the local pastry will surprise you with sweets such as borrachuelos, roscos de vino, and hornazos, a traditional bread that varies greatly depending on the town where it is made.

How to Get to Riogordo

How to Get There by Bus

If you plan to reach Riogordo by bus from Málaga, there are several options available. The best option is to take the interurban bus operated by ALSA heading to Alfarnate from the Málaga Bus Station. The ticket price is around 5 euros, and the journey takes approximately one hour.

How to Get There by Car

If you prefer to travel in your own vehicle, getting to Riogordo from Malaga Airport is quite simple. The most direct route is to take the MA-20 motorway and then merge onto the A-45 towards Antequera. Continue on the A-356 until you reach Riogordo. The journey takes approximately 40 minutes, depending on traffic and road conditions.

The most convenient option if you plan to visit Riogordo is to hire an all-inclusive car from Malaga airport and explore the surrounding towns such as Colmenar, Alcaucín, or Archidona. It provides you with the freedom to move at your own pace and discover all the charming corners of the area without being restricted by bus schedules.

Riogordo Map: Explore and Enjoy

Below, you will find a map with all the relevant points of interest in Riogordo marked, so you can plan your visit and make the most of your experience in this charming village.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty, tradition, and authenticity of Riogordo! Discover its historical treasures, enjoy the surrounding nature, participate in its festivities, and savor the delicious local cuisine.

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