CasarabonelaOficina De Turismo, C/ Real, 5, Casarabonela, 29566
Casarabonela is a municipality in the Sierra de las Nieves region, located in the foothills of Sierra Prieta. From its viewpoints, travellers can see Valle del Guadalhorce and the sea. Of Roman origin and with its prehistoric remains, Casarabonela is one of the Costa del Sol towns that has best combined its Roman, Muslim and Christian heritage. In its traditions, landscapes and flavors you will find memories of a magical past. For lovers of nature and plants, Casarabonela houses one of the finest collections of cactus in Europe.
1. NOT TO MISS IN CASARABONELA
On your stroll through Casarabonela, you will discover the Moorish soul of this town in its narrow streets, whitewashed to suit the terrain. The Christian spirit appears in niches of the facades and temples of the municipality. And in this combination of cultures and religions, there is also room for the times of the Romans: remains can be found at the Taivilla site. Another notable site is Los Villares, located in the lower part of the town and belonging to an what was once a medieval village.
In the highest part of the town, the remains of the Arab Castle Casarabonela, declared of cultural interest and now turned into an interpretive centre, are preserved. The 9th century fortress conserves its wall hangings and four towers. Besides its historical value, it is an exceptional viewpoint. But the best spot to look out over Casarabonela is the Plaza de Buenavista, known as "Los Poyos", with a beautiful balcony overlooking the Valle del Guadalhorce.
With regard to religious architecture, it is worth visiting Santiago church, of late Gothic style. This temple houses the image of the Virgen del Rosario eighteenth century, the Museum of Sacred Art and a jewelry collection of great value. The chapel of Veracruz, built in the eighteenth century and dedicated to Our Lady of Rondel, also stands out.
Finally, we recommend visiting the Los Mizos Mill, the Jardín Andalusí gardens and 'Mora i Bravard' Cactus Botanical Gardens, one of the best cactus nurseries in Spain. There, you will find more than 2,500 species from Mexico, South Africa, Madagascar and India, among other places.
HOW TO REACH CASARABONELA FROM MALAGA
Casarabonela is just over 45 kilometers Malaga, in the Sierra de las Nieves region. By car, we recommend leaving the city on the A-357 and taking the A-354 after Pizarra. Finally, take the A-7275 until you reach the town.
Nestling between springs, in the foothills of sierra Prieta and the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, Casarabonela is a great place to catch some of the best sights of the Guadalhorce Valley and an essential destination for the lovers of active tourism. Some of the sites we recommend on your trip to Casarabonela are the Yesera cave, the Fuente Quebrada spring, the Jácara chasm or the cave houses of Cueva Bermeja and La Cueva.
The Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park has been declared biosphere reserve by UNESCO and won an EDEN 'European destinations of excellence' award in the category of Tourism and Intangible Heritage. This park spans more than 20,163 hectares and is one of the wealthiest ecological strongholds of Andalusia thanks to its 3,000 hectares of Spanish fir, an endangered species.
The calendar of festivals in Casarabonela begins in Holy Week with the traditional Passion of Casarabonela. This representation of the Death and Resurrection of Christ is staged in the church of Santiago between Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday.
If you want to enjoy traditional music, festivals and dance, you have to visit Casarabonela in the last week of July, when the town celebrates its fair in honor of the patron St. James.
Other prominent religious gatherings are the pilgrimage of the Virgin of the Rosary in October, the Crosses of May celebration and the Festival of the Virgin of the Rondeles. This festival has National Tourist Interest in Andalusia status and is celebrated every December. Throughout the procession of the Divine Shepherdess, the locals accompany the Virgin, illuminating the way with torches.
For lovers of culture and history, Casarabonela keeps two surprises for September: The flamenco evening, attended by some of the best singers and guitarists in the world of flamenco; and a recreation of one of the darkest periods of history, the passage of the Inquisition through the municipality in 1568. During this curious celebration, Casarabonela"s inhabitants double in number.
Casarabonela"s traditional cuisine is varied and takes directly from the materials and ingredients typical of the region. Table olives, callos malagueños (stewed pig tripe), arrope or potato casserole with a biscuit a tortilla made from breadcrumbs are all common, as are the goat and rabbit cooked with garlic, gazpachuelo (a white fish soup) or puchero (a stew of vegetables and meat). But the star dish is Pipeo, a pot of bean sprouts and lettuce with garlic and fried bread and served with bread cakes.
Archaeological evidence attests to the presence of man in Casarabonela back in the Neolithic Age. The oldest records, however, date back to the days of the Romans, who are said to have established a settlement in the area, Castra Vinaria. In any case, traces of the roads connecting Casarabonela to Málaga and Ronda can still be seen today. This has led historians to believe that a population centre must have existed of some importance, developing around a fort.
The structure of the old castle was reinforced by the Arabs. It was the last bastion of resistance against the Christian army during the Reconquista. It had also been used as a base during the riots led by Umar ibn Hafsun and again against Bobastro in 922. The Christians seized it in June 1485. The castle continued to be a military garrison until the eighteenth century.
The Arabs called the village "Qasr Bunayra" – a name that became "Casarabonela" under Christian influence in the fifteenth century. When the Moors were defeated and expelled, the lands went to settlers from other parts of Andalusia and from Extremadura. King Philip II granted Casarabonela the village status in 1574, as stated in the Municipal Charter kept in the Town Archives.
As the population grew and the town expanded, life in the village became settled in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1832, Casarabonela became independent from Carratraca; four years later, it got its own municipal boundaries, which lay the foundations for the territorial configuration of present-day Casarabonela.
- Inhabitants (2,501-5,000)
- Inland area