Surface Area: 20.8 square kilometres
What the natives are called: Benalizos
Outstanding Sights: Town Hall, San Isidoro church and Benadalid Moorish castle, Roman Fountain, Humilladero Cross, Museo del Agua (Water Museum).
Geographical Location: in the heart of the River Genal valley (a region of Ronda), 25 kilometres from Ronda and 145 from the provincial capital. The centre of the village is 690 metres above sea level. Average annual rainfall exceeds 1,170 litres per square metre and the average temperature is 14.6º C.
Just by the fact of being in Benadalid the traveller’s capacity for astonishment will already be somewhat diluted since to arrive here he must of necessity have become familiar with mountain scenery. Benadalid will hold for him, however, the enchantment of a small white village that has preserved a traditional architecture-one of its greatest attractions-that is adapted to the mountainous landscape to be seen in the Genal valley.
The greatest heights to be seen in this area are those of the Peñón de Benadalid (1,116 m) and Loma de la Sierra (1,137 metres), in the neighbouring municipality of Benalauría. The small, urbanised area of Benadalid is bordered by the Frontón and Espichi streams, which farther down the mountain join the Benamaya, a direct tributary of the River Genal. The luxuriant plant growth of the forest (cork oak, pine, live oak and chestnut trees, the more abundant the closer one gets to the river) changes character in the vicinity of the village, where olive groves, vineyards and grain fields predominate, along with almond tres.
The first historic mark was left in Benadalid by the Celts, a population that submitted to the Roman power as soon as the latter was established in the region. A fortress was built that, centuries later, the Muslims would make use of. It is at that point that more definite historical records begin to appear about this locality, which was founded in the eighth century, soon after the Arabs landed on the Iberian Peninsular, by the Berber Banu Jalid tribe. This name of this tribe evolved into Ben Adalid (sons of Jalid), and finally formed the present name of the village.
Its location for centuries made it a frontier between Moors and Christians and therefore the scene of confrontations, and for even longer than that if one considers that earlier it had, for a time, been the capital of the Ta Kurnna region that was controlled by Omar Ben Hafsun, leader of the Muladí uprising against what, at the time, was the all-powerful Córdoba. In 1485 it was conquered by the Marquise of Cádiz and incorporated into the kingdom of Castile.
As of that date the history of this territory parallels that of the many other villages of the province of Málaga: a few years of peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians followed by rebellion and expulsion of the Moors, the arrival of some long-time Christians, decadence, abandonment and, in this region, use of the complex mountain terrain by the bandits who in the nineteenth century turned the highlands into their own little fiefdom.
The two main routes to this village from the Costa del Sol start from the AP-7 expressway or the old N-340 highway. From either you can take the A-376 at San Pedro de Alcántara in the direction of Ronda, and before arriving at that city turning onto the A-369, which after passing through Atajate leads to Benadalid. You can also leave the AP-7 or the N-340 at Manilva, get onto the A-377 in the direction of Ronda, and arrive at Benadalid after passing through Gaucín and Algatocín.
Full graphical path: http://bit.ly/mVlLME
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