At 850 metres above sea level, and located in the Serrania de Ronda, Cartajima is one of the most beautiful corners of the province of Malaga. Sunsets where the colours of the sky mix with the vegetation of the Genal Valley are a natural spectacle you will not forget. In this village you will also see the way the traces of the Arab past, with its winding streets and whitewashed houses, are interspersed with the style of the eighteenth-century buildings.
NOT TO MISS IN CARTAJIMA
The town of Cartajima boasts archaeological sites from different ages. The remains of the Roman baths of Cañada del Harife and the necropolis of Cortijo del Ratón are well preserved. From the medieval period, we can see the castle and the ancient towns of Casapalma y Cartabón. From the Al-Andalus period, we recommend the Fuente de los Peces, of Moorish origin, located on the Arroyo Blanco path.
In the locality, the church of Our Lady of the Rosary is one of the most remarkable buildings. Built in the sixteenth century, the temple is located in the highest part of town, opposite the Town Hall. Inside, it houses the images of the Virgen del Rosario, Saint Joseph, and the Baby Jesus.
HOW TO REACH CARTAJIMA FROM MALAGA
Cartajima is located 140 km from Malaga capital, which will take about 1 hour and a half by car. We recommend taking the Autovía del Mediterráneo (A-7) to San Pedro de Alcantara. Follow the A-397 toward Ronda, but before arriving there, take the MA-525 exit, which will take you to Cartajima.
Cartajima is the highest town in the Serranía de Ronda. It is located above the forests of chestnut trees, holm oaks and cok oaks of Alto del Genal, and at the foot of the white mountains of the Sierra del Oreganal range. If you like active tourism and nature, unique natural sites are to be found in this town.
Riscos de Cartajima is the most important karstic complex of the province, after Torcal de Antequera. The curiously shaped limestone rocks have led to the creation and the narration of legends over the centuries. Caves, such as Carrión, Ronda, Umbría, Miguela and Charcón Bajo, and the chasms of Canailla Lobo and El Cepo complete Cartajima"s offering to nature lovers.
One of the best times of the year to visit Cartajima is Holy Week, when the "Feast of Courtesy" takes place. On Holy Saturday, you will find that the residents have left the town to gather branches and poplar. A basket is built with the branches, in which the image of the Baby Jesus is placed until the next day. On Easter Sunday, there is a procession in which the Virgin of the Rosary goes in search of the Child Jesus. The same evening Judas is hanged and burnt.
Festivities in honor of the Virgin of the Rosary are held in August. In addition to dances and a traditional celebration called a verbena, Cartajima is waiting for you with cultural activities, theatre performances and competitions.
We also recommend rural pilgrimage of the Baby Jesus in May, the Tostón Festival on All Saints' Day, and the Mosto Festival in November.
As we approach the kitchens of Cartajima, we will discover that it stands out for its tradition and its excellent combination of seasonal products. Vegetables and fruit grown in the Genal valley are indispensable in any local dish. We recommend trying the dishes with wild herbs or rabbit, fried mushrooms, olla serrana, migas (a simple and exquisite dish combining bread, garlic, peppers and cured meats, among other ingredients), soups, bread and garlic or gazpacho (a tomato soup, served cold or hot depending on the season). The sweets, of Arab heritage, include baked doughnuts and the chestnut tostaeras, made with cinnamon, sugar, anise and coffee.
The name "Cartajima" is Arabic in origin: "Al-Z"jaima", the highest place. The earliest documents where this little village is mentioned belong to the Christian period. It appears as "Xaritalxime", which then morphed into "Cartaxima" and "Cartajima".
During the Napoleonic Wars, the local population resisted the French invasion fiercely. One of their bravest leaders, Andrés García, planned an attack against the governor of Ronda, who died when taking a walk by the Tajo (gorge) with his escort.
Cartajima was granted the village charter by King Ferdinand VII in 1814. In the nineteenth century, the local economy blossomed, power-driven by iron mining. (Today, the mines are no longer active.) A cannon factory was established that earned the village the nickname "Little Cádiz".
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