Valle de AbdalajísAyuntamiento, C/ Alameda, 2, Valle de Abdalajís, 29240
- What to see
- How to get here
- More information
- Town history
Did you know that one of the best places to rock climbing can be found in the province of Malaga? Valle de Abdalajís serves as a benchmark for active tourism amongst other towns in southern Spain. Moreover, the town boasts over 70 climbing routes, as well as hiking and mountain biking trails.
THINGS TO DO IN VALLE DE ABDALAJÍS
One of the main points of reference for traditional architecture in the Valle de Abdalajís is its Antigua Posada ("Old Inn"). The inn is located in the upper part of the town and its design demonstrates a strong Arabic influence. This large house was one of the town"s first buildings. Nearby lies the Palacio de los Condes de Corbos ("Palace of the Dukes of Corbos"), a good example of what noble houses were like during that period. Both buildings were constructed in the 16th century.
The Church of San Lorenzo is located in this same area. It was inaugurated in 1599 and contains images of its patron saint, San Lorenzo Mártir, San José, the Virgen del Carmen, and the Madre Petra de San Juan, born in Valle de Abdalajís and beatified in 1994.
Between the Church and the palace you will find the Ethnographic Museum of the Valle de Abdalajís. This museum contains a large number of artefacts which will enable you to learn about the customs, traditions and daily lives of the town"s old inhabitants.
Finally, on your way to the mountains, we recommend you visit the hermitage of el Cristo de la Sierra. It is located in the highest point of the Valle de Abdalajís and from its lookout, called Mirador del Gangarro ("Viewpoint of Gangarro"), you can catch a glimpse of one the most stunning panoramic views of this town and of the Valle del Guadalhorce.
Valle de Abdalajís is located approximately 60 kilometres from the city of Málaga capital. If you travel by car, we recommend you take the A-357 to Pizarra and continue on the A-7077, which connects to the A-6117. Finally, take the A-343 that will take you straight into town.
Valle de Abdalajís is located between two reservoirs: el Guadalhorce and el Torcal de Antequera, and is sheltered by the Abdalajís mountain range. The mountains of the Sierra de Huma and the Gaitanes Gorge are also nearby. It is incredible to observe how the landscape changes throughout this region. The rugged limestone mountains contrast starkly with the sprawling green arable fields in the Guadalhorce valley.
Valle de Abdalajís possessing the greatest concentration of climbing routes in the Costa del Sol. The location, the mountainous features, the continental microclimate. What's more, over 70 climbing routes and nearly a dozen hiking and mountain biking trails await you.
The month of May is marked out in the calendars of all the town"s inhabitants due to the pilgrimage in honour of "el Cristo de la Sierra", which has been celebrated every year since 1954 and runs through Cártama, Pizarra and Álora.
If you want to experience a completely different festival of San Juan, Valle de Abdalajís uses water as its main element. During the longest night of the year, the town"s inhabitants throw buckets of water at each other, or spray one another with water pistols and hoses. Moreover, they burn traditional "júas" (rag dolls) and jump over bonfires.
Without a doubt, the peak of the town"s celebrations is the festival of San Lorenzo, which is celebrated around the 10th August. If you visit the village around this time you will find it decorated and full of exhibitions, flamenco singing and cultural activities for all ages.
You want to know what to eat if you visit Valle de Abdalajís? In this town, you will find some typical dishes such as porra (a very refreshing cream of tomato, red pepper, olive oil and garlic, garnished mainly with tuna and boiled egg), los callos del valle or "tripe of the valley" (made from pork, with lots of spices), pimentón or "parika" (a kind of gazpacho typical of Malaga), migas (breadcrumbs fried with cold cuts, meat and vegetables) gachas (a dish made of flour, water, olive oil, garlic and salt), hot gazpacho (thick soup made from tomatoes, potatoes and vegetables) and olla or "stew" (made from pulses, vegetables and meat). The town is also known for its snail season, as well as its garlic and asparagus soups and its pork dishes, such as "mijillas de lomo". And since everyone loves a sweet treat, rice pudding, ricotta ("requesones"), pasties filled with sweet potato and angel hair or almond slushes are some of the sweeter recipes which stand out in the local cuisine.
Its strategic location – midway between the Guadalhorce valley and the Antequera depression – has placed Valle de Abdalajís at the crossroads of civilisations since the dawn of time. Abundant archaeological evidence attests to the presence of prehistoric man. The Iberians, the Celts, the ancient Greeks, the Carthaginians and the Romans also left their traces in the area.
Greek pottery from the fifth century BC was found in the archaeological sites of Cuero del Castillo and El Nacimiento. Also, historians have made connections between Cerro Pelao and Hannibal"s Towers. A terracotta statuette of goddess Demeter, a bas-relief showing a bull and the Abdalajís Offering Lady, from the third or second century BC, are fine examples of Iberian art.
The present-day village stretches were an ancient Roman city, Nescania, used to be. Nescania became a municipium flavium under Vespasian. It had a temple dedicated to Jupiter and at least 15 statues, including those of Seneca, Trajan and a Bacchus that is kept in the Málaga Museum of Archaeology. The village was razed to the ground in the Barbarian invasions of the fourth century AD, only to re-emerge when the Arabs came to the Iberian Peninsula.
The name "Valle de Abdalajís" is Arabic in origin. The village was named after Abd-el-Aziz ibn Musa, the son of the first Muslim to settle in the area. Although the Arabs lived in Spain for 699 years, no village of a significant size was founded here. People lived in scattered farmhouses and only one fort was built, the Hinz-Almara Castle; it was part of the defensive belt surrounding Antequera.
The village that has come down to us was established in the sixteenth century, after the Reconquista and the expulsion of the Muslims. With the land redistribution, the area came to the hands of Alfonso Pérez de Padilla y Corbos, whose family ruled until the Cádiz Cortes (first national assembly) in 1811. The pseudo-feudal system, however, was only abolished in 1833. With this, the last Count of Corbos became an ordinary citizen, without prerogatives.
Ana Josefa Pérez Florido, aka Mother Petra de San José, established a retirement home in Valle de Abdalajís in 1873. She did so with another woman, Josefa Muńoz Castillo. Two years later, they moved the home to another building, opposite the Parish Church of San Lorenzo. The home came to be known as "the Poorhouse". After spending five years taking care of the needy, Mother Petra founded the Community of Mothers of the Homeless and St Joseph of the Mountain. She died in 1906, after having lived to help others. On 16 October 1994, she was beatified in Rome by Pope John Paul II.
Some typical dishes include porra, callos del valle, paprika, migas, gachas, hot gazpacho and olla. Other seasonal highlights include snails, garlic and asparagus soups and products from the pork slaughter, such as the pork loin mijillas.
- Inhabitants (2,501-5,000)
- Inland area