If you want to boast about having been to the place with the best climate in Europe, you should pack your bags and find Torrox on the map. You'll only need a few hours in this town in the Axarquía region at any time of year to get to know its opportune geographical layout and find out for yourself why it merits such a title.
With an average year round temperature of 18ºC, Torrox is a land of eternal spring and has become the jewel in the crown of the Costa del Sol by managing to always be warm. This fortunate climate is due to the Valley of the River Torrox, whose river limits temperature extremes as it opens up to the sea, whilst at the same time the surrounding mountains keep out strong winds.
With inland and costal beauty spots only four kilometres apart, Torrox has a subtropical landscape where its mountains merge into its seven blue flag beaches. Several outstanding examples for their easy access and good services are the El Morche, Torcasol, Ferrara or Peñoncillo beaches.
MUST SEE THINGS IN TORROX
A charming place that"s perfect for a memorable trip to Torrox is its Lighthouse, it is one of the few examples of its type across the whole of the Málaga province that is open to the public as a cultural heritage point.
History lovers too will find many reasons to go back to Torrox. The town possesses an interesting cultural heritage such as an archaeological site with a Roman forum and the church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación The first is home to the remains of a Roman town, that flourished between the first and forth century AD. The church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación was built in the 16th century and extended in the 17th. Its ceilings are made of wooden Mudéjar framework, and outside its tower rises up in a rectangular prism form, and is crowned with a pyramid shaped spire.
In the 15th century, the Calaceite Lookout Tower and the Huit Beacon were built and became part of the costal defence system of the time. Torrox preserves all the remains of the Arabic fortress and the wall that used to surround the town including its gate and turrets.
La Moneda House, also known as the Aduana Palace, is a building dating back to the 18th century that serves as a marker of Torrox"s commercial golden age in times gone by. Today, it is actually private property and so the building can only be viewed from outside.
La Joya Palace and La Granja aqueduct are two examples of 19th century architecture that Torrox preserves. La Hoya House is another building of the same time; it was home to the King Alfonso XII during his visit to the Axarquía region in 1884. Visitors can also take a look at the San José hospital from the 16th century, the old San Rafael sugar factory, and can visit the Miniatures Museum.
Torrox is only 40 minutes away from Málaga, and you have to take the E-15 and get off at exit 285. It’s straightforward to get to the centre of town following the road signs.
You can also take public transport by taking the bus from the Port of Málaga to Torrox. There are four a day, and the trip takes about an hour-and-a-half.
Torrox has nine kilometres of fantastic coastline featuring beautiful beaches, various of which have blue flag accreditation.
After the traditional Three Kings celebrations on the 6th January, Torrox"s first festivals start around February with chirigotas (humoristic shows) and dances in costume that fill the city during its carnival period.
During Las Cruces de Mayo (May Crosses festival) people adorn the fronts of their houses with flowers, rather than the usual flowerpots. To polish the crosses lace doilies and shawls are used.
The Las Protegidas district hosts the Romería de San Antonio every 13th June which in Torrox equates to three days of non stop festivities where there is no shortage of good food and wine from the Axarquía region.
San Juan"s night (23rd June) is also celebrated in a special way in Torrox, as well as the Judas tradition, water plays a key role in the festival. The town"s inhabitants, and tourists that want to take part in the tradition, head towards the Torrox"s river from the historic quarter in order to soak themselves during the festivities in the Pontil district.
In August there is the Patron Saint Day, Virgen de las Nieves, on this day the Virgin is moved along with Saint Roque from her dedicated chapel to the parish church where they both then stay until October.
The El Morche district celebrates the Virgen del Carmen (Our Lady of Carmel) on the 15th August. Traditionally, this festival is celebrated in July, but in Torrox is it held back so that as many tourists as possible can enjoy the spectacle. There are fishing competitions, a fairground, musical concerts, and of course, a procession of the Virgin along the seafront.
The 7th September marks the Candelaria festival in which the town's inhabitants will walk to farmhouses in the area and enjoy lots of food and drink whilst surrounded by candles.
The October festival, which is normally celebrated in the first week of the month, is to honour the transfer of the Virgen de las Nieves and San Roque, back to their chapel amidst a prolonged firework show.
As with almost all of the festivals that occur on the Costa del Sol during December, on Migas Day food again takes centre stage. It is celebrated in Torrox each Sunday before Christmas Day. The name, meaning bread crumbs, comes from a traditional dish of the area in which bread plays a starring role, it is a celebration that has been declared of National Tourist Interest in Andalusia.
If you are going to visit Torrox, first things first you should make sure to come on an empty stomach to make the most of the experience. As well as migas (bread crumbs fried with garlic, served with cold cuts, peppers and sardines, amongst other ingredients) and the arriera salad (made up of oranges, cod, tomatoes, onions and olives), you cannot miss out on the fennel stew, pumpkin casserole and the maimones soup (a garlic soup) during your trip. Other local specialities that you can try in Torrox are "papas a lo pobre" (potatoes sautéed with onion), gazpacho (cold tomato soup with cucumber, pepper, garlic and olive oil), 'ajoblanco' soup (a cold creamy garlic and almond soup which is normally enjoyed with grapes) and skewered anchovies and sardines (place on a skewer and grilled). These dishes all marry perfectly with regional wines, which are hand processed using muscatel grapes.
For those with a sweeter palate, Torrox offers wine flavoured pastries and exquisite "arropías" (regional sweeties). These caramels are made form sugar cane syrup and are in especially high demand during the Cruces de Mayo festival.
About 2km north of Torrox, in Los Casarones, a polished stone axe was unearthed dating back to the Neolithic Period. This led historians to consider the possibility of prehistoric settlements in the area. Scholars also believe the land was then colonised by the Phoenicians. The first recorded settlers, however, were the Romans, as attested by the site of El Faro, where many pieces associated with the Roman city of Caviclum, founded in the first century AD, were found.
Some experts also think that Torrox is Hisn Turrus, the place where the army led by Abd-ar-Rahman III defeated Umar ibn Hafsun and his people in 914. Ibn Hafsun was a Christian leader standing against the Ummayad dynasty, who held the caliphate of Córdoba. After the defeat of the rebels, Torrox was annexed to Frigiliana for the rest of the Muslim period in Spain.
With time, the town came to play a key role in the silk industry in the days of Almanzor, born in Torrox. Governor of Seville and commander of the Muslim troops, Almanzor marked the peak of power for Moorish Iberia. He conquered distant cities like Zamora, León or Santiago de Compostela.
Almost five centuries later, the Christian troops seized Vélez-Málaga during the Reconquista. This had an interesting effect in Axarquía. While some villages surrendered without resistance, others put up a fight. Torrox capitulated on 29 April 1487, but there was another uprising one year later led by El Zagal. It snatched the village from the Christians, returning it to the Muslims. A few months later, it went back to the former, this time for good.
When the Moorish riot broke out in 1568, half the population of Torrox were old Christians and the other half, Moors. Many of them participated in the uprising of El Peñón in Frigiliana. As many as 22 insurgents were prosecuted by the Holy Office Court in Granada through 1571. Some of them were sentenced to death by burning. The insurrection was crushed without mercy, and most of the residents in the eight villages under Muslim rule fled for their lives.
In the eighteenth century, Torrox had an economy based on sugar cane production. Sugar cane took up more than 80% of the arable land and two sugar mills were established. In 1804, the population was decimated by an outbreak of yellow fever, and a few years later, the survivors had to face the invasion of the French troops during the Napoleonic wars. In 1812, the French bid farewell to Torrox blowing its castle. The town was badly damaged by the two earthquakes that shook southern Spain in the late nineteenth century.
If you’re going to come to Torrox, you should do so with an empty stomach if you want to get the full experience. Along with the migas and ensaladilla arriera, you can’t miss the potaje de hinojo (fennel stew), sopa de maimones and the guiso de calabazas (pumpkin stew). Other specialities are the papas a lo pobre, gazpacho, ajoblanco and skewered anchovies and sardines. All of these dishes pair well with the area’s wines made with Moscatel grapes.
For those with a sweet tooth, Torrox has wine doughnuts (roscos de vino) and the scrumptious arropías. This molasses-based sweet is in exceptionally high demand during the May Crosses festival.
You’ll enjoy an ample culinary variety in the restaurants and beach bars (chiringuitos), where you’ll find fried fish and seafood to international cuisine.
- Inhabitants (10,001-25,000)
- Coastal area
- Inland area