Villanueva de AlgaidasAyuntamiento, C/ Constitución, 16, Villanueva de Algaidas, 29310
Stroll amongst ancient stone, enjoy the greenery of the olive groves and the brilliant white of the farmhouses, or go for a bike ride in the country; these are just some of the options waiting for you in Villanueva de Algaidas. This district, in the northwest of the Malaga region, Nororma, offers multiple options for combining activities, flavours and experiences as you wish.
Villanueva de Algaidas has a complex of tombs, almost 3500 years old, the los Alcaides Necropolis. The archaeological remains are evidence of the presence of man in the area since the Copper Age. Two 9th century cave chapels move us forward through the centuries until 1566, date on which the Franciscan convent was founded, marking the birth of what is today known as Villanueva de Algaidas.
VILLANUEVA DE ALGAIDAS IS NOT TO BE MISSED
The first stone in Villanueva de Algaidas, and our recommendation on this tour, is the Convent of Nuestra Señora de la Consolación. The Franciscan convent was founded by the first Duke of Osuna. Only the church remains of the original building. The most interesting elements of the building include the dome, the chapels and the frescoes. Wandering among the ruined convent is a magical experience that will take you back 500 years.
Two Mozarabic chapels lie very close to the ruins of the convent and will transport you even further back in time. They are formed from two caves carved out of the rock, which were used by the Mozarabic population who remained in the Moslem territory to celebrate their rites. The chamber that would have contained the high altar can still be distinguished in the larger of the two hermitages.
Our historical journey around Villanueva de Algaidas takes us back even further into the past to Prehistoric times. The los Alcaides Necropolis lies 3 kilometres from the present town and features signs of human settlements from more than 3500 years ago. On the Cerro de la Villeta there is a workshop from the Copper Age, the Yacimiento de la Villeta.
The next stop is in the Middle Ages to enjoy the sight of the Arroyo del Bebedero Bridge. This stone bridge was built in the late Middle Ages to link the two towns separated by the stream, la Rincona and de la Atalaya. It is built on thick pillars made of locally sourced earth and has one central semicircular arch and another two on the sides.
In addition to the two Mozarabic chapels, Villanueva de Algaidas has a further three rural hermitages. The oldest is Nuestra Señora del Socorro, from the 18th century which has two sections at two different heights. As its name indicates, this church is dedicated to the figure of the Virgen del Socorro. The other two hermitages are from the 20th century. The María Inmaculada hermitage is in the Albaicin quarter and Nuestra Señora de Fátima hermitage is in Atalaya.
HOW TO GET TO VILLANUEVA DE ALGAIDAS FROM MALAGA
Villanueva de Algaidas is 75 km from Malaga, to the north of the Nororma district. By car, take the A-45 highway until junction 86. Then continue along the MA-206 towards Villanueva de Algaidas.
The mainly flat landscape of Villanueva de Algaidas makes it an exceptional destination for lovers of open air sports and the natural environment. Why not visit the area on foot or by bike, there are many cycle paths and active tourism routes.
Here you will see how olive groves dominate most of the landscape. However, there are still some reserves of native flora in the so-called "Bosques-Islas" (Wood-Islands). Here you will find ancient holm and gall oaks, of huge ecological value. More luxuriant species can be found next to Bebedero stream (later called the Burriana stream): poplars, ash trees and willows.
The Sierra de Arcas breaks up the plain and offers a panoramic vision of the district. Only 948 metres at its highest point, but we guarantee that the view is worth the climb.
Villanueva de Algaidas is also on the Great Malaga Path. It is the destination for the route that starts in Villanueva de Tapia and the departure point for the next stage, number 15, to Cuevas Bajas. The route takes you along the 10 km separating the two towns with views of Antequera Plain and the River Genil Valley.
A visit to a town celebrating its local festivities is a good moment to find out more about its traditions and personality, and to enjoy the local cuisine. In Villanueva de Algaidas the first date in the calendar is in February with the Carnival Celebrations.
On 25 April, the town celebrates San Marcos Day with a picnic in the country. The celebration continues with the tradition to "atar al diablo" (tie up the devil), involving tying jaramagos (a local yellow flower) in knots to protect yourself from demons.
In May, the people of Algaidas celebrate the day of the patron saint of labourers, San Isidro, with a Romería (festive pilgrimage) from la Rincona to Atalaya. There are also many celebrations known as the Cruces de Mayo in May.
The summer is a good season for discovering the local festivities of Villanueva de Algaidas. June sees the festivities of Albaicín, in honour of the Virgen María Inmaculada and Santiago Apóstol. In August, Villanueva de Algaidas holds their Fair, which includes an International Folk Festival and Horse Fair. The district bids farewell to the summer with the festivities held in honour of their Patron Saint, Nuestra Señora de la Consolación, on 4 September.
Local products prevail in the Villanueva de Algaidas cuisine. Enjoy porra "crúa" (a cold cream of tomato soup) or ajoblanco (cold garlic and almond soup served with grapes). Also typical in this region is the salmorejo algaideño, which is different to the classic salmorejo as it does not contain tomatoes, but is a salad of potatoes, cod and orange.
Other typical dishes in the region include almond sauce or the miller's breakfast, a typical breakfast served in the area with fresh orange juice, country bread and olive oil and coffee. During Carnival, be sure to ask for a Relleno de Carnaval. Some of the ingredients in this special dish include eggs, ham, breadcrumbs, pork or turkey. It is, without a doubt, the perfect dish on a cold day.
Finally, for a little something sweet, try the borrachuelos de Villanueva de Algaidas, Saint's bones or the piñonate (a mixed nut brittle dipped in honey).
Archaeological evidence found in Villanueva de Algaidas attests to the presence of man in this part of Málaga Province since prehistoric times. The artefacts found in the caves in Sierra de Arcas and Sierra del Pedroso, and the 3,500-year-old Los Alcaides Necropolis prove that there have been human settlements here since time immemorial.
Much later, both the Romans and the Arabs reached this land. The latter left their mark in the form of Mozarabic shrines carved out of the rock, as well as in the bridge across the Bebedero stream, connecting the hamlets of La Atalaya and La Rincona.
The village we can see today, however, emerged no earlier than the sixteenth century, in the shelter of the Convent of the Recollects of St Francis of Assisi, or Nuestra Señora de la Consolación.
- Inhabitants (2,501-5,000)
- Inland area