This small village is made up of typically Andalusian white houses and is situated in the mountains between the Rivers Genal and Guadiaro in the centre of Serranía de Ronda. The odd layout of Algatocín, of Moorish origin, is staggered and it has adapted to the slopes with steep, narrow and winding streets. Amongst the white of its houses, various 18th century buildings with elegant coats of arms stand out.
Algatocín's natural surroundings, with green chestnut trees, holm oaks and cork oaks are perfect for hiking trips. Among the various walks, stopping to enjoy the excellent cured meats that form part of the local gastronomy is obligatory. An ideal location for lovers of nature and good food.
MUST SEE SIGHTS IN ALGATOCÍN
The Mirador del General, is only a kilometre outside of the centre of Algatocín. It is a viewpoint that overlooks the river valley and offers a beautiful panorama adorned with the white hamlets of Serranía de Ronda¸ as well as Alpandeire, Faraján, Jubrique and Genalquacil.
The Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, elevated above the Princess Algotisa"s old palace, is the most important building in Algatocín. It dates back to the 16th century, although it has been subjected to various renovations and extensions since.
The church has three semi circular naves and a main chapel at the back of the church that is flanked by two smaller chapels at each side. The central nave is covered by a half barrel vault and the side aisles have a flat roof.
Inside, it features several pieces of artwork dating back to the 18th century. Examples include an image of Saint Francis of Assisi in painted wood carving and a silver lamp.
The Calvario Chapel has a special location in the higher part of the village, from which you can see the breathtaking Genal Valley and the little white neighbouring villages of Alpandeire and Faraján.
Algatocín is 134 kilometres away from Málaga. The best way to get there is to take the A-7 motorway to Manilva, then take the diversion at the A-377 that connects with the A-369 that takes you to Algatocín.
The fastest way to get there from Ronda is to take the A-397 that links to the A-369.
When living with its neighbours, it becomes clear that this village is a clear example of respecting nature. This love of vegetation can be found all through the village's streets, which are filled with plants, flowers and orchards at every turn. Algatocín"s natural surroundings, with the green of the chestnut trees, holm oaks and cork oaks, are ideal for doing sport in a natural setting. A walk around the outskirts will allow you to discover the wild boar, foxes and rabbits, or to listen to the cuckoos and nightingales sing.
We recommend visiting Algatocín around the start of October, when the village"s oldest festival takes place. This is the festival in honour of the Virgen del Rosario, the Patron Saint, during which parades, dances and an eye-catching procession are enjoyed.
Other stand-out celebrations taking place over the course of the rest of the year are:
- February: during the Festival of la Candelaria, there is a special mass that takes place where all the newborn babies are introduced. Participants of the mass go with bread pastries so that the babies are blessed. Lastly, the Virgen de la Candelaria is brought out in a procession. Also it is in this month the festivals of Genal Valley's Carnival culminate in Algatocín. Inhabitants of neighbouring villages come to enjoy the plays put on by acting troupes, the dress up competitions and the parades.
- 15th May: the Romería (pilgrimage) of San Isidro is celebrated in a well known enclave such as el Salitre. This festival is not limited to the inhabitants of Algatocín, all the other villages in the mountains attend as well.
- 24th June: for the Fiestas de San Juan, any villagers named Juan or Juana share out sangría to all the attendees. There is also a bonfire upon which an effigy, in the form of a scarecrow stuffed with straw and cloth, is burned.
-Corpus Christi: the procession of the Santísimo is organised. For this procession the streets and squares are decorated, and lots of alters are placed in various corners around the village.
-December: a fairly odd tradition that takes place in Algatocín is Las Mañanitas, it is celebrated the week before Christmas Eve. During this time, the villagers of Algatocín get up at 6 o"clock every morning to walk through the village streets singing carols to announce the arrival of Christmas.
The essential elements of Algatocín cuisine are olive oil, the orchards" produce, and bread baked over a wood fire. The villages in the Genal Valley, like Algatocín, have learnt to incorporate seasonal produce into their diets. In spring, stews with wild herbs (thistles, fennel, collejas and wild asparagus) are the most common. In summer, the typical dishes are chard tortilla and rustic gazpacho (a cold, tomato soup with cucumber, pepper, garlic and olive oil). All year round there are various staple dishes such as stews and casseroles including, serrana stew, and rabbit stew.
Algatocín is also well known for its cured meats, cold cuts, and other meat products that are processed using traditional methods. Its excellent chorizo and other high quality products can be found in the majority of the village"s shops.
Regarding its desserts, the gachas de harina (flour porridge with melted sugar), aflajores (a small almond cake that it usually eaten at Christmas), pestiños (a delicious sweet of Arabic origin) and melojas (a type of treacle made from pumpkin and honey).
Archaeological evidence found in Cerro Gordo reveals that men have lived in the area since the Romans. The village we can see today, however, dates back to Arab times. The first historical event on record is the settling of the area by the Berber tribe Al Atusiyin.
According to Diego Vázquez Otero, the original village used to be in the basin of the Guadiaro river. Then it was moved to the plateau were it stands today, accommodating Princess Algotisa, the daughter of Moorish king Abomelia. The name of the village could be somehow related to her.
In the late fifteenth century, Algatocín was conquered by the Castilian army and repopulated with old Christians. A few decades later, the village got its Parish Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, now one of its landmarks. The arched façades and coats of arms of some of the houses in the town centre are from the eighteenth century.
Algatocín’s cuisine has olive oil as the uncontested star with freshly-baked bread and seasonal fruits and vegetables also taking on a role. Springtime is for stews with Spanish oyster thistle, fennel, bladder campion or asparagus, while during the rest of the year you can enjoy a chickpea stew (potaje de garbanzos), rabbit stews or cured pork meats.
When it comes to its desserts, there’s a strong tie to Moorish traditions, and as a result, no recipe is missing cinnamon, anise and sesame, with almonds and nuts accompanying those aromas. Some can’t-miss sweets are the gachas de harina con miel de caldera (sweet gachas with molasses and anise), alfajores, pestiños and meloja.
- Inhabitants (501-1,000)
- Inland area