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- Town history
Can you imagine the Costa del Sol was during the time of Al-Andalus? Its narrow streets, it flavors and its people ... In Benarrabá, the every step is a breath of history. From its name, which means Sons of Rabbah, to the water that runs through its streets, Benarrabá will convey you to an age of a mix of cultures and splendor.
But the ancient people"s passion for this municipality south of the Serrania de Ronda was not only for the life of the city, but also for the natural beauty surrounding it. The more daring will find in Benarrabá a canyon more than 100 metres deep, where vultures make their nest, androck climbing is available.
NOT TO MISS IN BENARRABÁ
From atop of the Porón hill overlooking the city once stood an Arab castle, which gave rise to Benarrabá. In addition to the layout of its streets, and as a feature of its Moorish past, fountains, wells and irrigation ditches dominate all the streets of this town. In Islam, water is considered the origin of life and symbolises purification.
Strolling through Benarrabá is a delicious experience. Walking through the streets of Saucal, Baja, Station and Sol, you can enjoy a large number of notable buildings from the eighteenth century, with their iron railings, eighteenth-century facades and large windows. At the Plaza del Cabildo you will fins Casa Lola, an original building full of symbols and details.
Currently, Benarrabá"s most important monument is the San Sebastián Parish Church. It is a simple temple, but with a singular element: a lobed arch finished with a triangle. Another curiosity is its domed roof, finished in blue glazed ceramic. The church was built in the early eighteenth century, and inside you will find images of the Annunciation and the martyrdom of St. Sebastian.
As in other inland destinations on the Costa del Sol, rural hermitages are of high historical and artistic value. In Benarrabá, we can find the hermitage of Holy Christ of Vera Cruz, also from the eighteenth century. It is a sober, single nave church, and from outside we can observe its belfry with a single hole.
Benarrabá is 35 kilometres from the city of Málaga and 40 kilometres from Ronda. You can take the A-7 motorway from Málaga until you reach Manilva. Then take the A-377 diversion to Gaucín that follows along the A-369 and the MA-358 until you reach the town.
Benarrabá is situated in an area of great natural beauty and diversity. Bathed by the rivers Genal and Guadiaro, the town sits above a valley on the slopes of Mount Porón. These singularities make Benarrabá an essential destination for lovers of active tourism.
Branches off several hiking trails of varying difficulty begin in the village. We recommend walking through the olive groves, forests of holm oak, Portuguese oak and cork oak trees, observing all the valley as it ascends to the Porón mountain and finishing with a swim in the river Genal.
For climbing lovers, Benarrabá offers a unique natural monument, the Buitreras Canyon. In addition to a 100 metre climb over the Guadiaro River, you can spot griffon vultures and their young nesting on the highest rocks of the canyon.
If you visit Benarrabá during the summer, there are several events you cannot miss: June 24 is the San Juan pilgramage, where residents walk to the banks of the Genal river. In August, the town celebrates its fair and the cultural week.
The festivals of the patron saints Michael and Sebastian are celebrated on September 29 and 20 January respectively, and are the most important holidays in Benarrabá.
On January 5 Benarrabá celebrates the arrival of the Magi with the interpretation of the Auto Sacramental. A group of the town"s children and young people guided by a star reenact the journey of the Three Wise Men to the birth of christ. The Auto is interpreted in different parts of the town and carols are sung between performances. At the end of the tour, locals meet in the church and gifts are distributed.
Benarrabá gastronomy is rich in stews and sausages, and combines the different products of the land depending on the season. The best way to discover it is to attend the food festival held in February. There, you will find exquisite local cured meats such as morcilla, chorizo, morcón and salchichón. Other dishes not to miss are the stews with wild herbs and mushrooms and callos (tripe, usually pork and cooked with chickpeas and cured meats), cocido stew or cold or hot gazpacho (both are vegetable-based dishes), depending on the time of the year. Among the main sweets in the area are the piñonates (a pastry of nuts with honey), alfajores (almond Christmas cake) and buñuelos (similar to doughnuts).
Benarrabá was founded in the days when most of the Iberian Peninsula was in the hands of the Moors, by the descendants of the Berber tribe of Banu Rabbah (i.e. "the sons of Rabbah). Hence the name of the village. Those early settlers built a fort on mount Porón to watch over the area. Its location, affording panoramic views that reached the neighbouring towns of Gaucín, Algatocín, Genalguacil and Jubrique, turned the fort into one of the best defensive bastions of the Genal valley.
After the Reconquista, Benarrabá went into the hands of the House of Medina Sidonia. The 9th Duke of Medina Sidonia visited the village in 1636 when heading to Montilla to meet his wife, Juana Fernández de Córdoba, whom he had recently married by proxy. The entourage made their way through the village with such great pomp that the whole affair was marked as an important event in local history.
Benarrabá's cuisine stands out for the quality of its stews and cured meats. The town holds a culinary fair in February where you can sample local products like blood sausage, chorizo, morcón (a type of chorizo) and salchichón. You can also sample a wild herb and mushroom stew, tripe, cocido or hot or cold gazpacho depending on the time of year. And for dessert, Benarrabá offers delicious piñonates, alfajores and fritters. This cuisine is rich in flavour and tradition!
- Inhabitants (501-1,000)
- Inland area