Igualeja is situated at the source of the river Genal, which is a town of Serranía de Ronda (the Ronda Mountains) with steep streets and labyrinthine and beautiful natural landscapes. The innumerable uneven terrain makes every corner of the landscape change and surprise the visitor. Staying at one of the traditional whitewashed houses, we discover hidden caves or participate in the traditional chestnut collection, in the month of October, they are just some of the attractions of that will fascinate you.
IN IGUALEJA YOU CANNOT MISS
For lovers of history, the church of Santa Rosa de Lima is one of the stops on the visit to Igualeja. This Moorish style temple was built in 1505 on the orders of Archbishop of Seville, Diego de Deza, but has undergone numerous renovations. In fact, it was completely rebuilt during the XX century. Inside, you will find a valuable statue of Saint Antonio de Padua in polychrome wood attributed to the School of Granada of XVII; an image of San Gregorio Magno carrying a silver cross of 3 arms, a crucified Christ and a Child Jesus (child ball); both of the XVIII century.
In the Plaza de Andalucia, we find the niche of the Lord of Mercy, a small chapel with a painting of the Virgin and Child ("Stabat Mater") and a picture of the crucified Christ in a glass.
To discover the Andalusian Baroque, we suggest the hermitage of the Divine Shepherd. This temple was built on a former convent of Carmelite or Franciscan nuns. The Hermitage preserves works of great value, including glass table of the Divine Pastor is highlighted, probably from the XVIII century, and images of the Divine Pastor and San Jose.
Igualeja, like Alpandeire, Pujerra, Júzcar, Cartajima and Faraján, is part of the Route of Fray Leopoldo, which runs through the Serrania de Ronda. Fray Leopoldo was beatified in 2010 and is one of the saints with more devotion of Andalusia.
Igualeja is about 100 kilometres from Málaga. If you go by car, it’s best to take the A-7 and to get off at exit 172 going towards Ronda / San Pedro de Alcántara. Continue on the A-397 towards Ronda for 28 kilometres, and then take the MA-527 that will take you into the centre of town.
But you need not leave the town centre to contemplate a Natural Monument. The spring of the source of river Genal is within the cave in the same municipality of Igualeja. This is not the only grotto where fans can enter the caves: the cave of the Eccentric, starting with a lake, and the Cave of the Fuensanta are two of the most outstanding caves.
Igualeja also offers eleven trails between walnut, chestnut and olive trees, a ferrata route to enjoy climbing at 30 meters height, and tourism activities in the Serrania de Ronda, such as orientation or bird watching.
The fair of this town takes place between August and September, and is celebrated in honor of Santa Rosa de Lima. Among the various proposals for activities and traditions, you can not miss the parade of cabezudos and pitufos, verbena and chorizada in Genal river.
Already at the end of the year, Igualeja celebrates the Chestnut on the day on November 1. This fruit is one of the main products in the area of Genal, since almost all residents have the chestnuts.
March 12 is celebrated in the town as the festival of its Saint, San Gregorio. The schedule continues with Carnival and then with Easter. Like in other towns in the Costa del Sol, Igualeja celebrates this week with a representation of the Passion of Christ by the locals of this town. But the most important day for its inhabitants is Easter Sunday, when the locals continue the tradition of the Huerto del Niño (Garden of the Child), where the young people build a house of pine for the Child Christ, and a puppet representing Judas.
The procession of Corpus Christi is called in Igualeja as the Day of Calleja. Children celebrate their first communion accompanying the image of the Divine Shepherd. It is a perfect place to know the character and traditions of the locals since the festival ends with a festival in the main plaza (square).
The gazpacho (cold tomato cream, garlic and oil), migas (bread crumbs and roasted in pan, served with vegetables and meat) and gazpacho (the famous cold tomato soup) stand out in the cuisine of Igualeja, in a perfect fusion of the products of the land and its seasonality. And to finish with a sweet taste, do not leave without trying borrachuelos (fantastic cakes), mantecados (the most universal Spanish Christmas sweet) and local wine. The Moorish tradition seen in pastry in ingredients such as wheat flour, sugar and olive oil combined with spices like cinnamon or sesame seeds.
In the days of Al-Andalus, Igualeja belonged to the kura or province of Takuranda. After the Reconquista, the village came under the jurisdiction of Ronda as the estate of Infant Prince John. When he died, it was owned by the widow and later returned to the Crown. Little else is known about this village in Serranía de Ronda.
We can safely assume that the fate of Igualeja was similar to that of others in the region. The name of the village is said to come from the equal distribution of land (igual > Igualeja) performed by the Christian settlers once the Moors had been expelled.
Legend has it…: Execution of "Zamarrilla"
Igualeja is where the bandit Cristóbal Ruiz, aka "Zamarrilla", was killed in 1851. His story is one of the most popular bandit tales in Málaga. He was caught by the Civil Guard in La Trinidad, one of the districts of Málaga City. In a successful attempt to escape the guards, he went into a church and hid under the cloak of Holy Mary of Sorrows. As a token of gratitude, Zamarilla pinned a white rose to Her cloak using his knife. A miracle happened then: the flower turned red.
Salmorejo, migas and gazpacho are the standout dishes in Igualeja that are a perfect blend of locally-grown plants and their seasonality. For dessert, the borrachuelos, mantecados and local wine stand out. The Moorish tradition remains in their pastries with flour, sugar and olive oil blended with spices like cinnamon or sesame.
- Inhabitants (501-1,000)
- Inland area