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The Local area

jamonAndalucía is one of the most beautiful areas of Europe, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway and loved by Orson Welles. The region is quintessentially Spanish; think flamenco, guitars, sherry, olives, cured hams, week-long fiestas, bullfights, whitewashed houses clinging to the hillside, ruined castles and you'll get the picture. This is a land rich with the legacies of the Moors and the Romans, among many other invaders, all of whom have left their mark on the culture and landscape of this spectular region. Famous Andalucians include Pablo Picasso, Antonio Banderas and Miguel Jiménez, all of whom were born in Málaga.

The old town of Almogía is one such collection of small whitewashed houses with red tiled roofs, clinging to the almogia villagehillside in the western Málaga mountains, about 25 kilometres from Málaga city. The surrounding countryside is populated by olive and almond groves and pine covered mountains.

The exact origins of Almogía as a settlement are unknown, but prehistoric remains have been found at a local site, and the town occupies a strategic position on routes from inland to the coast. Roman remains have also been discovered locally and the architecture displays Christian and Moorish influences.

Almogía loves to celebrate all things that rural life has to offer and there are regular fiestas and ferias throughout the year. They celebrate the coming of summer, the goat (wonderful cheese and puddings made from goats milk etc.), the almond harvest, Easter and of course the week long summer Feria to name just a few!

fiesta timeTo the north of Almogía, a 20 minute drive brings you to the larger village of Villanueva de la Concepción, where you will find a Día supermarket and many more restaurants and bars. Try Bar Godoy or Xebar.

Drive out of Villanueva to the north and you cannot fail to encounter El Torcal mountain, with its haunting rock formations caused by centuries of wind erosion. Once you have skirted El Torcal on the mountain road, you will come to the pretty, historic town of Antequera, strategically situated at the centre of an imaginary cross whose 4 points are Córdoba, Málaga, Sevilla and Granada, the four great cities of Andalucía. Antequera has many attractions and is famous for its bullring and out of town shopping mall. There are many pretty pavement cafes where the hungry traveller can rest and eat and drink cheaply.

Go north and west over the hills from Almogía and you will come to the pretty pueblo blanco village of Valle de Abdalajís, where there is a new Activities Centre. You can read more about this on our What To Do page. Drive up though the village and you will find the Ardales road. Continue west over the hills (try not to be distracted by the breathtaking views on either side!) and you reach El Chorro, a huge gorge in the mountain carved out over time by the Guadalhorce river. Follow the road over the dam and you will come to one of the most stunningly beautiful areas - the Ardales Lakes. The lakes offer freshwater swimming, kayaking, canoeing and fishing in peaceful turquoise waters, surrounded by pine woods.