Mollina, a municipality in the region of Antequera, lies within the province of Málaga in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Its lands are generally flat, with the exception of the Sierra de Mollina which presents no significant unevenness. The municipality stands 65 km from the capital at an altitude of 477 meters above sea level and covers an area of 75 km². It has a population of 3359 inhabitants.
If you plan to visit Mollina, hiring a car in Malaga is a recommended option. Driving your own vehicle to and from Mollina provides possibly the most comfortable means of transport.
History of Mollina village
Mollina has a rich history that dates back to the Neolithic period. Archaeological remains have been found in the Sierra de la Camorra, on the outskirts of the municipal area. In the Cueva de las Goteras and in the Cueva de la Higuera, lithic material has been found. In another cave, the Cueva de los Porqueros, there are also cave paintings representing schematic human figures. Neolithic remains have also been found in the places called Cerro de la Fuente and Cerro de las Viñas.
The Roman Civilization also left its mark on Mollina. Within the estate that houses Bodegas La Capuchina, you can see what remains of an ancient Roman mausoleum. Among olive trees and vineyards, we can still see this funerary space, around which pots and plates from that time. Not far from there, also in the municipality of Mollina, you can see the ‘castellum’ of Santillán, an ancient Roman fortress that was used between the 1st and 3rd centuries
Mollina was born as a municipality at the beginning of the 19th century, separating from Antequera by virtue of the provision of the 1812 Constitution that stated that towns with more than 1000 inhabitants should have their own town hall. The first act of the Mollina Town Hall is from June 9, 1820.
Places to Visit in Mollina
Mollina is a municipality with a rich history and culture. One of its main attractions is the Sierra de la Camorra, which offers beautiful views and is a popular place for hiking. Three established routes are available: a red one (high level), a green one (medium level) and a blue one (low level). The Sierra de la Camorra, also known as the Sierra de Mollina, is located between the municipalities of Mollina and Alameda, east of the Fuente de Piedra lagoon. It was declared a Zone of Special Conservation (ZEC) in 2015.
Bodegas La Capuchina
At Bodegas La Capuchina, you can see the remains of an ancient Roman mausoleum. The estate also houses vineyards and olive trees and produces high-quality wines and extra virgin olive oil with Denomination of Origin Málaga and Sierras de Málaga.
The Bodegas y Viñedos La Capuchina is on a farm in Mollina, in the north of the province of Málaga. Here, vineyard and olive tree crops flood the landscape and embrace Mediterranean vegetation remnants.
Here you can enjoy an environment where grape and olive complement wine and oil production. You will learn about the processes followed for producing white, red and sweet wines.
The ‘Castellum’ of Santillán
Not far from Bodegas La Capuchina, in Mollina, you can see the ‘castellum’ of Santillán. This ancient Roman fortress was used between the 1st and 3rd centuries. The Castellum de Santillán is located near the Antequera valley where Mollina is situated. The valley was intensely Romanized with magnificent cities and an important network of villae or rural settlements dedicated to agricultural activities.
The most important part of the site is its castellum, which is typologically unique on the peninsula. It is a walled enclosure with a square floor plan and square towers inserted at the corners. The walls are made of opus caementicium, which has extraordinary solidity and has resisted the passage of time. In front of the west wall there is a paved area that could be the entrance to the enclosure.
The function of this castellum is not clear. Given its small size, it could have housed only a small garrison. The castellum could have served as a lookout post associated with the Hispalis-Antikaria-Malaca road or the old villa could have transformed into a fortified rustic villa serving as a refuge for inhabitants in times of crisis.
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Hiking in the Sierra de la Camorra
There are several trails available for those who enjoy walking in nature. One trail starts at the municipality of Mollina and follows a forest track with signposts. Along the way, you’ll pass through pine forests and see landmarks such as a majano.
The Sierra de Mollina is a mountain formation in the north of the province of Málaga; also known as the Sierra de la Camorra. You will find it between the municipalities of Mollina and Alameda, east of the Fuente de Piedra lagoon.
The Sierra de la Camorra is home to numerous caves of geological and speleological interest such as the Cueva del Almirez, Cueva de la Higuera, Cueva de los Órganos, Sima del Soldado or Abrigo de los Porqueros.
Recommended to visit
The Cueva de los Órganos (Organ Cave) is a large cavity located in the Sierra de la Camorra in the municipality of Mollina (Málaga). It is an easy route without technical difficulties and is suitable for all people with a minimum level of skill. The cave offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the Sierra de la Camorra. (Map)
The Torca de Mollina is another popular attraction in the area. It is a sinkhole or circular depression with steep edges. It is also known as “El Corralón”. The sinkhole creates its own microclimate and was used in the past to confine livestock. Visitors can explore the sinkhole and learn about its unique geological features. (Map)
Both the Cueva de los Órganos and the Torca de Mollina offer visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty of the Sierra de la Camorra. Whether you’re interested in hiking, exploring caves, or learning about local history and geology, these attractions are sure to provide a memorable experience.
If you’re looking for an easy and enjoyable hike that allows you to explore the natural beauty of the Sierra de la Camorra, then the “Ruta a la Cueva de los Órganos y Torca de Mollina” is a great option. This route, which is available on Wikiloc, takes hikers on a journey through the Sierra de la Camorra, with stops at two of its most popular attractions: the Cueva de los Órganos and the Torca de Mollina.
The route between those two natural spots has a distance of 11.34 km. It takes approximately 5 hours and 27 minutes to complete. This hiking route is classified as having an easy technical difficulty, making it accessible to hikers of all skill levels.
Events or Festivals
Mollina has four major annual festivals. The first is the Candelaria, or candle-lit procession, celebrated on the first day of February. In May, there is a Romería, or procession into the country, in honor of the Virgen de la Oliva.
The town’s Summer Fair takes place early in the second week of August. This is perhaps to make way for possibly the most important festival: the wine harvest festival, or Feria de la Vendimia, which takes place in the second week of September.
During the Candelaria festival, families and groups of friends gather around large bonfires to eat, drink, sing and dance in a pagan celebration close to Carnival.
Gastronomy and Where to Eat
Mollina area is known for its vineyards, which produce fine wines under the Málaga label. The town also has a variety of restaurants where you can enjoy local cuisine.
Some popular restaurants in Mollina include:
- Restaurante Meson Plaza, which offers a large menu of food and wine. (Map)
- D’vinos, where you can discover cuisine with all five senses and enjoy some of the best wines from the region (Map)
How to Get to Mollina from the Airport
To get from Malaga Airport to Mollina, you can take a train from the airport to Malaga train station, transfer to another train to Antequera-Santa Ana, and then take a taxi or bus to Mollina. The entire journey takes around 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Alternatively, you can rent a car at the airport and drive to Mollina. The town is about 65 km from Málaga and you can get there by taking the A-92 highway and then the Mollina exit. This option gives you more flexibility to explore the area at your own pace.