Arenas

Small town of 1.300 inhabitants is situated in the administrative district of La Axarquía, at about forty kilometres from the Málaga capital.

Its town centre is covered with places which suggest its Muslim past. The town is divided into three very distinct areas: “El Barrio Alto” or “Alto del Lugar”, where the craftsmen, the blacksmiths and the potters use to reside; the town centre where the well- off used to live and the town hall and the square of the almohad church- mosque, dating from the Twelfth Century, are situated; and, lastly, “El Barrio Bajo” or “Cantarranas”, the place where the poorer townsfolk used to live.

The peak of Bentomiz, in which the remains of an old fortification are found, can be observed from any part of the town. It is highly recommended to go up to its summit (either by foot or on mule- back) and observe weather permitting, splendid views of the African Continent.

Apart from this fortification, the district of Daimalos (which still keeps some buildings from the Twelfth Century), the church of “Santa Catalina”, of Mudejar styling, and, at the town’s entrance, an old oil mill and a mural of the prestigious potter, Virgilio González, are places of interest. Its most important festivities are the Februrary “Carnaval”, the festivities in honour of “Santa Catalina” and “San Sebastián”, on the 10th and 12th of August, and the “Candelaria”, celebrated on the 7th and 8th of September.

The specialities of its cuisine are the fried goat with almond sauce (chivo frito con salsa de almendras) and the fried breadcrumbs with olives and herring (las migas con aceitunas y arrenques) dishes which are recommended to wash down with a fine wine of the land. For lovers of more filling dishes, the cavaroes stew (el potaje de cavaores), based on chickpeas and yellow rice, and the stew of chickpeas, cod and broad beans, typical of Holy Week.