Frigiliana is a stunningly beautiful village located in the Tejeda sierra, north of Nerja. The region’s most intact Mudejar quarter and flower-filled balconies adorn its narrow white streets. The battle of the Peñón de Frigiliana in 1568 slays or banishes thousands of Moriscos from the village that their ancestors inhabit for generations. Monuments of note in the village include the Moorish castle and the San Antonio church.
This town offers one of the most spectacular and beautiful panoramic views of the Costa del Sol. In addition to its beauty, it has interesting places like the Hoces del Higuerón and buildings like the sugar mill. The famous cane honey is produced there, in the former Palace of the Counts of Frigiliana.
If you decide to reside there, renting a car would facilitate transportation from Malaga airport. Continue reading to learn more about why Frigiliana would be a good destination to visit or as a holiday residence.
Frigiliana is situated approximately 71 kilometers east of Málaga, the provincial capital, and approximately 6 kilometers north of Nerja. It sits high on a mountain ridge overlooking the sea with spectacular panoramic views. Frigiliana is just west of the vast Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park, which is home to several hiking trails.
Frigiliana has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to prehistoric times. Archaeological remains found in the Cueva de los Murciélagos (‘Cave of Bats’) show that the area was once home to the first human settlement .
The town’s deep Muslim roots are evident in its narrow streets and steep slopes, which are characteristic of traditional Arabic architecture. The Moorish or Barrio Alto neighborhood is one of the most authentic expressions of this style in Spain .
Frigiliana played a prominent role in the history of Spain during the Morisco uprisings of the Islamic era. The hill and castle of Frigiliana were easily defended due to their location in difficult-to-access terrain. In 1568, a large group of Morisco rebels took refuge here, leading to a great battle .
Visitors can explore Frigiliana’s rich history by visiting landmarks such as the remains of the hilltop castle Castillo de Lizar, or by taking a walk through the narrow streets and steep alleyways of the Morisco Quarter or Barrio Alto.
Frigiliana is a town rich in history and culture, with many sights and places to visit. From ancient fortifications to well-preserved historic districts.
The quarter is made up of steep cobbled alleyways winding past white houses resplendent with flowers. It is one of the most authentic expressions of traditional Arabic architecture in Spain and is a must-see for visitors to Frigiliana
Parish Church of San Antonio
The Church of San Antonio de Padua was built in the 17th century on the site of an old mosque. Its bell tower is the former minaret of the mosque.
Inside the church, visitors can admire not only the altarpiece and wooden ceiling, but also its different altars and images. The church is a small museum open to all and is a must-see for visitors to Frigiliana.
The church is located in the historic center of Frigiliana, where visitors can take a walk through the narrow streets, have a coffee or meal at the restaurant opposite the church, and buy souvenirs. The area is noa accessible for vehicles.
The Reales Pósitos, or Royal Granaries, are a must-see sight in Frigiliana. Located on Real Street, just a few meters from the start of the Mosaics of the Morisco Rebellion route and shortly after the Manrique de Lara Palace (El Ingenio), the granaries are a testament to the town’s rich history.
Built in 1767, the granaries were used to store surplus grain in years of good harvest for distribution in bad times. Some historians believe that the granaries may date back even earlier, to the 17th century. Today, the granaries are used as private residences and souvenir shops. Only the brick arcades of its main elevation and its basements remain of its old structure.
Frigiliana is an extremely photogenic town, with white houses painted with lime in the traditional way and bright flowers in pots. Visitors can lose themselves in a white and blue labyrinth filled with plants and envy the people who live a quiet, measured life among peace and beauty.
Palacio del Apero
The Casa del Apero, or House of the Plow, is a cultural center located in Frigiliana. Visitors can enter the center through the Cultural Center La Casa del Apero, where they will find the Tourist Office and the Archaeological Museum. From the center, visitors can enjoy views of the town of Frigiliana, the Palace of the Counts, the Maquinillas, the Lizar Castle, El Fuerte, the Higuerón River, and other points of interest.
After its restoration in the 1990s, it became the “Casa del Apero” Cultural Center, which houses the municipal library, archaeological museum, temporary exhibition hall, historical archive, and tourist office.
Frigiliana has a rich calendar of local festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Some of the most popular events include:
- The Fair: This event starts on August 5th.
- San Sebastian: This local holiday is on January 20th in honor of San Sebastian.
- The Flamenco Singing Contest “Villa de Frigiliana”: This event is between May and June.
- The Three Cultures Festival: This festival celebrates the town’s rich cultural heritage, which includes influences from the Islamic, Jewish, and Christian cultures. The festival takes place at the end of August and features a wide range of events and activities, including music, theater, gastronomy, exhibitions, conferences, and more. One of the highlights of the festival is the tapas route, where visitors can sample local cuisine at participating establishments.
A speciality of Frigiliana is the group of dishes based on choto (young goat), fried and cooked either with garlic or with one of a number of sauces, the most delicious of which is almond sauce, made from locally grown almonds. The traditional soups and stews of the Axarquía region reach their peak in Frigiliana, with varieties unique to the village.
There are a wide variety of restaurants in Frigiliana where visitors can try the typical gastronomy of the area and the more innovative cuisine of local chefs.
Some dishes we recommend you to try: The fried calf in almond sauce or cooked in garlic, “las migas”, “ajocolorao”, “potajes de coles y de Semana Santa” and the cod pancakes are some of the typical dishes of the place. On the subject of desserts and sweets, one has to taste “la arropía” and “las batatillas con miel de caña”, made locally.
The village has few services apart from some small shops, numerous restaurants and cafés and limited sports facilities. A bus service connects the village to nearby Nerja from Mondays to Saturdays.
Local Holidays. 20th January and 3rd May
Distance from Malaga Airport 64km
Town Hall: 952-533-002
How to get
There are several ways to get from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Frigiliana. You can take a bus or drive. Taking the bus from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Frigiliana via Alameda Principal – Sur, Puerto Malaga, and Nerja takes around 2h 34m. If you choose to drive, the journey takes approximately 48 minutes and the distance between the two locations is 71 km.
Here are some directions to get there by car from Malaga airport:
- Take Av. del Comandante García Morato towards MA-23.
- Drive for 500 m.
- Drive on A-7 and take exit 933 from A-7.
- Drive for 66.5 km.
- Take MA-5105 towards C. San Sebastián in Frigiliana.
- Drive for 4.1 km.