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Situated in the area of confluence between the administrative districts of La Serranía de Ronda, La Campiña de Antequera and El Valle del Guadalhorce, Ardales is a white town, perched on the sierra and with an interesting urban centre of medieval appearance which extends to the foot of its castle and its church of La Virgen de los Remedios.

Exploring Ardales is an adventure in itself, but with a rental car, the experience becomes even more enjoyable. The freedom of a rental car allows you to discover the area at your own pace, from the stunning Guadalhorce reservoirs to the prehistoric caves of Ardales.

So, buckle up and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey. With so much to see and do, Ardales is a destination that will leave you longing for more. Stay tuned to our page to uncover the many treasures that await you in this charming Spanish village.

History of Ardales

Step back in time as you explore Ardales, a town with roots that reach deep into the Copper Age. The Romans, recognising its strategic location, fortified the town centre and built a castle on La Peña de Ardales, laying the foundation for the charming village we see today.

Ardales has been a coveted prize since the Ninth Century, desired by both Arabs and Christians for its border position. It wasn’t until 1389 that Christian troops finally claimed the town. The medieval castle, perched on a rocky promontory nearly 500 metres high, stands as a testament to these turbulent times.

But the history of Ardales doesn’t stop there. The Ninth and Tenth Century Mozarabic city of Bobastro and the Fifteenth Century Church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios add to the town’s rich heritage. Much of this can be discovered in the local museums.


Discover the sights of Ardales, a place where history, nature, and culture intertwine. Let’s delve into what this remarkable village has to offer.

Ardales Cave

Also known as the cave of Doña Trinidad Grund, this prehistoric site boasts wall art from the Paleolithic era. The cave, which spans 1.5 km, houses paintings depicting 56 animals from the Solutrean period (20,000 years BC), as well as a significant Neolithic site (3,800 BC) and several Chalcolithic burials (2,700 BC). The cave was discovered in 1821 when an earthquake opened an access point, which is now the entrance to the cave.


Ardales Museum

This museum, designed in a very didactic way, makes use of new technologies, such as a virtual visit that will delight users. It has more than 800 pieces representing the prehistory of Ardales and the Guadalteba region. The museum is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 14:30 h.


Caminito Del Rey

This trail allows you to walk through the heart of the Gaitanes Gorge, via walkways attached to a rock a hundred metres above the ground, discovering remote landscapes and experiencing vertiginous sensations.


Other places to visit from Ardales

  1. Alora Castle: A medieval castle located in the nearby town of Álora. Although not in Ardales, its proximity makes it an interesting visit. (Map)
  2. Reservoirs Guadalhorce-Guadalteba: A set of reservoirs located near Ardales, ideal for enjoying nature and outdoor activities. (Map)
  3. Bobastro Ruins: The mozarabic ruins located near Ardales. It’s a fascinating place to learn about the region’s history. (Map)
  4. Castle of La Estrella: Located in the town of Teba, this castle offers stunning views of the region. (Map)


The September Fair and La Fiesta de la Matanza in February are two special occasions marked on its festive calendar. These events offer a chance to sample traditional dishes like pastoral goat and lamb stew, as well as delightful confectionery based on almond biscuits and oil pancakes.

  1. Fiesta de la Matanza: Held in early February, this traditional festival pays homage to pork-derived products, which are distributed free of charge to visitors. It’s a must-visit if you’re in the area during this time.
  2. Carnivals: Around the same time as the Fiesta de la Matanza, the Carnivals take centre stage with various groups of murgas and chirigotas, as well as high-quality costumes.
  3. Semana Santa: In April, Ardales hosts another of its major festivals, Semana Santa. The devout Ceremony of the Encounter, held on Good Friday, is a sight not to be missed.
  4. Fiesta de San Isidro: In May, the town celebrates the feast of San Isidro, the patron saint of Ardales. On May 15, during his procession through the streets of Ardales, you can admire the fabulous typical Andalusian corners full of flowers. The celebration continues with a large free paella and live performances at the fairgrounds.
  5. Puerta Caminito del Rey Summer Verbena: This summer festival takes place in July.
  6. Fair and Pilgrimage of Virgen de Villaverde: This popular festival pays tribute to the patron saint of Ardales. The holiday is on September 8, with the fair being held the week before this day.


  1. Porra Ardaleña: A traditional Andalusian cold soup similar to gazpacho, but thicker. It’s made with tomatoes, bread, garlic, and olive oil.
  2. Migas: A popular dish made from leftover bread or tortas, garlic, olive oil, and various accompaniments like grapes, melon, or cucumber.
  3. Chivo a la Pastoril: A dish made with goat meat, typically cooked with garlic, pepper, and white wine.
  4. Tortillas de Bacalao: These are cod omelettes, a typical dish during the Lenten season.
  5. Sopa de Maimones: A traditional soup made with bread, garlic, asparagus, and egg.
  6. Pestiños: A typical sweet treat especially during Easter, these are pastries deep-fried in olive oil and coated with honey.

Recommended restaurants:

How to get

Getting to Ardales from Málaga is quite straightforward, and there are a few options depending on your preferred mode of transport.

By Car: If you’re driving, you have two main routes. You can take the A-357 from Malaga towards Campillos and then, just after passing Carratraca, take the exit towards Ardales. This route takes you through the scenic countryside of Andalusia. Alternatively, you can drive along the coast via Marbella, which offers beautiful sea views.

By Public Transport: If you prefer public transport, there are bus services operated by Damas that run from Malaga bus station to Ardales. The journey takes approximately 1 hour. Please note that schedules can vary, so it’s advisable to check the latest timetables.

Whether you choose to drive or take public transport, the journey to Ardales offers the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Andalusia.