Medieval Frigiliana is a typically Andalusian pueblo blanco (white village) perched on a ridge in the hills east of Málaga above the vacation paradise of the Costa del Sol. Guarded by the photogenic remains of the ninth-century Moorish Lízar Castle, the village straggles uphill from its cliff-side promenade, which offers far-reaching panoramas towards the Mediterranean coast.
Recently voted “the prettiest village in Spain,” the Moorish, Mudejar-style heart of Frigiliana is a maze of cobbled alleyways leading off the main street of Calle Real, and lined with gleaming, flower-festooned white cottages ornamented with wrought-iron balconies. The streets wind ever upwards in steep steps, past ancient churches and palaces, and are crammed with boutiques selling traditional ceramics decorated with Arabic designs. Tiny piazzas reveal tapas bars in which to sample local treats and a glass or two of local wine, while a sign-posted walk, illustrated by ceramic plaques, guides visitors through the narrow streets up to the castle, relating the story of the Spanish ousting the Moors from the village in 1569.
Frigiliana is also a gateway to the rugged terrain of the Parque Natural Sierras de Tejeda, popular with cyclists, hikers and drivers alike for the chance to spot golden eagles and shy mountain goats among the mountain peaks and scattered olive groves.
Frigiliana is inland from the Mediterranean Sea, 60 km (40 miles) east of Málaga; the tourist information office is at Cuesta del Apero 8. It is best accessed by car or bus from Málaga along the A7, exit 292, signposted to Nerja.