Medieval Frigiliana is a typically Andalusian pueblo blanco (white town) in the hills east of Málaga above the vacation paradise of Costa del Sol. Guarded by the remains of the 9th-century Moorish Lízar Castle, the village rises from its cliffside promenade and offers far-reaching panoramas of the Mediterranean coast.
A maze of cobblestone alleyways leading off Calle Real, the Moorish heart of Frigiliana is lined with flower-festooned white cottages with wrought-iron balconies. The streets wind upward with steep steps, past ancient churches and palaces, and boutiques sell traditional ceramics decorated with Arabic designs. Tiny piazzas are home to tapas bars where you can sample local treats and a glass or two of regional wine. A signposted 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 Parque Natural Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama, making it popular with cyclists and hikers looking to spot golden eagles and goats among the mountain peaks and scattered olive groves. Day trips to Frigiliana are often combined with a visit to the nearby Costa del Sol town of Nerja.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Frigiliana is best explored on foot; many of the streets are not accessible by car.
- Cane honey is a popular ingredient in many dishes in Frigiliana.
- To avoid the crowds, visit on a weekday before summer.
How to Get There
Located inland from the Mediterranean Sea, Frigiliana is 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Málaga and 3 miles (5 kilometers) from Nerja. The town is best reached by car or bus. From Málaga, travel along A7 and take exit 292. Tours from the Costa del Sol also offer transportation.
When to Get There
The Three Cultures Festival, which is held during the last week of August, is Frigiliana’s largest event, with shows, exhibitions, and activities that celebrate the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim cultures of the town. Overall, you will experience the best weather from mid-April to the end of June and during September and October.
Parque Natural Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama
Since Frigiliana is located on the perimeter of this national park, many outdoor enthusiasts use the town as a base for exploration. The park is made up of the three mountain ranges—Tejeda, Almijara, and Alhama—and boasts a range of activities such as bird-watching, mushroom picking, canoeing, mountaineering, and more.