Explore España: Frigiliana

View of frigiliana málaga with flowers

I often find myself looking through lists of the most stunning and must-see villages in Andalucía and Frigiliana almost never fails to make an appearance. Luckily, I live only half an hour away. So one Friday, the boyfriend and I spontaneously decided to take a day trip and see for ourselves what the fuss was all about.

There are no direct buses from Málaga centre to Frigiliana so we had to take the bus to Nerja first and take another one. The bus service (and I think there’s only one) that got us from Nerja to Frigiliana was not yet registered in Google Maps so we checked this site for the schedule. When I got on the bus and saw it was filled with “silver travellers”, I knew that that was gonna be my kind of trip.

Before anything else, let me properly introduce this charming Andalusian village by sharing a little bit of its history.

HISTORY

  • It is believed that the name Frigiliana was given during the Roman settlement, named after the historical character called Frexinius.
  • The Arabs arrived and built their fortress as part of the Islamic conquest of Spain. To this day, some of the most authentic manifestations of traditional Arab architecture in Spain can be seen in Frigiliana’s Barrio Morisco (Moorish quarter) or Barrio Alto.
  • The Christian army of the Catholic Monarchs won the battle at the Rock of Frigiliana against the Arabs. A series of ceramic tile art spread throughout the village depicts this battle in a romance narrative form.

It’s always a delight to walk down narrow streets of cobblestone, makes me feel like I’m in a Simon and Garfunkel song.

We let ourselves get lost in this maze of whitewashed houses. Each corner, each turn, opens up another astonishing view.

I’ve been into pastel colours lately and seeing these doors made me puke rainbows.

Every house is artfully adorned with pots and all sorts of plants and flowers.

THINGS TO DO

  1. Wander the narrow, winding streets of Frigiliana without any plan whatsoever.
  2. Take in the views while enjoying Mediterranean food with a “twist” in The Garden Restaurant.
  3. Take in a little bit of history and follow the twelve mosaic ceramic tile trail in the old quarter, mentioned in the history part of this post. Most of the streets are steep so it can be a great leg workout too!
  4. In case you need an excuse to day-drink wine, you can “immerse yourself in the culture” and try their speciality – vino dulce (sweet wine).
  5. Unearth unique souvenirs from small local shops and take home a piece of Frigiliana with you.

A one-day quickie to Frigiliana is good enough, speaking for myself. It’s the perfect day trip that doesn’t require meticulous planning. There’s little to do but ramble around, take in the admirable sights and stop for the occasional sweet wine or tapas.

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