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Day trips - Culture and Cities

Day trips - Culture and Cities

Many cultural excursions can be made from El Refugio, both in the nearby area and further away. If you prefer nature and sporting activities such as walking and cycling, take a look at our 'Day trips-Nature-and-Sporty' page. Of course we are happy to think along with you during your stay with us.

In the immediate vicinity

Alcaucín (5 min / or 20 min walk)

Our own village of Alcaucín is definitely worth a visit. Wander through the narrow streets and discover the nice corners and old Moorish influences that are still clearly present here and there, such as the very beautiful 'fuente de los cinco caños'. Sit down on a terrace and enjoy a nice cup of coffee or another drink. If you want to know more about the history of the village, you will find answers to your questions in the CIVA (Centro de Interpretación Valle de Alcaucín).

Zalia Castle (15 min)

This castle was built by the Phoenicians and rebuilt by the Arabs. It owes its name to Queen Zalia who went to the river every day to bathe. In 1485 it was conquered by the Christians and the castle became a prison for the Moors who revolted against the occupying forces. Nearly 100 years later, all Moors were expelled from the village of Alcaucín. The castle was strategically located perfectly and during the Moorish empire the main road from Málaga to Granada also ran here. Now the castle is nothing more than a ruin, but with beautiful views of the surroundings. It is easy to reach by car and you can park nearby.

Maximum 1 hour drive by car

Vélez-Málaga (25 min)

Vélez-Málaga is the capital of the Axarquía region. It was of great strategic value in the Arab era and therefore has a rich history and several historic buildings. In the city's old medina you can still taste the ancient atmosphere of the city. The house of the father of Miguel Cervantes, writer of Don Quixote, is also located in this district and now houses a museum. Walk up to the Alcazaba, a Moorish castle, from where you have a good view of the city and its surroundings, including the coastal town of Torre del Mar (30 min) with its spacious boulevard, many chirinquitos and beaches.

Malaga (50 min)

Málaga is a wonderful Mediterranean/fashionable city right on the Mediterranean Sea that can be reached within an hour from our B&B El Refugio. The city has many attractions such as the Alcazaba, the old Moorish fortress and the Castillo Gibralfaro. Wander through the historic center including the famous shopping street Calle Marquiz de Llarios, the impressive cathedral (the highest in Andalusia) and many museums such as the Picasso Museum or the Picasso Birthplace on Plaza de la Merced. And don't forget the Plaza de toros La Malagueta, here Picasso spent much of his childhood and was a source of inspiration for many of his sketches and drawings in his early years. Or stroll along the renovated modern pier (Muello Uno) with many restaurants and nice stalls and marvel at the luxury yachts that moor there. It is a completely different part of Málaga.

If you prefer peace and quiet and beautiful gardens, Jardín Botanica la Concepción is definitely worth a visit. They are located north on the edge of the city. From here you also have a nice view of the city.

You will find more information about Málaga on Experience Málaga/Sights and Visita Málaga .

Comares (45 mins)

From our B&B you have a view of Comares, the highest village in the Axarquía region. It is therefore also called the 'Balcon de Axarquía'. Here you just have to follow the 'blue footprint tiles' on the ground and you will automatically pass the beautiful corners and sights of this village. Be sure to take a look at the beautiful cemetery and enjoy the panoramic views and who knows, you might also discover our B&B there.

There are also a number of via ferrata routes around Comares, the so-called Via Ferratas. You can find more information about this on Via Ferratas Comares  

Antequera ( 60 mins)

Less known but no less beautiful is the city of Antequera with 30,000 inhabitants. The historic city center is full of Baroque and Renaissance churches whose bell towers rise above the houses. Everything can easily be discovered on foot, including the Alcazaba de Antequera, this Moorish fortress that overlooks the city of Antequera was built in the 14th century AD on top of Roman ruins. Nearby is also the Arco de los Gigantes and the Colegiata de Santa Maria la Mayor (a church that is no longer a church)

A visit to Antequera is possible. Can also be combined with a walk in the special park El Torcal or a visit to the Lobo Park . The following saltwater lakes (where you can spot flamingos) , Laguna de Fuente de Piedra and the nearby Lagunes de Campilla, are also a good combination with a visit to Antequera. Read more about this on our Day trips-Nature-and-Sporty page

Nerja / Frigiliana (45 mins)

These are two beautiful and famous white villages that can be visited together in 1 day. Nerja is located on the coast with beautiful bays, from 'El Balcon de Europa' you have a beautiful viewpoint. Both villages have cozy and picturesque streets, sit down on one of the many terraces for a cool drink or a tasty meal and enjoy the goings on around you.

In Nerja you can also visit 'Cueva de Nerja', an impressive stalactite cave. It was discovered in 1959 and is notable for its enormous dimensions. One of the stalactites in the cave has a height of 32 meters.

Car rides

You can take beautiful drives through the mountains from our B&B. The view changes at every turn and is never boring. Along the way you will pass beautiful authentic white villages such as Canillas de Aceituna, Sedella, Arenas, Canillas de Albaida and Cómpeta , where you can stretch your legs and enjoy the quiet Spanish everyday life.

There are also special car routes such as Ruta del Aceite (olive oil route), Ruta del Almendras (almond route), Ruta del pasa (raisin route) or Ruta del Vino (wine route) that take you past many other nice and beautiful villages and where you can learn more about the local products here in the Axarquía. More information about this is available in our B&B.

Our B&B is located near the border with the province of Granada, where the landscape is completely different from our region. If you pass Boquete de Zafarraya (Zafarraya Pass) you are directly in the province of Granada and you are on a large plateau with the horticultural agriculture of this region. This route takes you quickly further inland.

Alhama de Granada (40 mins)

This unspoilt town is beautifully situated between imposing rock formations and has several attractions such as the old Roman bridge, the thermal baths, and the ruins of the castle. The best view of Alhama is of the impressive Tajo ravine, which you can find behind the Iglesia del Carmen. In the gorge itself you will find clearly marked hiking trails that take you past the ruins of old grain mills, ancient wax stones and various local attractions: important sites related to the Battle of Alhama and to local folklore, and even a small chapel that marks the spot where, according to legend, a Christian knight was miraculously saved from a 150-meter fall. Most are clearly marked and indicated.

More than 1 hour away by car

Granada (1.5 hours)

This historic city with the world-famous Alhambra (TIP: book tickets well in advance, click on the link) can also be visited as a day trip from our B&B. The Alhambra is an impressive historic palace from Moorish times that you must see at least once. It is not without reason that it is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In addition to the Alhambra, the old Moorish district of Albaicín is also a must see in Granada. The district is located on a hill right opposite the Alhambra and consists of a maze of many typical narrow streets and squares and whitewashed houses. There are several beautiful miradors or viewpoints where you can look out over the city and/or the Alhambra with the Sierra Nevada as a backdrop, often with snow-capped peaks.

Cordoba (2 hours)

Córdoba's main attraction is the Mezquita , a huge Moorish mosque converted into a cathedral by the Catholic Monarchs in 1236. But the city is also home to other sights such as the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos or the Jewish quarter 'Juderia'.

The city is also known for its many beautiful patios (courtyards). The 'Patio Festival' takes place every year in May, in which the hidden courtyards are extra beautifully decorated with many colorful flowers. Many of these patios are well hidden and difficult to find or not publicly accessible. It is useful if you can join a guided walk such as Patio walk 1 (with 7 to 8 patios) or Patio walk 2 (with 5 patios).

Iznájar (1.5 hours)

More inland on the southern border of the province of Córdoba lies Iznájar, a beautiful white village located on the slope of a mountain on the largest reservoir in Andalusia. The village is surrounded by mountains, hills and olive trees, in short, the ideal mix for a relaxing picture. The reservoir offers various water sports activities such as kayaking, sailing and other boat trips.

Montefrío (1.5 hours)

Montefrio was an important Moorish border village between the kingdoms of Granada and Castile in the fifteenth century. The many Atalayas (lookout posts) are a reminder of this, as are the ruins of a Moorish castle near the top. Legend has it that the last Moorish king is buried here. The old village center has narrow cobbled streets, whitewashed houses, charming squares and various sights, including three churches that are worth a visit and all different. Just outside the village is Las Peñas de los Gitanos with tombs from the Stone Age. In addition, the Montefrío area offers various beautiful walking routes for nature lovers and hikers. You will also find the famous National Geographic mirador (including the yellow square) that once graced the cover of the magazine.

Ronda ( 2 o'clock)

The city is split in two by the Guadalevín River, which has left a deep gorge. This deep gorge, the Tajo de Ronda, is also what Ronda has become famous for. Three bridges have been built over this gorge to connect the two parts. El Puente Nuevo (the new bridge) is the most famous. This impressive bridge of 120 meters high was built in 1751. It took 42 years to build this bridge, which is now the main attraction of Ronda. The new bridge connects the old (Moorish) center with the newer El Mercadillo.

Seville   (2.5 hours)

Seville, the city where Flamenco was born in the Triana district, is located on the Guadalquivir River and has the largest historic center in Spain where the sights can be found. The highlights include the Cathedral of Seville (including the tomb of Columbus, the Royal Chapel and treasury) and its old Moorish tower Giralda, the Alcázar Real Sevilla and the Torre del Oro. And of course a visit to Seville's most famous square 'Plaza de España' in the green Maria Luisa park should not be missed.

Of course we would be happy to personally tell you our 'secret tips' during your visit to our B&B.

Also visit with lots of information about Andalusia.

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Published 02-03-2024 / Copyright © Boutique B&B El Refugio