frigiliana : pueblo blanco : andalusia

frigiliana : pueblo blanco : andalusia

The small white village of Frigiliana – one of the famous pueblo blancos – is in the Axarquia region of the Costa del Sol, and regularly features in lists of Spain’s most beautiful villages.

This pueblo blanco is distinctively Moorish in appearance, with the old quarter made up of narrow, winding, cobblestone streets full of small shops, tapas bars and restaurants well worth exploring. The village is actually divided into two neighbourhoods, with the upper quarter – the Barrio Alto – being where you will find the winding maze of cobbled streets filled with Mudéjar and Moorish architecture. Mudéjar is an architectural style produced by Christians but with heavy Islamic influence, and it is evident around every corner.

This upper part of town is really only accessible on foot, so trainers – or very comfy footwear – is much recommended. Your feet won’t thank your strappy holiday sandals if your wear them to explore. Allow for at least several hours to visit, because although it is small, there is endless history, a labyrinth of white washed streets and unique places to discover throughout the town. And you will keep stopping to photograph the beautiful Andalusian house and shop facades, decorated with ceramic pots and tumbling flowers in bright colours which pop against the white-wash. Arriving by car is easy, because Frigiliana is well sign-posted and the roads to the village are very accessible. There is a large underground car park at the foot of the village, so you will need to do a climb to get to the top.

We have visited Frigiliana out of season – either April or October/November and these are perfect times of year. Temperatures are warm, but bearable and the village is so much less crowded that it would be in the height of summer. Meaning that at certain times, you can find yourself complete alone and able to drink everything in, with out anyone else around you. Perfect.

Of course, Frigiliana isn’t the only pueblo blanco in Andalusia, and this article gives some good guidance to others. We haven’t even scratched the surface of these beautiful white villages, but have every intention of getting to know them a whole lot better.

 

los coracoles : frigiliana : andalusia : november 14

los coracoles : frigiliana : andalusia : november 14

On a drive from the white washed hill top town of Frigiliana, down to Torrox on the coast, we noticed some strange shaped buildings looming up on a hill ahead of us – and were totally bemused, as we drove past them, to see that they looked like hobbit style dwellings, looking out to sea.

As soon as we got back to where we staying in Nerja, I looked up these strange buildings and found out that they were actually pods, part of a rural hotel and restaurant, called Los Coracoles – snails, in Spanish! So, of course, we had to make a booking and a couple of days later, were checking in.

The reception was housed in a cave-like building, with the restaurant to the rear of the check in area. If you don’t like rustic touches, this may not be for you, but we loved it immediately. Very Moorish, with lanterns strung across the low, arched of the ceiling. Dark wood, white washed walls, tiled floor. Just very different and very pretty.

It was quite a long and winding road up to Los Coracoles – you definitely need transport – but wow, was it worth it for the views down the sea. A small pool was perfectly placed for drinking in those views, and an outdoor terrace looked very tempting, for outdoor dining. However, as we were staying very late in the season, both were closed.

So, to our apartment. Again, another wow! It was a proper cave-like dwelling, with a balcony with a magnificent view.

 

Luckily, even though out of high season, the restaurant was still open, showing its popularity. People apparently travel from some distance to dine here, and we found the food to be pretty amazing.

In fact, we loved it so much here, and prices in November were so affordable, that we returned a few days later and tried out a suite, with more facilities and a larger bathroom. That woodburner was needed too, as the weather took a real turn and being on the top of the mountain, it was drizzly and misty and quite cold. Very atmospheric though.

We got to experience the restaurant again – for dinner and breakfast – and were as impressed as on our previous visit. Both with the food and the decor.

We also got to know Blass, the hotel “puppy”. His size suggested he was way beyond puppy years, but his personality and boundless energy definitely marked him out as a puppy. Although a large one, it has to be said…