One of the prettiest villages on the Costa del Sol...
Frigiliana still remains rural, quaint and relaxed, but has garnered the most awards both in the Axarquía region and the Málaga province for the embellishment and improvement of the village. This has made it an extremely popular destination for those looking for the ‘real Spain’. The awards were due not only to Frigiliana’s natural charm, but to it having the best preserved Moorish quarter in the region. Its neat but labyrinthine collection of ancient streets are studded with wicker baskets of esparto, pots and ceramics, and colourful flowers.
Frigiliana is perched 326 metres above sea level in the foothills of the Sierra de Enmedio, part of the Almijara mountain range. This guarantees views of the Mediterranean Sea from almost any point, as well as spectacular views of the Higuerón river gorge, the mountains and the coastal village of Nerja.
On this page you’ll find a little more info on Frigiliana, then there’s an interactive map which will give you directions on how to get here – from wherever you’re starting from! Also worth checking out is our handy guide which links not only to all of our Frigiliana pages, but to all of the fascinating places to visit here. Further on, you’ll find a map guide of the Axarquia with links to all the interesting places to visit both in Frigiliana, and the surrounding villages in the Axarquia.
Spain's award winning village
The stunning mountain village of Frigiliana is situated 56 kilometres from Málaga, and 7 kilometres inland from Nerja. It is a feast for the eyes. Frigiliana’s ancient streets are studded with wicker baskets of esparto, pots and ceramics, and colourful flowers. Also, as in many old pueblos, the orange shingle roofs of Frigiliana’s old houses make a welcome contrast against the monolithic whiteness of its walls.
Frigiliana has won four major prizes (one of them national), for the embellishment and improvement of the village. At a local level it received regional awards for beautification in 1961 and again in 1967; then in 1982 Frigiliana earned its most cherished prize – 1st place for beautification in all of Spain, awarded by the tourism and communications ministries. However, not resting on its laurels, the village then went on to receive 1st place in 1988 for beautification of an Andalucían Village.
The magnificent craggy stone cliffs and sharp gorges behind the village contrast sharply with the terrain below, where gentle undulating terraces of fruits and vegetables have been farmed in the same way for generations. In fact it is the close proximity to the mountains and the water that irrigates the area, such as the rivers Chillar and Higuerón, that made this an ideal place to cultivate crops, particularly vines and olive trees, but increasingly subtropical fruits too.
Frigiliana still remains rural, quaint and relaxed, and follows the contour of the mountain slope on which it was built. This makes moving around the old town a lot easier, but to explore deeper into the village and see what charming and impressive things there are to discover, you will inevitably have to do a little climbing.
There are two main thoroughfares in the old town: there is the original, narrow, cobble-stoned main street, Calle Real, which begins its winding course from the 16th century sugarcane factory, and continues through the old town until it emerges on the other side by the olive processing plant. Then there is the newer, wider road built a few years ago which passes around the village and has parking on both sides.
Well preserved Moorish village
Though Frigiliana has won awards for the best preserved Moorish quarter in the region, today there is scant evidence of the end of the Arabic period, when the Moors made a violent last stand against the Christian invaders.
The castle where much of the fighting took place no longer stands. Instead, there is a tranquil atmosphere permeating the streets of Frigiliana, where this time the invaders are more than welcomed.
The narrow passageways that the marauding tourists walk down date back 500 years to Moorish times, originally built just wide enough for a heavily-laden donkey to clatter between the houses. This old part of the village of Frigiliana is considered one of the best preserved architecturally, in Andalucia, as apart from the buildings themselves, its original Moorish plan is kept.
So when strolling through the old quarter it is very easy to turn back the clock and imagine children running through the narrow streets, as men and women went to work on the fields. There would have been a cacophony of languages spoken here, Castilian, Berber, Arabic, and Hebrew, among others.
Directions to Frigiliana
Frigiliana pages guide
Use the links below to explore what you can see and do in Frigiliana, what festivals take place through the year, and to read about the area’s fascinating history.
Frigiliana is a great base for exploring all of the Axarquía. From beautiful beaches, stunning countryside, pretty little villages, and a wealth of things to do, it has something for everyone – take a look below at all the places you can visit!
Just click on the map icons to find out more information or get driving directions.