The White Villages of the Upper Genal Valley

 

Alpandeire:


Nearby can be found the remains of the old Arab settlements, Pospitar and Audalzar; there are also the ruins of a medieval castle on the Castillejo Hill. 

Also in the surrounding area can be found the dolmens of Encinas Borrachas and Montero. Local production of livestock, agriculture, metalwork, olive baskets.

Festivals in honour of San Roque in August.  Alpandeire is also home to the beatified Fray Leopoldo; there is a local monument dedicated to Fray Leopoldo as well as his birth home in the village which is open for visits as a museum.

Cartajima:

The average altitud of this village is the highest in the comarca of the Serrania de Ronda; its views are incomparable. The vegetation comprises holm oaks, chestnut and cork trees.

Amongst the wildlife found here are foxes, partridges, rabbits and raptors (birds of prey).
The village patron festival, the Virgin of the Rosary, takes place in August.

The festival of las Cortesías is celebrated on Easter Sunday.  Its annual mosto festival is at the start of November.

Faraján:



The village celebrates festivals in honour of San Sebastian in August.  Faraján also hosts an annual marathon type running event during the December bank holidays (06-08 December).

The Easter Week celebrations have a very intimate feeling, above all processions of Our Father Jesus de Medinaceli and the Virgin de las Dolores.



Igualeja:

This villages is rich in chestnuts and produces cold meats, leatherwork, and basketwork. The festivities in honour of the patron saint, San Gregorio Magno and Santa Rosa de Lima, take place in August; there is also the festival of the “Toro de Fuego” (Fire Bull).

The Easter Week processions are famous with their scenic representations of the Passion. More than 60 people take part in this richly costumed spectacle.



Júzcar:


The chief product here is chestnuts; olives are also grown and there is some market gardening as well as live-stock such as goats and sheep. There is small game hunting and catfish and trout are fished. Amongst wildlife found in this village are foxes, rabbits, raptors, owls, wood-peckers, thrush, eagles and wild boar.  Juzcar also has a developed wild mushroom culture.

Juzcar is also home to the first factory ever constructed in Spain, the Fabrica de Hojalata.  Its church, Santa Catalina, was constructed at the start of the 16th century.

The festivities in honour of the Virgin of Moclón are celebrated in August. There is an annual romeria at the end of June.

Parauta:


This villages produces chestnuts, honey, esparto grass and aromatic wild chamomile. Cereals and olives are cultivated and livestock of sheep and goats are kept.

Sitting in an enclave between the Sierras de las Nieves and the Serrania del Oregonial, the lands around the village are hilly and rugged. Pinapos, pines, chestnut trees and holm oaks grow abundantly. 

The local festivals take place in August.  An annual Rabbit Festival occurs at the start of November.

Pujerra:



A century ago there were copper mines in the surroundings of this village; today, chestnut growing is the main economic activity along with keeping pigs, sheep and goats.

There is small game hunting and an attractive covering of dense trees.


The festivities in honour of the patron saint, San Antonio, is the 13th of June and there is another festival on 6th November.

The White Villages of the Lower Genal Valley

Algotocín:



Not much is known of the origins of this town, which may have been occupied by the Romans, judging by the remains found in Cerrogordo (a place near the town), although there are indications that it was founded by the Berber tribe, Al Atusiyin; some relate the name of the town with this Arab tribe. Either way, its consolidation was produced with the Castilian re-population before the Christian conquest. 


The festive calendar has celebrations such as San Isidro (15th May), and San Juan (24th June), each with their pilgrimage. But the main local celebrations are in honour of their patron saint, the Virgen del Rosario, and San Francisco, between the 4th and 7th of October.

The annual mosto festival takes place on the last Sunday of November.

Atajate:



Atajate is between the valleys of Guadiaro and Genal; you can see the church over the roofs of the houses. It has a landscape of olives, vines and cereal fields which co-habitat with the holm-oaks, corks, and thickets which cover the low areas of the limestone relief in woods.

The origin of the town is Arabic, although axes have been found in some nearby caverns which denotes man’s presence since ancient times and the Romans also left coins and ceramics.

The village produces chestnuts, walnuts and figs and has livestock, esparto grass, strings and nurseries.


The festival of San Roque, the patron saint, on the 16th of August, Moors and Christians on Easter Sunday.  The annual mosto festival takes place on the last Sunday of November.



Benadalid:

The festival of the patron saint, San Isidoro, is celebrated in late August with traditional combats of Moors and Christians. The celebration of Corpus Christi is famous for the beautiful alters that are placed in the streets marking the places where the procession makes a stop.

The Day of the Cross, on 01 May, is also very important; the festival of Moors and Christians is also famous. The village produces cherries, white figs, honey and olives.



Benalauría:


The village celebrates it renowned festival of Moors and Christians in honour of its patron saint, Santo Domingo de Guzman, on the 4th and 5th of August. On the 7th of October it celebrates the festival of the Virgin of the Rosary.

It produces citrus fruits, grapes and almonds and has groves of olives, holm oaks and cork trees. The village has developed an interesting style of cork craftwork.



Benarrabá:


The 17th century hermitage of Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz is particularly noteworthy and important carving of the Crucifixion. The village’s festival are on 20th of January, 29th of September and the 15th of august that is to say San Sebastian, San Miguel and Assumption. The surrounding countryside is populated with pine, chestnut cork and olive trees.

Gaucin:



This municipality extends over two valleys, the Genal and the Guardino in the extreme south eastern limit of the Serranía de Ronda. Its vegetation is rich in holm oak and cork oaks, chestnut trees and Aleppo pines and there is an abundance of pastures. The raising of livestock is well developed with cattle, sheep and pigs being bred. There are mineral waters containing iron and sulphur salts.

The village patron festival, the Virgin of the Snows, is held in the second week of August. There are festivals in honour of the Holy Child on the 7th and 8th of September and on the 23rd of June, bonfires are made and a romeria is celebrated in honour of San Juan.

Genalguacil:



The name of the town comes from the Arabic “gema al wacir” – the minister’s gardens -, which makes one suppose that a head of state used to live in this town at that time. It is known that here there used to be gold, silver, an copper mines, as there are still some vestiges in the place called Los Morteretes. Pork products occupy a pre-eminent place in the Genalguacil kitchens, as do all the Ronda Highland dishes.

Nevertheless, here they have a hot soup, breadcrumbs fried with garlic in the winter, and tomato soup for the summer. The unfermented grape juice from the land has to be mentioned.


On the 2nd of February they celebrate the Virgen de la Candelaria and on the 29th of April is the festivity of San Pedro de Verona. The Easter processions offer a special vision through the streets where it runs its course, and on the 24th of June is San Juan.

There is also a tradition they call taking the first swim of the year.


Genalguacil also has an bi-annual art festival where artists are invited to come and work leaving their freshly completed works on display throughout the village all the years.

Jubrique:



Its principal economic activities are chestnut growing and market gardening. The main livestock kept are goats and pigs. There is a small game hunting and catfish and trout are fished. In the hills there used to be mountain goats, boars and badgers.

There were factories of liqueurs and wine and traces of gold, copper and lapis lazuli.

The church of San Francisco was originally built as an Arabic mosque.

The romeria, which takes place on the day of San Juan, 24 June, is noteworthy. On the 4th October is the festival in honour of San Francisco.