A Fascinating Holiday in the Old Moorish Town of

Álora

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Álora - Valle del Sol (Valley of Sun)

Historic Sites of Álora           Life in Plaza Baja      

Festivals of Alora             Photos of the Valle del Sol

Álora is a dramatic and historic small Andalucian town (more about Álora's history) set astride three steep hills, the most prominent dominated by an old Moorish Castle. The old part of town is still a pueblo blanco (white-walled village) with narrow whitewashed streets, steep slopes, churches, lemon trees, coffee shops and bars where people gather. The town is small enough to walk everywhere and, despite the slopes, it's fun to do so. From the house you step into the heart of the old town and the traditional Andalucian life it represents - into the old square, “Plaza Baja de La Despedia” with its 300 year old church, La Encarnacion, one of the largest churches in Andalucia.

                            

Walk past the house and away from the square and it's a short climb up the hill to the dominant building in the town, the dramatic Old Castle, declared a Spanish national monument in 1931 and first built by the Phoenicians in xxxxBC, expanded by the Romans around the time of Christ, destroyed by the Visigoths and finally re-built by the Moors during their 700 year rule over this part of Spain. 

                       

But Alora is not just a historic town. It has a more modern quarter with reasonable and interesting shops and many bars and restaurants, all within walking distance (bars and restaurants). Whether you prefer quiet bars, like Oscar’s in the square, or the lively chaos of Kana’s (thankfully) on the other side of town, there’s a bar you will like. Similarly restaurants, Casa Abilio has the reputation but there are many others, the simple family run El Pelli, the quirky Casita de Aperros (The Tool Shed), Correos – the old post office, the venta La Higuera with it’s splendid views and the rural Roca Bella in the mountains come to mind. Plus, tapas, tapas, tapas wherever you go!

 

         

There are also many interesting places to visit in the vicinity – the lakes and spectacular gorge of El Chorro, the incredible medieval town of Ronda, flamenco dances, the wonderfully named Villanueva de la Conception in the shadow of El Torcal, the surprising character and vibrancy of Malaga, the flamingo breeding grounds (10,000 flamingos!), El Santo de Pizarra, the Roman baths and old bullring at Carratraca, the ruins of Bobastro and a wealth of other intriguing things and places to see.

              

Also, you will notice how fertile the valley is compared to most of Andalucia, the lush green orange and lemon groves fed by the plentiful river water from the lakes of El Chorro. The surrounding area is easily accessible and delightful for evening strolls or longer walks (walking itineraries) particularly in the nearby Natural Parks of El Chorro and El Torcal.

          

Álora is delightful, a charming microcosm of traditional Spain. You will find markets, several good restaurants, many pleasant tapas bars, occasionally flamenco in the streets, festivals (esp. the flamenco festival in June, the Feria in August, the Romería de la Virgin de las Flores in September, Easter and the Three Kings in January) or, if you prefer, just laze in the sunshine. You should enjoy yourself here from the moment you first see the castle in the distance to the day you sadly have to leave for the airport. We hope you have a good time.

PS. I found this on You Tube, a short documentary about Álora made in 1964 (click here). Of course the town has changed since then - but actually, so much is still the same!