Frigiliana is widely regarded as the prettiest town in Andalucía. It’s known as a “pueblo blanco” because of the whitewashed houses and in typical Andalucían style it’s full of charm and interesting streets to explore.
Sitting up on the hillside just 6km north of Nerja, Frigiliana is in a great location to enjoy access to the sea and the surrounding countryside. While it used to be a small unknown town, in recent years word has spread and Frigiliana has become a sought-out holiday destination. Whether you visit Frigliana as a day trip from nearby Nerja, Almuñécar or Malaga or decide to spend a few days staying the wonderfully pretty town, there is plenty to see and do.
We visited Frigiliana for the first time this summer while staying in Malaga but on our next visit we plan to stay in one of the cute townhouses. During our visit, the whole town was preparing for the festival of three cultures (hence the extra decoration and flags). Which is a big annual fiesta with streets parties and markets to celebrate their history and culture. We had a wonderful time and I wanted to share with you what we saw while visiting the very pretty town of Frigiliana.
*RELATED article: To read more about what the Costa del Sol can offer read – My trip south to the Costa del Sol
Frigiliana sits in the hills of Sierra de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama. This area east of Malaga is the Axarquia, which spreads inland and incorporates a collection of wonderful towns and villages. All well worth exploring if you have a car. But Frigiliana has been selected as the “prettiest town” numerous times by travel writers and tourism boards.
For me, what makes Frigiliana so pretty and helps it to stay just a step ahead of Mijas or Casares, is that it is a perfectly formed and maintained little pueblo blanco. Frigiliana offers all the things you expect from a typical pueblo blanco while managing to maintain the old village charm throughout. You feel like you have stepped back in time as you walk the cobbles streets. With all houses, shops, bars and restaurants staying in keeping with the traditional style.
The elevated location of Frigiliana and surrounding rolling hills provide beautiful viewpoints from all over the town. Of course, the steep uphill streets do make walking and exploring a little difficult. But I encourage you to venture up and explore the topmost part of Frigiliana town for the best views down over the terracotta roofs. Just bring a bottle of water and take your time. Every turn offers a great photo opportunity and there are lots of secret doors to hidden restaurants. Many offer shady terraces looking out across the panoramic landscape.
Being so close to the beach also gives you the best of both worlds. You can spend time walking the narrow streets admiring the quintessential village life, stopping to take photos or to pop in boutique shops. Then take a short taxi or bus ride down to bath in the warm water of the Costa del Sol and enjoy the vibrant town of Nerja.
*RELATED article: If you would like to know more about Nerja read – Nerja, the jewel of the Costa del Sol
Things to see & do in Frigiliana
Some of the key things to see and do in Frigiliana are:
- Explore the lower section of the village where the newer buildings, bigger houses and hotels were built
- Visit the Casa del Apero, built in the early XVII Cenutury, it’s where the tourist information office is plus it holds all the local historical archives and information
- Stop for a tinto de verano or cerveza at Plaza 45 or Nueva Tahona
- Visit the many boutique shops selling local crafts, artisan foods, gifts and clothes
- Browse the lovely Encarna home decor store
- Walk through secret doorways to find hidden lunch spots like El Adarve and La Tahona se Zacatin
- Wander the upper section of the village and the oldest cobbled streets
- Jump on the little tourist train to take a tour of the lower part of town
- See what remains of the old Moorish castle
- Take a hike in the surrounding countryside
- Enjoy a delicious meal with a view in El Jardin or El Mirador Restaurant
- Sip cocktails on the terrace at Oshun Gastronomy Lounge
- Stop at La Domadora y el León to buy some bottled craft beers
*RELATED article: To learn more about Andalucía and the other regions of Spain read – A quick guide to the different regions of Spain
Getting to Frigiliana
To get to Frigiliana you must go first to Nerja. There are regular Alsa buses that go from Malaga, Granada, or Almuñécar for as little as €5. Check their website for schedules and to book tickets.
The Nerja bus station is a row of bus stops on the main road 15 minutes walk from the beach. When you arrive here you can buy tickets for the bus to Frigiliana from staff in the little ticket booth. The local bus costs €2.50 and runs every 30 minutes in the summer or every 1-2 hours in winter.
If there is a long wait for the bus, I’d suggest taking a taxi so that you don’t lose time exploring Frigiliana. The taxi rank is right next to the bus stop and the journey will be on a meter, its approximately €10-12.
On the return, catch the bus where it dropped you off near the Plaza de las Tres Culturas. If you are taking a taxi back be aware that you may need to call for a pick up and a list of phone numbers is posted at the taxi rank. If you pre-booked a particular time Alsa bus from Nerja this is non-transferable. We learnt the hard way after a few extra glasses of wine that we had to wait for a taxi, then missed the bus leaving Nerja and had to buy another ticket.
*RELATED article: If you are spending some time in Andalucía check out our guide to Granada – A weekend in Granada
I hope that you found this travel guide to Frigiliana useful. We really do believe it is the prettiest village in Andalucía and to be honest we fell in love with the Axarquira area. After visiting Frgiliana and Nerja we have decided that this area of Spain is where we would like to buy a house and settle full-time. Exciting stuff but still a few years down the line… we’ll share more once the plans are finalised 🙂
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