Valle de Abdalajís

Basic data
Size: 21.20 Km˛
Population: Approx. 3,000
Residents known as: Vallesteros
Monuments: Palace of the Condes de Corbo, Parish church of San Lorenzo, Convent of Madre Petra (the San José de la Montańa Senior Citizens Home), Hermitage of Cristo de la Sierra.
Geographical situation: In the southern area of Antequera, 55 kilometres from Malaga, at 340 metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, Valle Abdalajís C/ Alameda, 2. 29240.
Phone: 
952 489 100 Fax: 952 489 164
On the Internet: www.valledeabdalajis.com


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Partial view of the town

The municipality of Valle de Abdalajís is on the southern border of the Antequera region, surrounded by this municipality in the Guadalhorce Valley. The mountains are the principal feature of the place, accounting for the name of the range: the Sierra del Valle de Abdalajís, a beautiful backdrop to the white houses of the urban area. The landscape at the other end of the municipality is low and hilly, covered in olive groves and cereal plantations. The Arroyo de las Piedras stream passes between the hills and the mountains, irrigating vegetable plots in the Guadalhorce Valley. The municiality’s geographical position in the middle of the Penibética mountain range has made it an obligatory passageway from the Guadalhorce Valley to the Antequera Plain, and this explains the presence of numerous archaeological sites in the area. Axes, flintstone pieces and ceramic fragments have been found here, showing origins going back to pre-historic times. The Iberians were here, and they came into later contact with the Phoenicians, as we know from remains of Greek ceramic objects in the Nacimiento and Cerro del Castillo areas, dating from the 5th century B.C. Finds made at the site of Cerro Pelao, along with other fortuitous discoveries made in the area, show that the Romans lived here too. A Roman villa in an excellent state of preservation was found in 1981, evidence of the existence here of the Roman city of Neskania. Abdalajís was destroyed by the Vandals in the middle of the 4th century, and all this region remained de-populated for a number of centuries until the arrival of the Moors, who built a fortress in the area, which has long since disappeared. The present name of the town comes from its founder, Abd-el-Aziz, son of Muza, although the town we know of today dates from the 16th century, when Felipe II ceded the land to D. Alfonso Pérez.

Places to be visited
Urban centre
The upper part of the town is the oldest, and here evidence of the Moorish presence is strongest. One of the first buildings in the town was the Posada, on calle Real, and it still stands to this day, although restored. Close by one can see the ancestral homes of the 16th century, an example being the Palace of the Conde de los Corbos. Another interesting building is the Church of San Lorenzo, finished in 1559 and restored in the 18th century. The Hermitage of Cristo de la Sierra is an important building too, inside of which we find the Cristo de la Sierra (Christ of the Mountains), and from where we can see wonderful views over the town. We can reach the Gangarro from here, a very high point with more magnificent views. One of the most important religious buildings in the town is the Convent of Madre Petra, on the street of the same name. This is occupied in our time by a residence for the old, the Residencias de Ancianos Madre Petra. The old part of the convent, founded by Mother Petra de San José, has been perfectly well preserved.
Archaeological sites
The area surrounding Abdalajís is rich in archaeological remains, with many sites where various objects have been discovered. Axes, flint pieces and ceramic fragments have been found here, showing origins going back to pre-historic times. The Iberians were here, and they came into later contact with the Phoenicians, as we know from remains of Greek ceramic objects in the Nacimiento and Cerro del Castillo areas, dating from the 5th century B.C. Finds made at the site of Cerro Pelao, along with other fortuitous discoveries made in the area, show that the Romans lived here too, and the Cerro Pelao site is also related to the Towers of Hannibal, as a strategic point of control and communication. The Dama Oferente del Valle de Abdalajís is dated from the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C., constituting a fine example of pre-Roman Iberian art. This was a votive offering that represents a female figure with mitre and veil in a supplicating position, made in bronze and about eight centimetres high. Other similar statues of people and animals have also appeared around this site.
Where to eat 

Venta- Restaurante Los Atanores. Ctra. Antequera - Valle de Abdalajis.Tel: 952 488 068. Specialising in porras, fried breadcrumbs and gazpacho.
Venta Gazpacho. Crta Antequera - Valle de Abdalajis. Tel: 952 488 185.
Specialising in kid and scrambled egg with asparagus.
Bar Pikiki. Avda Blas Infante nş 1.Tel: 952 489 177. Specialising in tapas.
Restaurante Refugio de Alamut. Crta. Antequera - Valle de Abdalajís. Tel: 952 489 400.
Where to sleep 
Hotel El Refugio de Alamut. Crta. Antequera - Valle de Abdalajís. 16 plazas, bar, restaurant and swimming pool. Tel: 952 489 400.
Hostal Avenida(**). Avda. Blas Infante s/n. Tel: 952 489 379 / 952 489 177 Fax: 952 489 379. 9 double rooms and one individual.
Hostal Vista a la Sierra (**). C/Viento, s/n. Tel: 952 488 052.
Casa rural La Teja. Tel: 952 489 242/ 667 621 632. Maximum 12 people.
Rural Accommodation in the province of Malaga (in Spanish)
Links 
www.lacave.org. Trekking, pot-holing and environment in the Ronda Mountains area.
www.iznarunda.com. The web page of the Association for the Conservation and Promotional Work of the historical heritage of Ronda "Izna Runda".
www.arunda.com. Tales, curiosities and images of Ronda and the Ronda Mountain area.

Abdalajís is considered to be the capital of hang-gliding

FIESTAS
The festival in honour of the town’s patron saint, San Lorenzo, takes place from August 9th to 12th. One of the most traditional religious festivals in Abdalajís is the annual Romería in honour of the Cristo de la Sierra, in which the image is taken from Malaga to the town. This event takes place during the first week in May, lasting three days due to the distance the holy image has to be brought from. The other great religious festival here is Holy Week, characterised by the cult of the Virgen de los Dolores and Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno.

GASTRONOMY
The most typical dishes of the area include porra, fried breadcrumbs, kid and pepper. There is also a wide variety of soups made here, including hot gazpacho, gaches and olla. For dessert, apples are frequently used, and the people of the place like also to make pastries.
In the area of craftwork, the town is well known for its work in palm and esparto grass, using these materials to make what are known as candongas and capachas, for carrying bread. Local craftspeople, known as picapedreros, also make beautiful items from carved stones, a craft unique in the province of Malaga.

OPEN AIR SPORTS
The Valley of Abdalajis is ideal for the sport of hang-gliding, to such an extent that the area is known as the capital of this sport. With excellent weather all the year around and ideal geographical conditions for flying, many people come here to practice this and other sports associated with free-flight. Trekking, cycling and climbing are also popular sports here too, with more than 75 climbing routes in the Sierra de Abdalajís, varying in difficulty from III to 6b+. With three trekking routes and three mountain-bike lanes, the Valle de Abdalajis is one of the most ideal places for sportspeople to spend a holiday.