Frigiliana, Andalusia, Spain.
A happy marriage of culture and nature, this slice of the
Costa del Sol – the eastern gateway to Malaga –
is one of our favourite spots for a long, lazy weekend. Picture
dusty, steep, sun-soaked streets crammed with whitewashed villas; a
tangle of alleyways giving way to Moorish-Mudéjar architecture.
While Frigiliana still goes under the radar for the cool kids, we’d
argue that its lack of hipster hangouts is what makes it that
little bit more magical.
To appreciate the place in all its glory, start by exploring the
ninth-century Castillo de Lízar, before popping into Vinos El Lagar
for a glass of muscatel and some plates of local tapas. Keen hikers
will want to take the 7km hike from Frigiliana to hilly El Fuerte,
where, at a staggering height of 963m, you’ll be rewarded with
sweeping views across the dazzling town.
Visit in August – that way, you can experience the legendary
Festival de las Tres Culturas, a village-wide celebration of
Christian, Muslim and Jewsih traditions.
Where to stay?
In a world where design-driven hotels have become par for the
course for jet-setters, it’s refreshing to discover a landscape
scattered with botlholes that reflect the heritage and cultural
roots of their surrounds. Among these is La Posada
Morisca (The Moorish Inn), a 12-key converted farmhouse backed
by the Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park. There
are two different room types to choose from: one comes with a
covered porch; the other has a spacious solarium terrace. Both,
however, are decked out with the same dark-wood furnishings,
floor-to-ceiling shuttered windows and airy bathrooms that come
generously stocked with locally sourced organic toiletries. One of
the major perks of this intimate space is the outdoor infinity
pool, with bamboo parasols and loungers that will send you into a
deep sleep – you know where to find us.
Where to go for dinner?
The Garden Restaurant is our favourite spot in town, partly for
its undisturbed views and plant-filled interior, but largely for
its classic Mediterranean menu. Plan your visit for 7pm, to enjoy a
feast with a side serving of sunset vistas. The grilled chorizo and
houmous starter is worth visiting for in itself.
And for a drink…
Head to Bar el Picoteo. You won’t find picture-perfect
interiors, but you will rub shoulders with a crowd of free-spirited
locals looking to enjoy a jug of sangria. Come for good vibes and
an unpretentious traditional Spanish menu.
Who to take with you?
That friend who’s started seeking an alternative kind of
hedonism to that found on the White Isle. They’ll enjoy the slower
pace of life found in Frigiliana.
Essentials to pack
There’s nothing that sends us into a hotter sweat than
misplacing our passport – which inevitably happens at least five
times before making it past check-in. Prepare to be organised like
never before with the Loewe zipped cardholder. It’s the perfect place
in which to stash those all-important essentials – and it looks
How to get there
Take a direct flight from London Gatwick to Málaga-Costa del Sol
Airport, from where Frigiliana is just an hour’s drive away.
Alternatively, fly into nearby Granada Airport – a flight route
available from a handful of UK airports.