Summer months in Archidona, near Malaga, Spain
David and Myles of ALMOHALLA 51 near Malaga share their highlights of what to do this Summer when you stay with them.
One of the main reasons we chose Archidona as a location for our guest house was its superb location for visiting the major cultural highlights of this region – right in the centre of Málaga, Cárdoba, Granada, Ronda, are all easy day trips.
But as the summer months approach we’re also blessed with great things to do nearer home which mean less time in the car and more by the pool (smothered in factor 50 of course…), so our top tips for guests are:
EATING AND DRINKING
Food and drink have always played a big part in Spanish life and they are the foundation of any good holiday experience as far as we’re concerned.
Archidona is no exception and whilst has several great eateries, it boasts two of the areas best known restaurants – Bar Central and Arxiduna. The former is run by two brothers – well seasoned and sometimes spicy – they make an impressive duo – one behind the bar, the other practicing his English, French or German on clients. They turn out beautiful, freshly cooked local dishes, with gambas pil pil (prawns cooked in olive oil and garlic) cooked on a tiny stove behind the bar, as well as great berejenas con miel (aubergine deep fried and drizzled in thick, black, sugar cane honey). They serve smooth, cold San Miguel in addition to wash it all down.
A short walk and you are in the Ochavada Square, a French renaissance designed eight sided baroque delight where we find Arxiduna. Only open for four years it offers a change of pace with modern tapas and award winning meat and fish dishes. They’ve just been presented with an award from the Málaga Council recognising their use of fresh, local ingredients – the first time this award has been given out in our area. Duck with mango and rolled lamb in local raisins and pine nuts are two of the must trys and we love the great wine list they have in there too.
You can either sit and enjoy the view on the square, or enjoy the coolness of the caves inside. The restaurant is housed in what was a clandestine Christian church in the 11th century when Andalucía was under Moorish rule., so you´re definintely eating in a local piece of history.
Spanish summer life is all about “paseando por la calle”; being out and about on the street, catching up with friends and family and enjoying a cold beer. Most of the bars and restaurants in Archidona provide outside seating which is perfect for people watching all day and all night – nothing opens before 8.30pm and nothing closes before 2am! Slightly different to the rush for last orders at 11pm we were used to in London.
Come here in feria week – August 14th-18th – and the people watching and the eating and drinking are combined as the town’s population swells to accommodate everyone coming home to celebrate summer through a 4 day long party – live music, free sherry, dancing in the streets and no sleep. That pretty much sums it up. Different days are given to different activities, one focusing on horses and flamenco, on others there are concerts at night, as well as competitions for the best dressed Party Queen!
But ALMOHALLA 51, being on the edge of town and away from the main action, means that you can pop back to change your dancing shoes and have a siesta or dangle your feet in the pool away from the partying!
LAKESIDE LUXURY AND RELAXATION.
Just over half an hour from here are the Guadalhorce lakes in the Ardales National Park. Effectively reservoirs, they were man-made by General Franco during his dicatatorship to ensure there was enough water to service the tourist trade on the coast.
The lagoons are lined by pine forests, and the beautifully clear, turquoise warm water is perfect for swimming in, or there’s kayaking , paddle boarding or pedallos to enjoy a ride in! Less overrun than the beaches, the lakes make a quiet and calm alternative to a day by the sea, and getting there is far easier given there is hardly any traffic!
The place has perfect spots for picnics as well as a great restaurant perched high above the lakes offering amazing views and great food.
In addition, if you are feeling adventurous (and you book well in advance, it´s VERY popular!) , the Caminito Del Rey walk, a 7km sky high adventure, is a must do. Recently completed, the walkway winds itself around the El Chorro Gorge and sits on the original walkway made back in the 1920´s. Even for those afraid of heights, the stunning scenery means you look up, not down!
Written by David and Myles of ALMOHALLA 51 : May 2015