The white village of Ardales lies at the foot of a huge rock of the same name and topped by the ruins of a castle.
A maze of narrow streets, which remained stairs until a few years ago, and little houses with terracotta roofs. The population, which was until recently less than 3,000, has grown with development of the village. Ardales is still a very traditional place, where agriculture remains the main industry and where a mule is still a common sight.
The spectacular scenery of the surrounding countryside is seen in the YouTube video below .
Click here to see where we are in relation to Malaga and the lakes.
The village of Ardales is well known to Spaniards who spend summers at its lakeside campgrounds. It offers more than stunning views and fresh air as those who take the time to enter the town will find. Through the ages the town been inhabited and conquered by numerous peoples, including the moors who built the castle. The name of the village is believed to be derived from “Arde Allah” which means land of god in Moorish. All left their marks in the form of archeological sites and important monuments.
It seems that Ardales was considered to be an good place to live as far back as the Neolithic period. Remains are found near the castle and the church. Copper age remains have also been found in the Ardales cave which can be visited but booking in advance is usually necessary, we can arrange this if required.
The lakes and reservoirs surrounding Ardales make this area a delightful escape and provide numerous leisure options. Canoes and pedaloes are available for hire throughout the summer months.
However Ardales is not completely undiscovered, and the area is beginning to attract commuters from Malaga, who take advantage of the much improved roads, and northern European expatriates who prefer living away from the hustle and bustle of the Costa Del Sol.
The Romans were the first to build a castle on the ‘Peña’, or Rock, of Ardales, below which the village evolved, although there is evidence of earlier fortification dating back to the 9th century. The Romans also built the La Molina Bridge across the River Turón in the 1st century.
The pretty three-arch bridge, located just down from the plaza de San Isidr. It is still intact although in an unfortunate piece of vandalism the original balustrades where removed in the 1970’s. If you are lucky you can see turtles swimming in the river below this bridge
Really, the main attraction of the village is in everyday life. . The Plaza de la Constitucion is a good place to sit in a bar to watch the world go by, marveling at the eccentric driving and parking of the residents.
Any excuse is good enough in Ardales and there are a number of fiestas throughout the year when the village will be packed with revellers.
Click on the blue shaded areas on the map below for details of featured restaurants in Ardales.
Click here to see details of local and national holidays and fiestas
There are a number of bars and restaurants in Ardales. Some of them serve good quality and excellent value tapas. Our personal favorites are La Alternativa and Equus Pub, both air conditioned and welcome respite from the summer heat and winter cold. Bar Juan Vera offers good value meals in a large restaurant, Falcos is a specialist fish restaurant but does offer other meals.
More traditional restaurants are available at Hotel El Cruce and Falco's
Free WiFi is available at the villages cultural centre and at bars La Alternativa and Falcos. Properties featured here are Casa Eryl , Huerta Milan , Casa Argentea , Casa de la Plaza , Villa Jose and Villa Mellizo.
Close to Ardales
Surrounding the town is a landscape that compares favorably with the most beautiful in Andalucía, and it is of great interest to nature lovers. Within 15 minutes drive you can be at Ardales lakes and the famous rock climbing gorge at El Chorro- see relevant pages for more information. .