Árchez is a small village that sits at the foot of the Tejeda and Almijar on the Sayalonga river. It's perfectly preserved 14th century red brick minaret of a former mosque, which can be seen from every point in the town, was declared a historic monument of national character and adjoins the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación. The village fair in honour of this church takes place each year at the end of July or early August and lasts for 3 days. If you are hungry a good place to dine is the Posada Mesón Mudéjar where generous helpings of scrummy well priced food will make you think about booking into one of its five carefully decorated guest rooms, so you can enjoy the wines without having to drive home.
The village has an altitude of 530 metres and lies 25 km from the coast and 52 km from Málaga. It is one of the smallest villages in the Axarquía with a population of about 425. Historically, grapes were its main crop and they are still an important part of its economy and landscape as are figs and almonds. As with many Axarquía villages, home made sweet wine is enjoyed by the locals who will press you to sample some, even taking you into their homes where you will be pressed to purchase honey, raisins, figs, almonds and of course the wine itself.
If you are looking for love the village legend states that if you touch the lizard stuck to the bell in the church tower you will find love within the year! Apparentlythe poor lizard fell into the forge while the bell was being made and has been a kind of cupid ever since.
There are many different ways of driving to the village depending on which area you are starting from. If you are coming from the coast then drive inland from Algarrobo, up past Sayalonga, turning left to Árchez on quite a sharp bend! The road then winds down to the river and there is a lovely restaurant on the bridge overlooking a valley of orange trees. To enter the village turn right before the bridge and straight over the new traffic lights. There is usually somewhere to park outside the town hall and then you can walk the narrow, winding streets and discover its hidden treasures. From Vélez-Málaga take the Arenas road, drive past Corumbela and Árchez will unfold in front of you, or you can turn up towards Canillas de Aceituno and drive past Sedella and Salares, or drop down from Canillas de Albaida. Whichever way you decide to approach it from, once there you will delight in the peace and serenity of this jewel of a village.