Frigiliana (pronounced Frihiliana) is the Axarquía's answer to Mijas and has won several awards for beauty and conservation. It is one of the larger villages in the area with a population of around 3000. Some of them own holiday homes but the majority live there all year round. It's 7 km inland from Nerja and sits on top of a ridge in the foothills of the Sierra de Enmedio part of the Alhama, Tejeda and Almijara mountains. Like most 'pueblos blancos' the streets are narrow, steep, and winding and it is easy to get lost in the maze of cobbled pavements that lead between the white-washed houses. Traffic is only allowed through by permit except for deliveries, so for the most part you will find it safe to walk about without being flattened to a wall.
El Barribarto is the historical centre of town and its Moorish architecture and narrow streets are a reminder of the past influence of a culture never forgotten. 750 years of Moorish occupation can never be erased. There are a few remains of the old fort at the top of the hill where it is believed that many Moors threw themselves off rather than be captured by the Christians. In the 1500s, they were finally driven out but the village has been continuing to profit from their occupation, producing cane sugar molasses for rum from the fields established all those years ago by the Moors.
Frigiliana can never forget the legacy of the Moors and every year celebrates for four days the customs, gastronomy, and music of Three Cultures, Christians, Moors and Jews. After the Christian conquest in 1487 there was a peaceful coexistence between these three distinct cultures for about 100 years. The history of the village is pictured by Pilar García Millán in 12 mosaics which are worth seeing. In fact there are guided tours during the morning and afternoon from the tourist office. The battle of El Peñon de Frigiliana has also been depicted on glazed ceramics by Amparo Ruiz de Luna.
The village suffered extreme misfortune with plague, storms, earthquake and the phylloxera pest that destroyed the vines in this and other areas. It is thanks to tourism that Frigiliana regained its peace and prosperity.
As you walk through the narrow, winding streets of the old barrio today you will find plenty of shops selling a range of wares. There are bars and restaurants to quench your thirst and appetite before you visit such monuments as the Palacio de los Condes de Frigiliana, the Ecce Homo Heritage, the San Antonio Church, and the Phoenician Necropolis.
The most direct way to drive to Frigiliana is straight up from the motorway at Nerja, or you can take the mountain road from Torrox. The village lies 57 km from Málaga at an altitude of 318 m and is on the Route of Sun and Wine.