Los Romanes village really established itself when the reservoir at Viñuela was built. Suddenly homes that had views of the mountains, stunning as they are were overlooking a magnificent lake. That's when tourism in the area really took off.
The village is situated 45 km from Málaga and is a short 20 min drive to the motorway with the coast at Torre del Mar just 19 km away. It may not look as high as some of the mountainous villages but it's actually 490 m above sea level. It's very easily approached via a winding road from the reservoir, an almost vertical concrete road from the lakeside restaurants or a more gentle sloping tarmac road from the other end of the lake. You can also reach it quite easily from the Benamargosa - Riogordo road by turning up at either Los Gallegos or Bar Ortega and driving across Loma de Lión. Whichever way you decide to approach it from, once there the views are a feast for the eyes. At the beginning of the village is a lovely restaurant Venta El Charco with a superb menu and the most divine views. It is usually closed on Mondays, after a very hectic weekend when it is filled with Spaniards luxuriating in their 3-hour long family lunch.
From this restaurant, there are signs for walkers pointing upwards and if you feel energetic it is well worth putting on your hiking shoes and taking a walk up to the top of the hill or even further along the top of the mountain in the direction of the sea where eventually you will come across the Kalachakra Buddhist Stupa and the Diamond Way Buddhist Retreat Centre Karma Guen. Apparently the Buddhist monks scoured the area to find a place with the right energy and this mountain is where they decided to build the stupa which is said to express the nature of the mind in a perfect way symbolizing in body, mind and spirit the enlightened state of Buddha and the ten Bodhisattva levels. The Stupa is said to have great protective power. It was built in 1994 under the guidance of Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche and he considered it to be the Mother Stupa for the other Stupas in the west. At the time it was built, it was only the third of its kind in the world. Just like the famous Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu this one also has eyes painted on it which is a Nepalese custom. It is well worth a visit.
Los Romanes village has a Romeria during the first weekend of May where all the locals and tourists alike take a 4 km walk around the lake. There are horse shows, beer tents, barbeques and all types of amusements and other attractions with people camping overnight and enjoying free tapas and refreshments. There is another fiesta in June in the market square and the main mid August festival is the one that provides enormous pans of paella cooked in front of you on the street while you listen to flamenco and other types of music.
Whatever time of year you decide to discover Los Romanes you will find the village charming and the locals friendly. You are spoilt for choice with four restaurants all within a short drive or even walking distance depending on your level of fitness. There is Chez Spice situated in La Carpa on the road up to the village from the reservoir. The aforementioned El Charco in the village itself andthe two lakeside restaurants, El Pantano (the pink one) and the Camping Bar (the yellow one).