Riogordo is on the scenic Route of Olive Oil and Mountains, 39 km from Málaga and just under 50 km from the coastal resort of Torre del Mar. It is famous for its snails. The Day of the Snail is an annual festival where people come from far and wide to sample this local dish prepared from land snails cooked and served in a broth. If you simply can't miss this event, it's held on the last Sunday in May and has been declared a unique festival by the Diputación provincial of Málaga. If you can't make the festival you can still sample this culinary delight in the village between May and August.
Riogordo remained under Arab rule for longer than most in the region but earlier settlement goes back to the Phoenicians and Romans. In the 19th century, it attracted local bandits who used the nearby mountains as hide outs. There are two neighbourhoods within the town, Cerrillo, the higher part, and La Plaza with its steep streets of Arab origin. Later editions include the 16th century parish church of the Virgen de Gracia situated in Calle Iglesia. Further on down the same street at number 14 is the Ethnographic Museum belonging to Enrique Godines, who has nine exhibition rooms open to the public. There is a 17th century kitchen, a 19th century bedroom, rooms with machinery and tools for grinding olives and making local wine.
There are water colours on loan from friends and Málaga, wine barrels exported from Buenos Aires and Uruguay in the 19th century. If you like Easter parades then visit Riogordo during Semana Santa, holy week, when over 400 residents become actors during the staging of El Paso, with performances taking place on Good Friday and Holy Saturday starting at 4:00 pm. Since 1951 this passion play has been performed annually. Set on a hillside with excellent views from all 6 thousand seats, it's reputed to be one of the best Pasos in Europe, reenacting the life and death of Jesus Christ. The name Riogordo (fat river) comes from the heavy waters of the Cueva River, due to the dragging of minerals, however, nowadays this fat river is little more than a stream. Plan the timing of your visit so you can have lunch in one of the local bar/restaurants, you won't be disappointed.