Frigiliana is a quaint white village located just 6km up the hill from Nerja. Originally it was occupied by Moors who had converted to Christianity after the Reconquest (Moriscos). Today it is one of Andalucia’s prettiest villages occupied by locals and a forever growing foreign population. In recent times it has expanded way beyond its original boundaries and has been discovered by the coach tours but nevertheless remains a charming place to visit.
To get there from Nerja just take the exit road from the western side of town or get on one of the regular buses from Nerja bus station. Most of Frigiliana is pedestrianised so if you’re driving follow the signs for ‘circunvalación & casco historico’ and park at the car park as you enter the village. From here you can walk.
As you approach the village on foot from the parking you’ll see Bar Virtudes with its large terrace over to your right which is a good spot for a morning coffee break or try the local Frigiliana wines. There’s a tourist information just at the side of it where you can pick up a map of the village. The road next to Bar Virtudes takes you down to the Higueron river from where the more active visitors might like to plan to do the half day walk through beautiful countryside which ends at the Nerja Caves.
Back in town the large building that dominates the lower village was formerly a sugar cane factory. Today it is a popular spot for tourists keen to buy ceramic items as a souvenir of their visit. Around the side of the factory is El Ingenio which is a nice café-restaurant with views over the valley and river below.
If you’re fit enough for the climb to the top of the village up many steps, head along to Calle Real just beyond the ceramics display and start walking up past the shops selling local wines, cane honey and artisan products. After about 30m you’ll have a choice of continuing straight on which will take you to the village church of San Antonio or heading right which goes up to the El Mirador which is the highest point of Frigiliana. Look out for the sign for ‘Panoramicas’. El Mirador is a lovely place to stop for a drink with stunning views all the way down the valley to the Mediterranean beyond Nerja. It’s also a good choice for an evening meal with quite an elaborate menu. The Garden Restaurant just below has a splendid terrace with similar views and serves up some great barbecued dishes in the evenings.
The 17th century church of San Antonio was built on the site of a former mosque. After a visit there’s an open terrace in Plaza de la Iglesia where you can get a drink or dine at La Taberna de Sacristan which is well known for its fine meat dishes. For a quaint alternative enter the alley next to the church and go for lunch at La Bodeguilla where more than 20 years ago Rosario started serving visitors from her small kitchen. Today this small restaurant is open from Easter through to September and at weekends the rest of the year. If it’s closed go to the family’s other restaurant with the same name just around the corner which has the same menu served on a large open terrace. A little higher up you’ll find La Parada de Zacatin restaurant which also has a superb terrace with magnificent views and serves a fine selection of tapas.
The fact is that no matter where you go in Frigiliana you’ll stumble across a quaint little restaurant built into what was until recently someone’s home. This development has been done tastefully and adds to the special ambience of the village. Prices are very reasonable and to their credit the people and local authorities of Frigiliana village have contributed to such tourist development whilst maintaining its unique Moorish charm.