The municipality of Torrox is located in the province of Malaga in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. It is situated at the foot of the Sierra de Almijara, a remarkable local natural space where there are villages as beautiful as Frigiliana, and on the eastern Costa del Sol. Thus, it is one of the municipalities of the region of La Axarquía. This area east of the provincial capital has its head in Velez-Malaga.
Torrox, one of the best climates in Europe
With an area of approximately 51 km² it is distributed in two very different areas, inland and coastal. The coastal area concentrates most of the leisure offer. On the other hand, the old town offers the image of a white town of Moorish origin. It shares this beginning with towns like Archidona, Antequera, Mijas or Teba.
The municipality claims to have “the best climate in Europe”. It enjoys moderate temperatures during most of the year, about 18ºC on average. It has nine kilometres of beaches and a thousand-year-old cultural past. Torrox offers the visitor an endless number of activities. From guided visits to the different historical sites in the area or the practice of alternative sports, to a quiet and relaxing holiday on the beach.
Torrox is constantly updated and works to ensure that its visitors enjoy all kinds of comforts. Top quality accommodation and services are combined with the creation of new sports infrastructures. The gastronomy of the area deserves a special mention, with migas as its star dish, usually served with sardines or herring. The day of the migas is one of the typical festivities of Torrox.
It borders Nerja to the east, Velez-Malaga to the west, Competa to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It is possible to visit other important places in the area such as the Picasso Museum in Malaga, the Alhambra in Granada, Sierra Nevada or the Cave of Nerja.
Some of Torrox’s history
The name of Torrox comes from the Arabic “turrux” or “turrush” which means tower, although its origins go back to Roman times. Both the Phoenicians and later the Romans settled along the coast of Málaga. Torrox stands on the ancient Roman city-factory, Caviclum, dedicated to the fish canning industry and the fish sauce called garum from the first century. Another example of this type of industry can be found in the lost town of Torre de Benaudalla in Rincón de la Victoria.
In the 9th century, the Mozarabs of Torrox led an uprising against the Caliphate of Cordoba. After their defeat they were expelled from the area for good. Almanzor, the last great Andalusian chieftain to name a great Spanish peak, was born in 942 in this town.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, during the Nazarite era, Torrox extended its silk industry throughout the region, promoting the planting of mulberry trees. Silk was exported to the markets of Málaga and Granada. The Nasrids also introduced the production of nuts and sugar cane.
The Catholic Monarchs reconquered Torrox in 1487 after the capture of Vélez-Málaga and gave it the title of “Very Noble and Very Loyal Town”. In 1503 a watchtower was built to protect the coast from pirate attacks like so many other towns on the Andalusian coast, such as Sancti Petri or Torre del Mar. It suffered, like so many others, the rebellion of the Moors and their subsequent repopulation. At the end of 1884 two earthquakes with their epicentre in Ventas de Zafarraya caused a lot of damage. Alfonso XII visited the place at that time and stayed in the current house of La Hoya.
The interesting bridge of Las Ánimas
Legend has it that if someone passes the Roman bridge that crosses the river near the sugar factory, they may have an unexpected encounter. On All Saints’ Eve, souls can appear in procession with torches on their way to the convent.
Church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
The church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación was built over the main aljama or mosque at the beginning of the 16th century. With a baroque structure and a Latin cross floor plan, it is divided into three naves separated by pillars and semicircular arches. The central nave has a half-barrel vault with a wooden frame. On the outside you can see a square tower, divided into three sections, with semicircular arches, crowned by a pyramidal capital. The church was reformed and extended in the mid-17th century.
Casa de la Hoya
Also known as Casa de la Joya it is a stately home of the Medina-Sevilla family located right in the center of the village. This family was part of the bourgeoisie of the time and was dedicated to the export of wine, raisins and nuts. The house was an authentic mansion with more than forty rooms and an interior patio with Doric columns.
The house’s garden, designed by the same person who designed the gardens in Malaga Park, deserves a special mention. It occupied what today is the children’s playground, the clinic, the Almanzor square and the adjacent houses. This house was home to Alfonso XII when he visited the area after the earthquakes that devastated it.
Casa de la Inquisición
It is a three floor building that includes an inner courtyard. Its paintings on the main façade are worth mentioning. In the interior you can see the wooden ceiling of Mudejar origin. From the basement you can enjoy an infinite number of superimposed arches that form galleries and vaults.
The popular tradition tells that it is there where the Court was where the Inquisition carried out its tortures. Throughout history it has suffered a series of vicissitudes. During the Napoleonic invasion it was used as a stronghold and destroyed after being abandoned.
Torrox is an example of the urban model of the Mudejar style towns, with narrow and steep streets, with impossible corners. Lime and flowerpots are the main elements of this type of village on the Malaga coast. Corners decorated with plants that turn the place into an urban garden. Thus, in spring it takes on a spectacular appearance. A luxury addition to the whiteness of their houses, shared with places like Ardales, Casarabonela, Comares, Ronda or Salares. Good examples are the Plazoleta, Plaza de Oriente, Plaza de Barajas, Plaza de la Concordia, Calle Valencia, Calle Calvario, Calle Pósito, Calle Prados, Calle Nerja and Plaza San Roque.
Torrox has nine kilometres of fine sandy beaches and crystalline waters. The beach of El Morche is very remarkable. It has a long seafaring tradition. Thus, the procession of Nuestra Señora del Carmen and its fair is held in August.
Meanwhile, the beach of Ferrara also has the distinction of Blue Flag, SICTED and Q for Quality, where many events and cultural activities take place. Beyond that in the area there are other beaches like El Peñoncillo, Calaceite (homonymous to a town in Teruel), Viches or the Cenicero-Torcasol. Its small coves and beaches with crystalline waters stand out. Thus, it joins Estepona, Manilva, Marbella, Benalmádena or Torremolinos as a perfect place for sun and beach.
In addition to all of the above, there are many other notable elements to be seen in Torrox. These range from temples and monasteries to watchtowers that protected the town from pirate attacks. Ruins from ancient Rome and the sugar industry also survive..
Convent and Hermitage of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves
Founded by the Minim Friars of St. Francis in the 16th century. With a Latin cross plan, it consists of a cloister, an interior patio and stables. The chapel is still used for worship today, but the rest is for cultural purposes.
The watchtowers of Torrox
These are towers that are characteristic of this area of the Mediterranean and which watch and warn of possible pirate incursions. The watchtower of Calaceite and the beacon of Güi/Huit are worth mentioning. The mission was to prevent the Berbers from destroying the area and kidnapping the settlers. Part of a plan of Philip II, they extended from Alicante and Murcia to the whole Andalusian coast. In Cádiz for example there are the watchtowers of Conil, Barbate or Chiclana.
Roman Site and Visitors’ Centre of El Faro
Right at the mouth of the River Torrox are the remains of a Roman city that had its great heyday in the first and fourth centuries. As in other places, such as Rincón de la Victoria, it is a villa and salting factory. Other elements can be seen such as an oven, a necropolis and some thermal baths. It was the enclave known as Caviclum, the first settlement of the future Torrox. Among the ruins stands the lighthouse of Torrox from 1864 where the Interpretation Centre of the Roman complex is located.
Sugar factory, the sugar mills
The oldest of all was the Alto de Torrox, which was destroyed at the outbreak of the 1569 rebellion. Later the Melillas began to build the Ingenio Bajo which was called San Rafael and was finished by Pedro de la Barreda.