Frigiliana – a white village in Andalucia

Spain News

Frigiliana has been named the most beautiful white village in Andalusia by countless guides and websites. With its narrow, steep and well-groomed streets, this village is certainly a sight to behold and also very interesting from a historical point of view. 

In normal times, the village is very touristy and the municipality would like to keep it that way. According to a municipal ordinance, residents must whitewash their facades every year. Subtly placed flower boxes and plant pots offer extremely photogenic and typically Andalucian views.

Shop in Frigiliana

As in other villages in the area, in Frigiliana you’ll find mosaic plates attached to facades here and there, where you can read more (in Spanish) about the local history. The village has been a great attraction for artistic types and foreigners for decades.

More than a third of the population is of non-Spanish descent. This mixture of nationalities results in nice souvenir shops, galleries and boutiques and of course many bars to have a drink.

Three cultures

This reference to other cultures dates back to when three religions once lived together here without too much hassle. A fact that in 2021 is nice to realise and can be seen in the coat of arms of Frigiliana. It shows the Arabs crescent moon, the Jewish Star of David and the Christian cross.

Dountain of three culturesNow only details in the village remind the visitors of the presence of three cultures. For example, a small fountain in the centre shows a tile with one of the three symbols at each of the three taps. And in the church you see a golden oyster shell. It refers to the mosque that once stood here. In Andalucia, there are nineteen mosques converted into Catholic temples. In all those former mosques there are oyster shells as a symbol of respect for the former house of prayer.

An annual ‘Tres Culturas’ festival celebrates the three cultures. Stalls line the streets, visitors can follow a ‘ruta de tapas’ and live music and performances keep the party going until the early hours. 

Sugar syrup

Sugar cane factory in Frigiliana

When entering the village from Nerja you see a large building. This has housed the cane sugar factory El Ingenio Nuestra Señora del Carmen ( since 1720. It is the only working cane sugar syrup factory in Europe where the syrup is still made in the traditional way, without additives. They also grow cane sugar next to the factory.

This used to happen all along the coast of the province of Málaga. That is why the coast had Costa Cañera as its nickname (the cane sugar coast). The syrup can still be found in countless dishes in southern Spanish cuisine. Examples are as ‘berenjenas con miel’ (aubergines with syrup) or a typical dish from Frigiliana ‘miel coliflor’ (cauliflower with syrup).

On the last Sunday in April, the village celebrates the Día de la Miel de Caña. You can taste the molasses and visit the factory, where everything is as it was a few centuries ago. 

Spain News
How will Benidorm’s tallest building - Intempo - fare as it opens during the pandemic?

27, Jul 2021

It is hoped the Intempo skyscraper will help transform resort into the Miami of the Mediterranean. But how will it fare with the ongoing pandemic? And are Benidorm’s current visitors…

Spain News
44% of Catalonia ICU beds occupied by Covid patients in critical condition

26, Jul 2021

According to data released by the Ministry of Health, 44% of Catalonia ICU beds are occupied by Covid patients in critical condition. That is almost three times the national average.…

Spain News
Concern for the future of the Alboran Sea

26, Jul 2021

The book ‘Mar de Alboran: Ecosystems and Marine Resources’ collects current scientific information on the most productive basin in the entire Mediterranean. The work took four years and over a…

Spain News
Madrid’s Retiro Park and Paseo del Prado granted World Heritage status

26, Jul 2021

Madrid receives its fifth UNESCO World Heritage status, but the first in the city. The Retiro Park and Paseo del Prado meet the strict criteria for inclusion in the list.…

Spain News
Spain's best urban beaches

25, Jul 2021

If you are looking for a holiday destination and are in doubt between a city trip or a beach holiday, Spain could be the right place. Along the long Spanish…