Álora is a municipality in southern Spain which is part of the province of Málaga (Andalusia). Located c. 40 km from Málaga, on the right bank of the river Guadalhorce and on the Córdoba-Málaga high-speed rail line, within the comarca of Valle del Guadalhorce. It is a typical pueblo blanco, a whitewashed village nestled between three rocky spurs topped by the ruins of the castle.
The municipality covers an area of 169 km2 that covers a wide territory in which the large landforms of Málaga are located. The hills are occupied by cereal, olive and oak trees and orchards of fruit and vegetables that cover the valley floor. Its population is 13,436 inhabitants, according to the INE census of 2008.
Álora’s history dates back to prehistoric times in the Hoyo del Conde, a little over a kilometer from the city. The ecological environment (hunting, water, natural protection) favored this presence until the Turdetanis of Tartessos and the Phoenicians discovered the commercial potential of the area. The latter built the foundations of the castle, which the Romans would take advantage of by fortifying it.
Álora is peacefully nestled in the ‘Valle del Sol’, the Sunny Valley at the banks of the Guadalhorce river, The town centre of is very lively: there are many bars and restaurants, icecream salons, supermarkets, fruitshops, boutiques, banks… Álora is dominated by the ruins of the moorish caslte, to visit for free, and from where you have wonderful views over the valley.
It is well worth to stroll around in the town. The whitewashed houses, the small steep streets and the little squares reflect the real andalusian feeling.
The weekly market is on Mondays on the main parking site and a market with local and artisanal products is held next to the trainstation on Saturdays.
In the fertil grounds of the valley citrus fruits and the Aloreña olives are grown The small trainstation of Álora is the end stop of the C2 local train line Cernanías. The train runs every hour directly in 40 minutes to Málaga capital and from there to the airport and the Costa del Sol, from Torremolinos to Fuengirola.
By it’s central location in the ‘Golden Triangle of Andalucia’ the most important cities of Andalucia are very easy to reach: Málaga and the beaches of the Costa del Sol is at 40 minutes by car, Ronda and Antequera with it’s national park El Torcal are at 1 hour drive and Granada, Sevilla and Córdoba between 1,5 and 2 hours. The airport is at 35 minutes. The world famous Caminito del Rey is at just 35 minutes by car or 12 minutes by the daily train.
Different hiking and cylcing routes are mapped out.
Álora’s castle was first built by the Phoenicians and subsequently expanded under Roman rule. In the 5th century the castle was virtually destroyed by the Visigoths, only to be rebuilt under the Moors; remnants of this era still remain, namely the decorative steel door and the traditional Arab mirador.
Other sights include:
• church and convent of Nuestra Señora de Flores (16th century)
• Iglesia de la Veracruz (16th century)
• church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, located on the site of the castle’s mosque.
It houses a crucifix by José Navas Parejo.
• chapel of St. Brigida (16th century)
• chapel of Las Torres (15th century), in late Gothic style