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Algatocín, a white village in the Genal valley

Algatocín is a pretty white village in the Genal valley in Málaga province, southern Spain.

By Nick Nutter | Last Updated 30 May 2022 | Málaga | Villages
Algatocin

Algatocin

The hills and mountain ridges between the provinces of Cadiz and Malaga are dotted with the famous Andalucian white villages. At a height of 724 metres above sea level, Algatocín nestles into a ridge that separates the Genal and Guadiaro valleys. It is located on the A369 mountain road that leads from Ronda to Gaucin.

Algatocín Foundation Legend

Algatocín has quite a romantic foundation legend. Although the area has been occupied since before the Romans, it was not until the Muslim occupation that the village of Algatocín was built in typical Muslim fashion; white blocks of houses, built into the steep hillside. The Spanish historian Diego Vazquez Otero (Leyendas Y Tradiciones Malagueña - 1959) says that the original village was in the valley and it was replaced by the present village after the area was occupied by the Benu- Atus al-Atuiyin Berber family. The Muslim King Abomelia of Ronda decided to build a palace for his daughter, Princess Algotisa on the site of the present village.

After the Reconquest

Reconquered by Castillian forces towards the end of the 15th century, Algatocín was largely repopulated with Christians. During the 16th century the Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Rosario was built. Tradition says it was built on the site of Princess Algotisa’s palace. In any case the church, with its striking blue ceramic domed roof on its bell tower dominates the village.

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18th century Prosperity

Visitors will notice the arched facades and coats of arms above some of the houses in the centre of the village. These date to the 18th century when the houses were owned by prosperous landowners.

Overlooking the Genal valley

Algatocín overlooks the Genal valley and two more tiny white villages, Alpandeire and Farajan. The valley is a green carpet of cork oak woodland with patches of fruit trees, such as olives, almond, fig and chestnuts. Much of the economy of the village centres around the produce from these fruit trees.

Salitre and the Ibero-Roman Vesci

The municipality of Algatocín extends over the 1000 plus metre, limestone ridge, into the valley of the Rio Guadiaro to an area known as Salitre, and an 18th century chapel called the Chapel of San Isidro. A Romeria is celebrated every year, on the 15th May, with a pilgrimage from Algatocín to the the Chapel of San Isidro.

Near Salitre is a prominent hill, Cerro Gordo or on some maps, Cerro de la Laguna. Due to the presence of huge quantities of broken pottery and the discovery of coins from the Roman period, it had long been suspected that Cerro Gordo was the site of a town dating from at least Roman times. In the early years of the 21st century, researchers came to the conclusion that this was the site of the Ibero-Roman oppidum of Vesci, previously thought to have been closer to Gaucin just down the valley.

Find Algatocín on the map

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