12 Things To See in El Borge, Málaga
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Out of all of the white villages in Andalusia, I doubt that El Borge would make it onto your itinerary. While staying in the province of Málaga, we decided to take a day trip to El Borge, which we had come across while doing some research on inland white villages in southern Spain. Driving from El Borge to Málaga took just under an hour, and most of that driving was done on roads through the mountains - so drive carefully! The weather in El Borge may differ from that of the coast since it's nestled between the mountains, which we came to realize after we had arrived and saw how cold and cloudy it was. But despite the weather, we found enough things to see in El Borge to fill a couple of hours of our day.
El Borge is known for being the "raisin capital", as it's one of the largest producers of raisins in all of Spain. You can actually drive along the Route of the Raisin and stop at a number of villages that produce different types of raisins if you want! This traditional Spanish white village, which has Arab origins, is also considered the perfect place to learn about the legends behind some of the most well known bandits in Málaga. It may only be a small town, but that doesn't meant that there aren't some interesting things to see and do in El Borge. Out of all of the attractions that we stopped at, I've narrowed it down to 12 things to see in El Borge during a first-time visit:
1. Arco de la Pasa
The first thing we came across during our day trip to El Borge was this beautiful entrance arch called Arco de la Pasa (Arch of the Raisin). There are two murals on either side of the arch, representing a doctor and a theologian who were well known in the area. Standing on the top of the arch are two grape pickers, which is a homage to the most common job among the inhabitants of the village. It's one of the most well-known attractions in El Borge, and is worth walking back to once you've parked your car.
2. Fuente de la Vendimia
Just after the entrance arch is a beautiful water fountain - Fuente de la Vendimia (The Vintage Fountain). There are surprisingly a lot of water fountains that make it onto the list of things to see in El Borge, but most of them are not worth the trouble of walking to. The sculpture in the centre of the fountain is of a grape picker holding a basket on his head full of grapes and another under his arm. Until the 1960s, the grape pickers would have had to walk long distances to bring the grapes from the vineyards, so this fountain is a homage to them.
3. Mirador El Borge
A short walk up the hill from the fountain is a fantastic viewpoint of the city known as Mirador El Borge. On a nice day, you can enjoy sitting on one of the benches and getting some of that hot Spanish sun on your skin. As you can see from the photo, we visited on a very cloudy day, so we only stayed here a few minutes to take a look at the view and get some photos. But visiting this viewpoint is one of the best things to do in El Borge - regardless of the weather!
4. Museum-Hotel Posada del Bandolero
One of the more unique things to do in El Borge is to visit the Museum-Hotel Posada del Bandolero. This building was once the home of the famous 19th century bandit known as El Bizco de El Borge, who is the most famous and bloodthirsty bandit in the province of Málaga. Today, the building has been turned into a hotel, and there is also a small museum inside which showcases historic items and a series of donated paintings showing the lives of bandits. It's not your typical tourist attraction but it's pretty interesting nonetheless!
5. Fuente el Cuerno
Just around the corner from the bandit museum is another interesting looking fountain. Fuente el Cuerno (Horn Fountain) has Arab origins, and gets its name from a horn that the Arabs once hung on the fountain. It was once the most important source of water for the village, and was a meeting place for women who were known to do their laundry here. Many of the smaller villages in Spain have stories like this to go along with their main points of interest, so I would recommend doing some research before visiting them so you don't miss things by accident.
6. Plaza Rafael Alberti
Parking in El Borge can be a bit tricky since the streets are very narrow and most of the spots are taken up by locals. However, if you head to Plaza Rafael Alberti, there are quite a few spots just outside of it (heading out of the village) where you should easily find a parking spot. The plaza itself isn't much to look at, but there's a pretty street lined with flowers near its entrance which would be nice for a photo in the spring time.
7. Parque Ornitológico y Botánico "La Alcúa"
Nestled away in between all of the whitewashed buildings of El Borge is a lovely little open park space where you can take a look at different kinds of plants and some birds which are kept in an outdoor cage. Parque Ornitológico y Botánico "La Alcúa" is usually open daily, but as luck would have it the park was closed when we visited! It did look like a nice part of the village to be able to sit and relax in for a bit though.
8. Calle G. Perez
One of my favourite streets to walk along in El Borge was Calle G. Perez. It leads up to the main plaza in the village, and during the warmer months the whitewashed walls are lined with geraniums sitting in plant pots which makes the street look even more picturesque. We were fortunate enough when we visited that there weren't many people walking around the streets, so we managed to take a lot of photos without people in them! I would definitely put Calle G. Perez down as one of the must-see spots in El Borge.
9. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario
The main thing to see in El Borge is its stunning early-16th century church - Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario. The church was actually ordered to be built by Queen Isabella, and still stands today as the pride of the village. You can see the church from many parts of the village since it rises above the other buildings, but one of the best spots to take a photo from is on Calle Garcia Lorca, which sits just in front of the church. Beware of the cats though, because there's a man who feeds them from his house and there are a lot of them hanging around.
10. El Borge Crypt
One of the more unusual things to see in El Borge is the crypt attached to the church. The crypt is completely free to enter, and you can access it by a small door which is left partly open. I thought the crypt would be underground, but it's on the same level you walk in at and is very small. It took us less than a minute to look around, but it's interesting to pop your head into!
11. Plaza de la Constitución
The main plaza in El Borge is Plaza de la Constitución, which is where the church is located. It's also home to the city hall and a restaurant in the corner which looked to be very popular with the locals. The plaza is the oldest and most important in the village, and is often used for larger public events. El Borge is very easy to navigate, but if you need any extra help the tourist office is located here too.
12. Plaza de la Constitución Mirador
There are plenty of viewpoints to choose from throughout El Borge, but one of the best ones in my opinion is the Plaza de la Constitución Mirador. From here, you're able to look out at the whitewashed houses that make up the village, and if it's a nice day you can sit here with a drink and maybe a little tapas as well. Unfortunately we didn't stop at any of the restaurants in El Borge, but I've read that the traditional food on offer in this village is delicious.
The next time you find yourself planning a trip to southern Spain, maybe you'll consider adding El Borge to your itinerary. It's definitely one of the more unique places in Andalusia to visit, even if it's only small in size. El Borge is a fantastic idea for a day trip from Málaga too, and if you like to travel to places that are a bit off the beaten path and less-touristy, then I would highly recommend taking a few hours out of your day and visiting this unique white village.
How many white villages have you visited in Spain? Let me know in the comment section below! I love getting recommendations for future trips. And as always, don't forget to follow me on Instagram as well!