8 Unique Things To See in Totalán, Málaga
Updated: Aug 22, 2021
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Depending which way you start driving along the Ruta de la Pasa, Totalán will either be the first or the last white village in the Axarquía region of Málaga that you'll come across. This inconspicuous village sits nestled in the hills, surrounded by vineyards, raisin drying areas, and almond groves. Its deep rooted history and long standing traditions mean that there are quite a few unique things to see in Totalán, regardless of what time of the year you plan to visit. Fun fact: The name Totalán is said to be named after a popular Arab pastry called Torta! Yum!
Totalán became an important stronghold for the Arabs, who used it to help keep an eye on the sea in the distance. Just outside of the village you can find an 11th century tower known as Torre de Salazar which would have been used as a watchtower to prevent enemy invasions. I struggled to find the road leading up to it using Google Maps, but it's one of the most important things to see in Totalán according to their tourism website! There is also a 4th century BC dolmen in the area (Dolmen del Cerro de la Corona) which you can hike up to if you have the time. Here are my top picks for the best things to see in Totalán:
1. Chameleon statue
One of the first things you'll come across as you enter Totalán is this Chameleon statue situated in the middle of a roundabout. While the statue doesn't have any historical relevance, it's a pretty unique thing to see in Totalán, and worth snapping a quick photo of before you walk into the centre. It was donated by an American couple who have a holiday home in the village, after the townspeople couldn't decide on what to put in the centre of the roundabout. Just next to this statue is a very large free parking lot which I would recommend using as there are minimal spots available further down the road.
2. Views of Totalán
Along the walking path from the parking lot is a gorgeous view of Totalán in the distance. This isn't an official viewpoint, but it gives you a bit of a closer look of the village before actually getting to it. Many of the white villages in Andalucía are situated on a hill similar to this one - so be prepared with some good walking shoes!
3. Plaza de Antonio Molina
Plaza de Antonio Molina is a very special spot within Totalán, as it's named after a famous singer and actor who, despite being born in Málaga, learned to sing in this village where his parents were born. There is a statue of Antonio Molina at the entrance to the plaza, as well as a garden full of native plants next to the plaza itself. This is a beautiful part of Totalán to see before you make it into the very centre of the village and is one of its main attractions.
4. The streets of Totalán
There are more things to see in Totalán than there are in some of the other white villages in the area, but there still aren't as many as some of the other more popular locations in Málaga. That being said, the streets in Totalán are quite picturesque, even on a gloomy day, so it would be well worth it to take a casual stroll through them if you have some spare time. If you can find it, the village has an interesting museum which has recreated a traditional 19th century rural house inside of it, which is called Museo Casa Papalos.
5. Torre del Violín & Mirador del Zagal
My favourite thing to see in Totalán is the Torre del Violín. It's a fairly recent construction, but it was built to commemorate the Arab's victory over the Christians during a battle that took place here in the 15th century. The attack began with the sound of a violin which is why you'll find a violin on the top of this commemorative tower. Mirador del Zagal is also at this location, which offers you a lovely view of the countryside surrounding Totalán, and is also named after the battle. This spot is definitely a must-see in Totalán!
6. Plaza de la Constitución
Although the village isn't very large, it does boast a second plaza, this one being more central. Plaza de la Constitución is a small square where the village sometimes hosts events and festivities, and is home to the village's historic church. You can also find a beautiful ceramic water fountain at the far end, where you can grab some fresh water if you need it. You'll often find a lot of these smaller plazas if you're driving in southern Spain and visiting the various hillside white villages - they can be quite charming!
7. Iglesia de Santa Ana
Tucked away in the corner of Plaza de la Constitución is the most important building in the village - Iglesia de Santa Ana. This church was built in 1505 and remodelled in the 17th century, and is one of the main things to see in Totalán. Just next to the church is an Arab arch which blends in with the whitewashed houses of the village. The arch is similar to the one found in Cútar, which is another white village along the Ruta de la Pasa.
8. Mirador del Algarrobo
On your way out of this pretty little white village in Málaga, make sure you stop at Mirador del Algarrobo for one last look at Totalán. If you parked next to the roundabout with the chameleon on it, you can walk along a path that will bring you to this viewpoint. I wouldn't recommend driving to it because the only place to park is along the road and there isn't too much room to do that. If the weather in Totalán is nice when you visit, the view will be even better!
Totalán isn't your average popular tourist attraction, but it's certainly one of the many hidden gems in Málaga that are worth stopping at. As you make your way to Totalán, you'll drive through many vineyards spread out across the rolling hills which produce the muscatel raisins that the village is well known for. There are enough things to see in Totalán to keep you busy for a couple of hours, and hopefully you'll have enough time to continue along the Ruta de la Pasa and visit other nearby villages such as Comares and Cútar!
Chances are you haven't made it to Totalán yet, unless you're like me and have been touring around the Province of Málaga. If you have been here however, I would love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below! And please feel free to follow me on Instagram to keep up to date with my latest adventures!
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