OK, the above might be a bold claim, but Frigiliana is the proud holder of at least two ‘Most Beautiful Village’ awards given away by the region of Andalusia. (photo below as evidence)
Stretching on the hilltops overlooking Nerja by the coast, Frigiliana is a picture-perfect Andalusian village that has still maintained a lot of the original charm despite being overrun by tourists each year.
I used to think of it as the Mykonos of Andalusia, with a lot more space and better views.
I wandered off to Frigiliana with my little family while we were staying in Nerja for the weekend. Even without a car, we were able to hitch a short taxi ride to the center of the village and explore from there on foot.
The trip took place in the middle of the summer, a few weeks after the covid lockdown restrictions have been lifted and the lack of tourists at this time of year was certainly on my mind as we wandered through the narrow streets.
You can’t help but think how busy would the village be if this was the ‘old’ normal year and how enjoyable would be to admire the beautiful views while squeezing between crowds of tourists passing by.
Luckily for me, even in the middle of the summer I got a chance to explore the quiet time in the village and take in all of its beauty.
Let’s take a stroll together…
Starting at probably the most photographed spots in the village, just under the Mirador (viewing platform)….
The steep narrow streets are a bit of a challenge especially in the heat of the summer and if you’re wearing the wrong shoes.
Treat the trip as a hike, as that’s essentially what it will feel like. Endless climbing up the hills, stopping to catch your breath before you venture to the next pretty corner of the village.
It’s almost impossible to get lost in the village.
All the small roads will eventually lead you back to the main square with parking lot and roundabout, which is the entrance to the village.
As you start your climb up the village, there are lots of pretty boutiques and little artisan shops you can get lost in.
One house prettier than the next and everything is immaculately clean and well maintained. People do take a lot of pride in their homes here.
The restaurants with the most beautiful views are of course high up in the village.
Unfortunately most of them are also closed for lunch and only open after siesta hours, usually around 5pm.
For lunch options, the best best is to head down almost opposite the roundabout.
There is a line up of restaurants overlooking the valley which give you decent options to fuel up before your climb up the hills (photo below is from a lookout at the end of the restaurant row).
The viewing platforms on your way up the hills are well marked on the street corners and certainly won’t disappoint.
Even better if you can time your arrival for the sunset and toast to the end of the day with a glass of cold Sangria in hand.
There is a really charming pottery shop right by the entrance to the village with a small cafe next to it. It’s located in an old historic manor house which ads to its charm and beauty.
If you’re visiting in the summer, plan your stops ahead because the restaurants and cafes are mostly located either at the bottom of the village or up in the hills.
There is not much in between in the narrow residential areas, so carrying some water and snacks with you is a good idea.
Frigiliana also has a charming Botanical Garden that stretches right next to the gorgeous house below ( check Santa Fiora gardens on the map).
So that’s it for a first taste of Frigiliana. I will follow up this quick first glance post with more details about the places to see, recommended restaurants and a short walking guide.
Check back in here later for more!