In the middle of the Ronda mountains, in the Genal Valley, you will find Genalguacil. A small village of barely 600 inhabitants where art, culture and nature merge to reach its maximum splendor. This beautiful village located in the heart of the Genal Valley, combines tranquility, nature and art, making Genalguacil an ideal destination to rest and immerse in one of the most virgin landscapes of Andalusia.
The name, Genalguacil, comes from the Arabic Genna – Ahuacir meaning Gardens of the Vizier. Just as we today, the Moorosh Vizier must have been taken by the amazing views over the surrounding landscape. The village is surrounded by chestnut trees, pines, old cork oaks and, very singularly, its ‘pinsapos’. This protected tree is seen in the natural Park ‘Los Reales’, where Edmond Boissier discovered it in 1837.
Facilities & Services in Genalguacil
Despite being a small town, the basic facilities are covered. There are a large number of local shops as butchers, bakers and small supermarkets. Genalguacil also has its own Primary School. For the big shopping, shopping centers and larger supermarkets, Estepona is at only 45 minutes away and Ronda at 1 hour.
What to do in Genalguacil
The main attraction of this town is that it is a “museum town”. Since 1994 a biannually art event is organized in Genalguacil, during the first two weeks of August. This ‘Valle del Genal Art Encounter’, has become an international happening and is unique in the world. Artists from all over the world gather here, to actually make art pieces that will stay, to form part of the permanently exhibition in the streets of the town. Genalguacil is therefore, an open air museum. Walking through its cobbled streets one finds paintings on the walls, sculptures, carved trunks, integrated in the environment. Every detail (house numbers, street names, benches, fireplaces) has an artistic touch, turning the streets into an authentic museum hallway. There are currently 123 works that, depending on their characteristics, are displayed on the street or the Museum of Contemporary Art ‘Fernando Centeno‘.
Wining & dining in Genalguacil
To complete the attractions in Genalguacil, it is necessary to emphasize on the handmade products made of ‘esparto’ and cork, as well as baskets made with rods of olive and cane. Where gastronomy is concerned, the tomato soups and hot gazpacho come highly recommended, as well as the mushrooms with scrambled eggs and the ‘salmorejo’ with meat. Without any doubt a place to eat is Venta San Juan, in an unbeatable location on the outskirts of Genalguacil, next to the Genal river. (actually forms part of the village of Jubrique) In this ‘venta’ or restaurant they serve a wide variety of grilled meat, deliciously prepared, all at very reasonable price. In autumn and winter you will also find venison and wild boar on the menu. The place is so popular that, despite its large size, you have to reserve in advance, or be prepared for a long wait until a table comes free!
Anita Schmidt | 2nd January 2017