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Casares

Description

Casares lies between the Ronda highland, the Costa del Sol, and the Campo de Gibraltar. A landscape of red rocks split by deep gorges in the Sierra Bermeja; of forests and circles of pines which have survived fires, and in the shadows climb to the peak to join with Los Reales (1,440 m.).

Further west, the mountainous region is converted into a limestone observation point in Crestellina overlooking the entrance to the Ronda valley of Genal from its peak. There, amid gorges and ridges, lives a colony of tawny vultures. These birds with almost two-metre wingspans, cross the Casares' skies daily, from Crestellina to Utrera, adding another attraction to the area with their magnificence.

Casares is the birthplace of the father of Andalusian nationalism, Blas Infante. Since 1978 the historical and artistic heritage of the village has been officially protected. This is one of those places that can be termed as a "hanging village", as it is suspended on the mountainside 435 metres above sea level.

This unique location is complemented with a picturesque and intricate network of steep streets, where cheerful houses with interesting architectural design stand several storeys high on the side of the gorge. These must have involved calculations that would surprise even today's most daring architects, and can be put down solely to human ingenuity during the rich history of this village.

Food And Drink

Restaurante "La Terraza"
Carretera local,
Puerto de la Cruz.
Phone: 952 89 51 56

Restaurante "Laura"
Carretera local,
Puerto del Lugar, 4.
Phone: 952 89 40 24

Restaurante "La Bodeguita de Enmedio"
Plaza de España, 15.
Phone: 952 89 40 36

Restaurante Bda.
Los Ponys.
Phone: 952 89 52 05

Mesón Los Claveles
C/Arrabal, 1.
Phone: 952 89 40 95

Casa de comidas Benilda
C/Juán Cerón, 9.
Phone: 952 89 40 69

Bar El Cordobés
C/Carrera, 4.

Bar Los Amigos
Plaza de España, 4.

Bar Chispa
Plaza de España, 23.

Bar Augusto
Plaza de España, 7.

Bar Trifino
Plaza de España, 5.

Bar Miguel
Specialises in fresh fish on Fridays.
C/ Carrera, 94.

Chiringuitos on the beaches normally open from May to September. All offer typical food of the region, such as the Casares gazpacho, kid in garlic, mountain rabbit and other local dishes.

Chiringuito Casares
Bahía de Casares.

Chiringuito Marina
Marina de Casares.

Chiringuito Playa Chica
Playa Chica.

Accommodation

Hotel Costa Estrella
Urb.Playa Chica, s/n.
Phone: 952 89 41 83 / 952 89 20 83.

Hostal Plaza
Plaza de España, 6. Casares.
Phone: 952 89 40 88.

Rural Hotel Casares
C/Copera, 52.
Phone: 952 89 52 11/952 89 42 27.

Apartments. Norris Fowler
Finca Arroyo Los Molinos "La Americana"
Phone: 952 89 40 72.

Apartments. "El Palpudo"
Phone: 952 85 40 18.

Apartments. Vista Properties
Urb. Marina de Casares.
Phone: 952 89 15 24.

History

Casares boasts it own unique way of life which is best understood after first going back over its long history, which goes back to Roman times. At that time the spa of La Hedionda was already well known, located on the road to Manilva, and this is where Julius Caesar was cured of a liver complaint, thanks to the sulphuric waters that still pour out of the local spring. It was for this reason that during the Roman Empire Casares was allowed to mint its own coins, an honour granted by the emperor in gratitude for the curing of a skin disease after bathing in the village's sulphuric and alkaline waters.

Evidence of the Moorish presence can still be seen here in the 12th century Castle, around which grew the present town centre. In 1361, Pedro the Cruel and the dethroned Mohamed V of Granada signed the Pact of Casares, by which the Moorish king recuperated his throne, leaving Casares as part of the Nazrid kingdom.

The town surrendered to the Catholic forces after the fall of Ronda in 1485 and was handed over to Rodrigo Ponce de León, Duke of Cadiz, as part of his domains. Here too the Duke of Arcos accepted the surrender of the rebel Moriscos, the Moors who had "converted" to Christianity. Casares had taken an active part in this rebellion, put down by Don Juan de Austria.

The town separated from Manilva in 1795, being granted the title of Villa. At a later period, Casares was the only town, apart from Cadiz, that the Napoleonic troops had not been able to take.

Area

162 sq km.

Inhabitants

Approximately 3,500.

Monuments

Ruins of the Moorish fortress, cemetery, Church of La Encarnación, Caves of Ballesteros, Hedionda, Crestelina and El Gran Duque.

Geographical Situation

In the Ronda Mountains and the Costa del Sol, 104 kilometres from Malaga, at 435 metres above sea level.

Tourist Information

Town Hall, C/La Fuente, 91. 29690.
Phone: 952 894 056
Fax: 952 894 017

Places To Visit

Church of the Encarnación Casares is considered one of the most beautiful towns in the province of Malaga. On the ruins of the old Moorish castle is the ancient parish church of the Encarnación, dating from the 16th century and built as a result of a papal bull from Pope Julius II. Its interior was divided in three naves, separated by semicircular arches. The present church was originally a convent, and has a single nave with a façade in three arches made of brick. The square tower, built in two storeys, is a relatively recent building

The Ibero-Roman fortress of Lacipo, dating from the 5th or 6th century B.C., and whose remains are preserved in different parts of the municipality, was officially declared to be of cultural interest by the Junta de Andalucía in 1992.

The Roman-Moorish Baths of La Hedionda, where Julio César was said to have been cured, makes for an interesting visit, as do the churches of El Llano, a Franciscan/Capuchian monastery from the 16th century, and the 17th century church of San Sebastián.

Another interesting religious building is the Convent of Santa Catalina, in the Los Molinos area, dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. The fountain in the plaza was built in the time of Carlos III (1785). The house that Blas Infante was born in still stands on calle Carrera 51, and is a source of great pride to the town. During the various religious processions in the town, it is traditional to stop at the seven points of the Way of the Cross from Casares to the hill of Calvario, erected in the 18th century.

And on the coast we find the 16th century Torre de la Sal, built to defend the area from Morisco attacks. Mention must also be made of the beautiful wild areas of Los Reales, in the Sierra Bermeja and Sierra Crestellina mountains, north of the town, and the Canuto de la Sierra de Utrera

The History Museum C/Villa. Open Monday to Friday, 10 to 2 p.m. Entry free. Tel: 952 894 150

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