According to local legend, the village was formerly known as Arenas del Rey due to the fact that King Ferdinand set up camp here to prepare for the siege and reconquest of Vélez-Málaga. For a small village it has a long and rich history.

It started off as an Iberian settlement, was settled by the Phoenicians and Greeks, became a Carthaginian military site during the Punic wars, was turned into a Roman village and was then taken over by the Arabs who extended the castle and built a magnificent fortress.

In addition, during the 19th century War of Independence, French troops stationed in Arenas were attacked and decimated in March 1812 by a guerrilla cavalry unit led by the priest of nearby Riogordo.

Arenas has a typically Arabic layout, with narrow, windy streets on several levels with the Casa del Pincho in calle de Bola being a good example of the local architecture.


Area: 26 square kilometres
Altitude: 416 mtrs above sea level
Population: +/- 1,300
Distance from Nerja: 31 km
Driving Time: +/- 40 mins


Places of Interest

16th century Iglesia parroquial de Santa Catalina, built in the Mudejar style. It was badly burned by fire in 1926.

12th century Alminar de Daimalos (Minaret)

Remains of Castillo de Bentomiz

Local Cuisine

Local specialities include: Migas con Arenques (fried breadcrumbs with olives and herring), Gazpacho (chilled tomato soup), Conejo mechado (rabbit with tomato and onion sauce and Chivo Frito con Almendras (fried kid with almonds).

Local Festivals

Feria de Agosto (August 6th – 8th)

Feria de la Mula (October 12th)

Useful Info

Town Hall
Tel: 95 250 90 05

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