Casares is a beautiful white town (yet another one) in the province of Malaga. It has great history, amazing views, lush nature and a delicious cuisine.
The municipality stretches out all the way until the coast, with a city centre that is known as ‘Casares Costa’. In this article, we will focus on the town that is situated in the mountains, which is the one that is well worth a visit.
The first thing that stands out is the town’s layout; it looks like it is hanging from the mountain, and it is crowned by an Arab fortress, built on an enormous limestone cliff.
The geographic location of Casares is equally spectacular. At its back lies the Crestellina mountain range with its hundreds of griffon vultures, with the Mediterranean sea beyond. You can even see Gibraltar and Africa from the town.
What to visit in Casares?
Like in all white towns, the best thing to do when you arrive is to lose yourself in its narrow streets, decorated with beautiful flowerpots of all kinds. No matter how hot it gets, in these whitewashed, shaded streets the temperature is always nice.
The residents of Casares -which you will surely meet on your way- are very nice people, accustomed to seeing tourists of all nationalities.
Almost every primary street ends in the Plaza de España, the vital centre of the town, with its numerous bars and restaurants, the beautiful fountain of Carlos III from 1785 in the middle, and the 17th century chapel of Saint Sebastian on its side. This is where most of the locals’ social life takes place.
A winding road that starts out at the square will lead you up to the Arab castle from the 13th century. From this point, wherever you look, you will have are spectacular views of the town at the foot of the castle, the Crestellina mountain range in the back and the Mediterranean Sea to the South.
Inside the castle’s enclosure, you can find the Encarnación church from the 16th century, which is presently home to the Cultural Centre Blas Infante. A little further lies the town’s cemetery.
Going down from the plaza de España through Carreras street, you will arrive at the birth house of ideologist Blas Infante, who is considered the father of the Andalusian homeland.
Before arriving to the birthplace, on the right side you can find the local market stalls with amazing fish from Casares Costa, and exquisite fruits and vegetables.
Nature and hiking trails in Casares
The second thing that stands out when you arrive in Casares is the immense Crestallina mountain range at the back of the town, and the amount of griffon vultures and eagles that fly over the area.
There are an infinite amount of hiking trails in Casares. We especially recommend the circular route Casares-El Refugio-Sierra de Crestellina.
This route sets off from the entrance road to the city, and offers some spectacular views, with the town of Casares in the background, surrounded by Gall oaks, holm oaks and pine trees.
Once you get up the mountain range, you will surely catch sight of the majestic griffon vultures, eagles and kestrels, just a few meters away.
Tip: You can start this route from the first lane you encounter on the road, which is the official starting point, OR you can do the hike reversed. This way, you will have to climb up the hardest and steepest part of the route, instead of descending it, which is more difficult and might even be dangerous.
Where to eat in Casares?
Seeing as Casares also has a coast, its gastronomy is rich and varied, and this shows on the menus of the bars and restaurants in the town, most of them situated in the Plaza de España.
The family-owned restaurant La Bodeguita de en medio stands out with its lovely terrace. We especially recommend the “chuletitas de chivo” (young goat chops) and the “gazpacho casereño”. They also have a wide variety of tapas, meat- and fish dishes.
Another restaurant with excellent views and a great menu is Restaurante Sarmento. The restaurant is at walking distance, you can get there by following the entrance road to the town. A good choice here would be to try the goat cheese platter, scrambled eggs with Iberian ham, and one of its many grilled meats or fishes. Delicious!
Along the road from Estepona – Casares you can make a stop in the Venta Victoria or in the Arroyo Hondo restaurant.
Where to stay in Casares?
In Casares you can find lodgings suited to all budgets: from the luxurious Finca Cortesín, closer to the coast, to the charming rooms in El Hogar de Lucía in the upper part of town. From the modest -but very recommendable- Hotel Rural Casares, to the spectacular Casa de Vacaciones with views over Casares, at just 1km from the town (It has a 10 point rating on booking!).