Since the discovery of ancient wall paintings at the Doña Trinidad Cave, which have been dated to the Palaeolithic Age (some 20,000 years ago), the earliest part of Ardales history has been traced back to the prehistoric times.
When the Romans came, they built a castle overlooking a vast plain, which served as a natural passageway to Malaga. Later on, a community grew around it, eventually evolving into the village now known as Ardales. The castle and village's strategic location made it a crucial defensive post in the region.
In the 1st Century, the Romans also constructed the La Morina Bridge, a stone bridge that crosses the River Turon, and which has been well-preserved even up to this day.
When the Moors came, they immediately saw the village's important strategic location. Under the leadership of the emir Alhur el Tagafi, the Moors captured the village and later on named it 'Ard-Allah'.
During most of the 9th Century and the early part of the 10th Century, the surrounding region served as the stronghold of Omar Ben Hafsun. The remnants of the Casitllo de Bobastro, an imposing castle carved out of rock, serves as a reminder of those violent times.
At the height of the Reconquista, the Christians and Moors fought lengthy sea-saw battles to get hold of this crucial post. The castle exchange hands many times. In the end, sometime in 1453, the Christians prevailed and the castle was ceded to Don Juan Ramirez, the Lord of Teba.
The castles of Ardales and Turon were then used to protect the rich agricultural lands in the surrounding area, which included Teba and Alora. Many religious structures were built from the 14th to 18th centuries. Among them were the the Parish Church of Ntra. Sra. de los Remedios, the Convent of Capuchinos, the Plaza de la Constitucion, and the Chapel of the Encarnacion.
Today, Ardales is largely dependent on its tourism industry, with is historical sites and the natural wonders of its surroundings serving as the main attractions. The large bodies of water in the area, comprising of lakes and dams, have evolved as alternative destinations for those who prefer the mountainside over the beach when seeking refuge from the scorching Mediterranean heat.