What to do in Tolox
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Tolox is a pueblo blanco (white village) located some 52 km west of Malaga. You can reach it through either one of these two routes: the A-357, which will take you through Villalon, Cerralba, Zalea, Calcunes, and Alozaina, or the A-357 and A-354, which will take you through the outskirts of Villafranco de Guadalhorce, Urbanizacion Sierra Gorda and Benitez.
With its whitewashed walls and red-brick roofs, it’s easy to recognize the village of Tolox even from a distance. The town, which is situated at an altitude of about 285 m occupies an area of approximately 94 sq km. Like in all typical pueblo blancos of Malaga, its streets are winding and very steep at some parts. It’s normal to find flower boxes hanging or perched outside house windows.
There are over 2,300 residents here, 200 of which come from foreign lands. Since Tolox is quite small, hotels, restaurants, banks, and other commercial establishments are quite scarce. The most prevalent crops are oranges, olives, and potato.
The most popular place in town is the Fuente Amargosa Health Spa, which draws a multitude of visitors every year. The spa’s therapeutic waters are known to treat diseases/ailments like asthma, chronic bronchitis, kidney stones, allergies, emphysema, and conjunctivitis.
Based on remains found in the Cueva de la Tinaja, which sits some 4 km near the forks of the nearby river, the history of Tolox can be traced way back to the Neolithic times. However formal settlement did not come until the arrival of the Phoenicians. They were the ones who gave the village its name.
The region was also occupied by the Romans. It then fell under Moorish rule for a long time, with Omar Ben Hafsun among its most popular occupants. In the late 1500’s the place was retaken by the Christians.
Among the town’s main attractions are these annual fairs and festivals: Dia de los Polvos (Day of the Powder), Dia de la Cencerra (Day of the Cowbell), and the Feast of San Roque, the town’s patron saint. Like in all other Spanish villages, Tolox also celebrates the Holy Week with utmost reverence.
Monuments and Museums in Tolox
Although the town is best known for its Fuente Amargosa Health Spa, there are also numerous Tolox monuments and museums that visitors find interesting.
Iglesia de San Miguel Arcangel
Built in 1505, this church was once the place where Christians sought refuge during the Moorish uprising. It underwent a major reconstruction in 1577 after a big fire broke out and destroyed a large part of the altar walls.
Murallas del Castillo de Tolox
The original castle was built by the Phoenicians but was further fortified by succeeding settlers like the Romans, Visigoths, and the Moors. It was even made one of the primary strongholds of Omar Ben Hafsun, a popular rebel leader who fought against the Cordoba Caliphate. Today, only a segment of the castle walls remains standing.
La Plaza Alta
This is the largest square in town and is strategically located to provide excellent views of some of the most artistic white-washed buildings in Tolox, including the Casa del Hidalgo Fernandez Villamor.
El Museo de Artes Populares
Featuring a 19th century setting, this museum holds dining rooms, a kitchen, and a bedroom, complete with tools and other accessories that were popular during those times.
Entertainment in Tolox
There are many ways to have an enjoyable stay in Tolox. On this page you’ll find different forms of Tolox entertainment. Some of them are carried out indoors, others on the exotic narrow streets of the village, and still others are performed in the surrounding environs.
If you’re looking for some outdoor adventure, then you can go hiking, canyoning, mountain biking, horseback riding, burro riding, or (if you’re not faint-hearted) 4x4 riding. The slopes of the Sierra de las Nieves, Cañon de Jorox, or the Rio Grande are among the most frequented sites for this sort of activities. Some hotels, like Cerro de Hijar, can easily organize an excursion for you.
If you prefer to spend your vacation on a more laid-back mode, you may sign up for a brief Spanish class or a short Flamenco dance course. Most of these last for 5 days, so if you don’t plan to stay long, then you might as well try out other activities like touring the archaeological monuments and museums around town.
Some of these monuments and museums include the Murallas del Castillo, El Museo de Artes Populares, Ermita de San Roque, Plaza Alta, and the Ermita de la Virgen de las Nieves. Even a walk down the narrow streets of Tolox can be almost equally enjoyable.
If you come over at the right time, there are various cultural activities you can either watch or take part in. There are annual festivals and fairs held in different months. Among them are the Carnavales, Ruta a Caballo Sierra de las Nieves, Semana Santa, Romeria de la Virgen de las Nieves, Corpus Cristi, Semana Cultural, Festival Folclorcio Nacional Villa de Tolox, Feria del Carmen, Fiestas y coheta de San Roque, and the Dia de las Mozas.
The town has some well-maintained sports facilities, including the Municipal Pool, Jose Mesa Soccer Court, Sports Centre and the Municipal Gymnasium. That means, you can either watch the locals play or you can play with them. You might also want to check out the Maquinas Deportivas, which were installed for the general public, along the road to the Ermita de San Roque.
Shopping in Tolox
If what you’re looking for are well-established souvenir shops like the ones in large tourist spots, then you won’t find any. There are, however, a few shops selling handicrafts like pottery items, baskets and products made from esparto grass and embroidered fabrics. Tolox shopping is busiest during Wednesday, when a street market is held at the Plaza Alta.
For your basic necessities, grocery items, meat, vegetables, and others, head out to Supermarket Ferpin. It is located along C/ Polito and can be contacted by phone at 952 487 148.
If their supplies aren’t enough to satisfy your shopping needs, you may take a 30-minute drive to Coin, a rapidly growing town situated halfway between Malaga and Tolox. Investors are drawn to Coin because of its close proximity to the beaches of the Costa del Sol.
Supermarkets in Tolox
Some of the supermarkets, department stores, grocery stores, and other shops found here include:
-Viajes El Corte Ingles along Carretera Coin-cartama and with telephone number 952 454 528
-Eroski Center along Calle de Santa Teresa and with telephone number 952 453 045
La Trocha, a shopping center found in the outskirts of Coin and with telephone number 952 452 350
-Papeleria Machado, a bookstore along Calle de Matías García and with telephone number 952 452 219
-Almeria Coin, a gun and fishing shop along Carretera de Mijas and with telephone number 952 450 344
Shopping Malls in Mijas
However, for serious shopping, Tolox is not the place to be. You’ll be better off driving straight to nearby Malaga, the provinical capital. Since it’s only about an hour drive from Tolox, that shouldn’t be a hassle. If you’ll be staying at Tolox, you can leave early, shop ‘til you drop, then drive back to the village an hour before the sun sets.
- Here are some of the largest shopping malls in Malaga:
- Plaza Mayor along Calle Alfonso Ponce de Leon, with telephone number 952 247 580
- Malaga Plaza along Calle de Armengual de La Mota, with telephone number 952 614 040
- La Rosaleda along Avenida de Luis Buñuel, with telephone number 952 305 191
- Larios Centro along Av de Andalucia, with telephone number 952 369 393
If you are looking for a bit of coast, take a look at our post about the towns near Malaga with beach.