What to do and what to see in El Burgo

The municipality of El Burgo extends through the western central area of the province of Málaga, within the Sierra de las Nieves region. Its lands are part of the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park and the protected environment as Sierra de las Nieves World Natural Reserve.

El Burgo limits with different municipalities within the province of Málaga. These municipalities are Ardales and Cañete la Real to the north, Ronda to the west, Yunquera to the south and Casarabonela to the east.

In the municipality of El Burgo, one of the springs that continuously supplies the province of Málaga, the Turón River, is born.

El Burgo town stands on a plateau-shaped hill, 591 meters high and its natural environment makes up one of the most beautiful areas of the Sierra de las Nieves region.

History of El Burgo

The first settlements in the municipality of El Burgo were produced by the Celts and, later, the Carthaginians built a watchtower, called Hannibal Tower.

During the Roman domination, the road that linked the towns of the Ronda plateau with those of the Hoya de Málaga (Málaga Wide Valley) was built. Trajan gave importance to the people by making it an obligatory step to go to Acinipo.

In medieval times the Visigoths were first, then the Mozarabs and finally the Muslims who occupied these lands for centuries, with El Burgo being the border between Muslims and Christians.

After its conquest by the Catholic Monarchs, El Burgo was repopulated by old Christians and in later times, it was the beneficiary of royal privileges by the different kings who reigned in Spain.

In the middle of the 18th century, El Burgo had an urban layout very similar to the current one. Meanwhile, at the beginning of the 19th century, it suffered the consequences of the French invasion when, in the year 1812, the towers of the enclosure were dynamited, causing the collapsing of the houses attached to the castle walls.

Currently, El Burgo is experiencing an increase in the importance of its rural tourism economy. A tourism that little by little is acquiring a greater role in the municipality, but always preserving quality and respect for the environment.

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What to see in El Burgo

Between the steep streets that usually end on a small square, its houses, most of which have two floors, keeping the spirit of the time of its construction, El Burgo town houses a cultural heritage preserved and valued by its inhabitants and tourists.

The elements that make up the heritage of El Burgo will teach you the passage of the different civilizations in these lands. Starting with the Roman period, you can appreciate the Málaga Bridge and the Medieval Ditch next to the Turón River. The bridge is called that because it is located on the road that goes from El Burgo to Málaga, passing through municipalities such as Ardales and Casarabonela. This is a Roman bridge that is believed to have an origin from before Christ and was built so that the Roman legions could cross the Turón River, in order to continue to Málaga.

One of the oldest elements in El Burgo is El Burgo Castle, which, although of Muslim origin, was important to the Carthaginians who previously built the Speculae-Annibalis Tower or the Hannibal Tower. It has been destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions and served as a settlement for the French artillery during the Spanish Independence War, in which it suffered serious damage, since the French troops destroyed different towers and walls before leaving defeated.

From the Christian era you can find different temples built after the reconquest. The first of these constructions, in chronological order, is the Hermitage of Saint Sebastian, located next to the cemetery. This hermitage dates from the 15th century and is in the late Gothic style.

In the 16th century the Church of the Incarnation was carried out, which has been declared a Cultural Interest Asset. It was built on an old Arab mosque, of which there are still some remains. It is Gothic-Mudejar in style and its half-barrel vault is in the Renaissance style.

Located outside El Burgo town you can find the Convent of the Virgin of the Snows. It dates from the 16th century, rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century and was abandoned by the Carmelites after the confiscation of Mendizábal.

From a more current era, you will see the Church of Saint Augustine, built between 1950 and 1952. Its altarpiece, the Heart of Jesus in the bell tower and the images of Saint Augustine, the Virgin of Fatima, Saint Joseph and the Christ Crucified stand out.

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What to do in El Burgo

The municipality of El Burgo is located in the north of the Sierra de las Nieves World Natural Reserve protected area, with a natural environment of incomparable beauty. Surrounded by firs and holm oaks, which are mixed with high mountain galls and pine trees, and with remarkable places such as the Monument-Lookout to the Forest Ranger, located 900 meters above sea level, the views are spectacular. An environment full of fir, pine and holm oak forests located in Sierra de las Nieves and at the head of the Turón River basin, where you can find the Charco Largo del Dique (Dike's Long Pool).

In order to get to know the various charms that the natural environment of El Burgo has, you can take one of the different hiking routes in its municipality and, in this way, get the feeling of being part of the different attractions it houses.

One of these routes is the Acequia del Molino Route, which is more of a tourist route that runs between the banks of the Turón River and the stone wall of the remains of El Burgo Castle. Its name is due to an old ditch that was used to operate a flour mill from which its ruins are preserved. The mill became an electricity factory in the 20th century, which, with the force of the current from the Turón River, supplied the town with electricity, making El Burgo able to enjoy this supply before other municipalities in the province of Málaga. During the route you will be able to get beautiful views of the Turón River and Sierra Prieta. Halfway you will see a large gap between the rocks that corresponds to an old passageway that led to the old castle and that was probably built in order to collect water from the river when the castle was threatened by enemies.

El Burgo - La Fuensanta Trail starts from El Burgo town, next to the Málaga Bridge. It is a linear path of 5.1 km in total, a low difficulty and an estimated time of two and a half hours. Along the way you will be able to enjoy a landscape of dense pine forest next to centuries-old olive trees, as well as poplars in the area of La Fuensanta Recreational Area.

Also from El Burgo town starts El Burgo - Puerto de la Mujer Trail, with 6 km one way, medium difficulty and an estimated time of two hours. This route runs along the divide between the Turón River and La Fuensanta Stream, in a southwesterly direction. The first kilometer and a half shares the path with the previous route, so it starts from the same place. During the route you will be able to appreciate a vegetation with olive and almond trees in the first section, and later on a pine forest, holm oaks, kermes oaks, etc. You will get beautiful views when passing through the Puerto de los Lobos (Wolves Refuge) and when you arrive at the Puerto de la Mujer (Woman Refuge), where you can appreciate Sierra Blanquilla, the Peñón de Ronda (Ronda's Rock) and the Peñón de los Enamorados (Lover's Rock), among other attractions.

Increasing the distance, with 23.8 km of linear route, a medium-high difficulty and seven and a half hours long, you can do the El Burgo - Los Sauces - Yunquera GR-243 Trail. It starts in El Burgo and on the way to Yunquera, you will find spectacular places such as Puerto de la Mujer, Los Sauces, Puerto de Huarte (Huarte Refuge) and Puerto Saucillo (Saucillo Refuge). You will walk next to a vegetation full of olives, pines, holm oaks, chestnut trees and vineyards, as well as the large masses of firs that you will find in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park.

In addition to all the routes seen, two stages of the Great Path of Málaga also pass through the municipality of El Burgo, one that ends in the town and another that starts from it. This long route that runs through the province of Málaga, connects different municipalities in the province through the rural and coastal environment, providing a path in which to get to know different ecosystems, both mountain and coastal.

  • Stage 22, Ardales - El Burgo - This stage begins and ends in the Turón River and will take you, in its 22.6 km route, through a rather unknown mountain range located in the triangle formed between Ardales, El Burgo and Serrato, between the limestone area of the Sierra de Ortegícar, to the north, and the Turón River, to the south.
  • Stage 23, El Burgo - Ronda - In this stage that will take you from El Burgo to Ronda, you will pass through a lush pine forest on a path parallel to the Turón riverbed. Shortly after, you will start a steep climb towards the Puerto de Lifa (Lifa Refuge), where you will have to cross different plots. Once you arrive at the Puerto de Lifa, you will start the descent towards Ronda, changing the vegetation to holm oaks and terebinth.

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Traditional festivities and celebrations in El Burgo

Throughout the year, the celebrations that take place in El Burgo are different, some of them original from this town and others with a regional or even national character.

The first festivity in El Burgo is Carnival, celebrated in late February with costumes and parades. In addition, on February 28, the Seven Branches Soup Festival is celebrated, which commemorates one of the most typical dishes of its gastronomy and where you will receive a succulent tasting.

In March or April, depending on the year, Holy Week takes place. In El Burgo, Easter is especially important, the day on which the Burning of Judas is celebrated. In the morning, the neighbors take out in procession the image of the Virgin of the Miraculous Medal and the Heart of Jesus. During his journey he meets in the Down Square with Judas, a rag doll stuffed with sawdust and fireworks that acquires the image of someone associated with Judas and that each year represent a different person. Between rags and fireworks the rag doll burns, while the people celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It has been declared a Andalusian Tourist Interest Festivity.

In summer and specifically in the month of August, two events take place. The first is the Pilgrimage of the Virgin of the Snows, held on the first Sunday of August. Neighbors accompany their virgin from the Church of Saint Augustine to La Fuensanta, where a mass is celebrated and a picnic. The second corresponds to the Festivities in Honor of Saint Augustine, which are held the week of August 28, coinciding with the day of the patron saint of El Burgo, Saint Augustine. They begin with the bugle and drum band that is in charge of waking up the neighbors with the Diana Floreada and, after a mass in the Church of the Incarnation, the patron is taken out in procession under a large rocket. In it dances and performances are organized, and he says goodbye with a spectacular fire bull and a firecracker.

Finally, on the festive bridge on October 12, the Passion Bandit Historical Recreation is held. In it, the history of Agustina is commemorated, a brave woman, captain of bandits, who in 1840 fled to the mountains to face the injustices of the time. Many of the residents of El Burgo dress up like in that period to recreate the life of the bandits in the area and carry out different performances. Also, an area of the town is restored to make a town.

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Gastronomy of El Burgo

The gastronomy of El Burgo is characterized by the typical products of the Sierra de las Nieves region. One of the most representative dishes of the municipality has been obtained from these products, the seven branches soup.

In addition to this soup, El Burgo has other typical dishes, such as the kid, the stew or the asparagus stews.

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