The municipality of Arriate is located to the west of the province of Málaga, on the slopes of the Guadalcobacín River, a tributary of the Guadiaro River, in the Depression of Ronda. It is integrated in Serranía de Ronda, with little more than 8 km2. It is the smallest municipality there and is located within the municipality of Ronda.
The river borders Arriate to the north and west and creates a landscape of great beauty, formed by lush vegetation on the banks of the river. Alongside these places fertile orchards are cultivated that reach the outskirts of the town, complementing the landscape of olive trees and cereals.
Close to Arriate, forming a privileged environment, are Sierra de Las Cumbres (911 m), Cerro de Las Salinas (Salinas Hill)(954 m), both covered with holm oaks, and Dehesa de Parchite (Parchite Meadow).
The urban nucleus of Arriate is located on a flat terrain and its appearance is supported by the road that crosses it and that connects Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas, in the province of Cádiz. The houses in the town are typical of the towns in Serranía de Ronda, with two floors and closed or walled-in backyards.
The enclave and environment of Arriate, with the presence of caves, water and the fertility of its lands, could have been the settlement of human beings from the most remote times.
Its name of Arabic origin, Arriadh, which means "Orchard", shows the Muslim presence in Arriate. It was the place of confrontations between the Arab and Christian cultures to conquer Ronda city in what was called the Battle of Arriate, liberated in the Guadalcobacín River. This battle took place in the year 1407 and in it the governor of Cañete la Real laid a trap for the Muslim hosts causing many casualties.
In 1630 Arriate became independent from Ronda for the first time, in 1635 it was annexed again and in 1661 it achieved the definitive separation through a deed signed in Madrid by Philip IV of Spain.
Arriate's past and present are greatly influenced by this separation and its proximity to Ronda city. This has caused some controversy between the most active inhabitants who circulate between both towns and those who proclaim the identity of Arriate.
The network of the streets of Arriate facilitates a pleasant walk, sometimes reaching corners where you will get impressive views. Through its streets you will have the opportunity to appreciate the different monuments that make up its cultural heritage.
The most important building in Arriate is the Church of Saint John Lateran, of Mudejar style, its bell tower stands out above the urban nucleus. Several reforms have been carried out since its construction. During the Spanish Civil War it was attacked and suffered various damage.
A place where you can enjoy a rewarding walk is the Paseo de la Estación (Station Walk), with its trees and gardens. It was opened in 1987 and was formerly a dirt walk that led to the train station.
In addition, a point where you can get magnificent views is the Estaca Viewpoint, which you can reach by skirting the river bank. You will also find impressive panoramic views from the viewpoint of La Habana Street.
Finally, you will find the centre of urban life in the Arriate square, a place where residents of the town meet to start a conversation.
Arriate has an atmosphere throughout its municipality that will be worth knowing. Exploring all the typical nature of Serranía de Ronda that encompasses the municipality is something you cannot miss.
The natural environment in which Arriate is located is of great beauty, highlighting the places around the town formed by gallery forests, orchards and olive groves. Among them is a path that will allow you to get to know a wonderful place of about 3 km in length, the Garganta del Arroyo de la Ventilla (Ventilla Stream Gorge), a place where is developed a beautiful forest of elms, willows, gall oaks, poplars, etc. This place flanks the Ventanilla Stream, the main protagonist of having modulated every corner of this beautiful place. It is also an ideal environment for bird watching, where you will have the opportunity to see the eagle owl, tawny owl, barn owl, common kestrel, buzzard, myth, oriole and kingfisher.
Near Garganta del Arroyo de la Ventilla there is a circular path known as the Arroyo de la Ventilla Trail. It is a trail of about 3 km, which begins at the fairgrounds and where you can see houses, mills (Molino Cantos, Molino de la Mirla, Molino Quemao and Molino Miramón), fountains, pools, etc. All this will teach you the perfect relationship that humans and nature have maintained for years.
There are, in addition to this, several hiking trails of varying difficulty that will allow you to discover other corners of great beauty.
One of these routes is the Arriate-Vértice Geodesico "Cerro de Las Salinas" Trail, one of the most characteristic trails of Arriate since it leads to one of the highest points of the municipality from where you can see the valley of the Guadalcobacín River, Sierra de las Nieves, Sierra de Grazalema and even Sierra Nevada on days with good visibility. It is a linear path of little more than 6 km, with a high technical difficulty and almost two hours of approximate duration.
The "Vuelta a la Romería" Circular Trail is well known to the inhabitants of Arriate, since most of its landmarks correspond to the May Cross Pilgrimage, which is celebrated in the municipality. It is a circular route of just over 10 km, a medium difficulty and an estimated duration of just under two hours.
A route that simulates the route of the 2015 Villa de Arriate sports event is the Arriate-Cuco-Puente de la Ventilla Trail. This trail stands out for its unique route around Arriate and part of Serranía de Ronda, making you enjoy impressive views. It is a route of 22 km, a high difficulty and an approximate duration of four hours.
In addition, there are two other trails in Arriate that you can do if you want more. One is the Arriate-Antenas TV-Parchite Circular Trail and the other the Arriate-Estación de Jimera de Líbar Trail.
Arriate has different festivities and celebrations apart from the national and regional ones.
The first celebration takes place with the beginning of Lent and is known as Partir la Vieja. In it the residents of Arriate and visitors go out to the countryside to enjoy a country meal, tasting the gastronomy of the area.
Despite being a national festival, Holy Week takes prominence in Arriate with its processional parades of the brotherhoods of the Christ of the Health, Our Father Jesus Nazarene, Virgin of the Sorrows and Virgin of the Aurora.
The first Sunday in May is the May Cross Pilgrimage. After hearing the mass in the Hermitage of the Frontones, the attendees, many of them dressed in red suits, move with the Virgin to Pinos del Marqués, thus enjoying a day in the countryside.
On June 29, the Festivities in honor of Saint Peter are celebrated, known as the Corpus of Arriate. In this celebration, the women of Arriate take the most holy procession, a tradition that has been maintained since its granting in 1769 by Pope Clement XIV.
Finally, a celebration that takes place every Sunday at dawn is the Festivity of Bell Ringers or Festivity of "Auroreros". Members of the Brotherhood of the Aurora walk the streets of Arriate, singing to the sound of guitars, bells and other instruments.
The gastronomy of Arriate is intimately linked to the gastronomy of Serranía de Ronda. However, it is worth highlighting from this town the virgin olive oil and quality sausage.
Among the typical dishes that you can taste in Arriate you will find the rabbit with garlic, the chorizo in butter, the Arriateño stew, the migas, the hard-boiled eggs, the sweet lemons, the bagel, the salmorejo and the Easter cakes.
In confectionery, the perrunas and the wine donuts stand out.
Regarding the craftsmanship of Arriate, this is based on the forging, the embossing of copper, the manufacture of leather boots and wood carving.