The municipality of Júzcar is located to the west of the province of Málaga, in Genal Valley and integrated into Serranía de Ronda region. It is located 25 km from Ronda and 111 km from Málaga capital.
With 33 km2 of surface, Júzcar limits to the north with the municipality of Ronda, to the east with Cartajima and Pujerra, to the south with Estepona and to the west with Jubrique, Faraján and Alpandeire.
The municipality of Júzcar is watered by River Genal, it is a sheltered place with a great abundance of water. Its long extension, from north to south of Genal Valley, favors very varied landscapes, from the rocky outcrops of Sierra del Oreganal, to the chestnut groves of Sierra Bermeja.
Júzcar village, located at 600 meters of altitude, sits on a hollow, to the north of which stands the Jarastepar peak of 1425 meters of altitude, in Sierra del Oreganal. It is also known today as the "The Smurfs Village", since, with the premiere of the film in 2011, it was decided to paint the village blue with Smurfs on some facades, going from being one of the White Villages of Andalusia to the The Smurfs Village. This is maintained today thanks to its results with the tourism.
Although the origin of Júzcar predates the Arab era, it is this era that has had the greatest influence on its physiognomy with a winding and intricate layout on its streets. With the Christian conquest, the settlements that existed scattered throughout the municipality were depopulated and were concentrated in the current settlement.
According to Pascual Madoz in his Geographic-Statistical-Historical Dictionary of Spain (1845 to 1850), Júzcar must have been an important town because of the numerous villages that fell under its jurisdiction. Among these were Faraján and the annexes of Alcapana, Capanza, Moclón, La Fábrica and Los Molinos.
Like the rest of the municipalities of Serranía de Ronda, the municipality of Júzcar was also affected by the expulsion of the Moors and the repopulations that this caused, from which the current population has its roots.
In the middle of the 18th century, the first tin factory in Spain was installed in Júzcar. This was influenced by the timber wealth of the area, indispensable for the charcoal that was needed for the smelting. The factory that was operating under the name "The never seen in Spain Royal Tin Sheet Factory and its Adherents, reigning the always undefeated monarchs and Catholics Kings Mr. Philippe V and Ms. Isabel de Farnesio", ceased its activity during the Independence War in the early nineteenth century.
The most recent history of Júzcar is linked to the world premiere of the film The Smurfs in 2011, where, to host this premiere, the entire village was painted blue, a color that is still maintained due to the advantageous economic and recreational conditions associated with tourism it has against the traditional white color. Since then, Júzcar is also known as the The Smurfs Village.
Júzcar village is in itself a place to see, with all its houses painted in blue, it makes it catch people's attention and arouse great interest in the little ones. However, you will find many more things that will catch your attention, thanks to its special urban characteristics with its houses stacked one on top of the other to save large slopes and its steep streets, sometimes with steps, attesting to its Arab past.
Among the monuments before Júzcar began to be known as The Smurfs Village, it is worth highlighting the Church of St. Catherine of Siena, built in the 16th century, which has undergone transformations and various reforms since then. It has a rectangular nave with a flat roof that hides the remains of a Mudejar armor. Outside, the cover stands out with a semicircular arch between pilasters and the three-square-shaped towers with semicircular arches.
Due to its importance in the history of Júzcar economy, it may be interesting to see the Tin Factory. This factory is close to the village and is accessed from the country estates known as "La Fábrica" and "Finca Vega Larga", although it is most convenient to ask the Town Hall for access. Part of it has been partially reused, some buildings of the original factory are still recognized, but the upper part has been restored as a vineyard and winery, which you can visit.
On the outskirts of the town of Júzcar there are viewpoints where you can get spectacular panoramic views of its natural environment, of which Genal Valley stands out. These viewpoints are St. Joseph Viewpoint, El Jardón Viewpoint, Las Zuas Viewpoint, La Torrichuela Viewpoint and Mill Viewpoint.
Júzcar also contemplates within its borders different fountains where you can cool off, the vast majority of these are painted blue with the reason of being The Smurfs Village. Its sources are Chorro Trujillo Fountain, Almachar Fountain, La Chorrera Fountain, La Ampaina Fountain, Tía Lucita Fountain and Las Zuas Birth.
The natural environment of Júzcar will mark your agenda regarding the things to do in this municipality. Its location in Serranía de Ronda and, more specifically, in Genal Valley, makes Júzcar become a municipality of special charm beyond its main attraction, being The Smurfs Village.
The vegetation that Genal Valley contemplates is very varied, with grasslands, holm oaks, cork oaks, gall oaks, chestnut trees, pines, riverside forests, firs and scrubs. However, the wealth found in this enclave of the geography of Málaga has not put its full potential into value. That is why in Júzcar actions related to mycology are promoted, for which they have enabled the Júzcar Mycological Museum so that you can increase your knowledge about this discipline. In its facilities it houses an exhibition complex, a tourist information point and a cultural center.
In relation to this, Júzcar organizes mycological days every year, since it is a reference destination for lovers of mycotourism.
When leaving The Smurfs Village and entering the natural surroundings of Júzcar, there are several hiking routes that will allow you to know certain places in the municipality with a certain historical and landscape value.
The first route passes through one of the recommended points to see, it is La Tenería - Tin Factory Trail, with 2.5 km of linear route and a medium level of difficulty. It has its starting point in La Tenería, a bark mill and vegetable mass to obtain tannins with which to tan the skins in the Arab era. This mill stopped working at the end of the 19th century due to the phylloxera plague. The trail ends at the Tin Factory, located on an upstream path.
Increasing the distance a bit, you will find the Júzcar - Moclón Trail. A 5.5 km linear path trail, with a medium level of difficulty, that begins in Júzcar village and ends in the ruins of the deserted Moclón, of Andalusian origin located in the foothills of Sierra Bermeja, in the that you can see its houses still standing and its church transformed into a winery. From its history it is known that before the uprising against the Moors, eighteen families lived in it, of which only five were Christian. In 1570 the Moorish neighbors were expelled, the place being repopulated with Christians from other areas. The place was definitely depopulated in the first half of the 18th century.
The longest route you can take is the Júzcar - Los Riscos Trail, with 6.5 km of linear route and a high level of difficulty. It begins in Júzcar village and ends in the place known as Los Riscos, north of the municipality, in Sierra de Jarastepar. This is a beautiful place with a lunar aspect, similar to that of Torcal de Antequera, caused by the erosion of the limestone rock and caused by the action of rainwater that dissolves the rock, giving rise to a karst relief with typical formations of this relief. like that of the Eagle Tagus.
To finish the routes within the natural environment of Júzcar, you can do the short Júzcar - The Mills Trail, with 1.3 km of circular route and a medium level of difficulty, which starts and ends in Júzcar village. Along its route, the riverside forest predominates and passes through some sections of an ancient Roman road. In addition, you will have the opportunity to appreciate old flour mills that were operated by the action of the driving force of the water, as well as a bridge of Arab origin with a single eye from the 16th century.
Apart from these routes, Júzcar is part, along with Pujerra, Cartajima and Faraján, of other hiking routes that exist between municipalities. These are PR-A 224 Cartajima - Júzcar, PR-A 225 Júzcar - Pujerra and PR-A 227 Júzcar - Faraján.
To go to another level and enjoy the most extreme side of Júzcar, the municipality offers you two places where you can go canyoning. The first is the so-called Diable Chasm, a ravine with three abseils and with a total route of about 1,500 meters, which maintains a more or less constant flow throughout the year and which has slides, abseils, jumps and slopes. The other place is in Majales Ravine, with six abseils, a total route of about 2,000 meters and a difference in height of about 160 meters, which stands out for the number and variety of abseils.
To be able to do sports but without leaving the population center, Júzcar provides you with a sport centre, a municipal swimming pool, a playground and a gym.
The municipality of Júzcar has a program of festivities and events that leave no season of the year without something to celebrate. This makes it more flexible for you to visit the municipality, which may coincide with one of its festivities.
In February you will find the Carnivals and the Porretá. This last consist of collecting leeks and garlic sprouts in the municipal fields and, later, preparing them scrambled with eggs in some establishment in the town, preferably watered with must wine from the land.
On March 19 is celebrated the St. Joseph's Day, patron saint of Júzcar. In this celebration the saint is taken out in procession accompanied by the music band and, in addition, a nightly festival takes place on the eve of Sunday or the closest holiday.
As in most municipalities in Spain, Holy Week is celebrated in the months of March or April, depending on the year. In Júzcar, in addition to the traditional processions, on Easter the religious event of the Children's Garden takes place, in which a garden is built in the town square with branches and plants collected in the field on previous days. To the place where the child is located, the virgin in procession goes in search of him, and then the two return to the church walking the streets. In the afternoon a open-air dance is celebrated in a festive atmosphere.
Without a fixed day in the calendar, the History Days of Serranía de Ronda are held in Júzcar, dedicated each year to a specific historical event that occurred in its surroundings. For two days, events and presentations about the historical event take place.
Already in summer, the first weekend of July the Pilgrimage of the Virgin of Moclón is celebrated, in which the virgin, in a float decorated for the occasion, is taken to the place known as the chopalea of La Vega Larga. A mass is held and attendees enjoy a picnic with music and a festive atmosphere.
On the third weekend of August and for four days, the patron saint festivities are held in honor of Our Lady Virgin of Moclón, with a procession, various activities, musical performances and an orchestra, all in a festive atmosphere.
At the beginning of November, coinciding with the end of the chestnut harvest, a great Tostón is held on the night of All Saints' Day, where residents of Júzcar and visitors come to eat roasted chestnuts that usually ends with a glass of moonshine or anise.
In mid-November, the aforementioned Mycological Days of Genal Valley are held in Júzcar, where different acts are carried out and it is intended to value the importance of mushrooms in these lands.
Finally, the weekend before Christmas Eve, the Pre-New Year Party is celebrated. At this party, attendees dress in costumes and party favors to celebrate a night as if it were New Year's Eve, taking the twelve grapes in a festive atmosphere, with contests and gifts.
In Júzcar, gastronomy is conditioned by the availability of local produce, such as farm meats or game meats, vegetables, oil, flour and wine. Other seasonal products, such as mushrooms in the autumn or wild herbs such as common golden thistle, fennels, wild asparagus, leeks and garlic sprouts, are also relevant in the spring.
However, the backbone of the Júzcar kitchen is made up of olive oil and baked bread. And, to drink, the must wine extracted from the vineyards of the village.
With these products, in Júzcar, typical dishes such as rabbit with garlic, migas, sopeao, mushroom scramble, asparagus scramble, common golden thistle scramble, gazpachuelo, cortijera salad, picadillo salad, refried soup and cooked soup, are cooked.
In confectionery we must highlight the crookeds, the donuts and the fritters.
Regarding handicrafts, the pita or esparto espadrilles, the pleita and gafera objects (lined with carafes, baskets, mats, etc.), and cork articles stand out.