What to do and what to see in Jimera de Líbar

The municipality of Jimera de Líbar is located to the west of the province of Málaga, integrated in Serranía de Ronda region.

With 27 km2 of surface in its municipal area, Jimera de Líbar limits to the north with the municipality of Benaoján, to the east with Alpandeire and Atajate, to the south with Benadalid and to the west with Cortes de la Frontera.

The municipality is located next to Los Alcornocales Natural Park and Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, of which it is part. Most of the territory of Jimera de Líbar extends through the Guadiaro Valley and Sierra de Líbar, with its highest point at Martín Gil Hill, at 1,400 meters of altitude. The rest of its lands present a very rugged landscape, with hills covered with holm oaks, cork oaks and scrub that climb the rocky white of the mountains. What remains of the municipality, between the river bed and the town, is formed by a strip of softer land covered with olive trees, cereal and some small riverside irrigation.

In Jimera de Libar there are two different population centers. One is Jimera de Líbar town, which extends on the foot of a small mountainous formation, with narrow and winding streets, and low, whitewashed houses, located 28 km from Ronda and 137 km from Málaga. While the other is the neighborhood of Estación de Jimera de Líbar located on the banks of River Guadiaro.

History of Jimera de Líbar

The first settlements in the lands of Jimera de Líbar date from the Phoenician era, as evidenced by some findings 4 km from the town, in a place known as Finca El Tesoro, corresponding to the 7th to 6th centuries B.C. and made up of ceramic pieces and various jewels belonging to a funeral trousseau.

However, Jimera de Líbar originates from an Arab site called Inz Almaraz, which means a woman's castle or fortress. After the reconquest by the Catholic Monarchs, the town church was built on this castle, in whose recent reconstruction remains of a Muslim cemetery were found. The name was also changed to Ximera de Líbar, which appears in the public source dated 1789.

The municipality of Jimera de Líbar reached its peak in the late nineteenth century, which was also reflected in the population, exceeding 1,500 inhabitants.

Jimera de Líbar is considered a pioneering municipality in rural tourism, beginning in the 50s of the 20th century, when its former Bellavista Hotel welcomed people from Tangier, Ceuta and Tetouan.

Today, the economy of Jimera de Líbar is mainly based on the pork and oil industry, although rural tourism is gradually becoming more important.

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What to see in Jimera de Líbar

In Jimera de Líbar you will be able to appreciate different stages of history within its cultural heritage. However, the most notable elements belong to Christianity, after the reconquest.

The main monument of Jimera de Líbar is the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, located in the town square. It was built in the sixties of the 20th century, on a mosque from the Arab era. It consists of a typically Andalusian façade topped by a belfry. The image of the Virgin of the Rosary is shown on the main facade.

From the 17th century, you will find the Hermitage of the Virgin of Health, located in the neighborhood of the station, with a single rectangular nave with niches on the far wall. It has an atrium before reaching the entrance to the hermitage. According to tradition, in the place where the virgin appeared.

At the entrance to the town you can see the Public Fountain, from the year 1789. Next to it is what was the Public Laundry, which has been restored.

On the remains of a Roman bridge you will find the Flower Mill. It is a water mill surrounded by a beautiful spot and restored for use as a tourist accommodation.

Also, in Jimera de Líbar there are other places from previous times such as the Phoenician site of the Finca El Tesoro, which is 4 km from the town and where a necropolis with ceramics and jewels from a funeral trousseau was discovered.

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What to do in Jimera de Líbar

The natural environment of Jimera de Líbar will provide you, in addition to admiration, both riverside and mountain places, where you can enjoy different landscapes within the same municipality.

The Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, of which the municipality of Jimera de Libar is part, is the most important natural space in the municipality. With an area of ​​51,695 hectares, it extends through the northeast of the province of Cádiz and northwest of the province of Málaga. Speleology, mountaineering and camping are some of the activities you can do in this area. Its relief is made up of a mountainous group made up of several mountain ranges, among which Sierra del Pinar stands out. The high rainfall, the highest in the Iberian Peninsula, has created a karst landscape of great beauty on the limestone. River Guadalete, River Tavizna and River Majaceite are born in this protected space. You will be able to enjoy a flora where the Spanish fir is the main protagonist, accompanied by cork oaks, holm oaks, gall oaks, carob trees, wild olive trees, poplars, willows and ash trees, as well as numerous endemisms. Among the fauna, you will have the opportunity to observe species such as mountain goat, roe deer and deer as the most outstanding mammals, along with weasels, dormouse, foxes and meloncillos, among others. It highlights the largest European colony of griffon vultures, as well as all kinds of birds of prey, such as jackdaws, nightjars, hoopoes, great spotted woodpeckers, etc. Among the reptiles there are several species of snakes, lizards and vipers. In the rivers you will find trouts and crayfishes, among other species.

However, the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park is one of all the corners that you can visit within the municipality of Jimera de Líbar. In order for you to explore the different natural heritage sites within the municipality, Jimera de Líbar has a series of hiking routes that you can take and, in this way, delve into the natural environment of this part of Serranía de Ronda.

With 1.8 km, a low difficulty and a duration of one and a half hours, you can take the Corralón Slope route. It is a circular route that begins and ends in the town of Jimera de Líbar and where you will be able to appreciate a vegetation with wild vines, olive trees, figs, fan palms and blackberries.

"Las Trochas" Path has a route of 1 km, with a low difficulty and an estimate of half an hour. During the course of the route you will be able to observe beautiful panoramic views of Sierra de Líbar and Estación de Jimera de Líbar, enjoying a vegetation dominated by olive and almond trees in front of other species such as oleanders, wild olive trees, asparagus, eucalyptus and rushes.

Another is "El Tesoro" Path, which will take you to El Tesoro Fountain and then retrace your steps. It is a route of about 3 km, with a medium-low degree of difficulty and a necessary time of about three hours. In it,you will be able to appreciate a long list of different species within the flora of Jimera de Líbar.

In the direction of Atajate you will be able to cross "El Helechal" Path, with 1.5 km, a high difficulty and an hour and a quarter of duration. On this route you will be able to see Cortes de la Frontera town, as well as plant species such as pita, wild olive tree, asparagus plant, carob, fan palm or ardivieja, among others.

In addition to these routes, in Jimera de Líbar there are different accesses to places that you can visit given their extraordinary beauty or uniqueness.

1 km from Estación de Jimera de Líbar, following the course of River Guadiaro, you can visit La Venta del Rey, a wonderful place where you can find wild ducks and turtles, among other species, as well as a beautiful hermitage.

To take a bath, there is the Charca de La Llana, in the course of River Guadiaro, just over a kilometer from Estación de Jimera de Líbar neighborhood. It is a natural area of great beauty and, the pond, is considered one of the best in the province of Málaga, both for its large size and for the ease of access. It has benches and tables under a wide shade provided by weeping willows and poplars.

Located less than a kilometer from Estación de Jimera de Líbar, upstream, deep in the forest, you will find the source of Las Artezuelas, a tributary of River Guadiaro.

Close to the crossroads of Jimera de Líbar and Cortes de la Frontera, you will find the Chapi Cave, right on the slopes of Martín Gil Hill. It is an active upwelling of 660 meters of development, which you can only visit in the summer months, since during the winter it is a spring and access to its interior is not available.

Going up above the town, you will find a series of cliffs and spectacular landscapes, where you will have to increase caution in the case of visiting them.

There are some hiking routes that connect the municipality of Jimera de Líbar with other nearby municipalities. These routes correspond to two stages of the Great Path of Málaga, which aims to cover the natural environment of the province of Málaga connecting the different regions that are in its territory.

  • Stage 25, Estación de Benaoján - Jimera de Líbar - A 9.3 km route, of great beauty that runs between holm oaks, gall oaks, poplars and ash trees along a path parallel to the railway line from Bobadilla to Algeciras and River Guadiaro, in the one that is habitual to be able to contemplate the descent in kayak on its waters.
  • Stage 26, Jimera de Líbar - Benalauría - It runs through an extraordinary Mediterranean forest, which after passing the Seven Sinks watering hole-resting place will allow you to link the Guadiaro Valley with the Genal Valley through the Benalauría Rock, an imposing rock massif limestone where to practice climbing.

Also, in Jimera de Líbar the JimeRa tRes tRails is celebrated every year for three days in February. A long distance semi-self-sufficiency trail running test that takes place on foot in the mountains, using trails, roads or highways.

Another attraction of Jimera de Líbar is that it provides the option of canoeing, as well as other modalities on River Guadiaro. Along the river, there are two ideal stretches for this type of sports.

  • Estación de Benaoján - Estación de Jimera de Líbar Section - In Estación de Benaoján, the River Guadiaro has received the waters of the River Gaduares that comes out of the Gato Cave. A few meters later, in Estación de Benaoján neighborhood, the waters of the Birth of the Cascajales arrive, which guarantees enough water to navigate throughout the year. You can start the tour at Estación de Benaoján, in a small dam known as “Charco de la Barranca”. From this point on, the rapids, obstacles and narrowing of the river follow each other, always surrounded by lush riverside vegetation, until reaching the Canoeing Centre "Vagones de Jimera".
  • Estación de Jimera de Líbar - Cortes de la Frontera Station Section - This section will take you from Estación de Jimera de Líbar jetty to the Real Tesoro Cattle Route. It is a more open section than the previous one, because it alternates short sections of rapids with backwaters caused by small irrigation dams that you will have to overcome, either along the shore or by jumping, depending on your ability and the flow of water.

In Jimera de Líbar there is the aforementioned Canoeing Centre "Vagones de Jimera", a nautical station located next to the Jimera de Líbar railway station. These are three old wooden train cars, restored and equipped as an information office on River Guadiaro, changing rooms and a ship warehouse.

Finally, in the event that you prefer to do sports in a more urban environment, the municipality of Jimera de Líbar is endowed with two municipal sport centres, one in the population centre of Jimera de Líbar and the other in the population centre of Estación de Jimera de Líbar.

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Traditional festivities and celebrations in Jimera de Líbar

Jimera de Líbar, despite being a small town, has a charm and tradition that you can appreciate in the different celebrations that it has spread throughout the year.

The first celebration you will find in the year is the Carnival, which takes place in February and, although it is a national celebration, the municipality has two traditional events. One is the Costume Contest in the town square, enlivened with music, while the other is The Witch Exit, where the neighbors use the quilts they used to dress the beds and throw them over them to become midnight witches. These are making noise, with saucepans lids or other belongings, through the streets of the town, waking up everyone who is already asleep.

In February or March, depending on when it is Ash Wednesday each year, it is the Flour Feast. It is a tradition where the participants, dressed in flour, attack everyone in their path, until Jimera de Líbar town ends up covered in white.

As in most of the towns in Spain, in the month of March or April, depending also on the year, Holy Week is celebrated, with the staging of the traditional processions through Jimera de Líbar streets.

The last weekend of May the procession is held in honor of Virgin of Health, in Estación de Jimera de Líbar neighborhood, with the transfer of the patron saint to the Hermitage of the Virgin of Health. After a rociera mass, the day passes with a picnic in a festive atmosphere.

In summer, in the month of July the Cultural Week takes place, with a list of activities of all kinds and aimed at all the residents of Jimera de Líbar.

While around the second weekend of August, the Fair and Festivities in honor of the Virgin of Health are held, coinciding with the Water Festival, in which battles of water buckets are held that follow one another for the whole day. In addition, you will find other acts such as tasting of products and wines typical of the area and a popular festival in the town square at nightfall.

In October the Beer Festival is celebrated, while on November 1, coinciding with All Saints' Day, the traditional Tostón de Castañas is celebrated, in Virgin of Health Square.

Finally, the calendar of Jimera de Líbar festivities closes in December, highlighting the celebration of the Living Nativity Scene and the Christmas Market, with the participation of residents of the town, both to participate in the Nativity Scene and to set up stands for the Christmas Market.

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Gastronomy of Jimera de Líbar

The cuisine of Jimera de Líbar is bounded to its tradition with the abundance of stews and main dishes, as well as conditioned by the products of the land, such as farm meats or game meats, vegetables, oil, flour and wine. Seasonality makes the availability of native products vary throughout the year, as occurs with mushrooms, in autumn, or wild grasses such as common golden thistles, fennels, wild asparagus and bladder campions, in spring.

With these products, the most typical dishes of Jimera de Líbar are made, such as malcocinao and migas, which are eaten mainly in winter, vinegar soups, which are consumed throughout the year, or common golden thistles omelette and wild asparagus omelette, which are consumed in spring.

It is also common cured meats, stews, mejola porridge, snowy eggs and rosemary honey on flakes.

In Jimera de Líbar's pastry stand out the muffins, the ring-shaped cakes, the wine donuts, the oil cakes or the greaves cakes.

The most typical drinks of this land are sarsaparilla and mistela.

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