Arenas is a small town located in the mountains of the Axarquia, an area where the main crops are olives, almonds and vines. The village nestles in the Sierra de Bentomiz, along the way to Arenas you will see beautiful views of the sea and the mountains. This town is the gateway to the Mudejar Route.
Arenas is in the central area of Axarquia, 10 kms from Velez Malaga and 44kms from the provincial capital, Malaga. The village is 416 metres above sea level, average annual rainfall is 630 l / m 2 and the average temperature is 17.5 º C.
Very early in its life, the town was named Arenas del Rey in honor of Ferdinand, according to reliable sources on the history of Arenas. Tradition has it that the Castilian monarch lived in the town (without doubt, in a Finca, a large farm) during the conquest of Vélez-Arenas.
Arenas’s story is closely linked to the strength of Bentomiz, “which had much influence in the history of the region,” which is located on the hill after which it is named, and which not only dominates Arenas, but all the villages of the area and even parts of the coast.
Some researchers are inclined towards the Iberian origin of the fortress or castle, believing that the Phoenicians and Greeks were able to establish positions there, and, given the privileged position, some settlements. The area subsequently became Roman, as can be seen by the remains still to be found in the area. Later the Arabs found the remains of what could be an impregnable fortress and rebuilt it for their own use.
After the capture of Antequera in 1450 by the Moors, Arenas joined forces with Axarquía Bentomiz to defend the north. In 1483, a Christian army from Antequera tried to surprise the Moors, but failed with heavy losses to the Christian armies as they were spotted from the towers of the fortress in which the peasants took refuge.
The castle was later conquered by Ferdinand the Catholic, who made a covenant with the Moorish inhabitants, who entrusted their safety to him. Mudéjares already had their mosque, their religion and customs, while continuing to be governed by their own Kadis.
The inhabitants of the castle. and it is also thought those of Arena, stayed neutral during the rebellion of 1500. However, when, in 1569, Phillip ll abolished the privileges the Moors had been afforded regarding customs and language, Bentomiz became the focus of a stubborn rebellion, until eventually the Moor, Aben , paid homage to the king of Granada.
Hikers have a good excuse to visit Arenas, in the immediate area there are many walks of outstanding interest, such as that leading to Cerro de Bentomiz or the climb to Cerro Alto. Neither route is too difficult, and both enjoy a magnificent vistas.
The Mediterranean motorway (A-7) leads to Velez Malaga, then follow the MA-117, a road in good condition but take care, this is a winding mountain road.
From Arenas to the coast takes only 20 minutes.
Distances from Arenas
Malaga 44 km
Alcaucín 28 km
Frigiliana 37 km
Vélez – Malaga 10km
In tribute and recognition to our Mules. For his great contribution to the accomplishment of the agricultural tasks and example of strength and nobility.