Casares is a charming and historic town located in the western part of the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. The town is known for its picturesque white houses, traditional Andalusian architecture, and stunning mountain and coastal views. Casares is a popular destination for those looking for a taste of traditional Spanish culture, away from the more touristy areas of the Costa del Sol.
Casares is approximately 105 km from Malaga and it is approximately a 15 minute drive inland from the coast. When you get to Casares, it’s easiest to park the car and then discover the village on foot. Steep little roads wind up to the Plaza de Espana square, where you will find the city’s fountain. On the way to the village, there are several handicraft shops and you will find various museums, such as the handicraft museum, the birthplace of Blas Infante, etc. Outside the village you will find the wooden goods factory Roman Clavero, which is the village’s major employer. Windows and doors are manufactured here.
History and Nature
One of the main draws of Casares is its rich history and culture. The town has a long and fascinating history, dating back to the Roman period. It’s also home to the Castle of Casares, a 12th-century fortress that offers beautiful views of the town and the surrounding countryside. Visitors can also explore the town’s charming narrow streets and squares, lined with traditional white houses and flower-filled patios, as well as the church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, a beautiful 18th-century church.
It has played an important role in the region’s history and culture over the centuries.
The earliest known settlement in Casares dates back to the Roman period, around the 2nd century BC. The town was known as “Castra,” from which it takes its name, and it was an important center for mining and agriculture. The Romans established a mining settlement here and the town prospered due to the mining of lead and silver, many of the mining remains can be visited at the Casares mines.
In the 7th century, the Moors arrived in Spain, and Casares became an important center for agriculture and trade under Muslim rule. The Moors built a fortress on top of the hill, which still stands today and is known as the Castle of Casares. The castle was an important strategic location, controlling the passage between the Guadiaro and Genal valleys.
During the Reconquista, Casares was conquered by the Christian forces in the late 15th century. The town was granted the status of “Villa” by the Catholic Monarchs and developed as an agricultural town. The town also became a strategic point for the control
The town is also known for its natural beauty, situated in the heart of the Serrania de Ronda, with the stunning Gaucin mountains forming a dramatic background. Visitors can explore the surrounding countryside on foot or by bike, and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of the area. Casares is also home to the Casares Cave, a fascinating cave system that offers visitors the chance to explore underground caves and learn about the local geology and prehistoric cave paintings.
Despite being a relatively small town, Casares offers a wide range of activities and entertainment. The town has a number of excellent restaurants, serving traditional Spanish dishes, as well as a number of bars and cafes where visitors can enjoy a drink or a snack.
Restaurants and Festivals
The town offers a wide range of dining options for visitors, with a variety of traditional Spanish restaurants that serve delicious local dishes. Here are some of the most popular restaurants in Casares:
Restaurante Casa Juan: This traditional Spanish restaurant is located in the heart of Casares and offers a wide range of local dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The menu features a variety of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, and is known for its excellent paella. The restaurant has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and the staff is friendly and attentive.
El Portalon: This is a charming restaurant located in the historic center of Casares, and it offers traditional Spanish cuisine with a modern twist. The menu features a variety of dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, and is known for its excellent seafood dishes, such as their “Navajas” razor shells or their traditional Andalusian “pescaíto frito” (fried fish) .
Restaurante Casares: This restaurant is located in the town center and offers a wide range of traditional Spanish dishes, with an emphasis on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The menu features a variety of meat and fish dishes, as well as a variety of tapas and traditional Spanish desserts. The restaurant has a cozy and rustic atmosphere and it’s a great place to try some traditional Spanish dishes such as “Gazpacho” Andalusian cold soup.
El Bistro de Casares: This modern and contemporary Bistro is located in the town center, and offers a wide range of traditional Spanish dishes with a modern twist. The menu features a variety of tapas and sharing plates, made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurant has a relaxed and casual atmosphere, and it’s great for a casual dinner or a drink at the bar.
Bar La Plaza: This casual bar and restaurant is located in the town square and it’s a great place to try traditional Spanish tapas and enjoy a drink. The menu features a variety of tapas, including traditional dishes such as “croquetas” and “montaditos” (small open sandwiches).
These restaurants offer a great selection of traditional Spanish dishes and local produce, making Casares a great destination for food lovers. It’s worth noting that opening hours, availability, and reservations can change based on the current situation, and it’s recommended to check the restaurants’ websites or contact them for updated
The town also host a number of festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Feria de Casares, which is held in August and offers a wide range of activities, music, and food.
In terms of transportation, the town is well-connected to the rest of the Costa del Sol by bus and train, making it easy to visit other popular destinations in the region. Additionally, the town is close to the airports of Malaga and Gibraltar, which offer a wide range of flights from different destinations in Europe.
In conclusion, Casares is a charming and historic town located in the western part of the Costa del Sol. The town is known for its picturesque white houses, traditional Andalusian architecture, stunning natural views, and rich history and culture. It’s a popular destination for those looking for a taste of traditional Spanish culture, away from the more touristy areas of the Costa del Sol. With its natural beauty, excellent restaurants, and a wide range of activities and entertainment, Casares is well worth a visit.