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This municipality of Arabic origin is situated in the Ronda mountain range, at about 743 metres above sea level and offers some breath-taking views. Its strategic situation opposite the Gibraltar fields has made Atajate a very important village throughout its history. It’s currently the village with the least population in the province of Malaga with approximately 150 inhabitants, although in the 18th century it had a population 6 times higher but mostly all emigrated mainly to Argentina and to other provinces in Spain.
The existence of this village dates back to its Arabic origins, and its name appears in a Moorish text as “Athaxatil”. After Ronda’s surrender in 1485 due to the Christian invasion, all the villages in the region surrendered and amongst these was Atajate. Thanks to their peaceful surrender, for a certain period of time they allowed the Muslims to continue cultivating their lands and maintain their customs, although this situation wouldn’t last very long.
After the conquest of the Granada Kingdom, the Catholic kings stopped being tolerant with the conquered village and in the year 1501 they obliged every single Muslim to become a Christian and abandon all their customs or leave towards the north of Africa. It seems that there were very few converted left, if there was any at all, as the vast majority decided to move to Africa after being mistreated. It was from this moment on when the religion begins to take over the village marked by the construction of different religious buildings and building their church on top of the old Arabic mosque as it already happened in other places in an attempt to delete the village’s cultural roots.
The village church was later on destroyed by the French troops in 1810, throwing the Christian’s sacred pictures off a cliff situated to the north of the temple. Later on in the 19th century, the church was rebuilt, and as from then, the area of the old church was used as a cemetery.
What to do in Atajate
Every year, on the last Saturday of every November, they celebrate the Mosto festivity. During this day, everyone is offered free wine from the annual harvest with no artificial treatment whatsoever and fermented for 40 days. Each family produces a different Mosto and in the village square they set up a large tent as protection against the inclemency of the weather, there is live music and free Mosto tasting at the bar as one arrives...if you have decided to stay you can join in the party with the rest of the village until the morning light of the following day.
From Atajate you can also do a field route to Alpandeire along the old herradura path.
Tourist information about Atajate
Town council: Plaza Constitucion, 20 - 29494
Malaga to Atajate
This small villa in the Ronda mountain range is situated to the north of Marbella and to get there one must take the road from Marbella to Ronda. If you wish, you can check out our car hire prices at Malaga airport and drive up to Atajate in your own vehicle, as it’s definitely the quickest and most comfortable way to travel, in just about an hour and a half approximately.
On the map below you can see the marked route to get to Atajate.
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