From 9.30pm onwards, visitors to this mountain village in the Genal valley will experience a very special evening. Ayto. Parauta
A magical night awaits you in the 'enchanted forest' village of the Serranía de Ronda

A magical night awaits you in the 'enchanted forest' village of the Serranía de Ronda

The pueblo blanco of Parauta is holding a fantasy themed festival on Saturday in which its streets will be lit up with candles, lighting the way for goblins, fairies and other woodland creatures

Javier Almellones


Friday, 21 June 2024, 10:01

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Goblins, fairies and other woodland creatures will be some of the main characters of the magical night taking place this Saturday at sunset in the white-washed village of Parauta in the Serranía de Ronda village in the west of Malaga province.

It has been two years since a number of people put this peaceful village in the Genal valley on the map thanks to the initiative to create an 'enchanted forest' with figures that evoke a place full of fantasy. To commemorate this, for the third consecutive year there will be a party designed for the little ones, although the grown-ups can also let their imagination run wild for a few hours and immerse themselves in this ephemeral world of fairytale characters of myths and legends.

One of the attractions of the evening is that the streets of the village will be illuminated with candles, much like some summertime events in recent years in other municipalities of Malaga province. From 9.30pm onwards in Parauta the street lighting will be switched off and replaced by several hundred small flickers of flame that will illuminate everything from the squares to the most romantic hideaways, such as the one that invites visitors to steal a kiss (bésame aquí).

Once the candles are lit, the treasure hunt will also begin, inviting visitors to wander through the streets of Parauta on the lookout for magical beings. Those who complete the route will receive a well-deserved reward.

Hundreds of candles will light up the well-kept streets of this white village in the Alto Genal this Saturday. Ayto. Parauta

Afterwards, the action will move to the Plaza de la Constitución, where there will be live music and a real party atmosphere.

This is a good opportunity to get to know Parauta, a village with just under three hundred inhabitants, which in recent days has seen images of fairies set up in its streets. In the first year of the Enchanted Forest being promoted visitor numbers exceeded expectations, but now more figures have been added.

This initiative by Parauta town hall has been made possible thanks to the involvement of local artist Diego Guerrero, who has created fairytale images on a section of the walking route that links Parauta with its neighbouring white village of Cartajima. A frog that could well be a bewitched prince, a tree with the face of an old man, fairies, elves or owls are just some of the examples that can be seen in the Enchanted Forest.

While autumn is an ideal time of year to enjoy the beauty of the changing colours of the chestnut trees surrounding the village, spring and summer can also be ideal seasons for walking this signposted route, when the trees are in their full greenery with the spiky burrs of their sweet, edible seed peeping through the leaves. However, on very hot days it is only advisable to follow this route early morning or late afternoon.

The Enchanted Forest has become a major attraction in Parauta in the last two years. J. A.

But beyond this beautiful forest trail, which offers spectacular views of the contrasting landscapes of the Alto Genal (upper part of the Genal Valley), it is also worth stopping a while in the village centre itself where, for the last two years, a permanent collection of bulrush chairs has been on display. These handcrafted pieces of furniture are displayed on the white walls of its houses, but also in other places such as the church of the Inmaculada and even on a slender pine tree.

If its streets were already pretty enough to take a stroll in them years ago, they are even more appealing now. So it is well worth walking through them to enjoy these rather original street decorations.

Among the most noteworthy sites is the aforementioned Plaza de la Constitución, from where you can walk up Calle Altillo to find an ancient arch that harks back to past times.

A little further up, leaving the village centre itself, next to the road that leads to Igualeja, you will come to what is known as the Encina de Vallecillo, a centuries-old holm oak that will take you aback with its size. It is more than 20 metres high and has a trunk with a circumference of about three metres.

What to visit

Enchanted Forest. On a section of the hiking route that links Parauta with Cartajima there are carved and painted mythological characters associated with the forest. It is an ideal incentive for children to stroll around this village in the Alto Genal, between spring and autumn. Where: start from the Camino del Molino (mill path).

Holm oak in Vallecillo. A stone's throw from the centre of the village, you can see an ancient and overshadowing specimen of holm oak, which is impressive due to its size. It is more than twenty metres high and has a trunk measuring about three metres round. It is estimated to be approximately four centuries old. Where: in the upper part of the village.

Chairs and fairies. Parauta has added to its streets a collection of bulrush chairs that have been placed high up on the walls of its houses, the village church and a pine tree. In addition, large fairy figures have recently been installed. Where: in the village centre.

Church of the Inmaculada. This church, built in the 16th century, has a traditional cruciform layout with a wooden roof on the transept. The Mudejar tower has semi-circular arches in the belfry and a hipped (4-way sloping) roof. Where: in Calle Iglesia.

Where to eat

El Anafe. In the heart of the village of Parauta, this is one of the oldest eateries in the Alto Genal. Apart from being beautifully decorated with many traditional ethnographic features, the restaurant has a menu with dishes ideal for autumn, such as pork with chestnut sauce, stewed venison or wild boar with mushroom sauce, among other options. It has a small terrace and two floors inside, where you can soak up the rustic style typical of these mountain villages. Where: Calle del Calvario, 1, 29451 Parauta. Telephone: 952 181 035.

El Rincón Sabroso del Valle. Hot dogs, beef or chicken hamburgers and pizzas are some of the specialities of this business located in the Barrio Bajo (bottom end) of Parauta. There, both children and adults can enjoy the dishes and tapas offered by this food-truck, which has been parked up in Parauta in recent months following the success of the Enchanted Forest. It is ideal for either lunch or even dinner on a cool summer evening in this village in the Genal Valley. Where: Calle Barrio Bajo, s/n. 29451 Parauta. Telephone: 667 942 588.

Where to stay

La Pilonga. Located at the far end of Parauta down below, this rural accommodation is one of the longest established in the area. From there you only have to walk a few metres to reach the village centre or the starting-point of the Enchanted Forest. The house has three rooms on two floors. Where: Calle Barrio Bajo, 23. 29451 Parauta. Telephone: 654 603 856.

Key notes

Type of excursion: Fantasy-themed festival and rural tourism

Journey time: 1 hour and 30 minutes by car from Malaga city

How to get there: you can go from either inland (A-357 and A-367) or from the coast (A-397). In both cases, take the MA-7305

Night of Magic: 4 hours duration

Other sights worth visiting: 4 hours.

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