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Situated halfway between the valley and the mountains, at just 18 km from the glamorous city of Marbella and the vibrant Costa del Sol, protected from the winds by a hill on which stands the elegant and protective fortress “Castillo de la Villetta” – its most representative monument - Monda is laden with history and was declared in 1971 Scenic Site, due to its beauty.

The classification of Monda as “Historic Site” and its declaration as “Town of Cultural Interest”, speaks volumes of what the traveller will find in this town of changing landscapes and legends. Like any other inland town also Monda depends heavily on agriculture, its fields, its orchards and olive groves. In this village they are not only producing the famous Extra Virgin Olive Oil - the liquid gold of Andalusia.

They are also macerating table olives, although this product is not commercialized. Here each family macerates the olives on a homemade basis for its own consumption and each one uses different recipes.

Today we will not only see this enchanting village, but will discover and learn as well how to macerate olives, which are on practically all tables in Andalusia a really essential element.

8:30 hours We leave Benalmádena in a tourist coach with 54 seats.
We go on the new highway of the coast to the speed road A357, on which we stay until the exit Coín. Bypassing the administrative centre of this region we will shortly after arrive at our destination – Monda.
9:30 hours After maximum one hour of driving we arrive at the village, where we will first having a breakfast all together. While we have our coffee or natural orange juice we will explain to all participants the development of the activities of today.
10:15 hours Afterwards it’s time to split up the group. The first part – a group of 20-25 persons – will go by bus to the nearby finca “Casa Guajar”, where they will participate in the olive harvest and the workshop of macerating olives. The second part will start directly from the bar with the visit of the village. Both activities will start at around 10:15-10:30 hours.
Panoramic view of Monda at night

Panoramic view of Monda at daytime

12:45 hours The first group leaves the finca and returns to the village, where it will be reunited with the rest in the restaurant for lunch.
13:00 hours Arrival at the restaurant and lunch.
14:30 hours Exchange of the groups. We leave the restaurant and organize the groups in order to do the activity, we didn’t do in the morning.
16:30 hours End of the activities. The two groups are reunited for the return.
16:45 hours We leave Monda. The way back to the coast will be done on the road A355 Monda-Ojén-Marbella, which passes through very different landscapes as the ones we saw this morning. From Marbella we return on the highway to Benalmádena.
18:00 hours Arrival at Benalmádena.


The price includes
  • Transport in tourist coach
  • Guide from the moment of pick up
  • Second guide during the activities
  • Breakfast in a typical bar of the village
  • Visit of the finca Guajar and workshop for macerating olives
  • Guided visit of Monda
  • Visit of the Museum Mari-Gloria
  • Lunch in a restaurant of Monda with typical plates of the local cuisine (starter, main dish and dessert), including one bottle of wine per 4 persons and water
  • Small glass of macerated olives as souvenir

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Harvesting olives Many of us don’t know anything anymore about farm work and just know most of our daily consumed food already packed in tins, cans and glasses, which are bought in the supermarkets. But do you know how it is grown? What aspects and which needs have the original plants? Do you know how to prepare these products using traditional methods?

We want to show you with a product that is almost already a symbol of our country and consumed by most of the Spanish population every day – the table olives.

After a breakfast a part of the group will go to the finca “Casa Guajar" where we will spend the morning with their owners, who are called – quite normal here in Southern Spain – Paqui and Pepe.

We first make a tour through the cultivations of the finca, during which Paqui tells us everything there is to know about olive trees – their history, who introduced them to the Iberian Peninsula, its culture, everything about the climate in which they grow, all about their care throughout the year, their needs, annual pruning, its reproduction, the different types of olives, the different ways of harvesting the olives depending on the purposes and their various uses,…

Whole olives We assure you that you will discover a new and very interesting world.

Then we will show you how the olives are collected and selected since centuries in order to prepare the table olives and we will participate actively in the olive harvest “by hand”, which begins as early as September.

The technique did not really change since immemorial times and follows the same pattern, using the same tools.

After tasting olives in different dressings and after having received some more theoretical explanations about “cracked” olives, “cut” olives and “whole” olives, the different ways of their preparations and their possible times of storage, we are going to work a bit more.

Under the constant observation and according to the experiences of Paqui we will macerate olives on our own.

Cracked or smashed olives Whole olives
“Cracked or smashed” olives Whole olives

Filled olives As the water of the brine has to be changed several times and the olives take some time to get the desired taste you cannot take back home with you the olives you seasoned that day, but you will receive a glass of the finished product (which was elaborated in exactly the same way) as souvenir, together with the “recipe”, i.e. the written explanations, so you can repeat the experience at home at any time.

The total activity takes a little over 2 hours. Afterwards this part of the group will return to the village to meet the rest of the group for lunch.

The other part of the group, which visited the village in the meantime, will terminate directly in the restaurant. The group who does the olive workshop in the afternoon, also returns later on to the village, but only to pick up the rest of the group for the return to the coast.

Wooden tool to cut olives

With the wooden tool on the photo at the left and which has several blades incrusted, you are cutting the olives before they are macerated.

Cut olives This activity can be offered only from September to maximum November - which is the time of collection of the table olives.

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Panoramic view of Monda There are no written references about Monda until the late fifteenth century. However, even if the documents keep silence, archaeology gives us more hints about the early history of the town, as archaeologists have discovered a settlement of the Iberian period.

From the Roman era Monda still preserves remains of a Vía Romana – a roman road – which was maintained until medieval times and is the most interesting historic commercial route in the whole Sierra de las Nieves region. It is situated 700 meters from the village towards Coin and consists of three zones: a purely Roman part, one part which shows as well medieval repairs and a third part, which is more recent and has a few low steps, adapting the road to the territory but making it as well suitable for carriages.

There have also been many historians who have placed the so called “Campus Mundensis” of the famous Battle of Munda in the village of Monda. The battle of Munda (17 March in the year 45 BC) ended the Roman Civil War between the Cesareans – followers to Julius Caesar - and the Pompeians under the command of Titus Labienus Atio, Cneo Pompeyo the Young and Sexto Pompeyo. After the victory, Julius Caesar returns to Rome to be appointed dictator for life of the Roman Republic.

But as of today the problem of the location of Munda is open since neither Monda nor its "competitors" - Montilla, Osuna and Ronda – present any evidences, geographical indications or historic documents, which could be used as proofs.

Panoramic view of Monda What is a historically proven fact is the arrival of the Muslims in the region in 711. It was Omar Ben Hafsun, who constructed in the ninth century the fortress “Castillo de Al Mundat” on the hill known as “La Villeta”, after he started his rebellion against the power of the caliph in Cordoba in his fortress Bobastro (in the nearby village of Ardales), in order to defend the region against the attacks of the caliphate. This castle is integrated into the defensive system of the Guadalhorce valley, but was destroyed in the year 932 (the year 308 of the Hegira). During the eleventh century it was rebuilt by Hammudie dynasty.

In the thirteenth century Monda is a very important town, producing a lot of official administrative leaders of the caliphate and many renewed warriors.

Between late spring and early summer of 1485, the Islamic Monda surrenders to the captain of the Catholic Monarchs, Hurtado de Luna, who was afterwards declared governor of Monda. The fortress and the city were partially destroyed in 1498, when it didn’t serve any defending purposes anymore, as the frontier to the Muslim kingdom of Granada was moving nearer to this city, due to further victories.

After the conquest of Malaga by the Christian troops (1485) Monda falls under the jurisdiction of the present capital of the province. At this time, the properties and rights of the Arabs, who remained in these lands as Mudejars (Muslims maintaining their Islamic faith and living in Christians territory) were still respected. This coexistence was maintained until the Moorish Rebellion.

The monument 'El Calvario' Since the agreements regarding the rights of the Arabs and the laws that regulated the situation of the Moors in Spain were not met, their dissatisfaction became worse and worse and finally developed into a rebellion in 1568, which started in the Alpujarras region, located on southern slopes of Sierra.

Almost immediately, this movement spread to all the mountain regions of the Coast with particularly active points in the areas of Frigiliana, in Monda and the mountainous region around Ronda – the Serrania de Ronda.

The uplift was a failure and in 1570 King Ferdinand decreed the expulsion of the Arabs.

Monda was left practically empty and was repopulated by 80 Christian families, which received the properties of the expelled Moors. This new population moved from the fortress hill to the more flat parts of Monda.

During the Independence War against France, Monda played an important role in the strategy of the Spanish general Ballesteros, who led the mountain guerrillas. In 1811 the town was visited by the French commander Thysel, who received a steadfast refusal from the town provide him with provisions. Therefore he went off to Tolox to get them there.

In more modern times we have to point out the production of charcoal, which is honored with a statue at the intersection of the main streets of the village. Monda currently plans the installation of a museum, which shows the different phases of the very complex process of building a coal furnace and the subsequent production of charcoal.

During the visit we will see the steep streets, which remain from the Muslim layout of the village and the silhouette of the castle, which dominates the city. Due to new and recent archaeological discoveries in the castle, historians believe today that it is constructed on the foundations of a Roman fort from the III century A.C. It is now converted into a luxury hotel but still retains some parts of the original walls of the Moorish castle. The importance it had during history is confirmed by the existence of a royal decree praising its conquest and by a second decree, regretting that the planned reforms were not carried out as foreseen.

The Source 'Fuente de la Jaula' Church

We will also visit the church, which was built in 1505 and renovated in recent years due to a fire. This reform was carried out with the full cooperation of all the whole population of Monda.

Baroque dome of a chapel in the church In the interior is especially to mention the Chapel of Jesus dating from the sixteenth century and the Chapel of the Virgin with a beautiful baroque plaster ceiling.

The Source “Fuente de la Jaula” is another point of interest. This source is already mentioned in documents of the year 1572 and is linked to the public washhouse, which previously was the centre of social life in the village. Here the women exchanged the latest news, informed the rest of the village about any kind and event and the children “were married”, before they officially met. The amount of water, which flows through the fountain during the whole year and also during periods of drought, is simply amazing. From the washhouse the water flows through specially designed channels to irrigate the fields of the surroundings.

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Museum Marigloria Another highlight is the visit to the Museum Marigloria. This is an old traditional house, which retrieves all the quaintness of the rural homes in Andalusia of the early twentieth century - with whitewashed walls, facades decorated with flowery balconies and typical Arabic tile roofs, reflecting the traditional way of life of the inhabitants of this town.

Decades ago this house was a bakery where they kneaded, baked and sold the bread. It preserves not only utilities from this time and use, but all the charm of the traditional lifestyle Monda emerging from each one of the objects which the owner, over time, has been collecting and introduced in the exhibition: historic agricultural tools, traditional earthenware, old furniture and other elements of the traditional rural life.

Entering the house of Marigloria is like a little trip back in time to the days of our grandparents – it means to enter directly into the customs and traditions of Monda.

It can be considered one of the most interesting places of the municipality. Therefore its’ visit is highly recommended for anyone who is interested in knowing the idiosyncrasy of this picturesque village.

Museum Marigloria Museum Marigloria Museum Marigloria
Museum Marigloria Museum Marigloria Museum Marigloria

After the afternoon activities the group of the olive workshop will pick up the rest of the group in the village in order to return back to the coast.

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