Álora is at the halfway point on the road from the coast to the interior provinces of Malaga. Surrounded by mountains which descend towards the sea and nestling at the foot of the Sierra del Hacho, it lies in the beautiful Guardalorce Valley. Just 37km from the provincial capital and 590m above sea level, with Malaga airport only 35 minutes away, as are the coastal resorts and famous golf courses of the Costa del Sol.
The area has a colourful history with the Phoenicians, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs and others leaving their mark on these lands. Their influence can be seen all around, particularly in the architecture of the towns and villages. In Álora, the Castle, which has been declared a national monument, has in its interior a unique horseshoe arch.
Álora celebrates many traditional festivals throughout the year, the most important being Semana Santa (Easter), Feria Real Romeria de la Virgen de Flores, ( religious festival for the patron saint of Alora ) Feria (Annual Summer Fair) and Sopa Perota day, now part of the National Festivals of Andalucía when 1000s of visitor enjoy the local dish ' Sopa Perota', served in the Plaza de la Despedia in front of the magnificent church.
Feria, first weekend in August
Carnaval every February
Romeria, first week of September
Sopas perotas in October
Festival of Moorish culture in november
On a practical note, Alora has a population of c15, 000 and is well provided with shops, restaurants and schools. It has a vibrant mix of nationalities and a thriving network of informal clubs and meeting places, which provide an excellent support system for new arrivals.
So what is the attraction ? We asked around, why do people like living in Alora ?
" Because of the train service, makes trips to Malaga so much more relaxing "
" It is big enough to have all the facilities i need but still small enough to keep the feel of a village"
" I love that traditional family values are still so important, a great place to bring up my kids "
" The surrounding countryside is perfect for hiking and the weather allows it all year round "
" I am into mountain biking and there are so many great routes for training i never get bored "
" My passions are birdwatching and wildlife in general, of which there is a fascinating variety even close to the town "
" I need to earn a living from tourists and Alora is ideally situated to give plenty opportunity "
" I am learning Spanish and find the locals so willing to help me out and patient enough that i can now hold a basic conversation "
" I work on the Costa del Sol but dont want to live there, Alora is easily accessible by car or public transport "