Tucked away in the beautiful mountains of the Sierra de las Nievas but only 15 minutes away from the Marbella and Costa del Sol beaches, the white-washed village of Ojén makes the best of both worlds. This hidden gem in Southern Spain makes the perfect base to explore this beautiful region. You’ll get to experience an authentic Spanish village and enjoy the rest and peacefulness of small village life.
Ojén, pueblo blanco in Andalusia
Ojén is one of the so-called ‘pueblos blancos’ in Southern Spain. These white-washed villages are typical for Andalusia and a must for your Spain bucket list. Postcard pretty Ojén is not one of the famous destinations in Andalusia, making this a beautiful hidden gem in Andalusia.
We already mentioned that it’s located in the Sierra de las Nievas, the beautiful mountain area just north of Marbella. As the mountain area starts directly at the Costa del Sol coast area, the views of the coast are just stunning. Ojén is located 300 meters up the mountains, offering beautiful views and a slightly colder climate.
The small village has less than 3.000 inhabitants. Ojén has not much more to offer than its beautiful location and picturesque white-washed streets, though you might want to pay a visit to the Mill Museum of Wine Museum. The main church and square should be a stop during your visit as well, if only to sit down with a coffee at one of the local restaurant terraces and watch the local children playing at the fountains.
Tip: one of our favorite stops in Ojén is Pinchos y Chocolate, run by a Dutch couple. It’s a great place for pinchos and drinks, but the crepes are highly recommended as well.
Other than that, strolling around Ojén is the best way to enjoy the village. Though the best view of the village is actually outside of town. Just south of the town is a viewpoint – indicated as ‘mirador de Ojén’ on Google Maps. The view of the white buildings against the mountain from this viewpoint is the best.
Ojén highlight: La Posada del Angel
One of the best choices to make when visiting Ojén, is booking your stay at local delight La Posada del Angel. This family-run hotel is based in an authentic white-washed building with only 16-rooms around a patio.
The Dutch owners created the hotel by renovating five houses, preserving the original and typical Andalusian style. There’s a swimming pool, charming patio and most rooms have their own private terrace.
Yet it’s not just the beautiful building, but the personal welcome and friendly staff that makes La Posada del Angel one to remember. Make sure to ask for their local tips and use the flyers in the lobby they’ve written. They even have detailed flyers for each hike in the area.
Hiking at Refugio de Juanar
One of the best things to do during your stay in Ojén is hiking in the Juanar nature reserve. The mountain views are beautiful and there are hikes for each fitness level.
Most hiking trails start at the Refugio De Juanar hotel which is a 10-minute drive from Ojén. The most popular hikes in the Juanar area are
- Mirador hike: 1,5 hour easy hike
- El Cruz de Juanar hike: 1,5 hike up the mountain
- El Pozuolo round trip: easy-moderate 3 hours
- Climbing the Concha: 5 hours to climb the highest mountain
We did the Pozuelo hike one day and the Cruz de Juanar hike the next. The Pozuelo is a fairly easy hike with the hardest part – climbing up – in the very beginning. The views are fantastic.
The Cruz de Januar hike is more challenging, leading you up the mountain. It’s named after the big cross standing up the top. Especially the last part is the hardest with a steep trail up the mountain. The views are spectacular though and all worth it.
Best sights in Andalusia
Ojén is close to the famous sights of Andalusia, making it your perfect base to explore Southern Spain. Marbella and its beaches are not far, and so are more famous Andalusian places to visit like Ronda or the Caminito del Rey hike. Must-visits in the area:
- Charming Marbella (15 minutes) with its picturesque streets, city walls, plazas and churches.
- Ronda (65 minutes) with its medieval city center and famous bridge connecting both sides of the city.
- Malaga (45 minutes), home to the Picasso museum.
Another highlight of the Ojén surroundings is the Caminito del Rey which is a 55 minutes drive from the village. The trail used to be one of the most dangerous trails in the world, but is now adjusted for visitors and neither dangerous or scary at all. Make sure to book your tickets well in advance.
How to get to Ojén in Spain?
Ojén makes a great stop for any Spanish or Andalusian road trip. It’s close to other main highlights, yet undiscovered by mass tourism which gives you the opportunity to visit an authentic ‘pueblo blanco’ in Southern Spain.
If you’re only visiting the area for a few days, the easiest thing to do is booking a flight to the nearby airport of Malaga and get a rental car. The drive is about 45 minutes. You’ll need your rental car for the next few days to continue exploring the Ojén surroundings.
The cobble stone streets of Ojén are extremely tiny and there’s hardly any place to park your car inside the village. We recommend you to park your rental car at the (free) parking at the Mill Museum and walk from there.