AlpandeireAlpandeire is one of the white villages of Andalucia. It sits at 700m and nestles below the sierra de Jarastepar (1425 m.) looking down the Valle de Genal to the mountains of Morocco in the far distance. The rocky limestone landscape above the village is in stark contrast to the hills and valleys below with dense oak, and chestnut forest and olive and almond groves that extend to the village.

village street

The village dates back to the 8th century and walking round the village we can still see the influence of Andalusi-Arabic culture in the layout of the streets. During the Moorish period it was a principle Moorish fortress in the Kingdom of Ronda and was later to become the refuge of defeated Moorish ruler Hamet el Zegri. It was officially declared an independent village in 711AD.


cathederal of the serraniaIn the centre of the village is the parish church, known locally as the ‘Cathedral of the Serrania’ due to its size, dedicated to San Antonio de Padua, built in the 16th century, by the archbishop of Sevilla, Diego de Deza, although its actual appearance dates from its reconstruction in the 18th century. The interior has three naves with vaults and is covered by a dome.

Alpandeire is famed as the birthplace of Fray Leopold de Alpandeire.  At the age of 33 he left the village to become a Capuchin monk in Granada, where he remained until his death in 1956. He gained great popularity for his kindness and it is reported that he performed miracles healing children in particular. Five years after his death, a fray leopoldoprocess was initiated in order to beatify him. There are four Fray Leopoldo monuments in the vicinity.  His birthplace can be seen in the centre of the village just down the street from La Casa Del Llanete and in the square there is a seated figure. On the way to Ronda, roughly three kilometres out of the village, a signpost on the left identifies Villa Fria. This is where he spent most of his early days, before he left the village at the age of 33.  On the Farajan other side of the village at a place known as El Cerrajon, a statue has been  raised in his honour and there is a shrine with fantastic views.

chestnuts valleyThe Serrania, and particularly Alpandeire were home to notorious bandits who ranged these mountains making a living from holding up travellers who passed through the valley. One of the bloodiest and most notorious bandits in the Serrania de Ronda was Antonio Barbaran Jimenez, alias "El Barbarán", who was reputed to come from Alpandeire and during the first half of the 19th century roamed the mountains with a band of outlaws.

At the bottom of village there is a large spring, known locally as El Pozancon that rises after heavy rain. Many subterranean rivers exist in this limestone region, and this is often mistaken as the 'source' of the Genal. A little further away from the village is an even more spectacular 50 metre high waterfall El Chorreon, best seen outside high summer when there have been heavy rains.