El Acebuchal, one of the few Andalusian towns still to be reached by dirt road, emerges among the pines that make up the Natural Park of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama.
Although administratively it belongs to Cómpeta, it is nevertheless from Frigiliana, about 8 km away, from where one climbs to this lost village through a one-way dirt track. During the journey, which gives spectacular views over the village, the mountains and even the sea, it is easy to come across cyclists and foreigners who are happy to feel the tingling of the sun on their skin, alien to the effort of the walk.
The curious thing is that it is not even easy to find, as being nestled in a small valley formed by several mountains, is not visible from the main road. That is why it has been abandoned for more than 50 years, visited only by the old neighbors, who looted their own homes to build others in the vicinity.
You couldn’t live there: it was forbidden since the Civil Guard, during the war, knew that the 200 inhabitants of that humble village were helping the rebels of the maquis. In 1949, the last neighbour left for good.
Half a century later, a couple returned, they were descendants of those first settlers, and with the illusion of seeing their streets as they were then, they bought 14 plots, then in ruins, and together with neighbors and friends, former residents, carried out restoration work, which they did without electricity or running water.
Today, the village lives from renting housing to tourists, who seek to get lost in the worldly noise, since in the village, there is not even mobile phone coverage.
Most of the tourists are Spanish, curiously, and the rest come from Eastern and Northern Europe, which looking for a mixture of authenticity and good temperature, spend a few days in the village, away from everything and everyone.
In fact, many things can be done in El Acebuchal. Bathe in the swimming pools, visit El Fuerte, at almost 1,000 metres above sea level, or take any of the green routes in the area, such as the GR 249, which separates El Acebuchal from Cómpeta, and which connects a large part of the villages in the province of Málaga, or take guided routes with activities to get to know the area: learn how to make goat cheese, visit the avocado plantations, stop at the old abandoned cortijos…