Totalan best things to see and do

A village to the sound of the violin

Visit Totalan, a beautiful white village in Axarquia


In this article you will find the essential information to visit Totalan

  • A few words about Totalan
  • Historical facts about the village
  • Visiting Totalan, what to see?
  • What to do in Totalan
    • activities
    • idea for a guided tour
    • festivities
  • Where is Totalan?
  • Book accommodation
  • Some useful links
  • Experiences to discover in the province of Málaga


A few words about Totalan

Totalan is located in Axarquia in the province of Malaga.. Totalan is a lovely little white village. It is located between the sea and the mountains.

During the period of Al-Andalus, the Arabs made Totalan an enclave for the control of the coasts of Málaga due to its location.

Today, some traces of this period remain in the architecture and the traditional gastronomy.


Historical fact in Totalan

One of the most important events of the 15th century took place at the start of Totalan. It was 1483 and the Christian troops led by the Marquis of Cadiz were preparing to attack the nearby village of Moclinejo, which was on the road to Málaga.

The former emir al-Zaghall (El zagal), who is the uncle of Boabdil (the last king of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada) will cause the last great defeat to the Christian troops.


Al-Zaghall was also the brother of Muley Hacen (the great Nasrid king whose name was given to the highest mountain in the Iberian Peninsula (Mulhacen, in the Sierra Nevada).

It is said that the Arabs were informed of the arrival of the enemies by the sound of a violin played from the top of a watchtower that stood in Totalan. Today, a tower called Torre del Violin can be admired (see below).

The origin of Totalan

The first human traces date back to 3000 or 4000 BC! It is a funerary structure, a megalithic construction called the “Dolmen of the Cerro de la Corona”.

It is locally known as the “Moor’s Tomb”. This site also offers a magnificent view of the sea and the mountains.

totalan Dolmen del Cerro
Dolmen del Cerro sitio prehitorico

According to local stories, the name Totalan comes from the name of a typical Andalusian pastry. Some documents mention several hamlets in the area called Tortela, Tortila and Tortalán that made this pastry. However, there is no evidence or remains to prove the truth of these facts.

What to see in Totalan?

A walk through Totalan is ideal for getting a feel for the village.


The village, with its narrow streets, is typical of the villages of the Al-Andalus period.


The structure of the village has not changed for centuries.


The Torre del Violin


The statue of Antonio Molina

In one of the main squares of the village there is a statue of the flamenco singer Antonio Molina.

totalan estatua antonio molina
Estatua Antonio Molina

Totalan is also known as the birthplace of this famous flamenco actor and singer. Although he was born in Malaga, just next door, it was in this village that he worked on his flamenco art during his youth.

totalan antonio molina
Plaza Antonio Molina en Totalan

The Chameleon sculpture

The chameleon is the emblematic animal of Axarquia.

totalan estatua camaleon

The Parish Church of Santa Ana

This church is worth a visit for its Mudejar-style bell tower. It was built in 1505 and has undergone several modifications since then.


Inside you can admire the patron saint of Totalan: Ntra Sra. Del Rosario. Curiously, there are also two red marble columns from the 1st century, dating from the Roman period.

The hike to Moclinejo

There is a beautiful walk from the village to the village of Moclinejo.

Moclinejo con vista al mar
Moclinejo con vista al mar

Taste the typical dishes

Chanfaïna, is the cuninary speciality of the village. There is even a festival that celebrates this dish every year.

chanfaina Totalan
Céramica de la Chanfaina en Totalan

Among the typical dishes of the village’s gastronomy, there are

  • maimones (an garlic soup),
  • fried pumpkin (poached pumpkin with cold meats)
  • ajoblanco (cold soup with almonds and garlic)
  • gazpacho
  • gazpachuelo (white fish soup)

What to do in Totalan?


In the surroundings, it is possible to find very nice activities:

rio chillar hike ruta randonnee
hiking trail in Rio Chillar

  • horse riding, on the beach or in the mountains
  • diving in Nerja and Torrox
  • guided tours (villages of Axarquia, Cordoba, Alhambra,…)
  • via ferrata (Caminito del Rey,…)
  • hiking (El Saltillo with the hanging bridge,…)
  • canyoning (in the rio Verde,…)
  • astrotourism
  • snorkeling
  • visit of caves

Use the following link to access all the activities to do. during your holidays. This link provides you with all the details of each activity.

Guided tour ideas

A very good local guide, Cipriano, offers thematic and seasonal guided tours of the villages of Axarquia.

local guide andalucia

For example, Cipriano organises the White Mudejar Villages Tour from Nerja, Torrox and Torre del Mar. There are 5 beautiful, typical and authentic white villages.

maison tourelle à Sedella en Axarquia
Sedella on the route of the white Mudejar villages

The guided tours are always done in small groups (2 to 8 people max.) to discover the authentic Axarquia.

In the following link you will find all the details and prices of the tours he offers.

The themes of the tours are: the olive oil route, the wine route, the raisin route, ….

Here are all the guided tours from Torrox, Nerja and Torre del Mar.

The fiestas

  • La Feria de Totalan, in May
  • Día del Caballo y Feria del Ganado, in May
  • Flamenco Festival, in May

totalan fiesta chanfaina 2023 cartel

  • The Fiesta de la Chanfaïna, in November. This is the festival of the typical dish of the village! An authentic festival to discover!

Where is Totalan?

Book accommodation

Indicate the desired dates to know the availability.

Some useful links

Here is a great car rental agency in Andalusia and more specifically at Malaga airport : book a rental car.

If you are in Andalucia as part of a tour with several major cities to visit, here are some links that may be of interest:

  • All you need to know about Granada, the Alhambra, the Albaicin neighbourhood before visiting Granada

  • If you are passing through the geographical centre of Andalusia, then you can visit Antequera, with the incredible natural site of El Torcal right next door.

Experiences to discover in the province of Malaga

If you’re in the area for a few days, here’s a selection of great things to do:

Find more ideas for visits to authentic Andalucia: see the blog pages on Andalucia.

Here is the link to receive our newsletter from the blog

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