|coast||0 min / 0 km|
|Airport Málaga||20 min / 35 km|
Colmenar is located in the middle of a rolling plain below high mountains shielding it from the north. Nearby is the Montes de Málaga National Park. Colmenar is the most westerly village of the Axarquía. At 700 meters above sea level Colmenar has great views across the mountains of the Axarquía to the Sierra Nevada. The municipality extends from the peaks of the Sierra Camarols in the north to the Montes de Málaga in the south, and Riogordo to the west. Málaga is 35 km away and can be reached in twenty minutes by car.
Although Colmenar is close to the provincial capital of Málaga, it is still very rural. To the north of the area is a rough and varied mountainous landscape – a paradise for nature lovers and walkers. Here you may see mountain goats or wild boar and an impressive variety of Mediterranean flora. Rosemary, lavender, thyme and gorse spread an unique aroma. The national park of the Montes de Málaga is a Mediterranean forest containing many nature trails. In the immediate surroundings of Colmenar there is farmland, soft sloping areas growing crops and to the south west at the base of the mountain areas grow almonds, olives and grapes. You can still find, in some picturesque hidden areas, drying beds (toldos) for the famous Málaga raisins and so-called lagares in which the Moscatel grapes are still pressed to make the wine in the fields. Colmenar is renowned for its beehives, which are to be seen everywhere. The name Colmenar comes from the word colmena or beehive.
Colmenar has about 3200 inhabitants. Most live in the village itself, with some still residing in small farms scattered about the countryside. The main income derives from working the land. The village is located on a steep hillside and is dominated by two hilltops, which marked the original location and size of the village. The parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción with its remarkable bell tower sits on one hilltop overlooking the old part of the town, with its small narrow streets and interlocking houses. The Chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria is on the highest hilltop. In addition to the old part of the village there is a newer, more modern part which has grown in recent times. Due in part to the good road links Colmenar has with Málaga, many small independent businesses have set up here in recent years. The village has also attracted some people back from Málaga, who now prefer to live in the countryside and commute to the city. As well as the tranquil country lifestyle, nowadays Colmenar also offers a variety of facilities and opportunities which helps to combine both rural and urban lifestyles in the same village.
The documented history of Colmenar can be traced back to the year 1488, when the settlement of Hamete el Zuque was handed over to the Spanish crown. In those days it was said that this place was rich in bread, corn, mountains, valleys, streams, lakes and wells. Various archeological finds, such as ceramics and coins, show that there were Roman and Arab settlements before that time. In the summer of 1560, when the land was surveyed and allocated to municipalities, Colmenar became the capital of the Montes de Málaga. The parish church was founded in the 16th Century and the chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria in the 17th Century, this last by mariners from the Canaries who had miraculously survived a bad storm off the Málaga coastline. Today it is a renowned historical monument. In 1777 Colmenar became an independent municipality.
Colmenar has a special relationship with music. Folk dancing, music groups and folk bands maintain the roots and traditions of the village. The Peña Flamenca el Canario plays an important role and regularly organises shows and Flamenco competitions. The performances of Cante Hondo, the oldest form of Flamenco, are renowned. Colmenar is also well known for its gastronomic specialities, such as sausage and meat products, which are offered in most tapa bars and restaurants of the village.