Casabermeja nestles on the side of a small mountain in an undulating plain of olive groves surrounded by the Guadalmedina and Arroyo de Cauche rivers, approximately halfway between Málaga and Antequera.
The village of just over 3,000 inhabitants is just off the highway running up from coast, one of the reasons why the area is attracting growing interest among expatriates looking to invest in country properties.
The cave paintings at Piedras de Cabrera indicate there were human settlements in or around Casabermeja as far back as prehistoric times, but it did not became a place of any significance until the Moorish period. It’s believed the name has its roots in the Arabic ‘Qsar Bermeja’, or Red Castle, although the existing village was founded by the Catholic Monarchs.
Casabermeja is today a village of considerable charm, with typical narrow streets and white-washed, two-storey houses.There are also various monuments and places of interest, beginning with the Nuestra Señora del Socorro Church in the heart of the village, which was built in the first half of the 16th century and underwent major modifications in the mid 18th century.
The church’s three naves are seperated by pillars and arches, with small Barroque chapels at the sides dedicated to the Virgen del Carmen and Jesús Nazareno.The quadrangular tower is covered with Arab tiles and can be seen from any point in Casabermeja.
Casabermeja’s cemetery with its small streets of masoleums looks like a mini town within the village, and was declared a Historic-Artistic monument in 1980.
The 13th century Torre Zambra perched on a mountain behind Casabermeja was a Moorish defence tower, and from here there are marvellous views across the countryside of Málaga and on a clear day to the North African coast.
There are also beautiful vistas from the fairly modern hermitage between the tower and Casabermeja. The El Chorro recreation area is right next to the hermitage, where there are camping facilities.
Also just outside the village are the ‘Peñas’, or Rocks, of Cabrera – a very pretty part of the municipality located on the shores of the Río Guadalmedina. There are plenty of watering holes and eateries to choose from in and around the village, where typical dishes include rabbit cooked in garlic and roasted baby goat.
There are also shops selling examples of traditional crafts, particularly rugs and ceramics.