Riogordo lies deep in the heart of the Axarquía region in the valley of the Río de la Cueva on the Route of Olive Oil and Mountains, ringed by scenic sierras, rivers and streams. The town is reached either by a fairly windy road from Benamargosa, or by a rather less curvy highway from Vélez-Málaga.
The beautiful countryside and backdrop of mountains around this town of around 2,700 inhabitants has attracted a good number of foreign property purchasers in recent years, although its typically rural Andaluz character is unchanged.
There was a settlement in the Riogordo area as far back as in the Phoenician and Roman periods, but it is the Moorish origins which are clearly evident in the old part of town. There is also quite a lot of new construction around the town, including large townhouses, and a general impression of pleasant, well kept wide streets; raised, railinged pavements topped with plants pots give rather an elegant touch.
The Plaza de la Constitucion is one of the local social hubs, and is where the Town Hall and a number of good tapas bars are located.
There are a handful of historic sites in the old town, notably the 16th century parish church of the Nuestra Señora de Gracia and the San Sebastián hermitage, which was built at the end of the 17th century. The small Ethnographic Museum, open only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, is also of interest.
Riogordo is famous for its virgen olive oil and cured meats. The town’s other main claim to fame however is the ‘El Paso de Riogordo’, or open-air passion plays depicting aspects of the life of Christ and performed by the town’s residents in the afternoons of Good Friday and Easter Saturday. The annual tradition, which began in 1951, was declared a Fiesta of National Tourism Interest in 1996.