Villanueva del Rosario lies at the foot of the Cerro de la Cruz hill. The Jobo and Camarolos mountain ranges form a backdrop to the immediate surroundings of olive trees and wheatfields, and the village is in sight of the Montes de Málaga, which together create a spectacular natural panorama.
The village is quickly accessible from the highway running between Málaga and inland Andalucía, and the peace and tranquility of Villanueva del Rosario has for some time attracted city residents wanting a second home in the country, and is now beginning to lure northern expatriates looking for village houses and rural properties to renovate.
There were Roman and Arab settlements in the area of Villanueva del Rosario, but the existing village is not particularly old. By the beginning of the 18th century there was a collection of farms and houses known as Puebla del Saucedo – due it’s thought to the number of willow trees or ‘sauces’ in the area, - which obtained independence from Archidona in 1812. But Villanueva del Rosario is in fact one of four ‘Villanuevas’ in the north eastern part of Málaga province which were officially founded about 25 years later as part of Carlos III’s plan to repopulate virtually uninhabited areas of Andalucía.
There are not any historic monuments to speak of in the village, but even so, Villanueva del Rosario has a great deal of charm, characterised by one or two storey white houses, pleasant, well kept streets and squares, and country houses with their own gardens and allotments.
The upper section of the River Guadalhorce flows through the village, its banks lined with ashes, poplars and black poplars, and there is some delightful countryside in the vicinty to explore either by foot, on a bike or on horseback. This includes an area known as ´Llano del Hondonero’, where there are natural springs, pines and holm oaks, as well as fields of cereal crops. Another particularly pretty area is El Nacimiento, where streams form natural waterfalls.
The Nuestra Señora del Rosario hermitage dedicated to the patron saint of Villanueva del Rosario is located above the village on the way to El Nacimiento. The hermitage is the focal point of the August fiesta, when the image of the saint is carried to the source of the river.