The name Ojén might derive from “hoxan” – an Arabic word meaning rough or bitter – but don’t let that put you off. It really isn’t an accurate reflection of how stunning the place truly is. Located on the outskirts of Marbella, Ojén is a traditional Spanish town just a few minutes’ drive past La Cañada shopping centre.
With a range of wide amenities to choose from, the town has grown in popularity over the years, remaining true to its traditional Spanish roots but becoming more and more modern as time has passed.
The majority of the town offers beautiful views across Marbella and the Mediterranean ocean. On a clear day or night, you can even see right across to Gibraltar and Morocco.
About the Area
Back in its heyday, Ojén’s aniseed liquor industry was a major part of the local economy. Times have changed considerably since then though, and the Spanish town is now particularly reliant on tourism, farming and construction.
It is currently inhabited by approximately 3,500 people, both Spanish nationals and foreigners. but not many residents actually work in Ojén itself, instead travelling to other parts of the Costa del Sol for employment.
Featuring narrow streets with traditional architecture and several old buildings in the old part of town, Ojén also has ample amenities including bars, restaurants and classic shops. However, if traditional Spain isn’t your cup of tea, the outskirts of Ojén are more contemporary, with luxury villas and urban apartments to choose from.
One of its main other attractions is the municipal swimming pool – a popular choice for tourists and locals alike. Featuring a stunning swimming pool and an on-site bar/restaurant, it’s not hard to see why, especially in summer.
What to See
Around Ojén, the Sierra Blanca mountain range is a pleasant countryside area to visit, with plenty of areas for tourists to go walking, trekking or mountain biking. You will also find forests and unspoilt nature around Ojén – the ideal place to be for a summer barbecue. One of the more popular areas is El Refugio del Juanar.
Ojén village was once famed for its production of aniseed liquor – “aguardiente” – a potent and popular drink that many Spanish people have with their morning coffee. Give it a try if you are in the area: it is said to be good for digestion, helping the aforementioned barbecue feast slip down much more easily.
How to Get There
There are several ways to reach Ojén from Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport. The quickest and simplest option is to take the A-P7 toll road and come off at La Caáada. If you prefer a more scenic route, you can also reach Ojén via the coastal main road, taking the same junction as the A-P7 at La Cañada.
Photo credit: Dave Pinter