Ojen (spelled in spanish Ojén) is an old Arab “white town” nestled into the mountains behind Marbella. Its name is derived from an Arabic word, hoxán, meaning “rough” or “bitter” which seem odd because it is a lovely village. There is only one road into the centre of the village but there are hundreds of alleyways and stairs that snake their way through the houses that are built around a ravine or dip in the hills. Ojen is famous for the production of Aguardiente de Ojén which is an aniseed liquor.
Close by are famous hunting grounds in the Serranía de Ronda. The Refugio de Juanar is or was a the private hunting lodge of the wealthy Larios family, and a one of the retreats of King Alfonso XIII. It is now a hotel that is still popular with hunters and the tourists. The area is still a hunting reserve where ibex, wildcats and imperial eagles can frequently be seen soaring overhead. Ramblers and hikers come for the mountain air and the panoramic views of Marbella and the Costa del Sol coastline 1000 metres below.
These photos of Ojen are also available on FLICKR.com