The first human settlements in the municipal area date back to
prehistoric times. Near the village stands a cave known as Cueva de
Ardales, or Cueva de Doña Trinidad Grund, which contains animal
paintings -goats, horses and stags- and other illustrations pertaining
to the Upper Paleolithic peroid (Solutrean and Magdalenian eras, 18,000 -
14,000 years B.C.).
During the Roman occupation, La Peña fortress was built, along with La Molina Bridge, which crossed the River Turon.
Ardales and its municipal area enjoyed its period of greatest glory during Muslem times, particularly during the muladi (Christian convert to Islam) uprising of the late 9th-early 10th century, led by Omar Ben Hafsun, who, with Bobastro as his headquarters, created a defensive arc made up by the castles of Ardales, Turon, Teba and Alora, even stretching as far as Archidona.
Many studies establish the location of the fortress town of Bobastro in the Villaverde Plateaux, near Ardales. This important Mozarabic settlement contained a cave basilica, houses, hermitages, and, on the hill, a caliphal fortress, all of which are no more than archaeological remains today.
Ardales' strategic position saw it change hands frequently during the Middle Ages, alternating between Christian and Muslem control. It was definitively captured by the Christians in 1389, during the reign of John I. Its castle was the scene of the "Pact of Ardales" between King John I y and Yusuf Ben Al Mavi, prince of the Nazari Kingdom in Granada.
The town is surrounded by a series of lakes and reservoirs; the landscape of soft, undulating hills and olive groves make way for the dramatic background of the Ronda Mountains.
Ardales is an excellent destination for those looking for a real Andalusian experience. It’s also popular with Spanish tourists who come to enjoy a bath in the lakes during the hot summer months. It’s also a region well equipped for walking and hiking holidays.
Ardales is a traditional Andalusian town, set on the side of a steep hill, it’s steep streets lined with typical whitewashed terrace houses.
You cross into the village over the River Turón, which meanders past the town, the rambling streets give way to pretty plazas (squares); the atmosphere is happy and the town although small, is bustling.
There is a good selection of shops, bars and restaurants in town. You will find all the amenities and facilities you need to enjoy your stay in Ardales.
Historic records of the area date back to the Neolithic age and around Ardales remains from the Neolithic, Copper and Roman civilisations have been found, in fact just two kilometres outside of Ardales you can visit Prehistoric Caves, where you can see artefacts from 30,000 years ago.
On entering the village you come immediately to the Museum of History and Traditions, where you can find out all about the history of the town and region. Continue up to the summit of the town and you can visit the town’s Castillo de la Peña, which dates back to around the 9th century and the 15th century church, which was constructed on top of the original mosque, created during the Moorish occupation.
The climate in Ardales is that of a typical Andalusian inland town. During the summer months the town gets very hot, into the late 30, early 40 degree temperatures. But you have the wonderful local lakes to bath an cool down.
The spring and autumn is generally mild, and the winters do get slightly colder, than the protected Costa del Sol and Malaga region.