A genuine mountain city near the coast

Istán Is a village in the Malaga province with a population of 1554 people, it lies in the Sierra Blanca valley of the Rio Verde. The municipality has an area of 99.5 square kilometers, with the urban core that is located at 303 meters. It is only 4.6 kilometers away to the Mediterranean coast as the crow flies, but by the car the road is 15 km due to all curves. The village is near the large pond that was built in 1972 to provide drinking water to towns along the Costa del Sol.


Istán is one of a number of villages that have Moorish origin, it survived due to its distance from the coast. After the Christian recon quest of the Iberian Peninsula in the 1500s, Arabs were forbidden to live along the coast. This is to prevent them from communicating with thier relatives in Morocco across the strait. Istán with its distance of 15 kilometers to the coast, was preserved while the coastal Arab settlements was depopulated and destroyed.

There are four a la carte restaurants in Istán, Troyano, El Baron, Rincon de Curro, Entresierras and the new Las Harales in Rural Hotel at the entrance to the village. There are also a number of bars serving an excellent selection of tapas. Istán also have a hotel, but they had to wait until 1998 to get it.

There are small drinking fountains with delicious cold water, these are strategically distributed throughout the city and has had the task of supplying water to the population of the village, before the water was installed into each house. They are characterized by having a structure of white and blue tiles. The sound of rippling water could be heard through the whole village, providing a unique experience and identity and personality to the village. Besides all these fountains there are El Chorro a washing piont in the middle of the village, a tiled laundry built in to the village in order to give women the advanatge to wash inside the village instead of to carry the laundry to the beach at Rio Molinos, and even today you can see people wash clothes at El Chorro.

The Swedish author Liza Marklund’s character Annika Bengtzon in the book “A Place in the Sun” quenches her thirst in one of the two bar´s at the village square.