Ojén is one of the largest of the whitewashed villages that lie in the valleys immediately inland from the coast on the Costa del Sol. It is approximately 200 metres above sea level, and so is not the most dramatically situated of all the villages, but then what it lacks in spectacular vistas it more than makes up for with its character.
Fiercely – and understandably – proud of their village, the locals of Ojén nevertheless make all visitors feel warmly welcomed, whether you’re a sunburnt tourist rolling in from Torremolinos or a wealthy Madrileño descending for the summer months. Ojén is, also, a bit of a thoroughfare; or at least, it often gets overlooked as motorists scoot on past on their way to the airport.
Despite its size and excellent location just behind Marbella, Ojén has clung on to its ‘unspoilt’ tag. When compared to the artisan beauty and glowing reputation that has befallen Benahavís, this seems a bit of a shame. But when you think of what Ojén could have become – a barely recognisable commuter overspill town of the coast, or a second home hideaway with all its character stripped away – you quickly understand how great it is that the village has remained largely untouched.
Despite its proximity to the highway, there are deserted cobbled streets, clean squares and appealing fountains to enjoy, so fear not. Ojén’s history is rich and extensive, and the village is famous for its production of aguardiente, an anise liqueur that became extremely popular in 19th century New Orleans, and made Ojén relatively wealthy as a result. The village’s affluence is apparent in its architecture: there are more large villas and townhouses here than in neighbouring Coín or Monda, and Ojén’s unrivalled transport links mean the bustle of the Coast is never too far away.