Castaño Santo, Istán

The Castaño Santo is a huge and ancient chestnut tree that is located in an area known as the Hoyo del Bote, in the Sierra Real de Istán. It is probably the oldest tree in the whole province of Malaga.

The Castaño Santo is a huge and ancient chestnut tree that is located in an area known as the Hoyo del Bote, in the Sierra Real de Istán.The Castaño Santo is a huge and ancient chestnut tree that is located in an area known as the Hoyo del Bote, in the Sierra Real de Istán.

The Castaño Santo is a huge and ancient chestnut tree that is located in an area known as the Hoyo del Bote, in the Sierra Real de Istán.

Its age is estimated around eight hundred and one thousand years old. Despite this, many visitors do not hesitate to take the land that covers their roots, as seen in the image, endangering this majestic tree.

At 1.30 m from the ground, the perimeter is 15 m, while at ground level it borders on 22 meters. It has a total height of 24.5 m while the height of the shaft is 2.5 meters. The diameter of the cup is in the N-S direction of 27.40 m while in the E-W direction it is 23.70 meters. The projected area of ​​the crown is 510.02 m².
Legend has it that in the mountains where this centennial tree is found, great feats proliferated throughout History. Among them we can highlight the rebellion of the Moors in Sierra Bermeja in the dawn of the sixteenth century. Under its branches, in the year 1501, King Ferdinand the Catholic celebrated a mass.



The legend tells that in the prayers a delay of the twilight was requested, to favor a stealthy arrival of the troops to Marbella.


It is proposed to be declared a natural monument by the Junta de Andalucía

Property for sale in Istan and Coin

Information about Costa del Sol and Marbella

Location of Castaño Santo in Istán

marbella torre lance de las canas

Lance de las Cañas Turret : A forgotten Monument in Marbella

From the “Hidden Treasures of the Costa del Sol” series.

This tower is located next to the beach near an old Civil Guard barracks and in the vicinity of other buildings. Its surroundings are rather deteriorated and its eastern face has a hole at ground level. It was built in the second half of the 18th century as an artillery emplacement. The tower is shaped like a horseshoe. It has a prolonged semi-circular ground plan with two oblique spurs or hornwork behind it. Its perimeter measures 53.35 metres and its height exceeds 10 metres.

marbella unrestored torre lance de las canas

marbella unrestored torre lance de las cañas

Inside there are two floors and the surface area in them increases as we ascend while the thickness of its external walls is reduced. The lower or basement floor constitutes the powder magazine (at ground level). The upper floor or main room is well lighted by two large windows and covered like the basement by a vaulted brick ceiling. All the necessary services (larder, chimney, etc.) are aligned along the northern retaining wall. Lastly, there is a spacious roof terrace with a parapet and a hole to act as a chimney. Two stairways communicate the different rooms with the roof terrace. Access to the tower is at a height of six metres above the ground on the western face of the right-hand spur. It was built with masonry and complemented with bricks on several elements like the corners, door jambs and heads, embrasures, parapet mouldings and internal vaults and walls.

marbella lance de las cañas after restoration

marbella lance de las cañas after restoration

It is a monument that has been declared as a Heritage of Cultural Interest 1985 (Bien de Interés Cultural). Historical data: The frequency of raids along this sector by expeditions which at times amounted to up to two thousand men as a result of the cooperation established between Turks and North African Muslims led to such sanguinary events like the sacking of Gibraltar by Baba Aruj or “Barbarossa” in 1450. This led the emperor to reinforce the fortifications with a new model that could boost defensive combat capabilities. His aim was perhaps to build this kind of buildings along the entire coastline. Four forts of this kind were built in the province of Malaga, of which three are to be found in this sector.

UPDATE : The tower has been completely restored and is very well worth a visit nowadays



Bobastro : Malaga Ancient Hideaway

Bobastro, in Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain

Bobastro, in Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain

Bobastro is an ancient settlement and archaeological site located in the north of the province of Malaga (Spain) in the area of The Guadalhorce River, where Omar Ben Hafsún established the capital of his domains, in 880, to rebel against the Emir of Córdoba.

There is another theory which places Bobastro in the city of Ronda. Highlights include the rock-cut buildings, including a church and castle Mozarabic cave.

Access is from the road-Ardales Alora, about 2 km north of El Chorro and the south side of the gorge Gaitanes. From here, a paved trail climbs the hill of Las Mesas de Villaverde, but halfway is pedestrian access to part of the ruins of Bobastro.

On top of the hill, from where you can enjoy great views of the environment, we find the remains of a fortification. Surprise encounter a water reservoir at the top, the water is pumped at night to get electricity during the day.

Bobastro, in Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain

Bobastro, in Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain


Omar Ben Hafsún fled to Bobastro in the late ninth century to rebel against the Emir of Córdoba. His conversion to Christianity in 899 explains the construction of this church, carved into the rock probably becouse of eremitical tradition and performed in the late first century IX or X.

This mozarabic church is the only known of al-Andalus. It was destroyed by Abdel Rahman III, when, after resisting as separate kingdom for more than 50 years of attempts from Cordoba, it was conquered on 19 January 928.

Excavated in sandstone, it is a basilica with three naves separated by horseshoe arches, transept and three areas, the central horseshoe arch and the rectangular sides.

Perfectly facing east, has an approximate length of 16.50 m long and 10.30 m wide. In the area there are remains of other buildings that belonged to other people who took refuge there


Bobastro, in Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain
The Medieval Church by Bobastro, in Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain



Visiting Bobastro can be done from the nearby town of Alora or Ardales, being only about 45 minutes from the coast. The roads are good, but the signposting is not very clear if you are not a local. We suggest you should take the route up from Málaga on the A-357, and then take the exit of Pizarra-Alora.

After passing the beautiful Town of Alora you head for “El Chorro” district and there you will start to see the signposts for Bobastro. As everything in Spain, on the way to Bobastro there is many things worth visiting, like are : El Chorro Lakes, Gaitanes Gorge, the Town of Alora, El Quiosco Restaurant, Restaurante El Mirador, and many more.


You need a morning for the visit, including getting there. Good thing is that there is enugh to see around there to fill the day. Good location, good walking areas, and good food!

Bobastro, in Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain

On the way to bobastro, in Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain

Don’t forget that lately and finally the ruins of Bobastro are taken care of and are fenced. Gone are the days that you could just walk in and “discover” on your own (a pity, if you ask me) .

But then, I suppose its for the benefit of the monument. Saying that, do check the opening times. Other ways you will get there and stand in front of a closed gate! Ask the guide for the other things to see, like the fortress of bobastro, the old town walls, the princess house, and the different artificial caves used by hermits


Apart from the mentions before, you can visit other landmarks like LA Huma Mountain, Escalera de los republicanos, Caminito del Rey, Ardales, Alora, The park of Gaitanes, and the park of the Conde del Guadalhorce.