By Sally Harrison

IT is a windy road up through vine covered hills.

But your first glimpse of Cutar, a white oasis that sparkles in the sunlight, makes it all worthwhile.

As you drive into the village you are first struck with the beautifully restored fountain, the Aina Alcaharia, which used to be an Arab Chapel before being converted to a well and fountain.

Interestingly it is the only surviving Arab fountain of its kind in Malaga province.

Behind it there are steep steps leading up to the ancient bridge that crosses a little gorge, but be careful if you attempt to climb them as they can be slippery!

Cutar is proud of its Moorish roots and each year the village goes back in time to the fifteenth century to celebrate the

Monfi Festival where you can experience the smells, tastes and music of that era.

In the second weekend of October, the narrow streets and main car park are transformed into a traditional souk where you can buy food, drink and clothes among other items from people dressed in traditional Arab costume.

There are also belly dancers, falconry displays and street entertainment, with an Arab tent selling mint tea and culinary delights.

And homes are opened up as museums revealing traditional weaving methods, paintings and old photographs of the village from bygone days.

The village also has a Moorish arch known as the Algorfa with a house above it.

And at the top, on the western side of Cutar sits the 16th century Church of Nuestra Senora de la Encarnacion dominating the village with its beautiful Baroque side chapel.

It was originally known as Our Lady of the Angels and was built over an Arab mosque. If you haven’t yet visited Cutar I can highly recommend it as being one of the few virtually untouched, traditional white villages.

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