Gargamel is after you. You run away, only to bump into a ravishing Smurfette. Brainy Smurf is brooding in the shade of a tree. Scaredy Smurf is hiding; he is always afraid of something. And, of course, Grouchy Smurf is complaining about the fuss. Papa Smurf, always the wisest, is trying to bring everything back to normal.
This charming story with charming characters can only be set in a charming village like Júzcar, where the Smurfs live. In June 2011, this town in Málaga Province dressed in blue to host the world premiere of The Smurfs, directed by Raja Gosnell. The streets and houses are still painted in indigo as the gateway to a land of fantasy.
Júzcar lies in the Genal Valley, a natural area in Serranía de Ronda. It has all the characteristics of a mountain village: a zigzagging road carved into the rock, narrow streets, cosy houses, fuming chimneys, the reddish and brownish hues of chestnut trees in autumn, making everything around them so beautiful and full of life…
Júzcar is home to the first tinplate plant established in Spain. It dates back to 1731. The abundant timber in the area could be used for casting. The plant came to have as many as 200 workers, which is Júzcar’s current population. The plant has come down to us in ruins – a set of dilapidated pilasters and columns by the river.
What to see in Júzcar
Highlights include the Church of Santa Catalina – the finest building in town – and the Mushroom Museum. In fact, Júzcar is very popular with mushroom lovers. Finally, the village is part of the Tour of Fray Leopoldo, an itinerary across Serranía de Ronda following in the footsteps of the pious friar before he headed for Granada.
Local cuisine is pretty much based on local ingredients. The Genal Valley delivers fruit and vegetables in abundance. Typical dishes include rabbit with garlic, migas and sopeao de setas (mushroom soup). For those with a sweet tooth, there are torcidos, doughnuts and fritters. You see, there is much more to Júzcar than a few blue walls. A great choice to explore hinterland Málaga.