Here you can have something eat and/or drink after having a lovely walk around the village and being enchanted by it. It has got a beautiful terrace which offers amazing views and you will be able to experience some really nice food, drinks and desserts!
A solitary tree sits amonst a field of poppies. The backdrop is a green hillside that was partly shaded from the sun by a cloud, giving a deep obscure green. I took the photo just below the town, on the path down to the river.
The one thing I really love in Andalucia, is the way the mountains appear, late in the day. A series of greys overlapping each other. I´ve seen this effect many times in the late afternoon. My old art teacher would have explained it as the filtering effect of the atmospere, as the distant increases, more red light is filtered from the view by dust particles in the atmoshere. Whatever the reason, I never tire of seeing the effect.
A mirador is a point where you can take in a panoramic view. The mirador in Istan, is set upon a small hilly rise just to the west of the town, set in a small park. It affords good views of the town of Istan, the steep river valley falling away below, the Sierra Blanca and Sierra de las Nieves mountains and the valley of the Embalse de la Conception reservoir.
This view was looking south to the reservoir.
A surprising find, on our walk up to the mirador, we saw this painting on the side of a house. An almost full size rendition of Pablo Picaso´s Guernica. I´m not sure what it was doing there, or if Picaso himself had ever had anything to do with Istan, I doubt. Maybe it was just someone who had strong left wing sympathies, or maybe it was just an admirer of the great artist. Whatever the reason I take my hat of to the artist, it really was quite good.
Just inside the entrance porch is a small chapel housing the icons or statuettes carried around the town at Easter and on the village saints day. Normally mounted on a throne and carried upon the shoulders of representatives from the village.
Visiting in May, we had the benefit of seeing all the wild flowers. They were everywhere and the combination of the many colours contrasting against the green hills of the Sierra Blanca is a sight I wont forget quickly.
If you take a walk down to the river you pass through the agricultural district of the pueblo. Orange and patatoes are the main product of the area. I met this goatherder taking his small flock of goats and four dogs down the hill.
It was a great shame that this year the price of oranges was low, most were left on the trees as it was not viable to collect them for market.
While walking around the village I encountered the village cemetary, not having seen one before I decided to call in. The graves are located one on top of another in the walls. People take great pride in remembering the deceased as nearly all were well decorated with flowers.
At one time the main source of water for the village, it has been restored and tidied to show its beauty. The arches on the left still have the original stones on which the women would have washed the laundry. On a warm afternoon is was a welcome source of water to cool off with, and the water is potable.
In fact the name of the village, Istan, means spring in Arabic, and many springs can be found around the village.
Typical Andalucian white village, situated just a few miles from Marbella, but it seems to have been forgotten, not many people visit, for two reasons. The road to it has many sharp bends and takes time to travel. The road also leads nowhere, except to the village. The drive is interesting though, many places you can stop to take in the views of some great scenery, as you snake up into the hills past the reservoir, the Embalse de la Concepcion.
The town was originally the site of a Moorish fort, and after the christian reconquest in the 14th century was resettled by people from Murcia
I really recommend visiting if you can, take a slow drive and take care.
The churches single nave is quite simple, with just a couple of side chapels. Around the walls are hung some paintings dating from the 18th century.
The village church, built in the 16th century and dedicated to Saint Michael. Its a small church built in the baroque style, with a tower housing its bells.
I saw numerous springs around the village, all renavated at various dates. Time for another drink to cool off.
In another corner of the cemetary, I found the quaint shrine with the statue of the village virgin within, decorated with plants and flowers.