Just off the A92 motorway about midway between Malaga and Granada is the village of Riofrío. Within easy reach of most Andalusian destinations, as well as both Malaga and Granada airports (40 and 20 minutes drive respectively), Riofrío is a favourite place for those who like fishing and enjoying the countryside. It is as popular with those who like to go to eat trout as it is with those who like to try their hand at catching one.
Riofrío is in the beautiful Loja district of Andalusia, at just 4 kilometres from the town of Loja. The surrounding countryside is the perfect place for walking, biking and of course fishing.
Organic Fish Farm at Riofrío
Trout fishing has been recorded in Riofrío as far back as 1664, but it was three hundred years later, in 1964 that the family run fish farm was started. Over the years, this fish farm has been the back bone of the village economy. Not only does it employ some 20 people, but it has also attracted many visitors to this little village of just 300 inhabitants. It is a favourite day out or stop-off place to eat at one of the 10 restaurants where you can try the delicious fresh trout, 500,000 kilos of which is sold every year.
The farm at Riofrío has always refused to use intensive farming methods and has developed an alternative approach, using natural vegetation filters in the water purification system, which has the added effect of enhancing the aquatic ecosystem. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, when the fish farm applied for organic certification from the Andalusian authorities in 2000, such standards did not yet exist. Since then, they have received the certification and are thought to be the first organic certified sturgeon farm in the world. It is also the only fish farm known to have the ‘Acipenser naccari’ species of Southern European sturgeon. This species is indigenous to Andalusia but is thought to be extinct in wild habitat.
Fishing & Walking
There is all year round fishing at Riofrío and you will need a fishing permit
Even if you are not so keen on fishing, it is worth taking a walk across what remains of the ancient bridge from the times of the Caliphs. Nearby, there is Environmental Centre (Centro de Interpretación Medioambiental Villa Carmen), Tel: 958 326 858. The Loja Tourist Board (Patronato de Turismo Municipal de Loja) organise weekends and bank holiday breaks called Ruta Verde de Riofrío (Riofrío Green Route), which is a guided walk along the riversde. The walks normally start off around 12 noon and the cost is usually as little as 1 euro. Find out more from the Information Centre in the Plaza de San Isidro in Riofrio.
There is also a lively craft market on Saturdays and Sundays at Riofrío.
An Activity holiday at Riofrío
Riofrío is the perfect place not only for fishing and walking, but for many other outdoor sports and activities, too. For a rustic family activity holiday, you could contact the English speaking ‘Riofrío Holidays’, who include weight loss as one of the holiday programme packages. They can arrange walking routes, horse riding, cycling, power walking and running and much more. They even offer nutritional advice and personal fitness training in these very beautiful surroundings of Andalusia. For more information, contact Mel & Marie Richards on Tel: (Spain) 958 348 974 or Tel (UK) : 0870 068 8173
Where to eat in Riofrío
There are many excellent bars and restaurants in Riofrío, mostly serving superb dishes including fresh local trout. A favourite recipe is grilled trout with almonds. On the A92 motorway at kilometre 185 is the Hostal Riofrío. Tel: 958 321 066
Where to stay in Riofrío
The four star Almazara Hotel is about two kilometres off kilometre 187 turn off from the A92 Malaga/Granada motorway. The hotel is surrounded by gardens and there is an outdoor swimming pool. The ‘Almazara’ used to be the old olive oil refinery and has been beautifully renovated to become an enchanting hotel. The hotel restaurant serves the best Mediterranean cuisine, including the famous Riofrío caviar and sturgeon. In the summer months the outdoor barbeque area by the pool becomes the dining room. It is also available for weddings and other celebrations. Single and double rooms cost around 80 euros a night and a suite is approximately 130 euros. Check prices and booking: Hotel Almazara, Cerro de la Estacion s/n, 18313 Riofrío. Tel: 958 326 910 Fax: 958 326 911
For further information on Riofrío contact the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) of Loja:
Duque de Valencia, 1
18300 Loja (Granada)
Tel: 958 321 156