|Sign for the village of Juzcar|
Júzcar - The blue Village
Juzcar, one of the small villages located in the beautiful, scenic Valle del Genal in the Serrania de Ronda, is the first ever ´smurf town´ in the world, since June 2011. Until this date, Júzcar was a weekend destination for lovers of rural tourism, hiking and other activities such as climbing and ravining. People came from all over to explore the area that surrounds it. Now, the town receives a large number of tourists, on average 250 per day, coming from all around the world.
The transformation of this town is owed to the fact that every single building here was painted blue: houses, the Church, the cementery and the Town Hall, to embrace the premiere of the Sony pictures world-renowned film - The Smurfs 3D.
Once the filming and promotion had passed, the inhabitants of Juzcar decided to keep the buildings painted blue, carrying on as the village of the smurfs and taking advantage of this uniqueness to attract tourists and generate a greater income among its inhabitants. From then, eight new companies have been created, among them three guesthouses, as well as new public services and parking facilities.
However the owners of the Smurf trademark (estate of the Smurf creator, Belgian comics artist Pierre Culliford ) required villagers to pay 12% in royalties on all Smurf-related income. By 2017 this agreement was disputed. The village is now, oficaially at least, the 'Blue village' rather than the 'Smurf village' although vestages of Smurf filming can still be seen. This includes a 7 foot plastic Smurf, ideal for selfies, which villagers say 'Sony are welcome to collect'.
A zip wire operates as part of an adventure route of the village, including climbing walls and other jumps. There is aslo a more sedate explorers walking route. Info at the tourist point at the (Cartajima side) entrance to the village.
Apart from that, this small town in the Serrania de Ronda still has the old irregular structure of its streets and its natural setting in the marshland of the Genal river.
Among the historic monuments in the town is the Church, constructed in the 16th century, the Cave of the Moors and the ruins of the old tinplate factory located next to the riverbed.
Júzcar experienced economic power with the construction of another tinplate factory in the 18th century. It was the first tinplate factory in Spain, which ended up employing around 200 workers and which had Swiss and German technicians come to teach the locals how to make the tinplate.
Those who want to get their hands on some typical arts and crafts from this town can choose from a variety of products, including the local espadrilles (sandals made of straw), jugs and containers also made of straw and other objects made from cork.
The local gastronomy consists of traditional dishes such as soups, cooked chestnuts, wine bread and other dishes made with authentic ingredients from the area.
The main celebrations and festivities in the town are patronal in honour of the Virgen del Moclón, and happen in the month of August; the day of San José, patron saint of the town, with an open-air dance that happens during the nights; and the Niño del Huerto, on Resurrection Sunday.
HOW TO GET THERE
Juzcar is located 115 kilometres from Málaga and 25km from Ronda. If you are coming from inland, passing through Ronda, you can take the MA-515 which goes directly to the village. If you are taking the coastal road, carry on until San Pedro and then take the road towards Ronda, linking onto the MA-518."Walking the Mountains of Ronda and Grazalema" by Guy Hunter Watts
The dramatically situated town of Ronda can make a great base for a walking holiday in the mountains of Andalucía, as can any one of the picturesque 'pueblos blancos' (white villages) that nestle among the surrounding hills. This guidebook presents 32 mainly circular walks in the Ronda region, covering the town and its environs, the Natural Parks of La Sierra de Grazalema and La Sierra de las Nieves (both UNESCO biosphere reserves), and the Genal and Guadiaro Valleys.
Clear route description is illustrated with mapping, and the route summary table and 'at a glance' information boxes make it easy to choose the right walk. There is the option to buy a printed book, an eBook, or both as one deal.
Buy a copy online of Walking the Mountains of Ronda and Grazalema