Istán is a quaint town nestled in the Sierra de las Nieves, Málaga, Andalusia. Just a 25-minute drive from Marbella and the Mediterranean, this village retains its Moorish heritage, a contrast to the coastal settlements that were disbanded post-reconquest due to fears of collusion with North Africa. Known historically as ‘panochos’ after the influx of Murcian settlers, Istán’s inhabitants now live in a place where cars give way to the simplicity of walking.
The village offers a handful of fine à la carte restaurants like Troyano and El Baron, alongside bars serving a rich selection of tapas. Istán is also famous for its abundant natural water sources, including fountains of pure mountain water and the nearby Presa de la Concepción reservoir, a crucial source of water for coastal communities.
While much of the ancient architecture is gone, a remnant Moorish tower and the timeless ambiance of the village remain. Though some foreigners have made Istán their home, it’s an idyllic spot for anyone seeking a slice of traditional Spanish life away from the bustle of the coast.