Orgiva though not very pretty is the nearest big town to the cortijos, approximately a 35 minute drive away. During the summer months it becomes unbearably hot compared to the cortijos so be warned! If you are spending a day on the beach you will drive through it. Avoid the place during July and August if you can. The temperature reaches 40C and above. Ideally Orgiva is a place to visit in winter and spring rather than summer.
Famous as an alternative destination mostly for hippies, it attracts a wide range of tourists, travellers and visitors and in recent years has been made more well known especially in the UK by writer Chris Stewartand his book Driving over lemons about his experience of buying a cortijo near Orgiva many years ago. There is a weekly market every Thursday morning and a wide range of bars and restaurants.
Orgiva, and the neighbouring town of Lanjaron, offer different events, ferias, carnivals, fiestas, concerts, exhibitions, arts and crafts throughout the year.
The event of longest duration in Orgiva is the Feria, a five day fair around the last weekend in September. Originally a travelling animal fair, the feria still features a horse sale where you can inspect the livestock and watch the gypsy horse-traders bargaining and dealing. Afterwards you may partake of the free giant paella or another day watch the competition to make migas, a type of cous-cous, on open fires under the eucalyptus trees with plenty of accompanying beer and jollification. In the evenings there are dances, bands, concerts and a funfair, with everyone taking the air and dressed in their best.
The most important religious fiesta is El Dia del Senor, the Day of the Lord, which is a moveable feast, always the Friday two weeks before Good Friday.
A similar fiesta, on a rather smaller scale, is San Sebastian the patron saint of Orgiva on January 20th. Normally housed in the ancient Hermitage, a pretty octagonal chapel just across a field from the house, the Saint is paraded round the town with excellent fireworks.
At mid-summer, on the day of John the Baptist, Lanjaron holds a festival which involves a considerable amount of drinking and eating. Lanjaron also has a Spa hotel, a nice park and of course famous all over Spain for its bottled drinking water also known with the same name.