What to do and what to see in Alcaucín

The municipality of Alcaucín with an area of 46 km2, is located to the north of the region of La Axarquía in Málaga, it is part of the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park, it extends between Sierra Tejeda and Corredor of Periana to the west, between the Boquete of Zafarraya to the north and the mounts of La Axarquía to the south. It is one of the municipalities that are part of the Oil and Mountains Route.

The town of Alcaucín, with an altitude above sea level of 508 m, is located at the foot of La Maroma, roof of the province of Málaga with 2060 m of altitude, the pines that populate its slopes border the houses by the most high of the population, peering into a landscape of hills covered with olive trees, vineyards and small orchards to the bottom of the valley where is its largest hamlet, the Puente Don Manuel; this together with Los Cortijillos, Venta Baja, Venta Alta, El Cerro, El Toril, Espino, Las Majadas and Pilarejo make up the most important disseminated areas of the municipality.

It is crosses by the river of Alcaucín flowed by the Alcázar stream, the Cárdenas stream and the Zalía stream. Worthy of mention are its water sources with medicinal properties such as the Spring of the Majadas, and minerals such as the Fountain of the Espino, the Fountain of the Puente Don Manuel and the Fountain of Los Caños. Other important levels in the municipality of Alcaucín are the Boquete of Zafarraya (920 m), the Tajo of the Cave (1,300 m), the Morrón of the Cuña (1220 m), the Loma of the Nuns (850 m) and a beautiful hill, the Zalía Plateau (958 m), from any of these we can observe the Viñuela reservoir, the water heart of La Axarquía. With all this, the landscape richness of the surroundings is outstanding.

History of Alcaucín

Its name is of Arabic origin "Al Cautín" which means "The Arches".

In its municipal area have been found human remains with more than 30,000 years of history as certified excavations made in 1983 in the Cave of Boquete of Zafarraya where appeared the jaw of a Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis. Also, other archaeological remains date stable settlements in the Cave of the Guaicos and the Cerro of the Negreta of the IV and II millennium B.C. respectively, all these in the northern area of the municipality of Alcaucín. From the Phoenician era are the foundations of the Fortress of Zalía, located west of the municipality.

As a locality, Alcaucín was born under the Arab invasion, possibly as a farmhouse and in 1485 it was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs. During the 16th century it was a Moorish village. Its Andalusian origin is clear, as in other towns in the area, by the layout and layout of its streets, narrow and winding.

It is also part of its most recent history, the earthquake that devastated the northern area of La Axarquía and other towns in the west of Granada on Christmas Day from 1884, causing loss of human life, destroying houses, altering the course of groundwater and lifting roads and roads.

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What to see in Alcaucín

The municipality of Alcaucín, being located at the foot of the Sierra Tejeda, has many fountains and areas where the protagonist is water, due to its importance we highlight:

El Alcázar: Located about 4.5 km from the town center, heading north, almost in the heart of Sierra Tejeda, enabled as a camping area and equipped with all kinds of services. It is an ideal place to enjoy nature. The landscape that is dominated is of singular beauty. The fountains that are born on the slopes of the sierra form the Alcázar stream that breaks into deep ravines and slips among poplars, willows, elms, blackberries, durillos, heather, oleanders, reeds, etc. On the peaks you can spot birds of prey and mountain goats.

Baths of the Majadas: These are Arab baths with sulphurous waters and whose healing properties are excellent for relieving skin rashes, located about 5 kilometers from the town of Alcaucín.

Fountain of the Five Spouts: Located within the urban area. Water emanates uninterrupted from the springs of Sierra Tejeda.

Among its historical heritage, we recommend visiting:

Ruins of the Castle of Zalía: On the southern slope of Mesa of Zalía, in the southwest of the municipality and near the road that connects Vélez-Málaga with Alhama de Granada, we can see the ruins of this fortress, whose foundations are from the Phoenician era on which the Arabs built the castle with double ring of walls. Later and during the revolts and Moorish uprisings of the sixteenth century it became one of the prisons - bishopric where the participants in these revolts were imprisoned. Some historians relate it to the ancient Odyscia, where some of the feats of Ulysses, the king of Ithaca, took place on one of his trips along the Mediterranean coasts.

Church of the Rosario: Located in the center of the town, in the Constitution Square, next to the Town Hall. It was inaugurated in April of the year 1732. It consists of two naves demarcated by three semicircular arches. The nave of the Gospel is finished off with a circular dressing room decorated with Rococo plasterwork.

Hermitage of Jesus of the Calvary: More known like the Hermitage of the Calvary, located in the cemetery of the town of Alcaucín. Founded at the end of the 18th century, it has a square floor plan and a half-point arch over pilasters.

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What to do in Alcaucín

For lovers of speleology it is important to note that in the municipality of Alcaucín there are four caves to make a visit:

Cave of the Boquete of Zafarraya: Located to the north of the municipality and at the end of the Sierra de Alhama, this is where human remains of the Neandertal man were found, with an entrance of about 30 m in height, later there is a gallery of one 10 meters of depth by 2 meters wide.

Cave of the Moor: Located next to the village, in the Sierra Tejeda, it has a gap of about 15 m and an interior route of about 50 m.

Cave of the Carrión: Located in Sierra Tejeda very close to the Alcázar.

Cave of the Guaicos: Like the previous one, it is located in Sierra Tejeda, quite close to the Alcázar.

It is possible to visit the different important trees of Alcaucín.

Singular trees in the municipality of Alcaucín: They stand out for their size and are collected as Singular Trees of Andalusia by the Ministry of Environment of the Junta de Andalucía. They are in the municipality of Alcaucín, the algarrobos of the Cortijo Zarate to the north, one of them with a trunk that has by its base more than 11 m of perimeter and the other about 10 m and a height of the trunk of about 3 m; the maple of the Peña of the Eagle located within the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park, stands out for the perimeter of its trunk at the base, more than 4.5 m and the height, 7 m.

You can also make a hiking trail through the municipality of Alcaucín. We propose the following:

Botanical route of Alcaucín: It runs through Sierra Tejeda, more specifically through the Cortijo of the Alcázar.

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Traditional festivals in Alcaucín

Feast of San Sebastián: It is celebrated on 20th of January and is in honor of San Sebastián, patron of the town of Alcaucín.

San José Day: Celebrated in El Pilarejo (hamlet located west of Alcaucín) on 19th of March. San José, its patron, is taken out in procession, and a paella with free beer is organized for all the attendees, and all entertained with folkloric acts.

Pilgrimage of San Isidro Labrador: It takes place in El Alcázar in mid-May.

Feast of the Puente Don Manuel: It is celebrated the last weekend of July in honor of the Virgin of the Inmaculada Concepción. A mass with rociero choir and procession takes place. A paella for the attendees and night party is organized.

Flamenco Festival: On 8th of August, with artistic category.

Alcaucín big fair: The second week of August.

Feast of the Venta Baja: Held in mid-August.

Festivities of the Virgin of the Rosario: Held on October 7 in Alcaucín. Also known as the Chica Fair.

Chestnut Festival: It takes place on 1st of November and consists of a tasting of chestnuts and roasted sweet potatoes, as well as anise and shortbread.

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Gastronomy of Alcaucín

Traditional dishes of Alcaucín are the tomato soup, the Easter stew, the cod omelets with honey, the fritters, the "reaper pot", the pumpkin with sardines, the goat with the garlic, the goat with the oven, the loin from pork to garlic, the porridge with flour, garlic and stumbles, the avocado salad, the crumbs, the mushroom fritta. In confectionery they emphasize the oil cakes and the roscos of wine. All this, as appropriate, accompanied by muscatel wine from its vineyards, olive oil from its Cooperativa Olivarera San Sebastián and home-made Roman bread.

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