The municipality of Cañete la Real, with 165 km2, extends at the end of the Antequera region by its western end, already bordering the “serrana” region of Ronda, marking the last undulations of the extensive and fertile fields of olive and cereals, and the first foothills of what will be the region of the Serranía de Ronda, with mountains covered with holm oak groves and pine forests on the limestone rocks, offering a landscape of great beauty. This beautiful landscape is inhabited by species such as the griffon vulture, the eagle mouse, the kestrel, the eagle owl, the fox and the mountain goat, among others.
The village of Cañete la Real rises 740 m above sea level, on the mountain range that bears his name, between Hill of the Padrastro (998 m) and Hill of the Castle (840 m) and 100 km from Málaga capital. From these hills near the town you get a vision of a beautiful landscape. The highest level of the municipality is the Mojón Gordo (1,022 m).
Its lands are crossed by the Guadalteba River and the Corbones River.
The first documentation we have dates from the time of the Iberians, from which remains of a settlement have been found on the Hill of the Horca near the town, which the Phoenicians later occupied and named Sabora, due to the abundance of cereals (ebura means cereal).
During the Roman domination, the population moves from here to its current location with the name Flavia Sabora in honor of the emperor Tito Flavio Vespasiano, who granted it in the first century A.D. the title of municipality. Coins were minted from it that have been discovered in Ronda and Cañete la Real.
Subsequently, the Visigothic occupation encouraged commercial and agricultural activity, and gave the town the dignity of Real.
The Arabs called it Hins Canit, referring to the pipes that can still be found in different parts of the town. Throughout the 14th century the municipality was in Arab and Christian hands on several occasions in an alternative way and was definitively incorporated into the Crown of Castile in 1482 with the compound name of Arabic and Visigoth origin.
It is important to mention the magnificent conservation of its municipal archive where files and documents are kept since 1530.
It is hard to get bored, doing rural tourism in Cañete la Real. We can delve into its history, since Cañete la Real has a very important historical legacy, including several archaeological sites from the medieval period and half a dozen buildings built between the 9th and 18th centuries. We give a brief review to each of them:
Church of Saint Francisco: Built in the mid-seventeenth century, it is a single nave with a Latin cross plan and covered with a half-barrel vault with fajones and lunettes. The cruise is covered with a hemispherical dome resting on scallops with decoration, among which are the shields of the city. Next to the gospel stands a square chapel, covered with a hemispherical vault divided by broad ribs and decorated with paintings of the Rococo style. Externally, the facade is framed by buttresses, topped by a belfry and has a lintel door crowned by a triangular pediment, topped by pyramids at the ends and with an opening in the center, under a horseshoe arch, which houses a cross. It was part of a Franciscan convent founded in 1624.
Convent of Saint Sacramento: It was founded in 1645 by a son of the city and inhabited by the congregation of Las Carmelitas. It consists of three inner courtyards of great beauty, around which rise the various units occupied by the Carmelite sisters. The church has a single nave, covered by a half-barrel vault with fajones on pilasters and decorated lunettes. Externally, on the facade stand out some buttresses of cylindrical shape and the cover, composed of Tuscan pilasters that border the entrance under the lintel and split pediment in whose center the shield of the congregation is shown.
Castle of Hins Canit: It was built in the 9th century under Arab rule. During this period, it was one of the strongholds that rose up in arms against the Caliphate of Córdoba, headed by Umar Ibn Hafsum. It happened to Christian hands for the first time in 1330 under the reign of Alfonso XI and later it returned to be Arab. For a long time it was the frontier of the Nasrid Kingdom with a high strategic value. It was conquered definitively by the Christian troops in 1482. It lost the value it enjoyed until then and fell into a progressive abandonment. It consists of three precincts, consisting of warehouses and main entrance, another consisting of the homes of the garrison and a third formed by the dependencies of the lord, these are walled and inside a tower rises.
Nasrid Bridge of Ortegícar: It served as access to the farmhouse that protected the Ortegícar Tower and rises over the Guadalteba River. It is a one-eye bridge, slightly pointed, built in masonry and mortar with brick, on which runs a roadway of pebbles.
Church of Saint Sebastián: It was initially built in the 15th century and was rebuilt in the 18th century. It has three naves separated by Tuscan columns under semicircular arches. They are covered, the central nave with a half-barrel vault and the lateral ones with groin vaults. The cruise is covered by a half-orange dome. Externally, they emphasize the main facade with stone cover, formed by Tuscan columns, broken entablature and divided triangular pediment, in the upper part a niche with the image of Saint Sebastián is installed and a little above the papal shield and the brick tower ; the lateral facades with Tuscan pilasters, Doric style architrave and rolled pediment; and the brick tower topped by a glazed ceramic capital.
Farmhouse Ortegícar Tower: Constitutes a unique example of the military architecture of the Middle Ages in the province of Málaga. It is a square construction, integrated in a walled complex, located on a hill, next to the Guadalteba River. It fulfilled a function of defensive refuge of the population that lived in the farmhouse, playing a relevant role during centuries XIII and XIV in the battles waged in the area of Cañete la Real between the Castilian and Nasrid troops.
Cañete la Real is a meeting place for lovers of paragliding, its nearby hills serve as a launching platform for practitioners of this sport. It has one of the most important speleology clubs in the province of Málaga. Cycle tourism can be done through the numerous cattle roads that cross the municipality or hiking through trails of great ecological value, among which the GR-7 stands out, especially in spring to delight us with the beauty of orchids and pionies, among others that sow its fields. Climb the vertical walls on which the hills near Cañete la Real rise, or practice any other adventure sport. Other activities to perform are:
Birdwatching: In Cañete la Real we find a unique place for the sighting of poultry species, among which the griffon vulture stands out with a community of several hundred and that we can observe in the nearby hills such as Hill of the Padrastro and Hill of the Padrastrillo, see how they make their nests or how they are related in the great existing colony.
Interpretation Center "Los Vigías del Territorio": Visiting this center gives us the opportunity to visit the Castle of Hins Canit. From the first to the second enclosure you can see the remains of houses and the octagonal cistern, later on, you can go up to the big tower where we can find pieces of the history of Cañete la Real and the fortresses of the Guadalteba region. This tower, divided into three floors, houses on the first floor vestiges of the origins of Cañete la Real and the Roman city of Sabora, on the second floor the value of the Castle of Hins Canit is valued, and on the third floor you will find information about the fortresses of the Guadalteba region and the war that is carried out through an exhibition of medieval weapons and war machines.
Recreation area "Las Espeñas": It is located in the urban area but is surrounded by nature. It has several trails where you can enjoy the beautiful views and a relaxing walk. It also has a playground for the little ones, restaurant, auditorium and summer cinema.
Among the different hiking routes we find the following:
Route from Cañete la Real to Cuevas del Becerro: Medium difficulty and 11.5 km of route.
Corbones River Route: Medium difficulty and 12.3 km of route.
Route from Cañete la Real to Almargen: Medium difficulty and 20 km of route.
Route from Cañete la Real to Ardales: Medium difficulty and 20.7 km of route.
For all this, choosing this destination and staying in any of the country houses in Cañete la Real is a good bet for lovers of nature, active tourism and adventure tourism.
In Cañete la Real we find different festivities to enjoy together with the visit to the town.
Pilgrimage: The third weekend of May is celebrated. In it, the neighbors of Cañete la Real accompany the saint in carts and wagons at a picnic.
Royal Fair: It takes place the second weekend of August.
Day of the Patron: On the third Sunday of September, the most popular and most important celebration is celebrated in the town of Cañete la Real, dedicated to the Virgin of Cañosanto. The festivities last for three days, with ludic and festive performances, free tastings and sports championships. The two most moving acts of the celebration are, on Saturday night in which most of the neighbors sing La Salve after making the floral offering to the Virgin and on Sunday when they take it out in procession walking all the streets of Cañete la Real.
Among the typical dishes of Cañete la Real include stewed meat with onions, vegetable stuffing, tagarninas stew, pot, roasted gazpacho, asparagus spread, cold gazpacho, porra and products derived from the slaughter of the pork. In the pastry section, piononos, pestiños and muffins are typical.