What to do and what to see in Canillas de Aceituno

The municipality of Canillas de Aceituno is located northeast of the province of Málaga and north of the region of La Axarquía, the municipality extends over the southern slope of Sierra Tejeda with an area of 42 km2. Canillas de Aceituno has located at an altitude of 645 m, from where you can see a charming landscape, but its land rises on the northern part to the highest peak of La Maroma (2,060 m), roof of the province of Málaga and descend to levels that do not exceed 150 meters on its southwest slope. Other heights within the municipality are the hills of La Torrecilla (1,552 m) to the east and on the divide with Alcaucín, La Rábita (1,300 m) located north of the town.

The Bermuza River, the Almanchares River and the Rubite River go over its lands, during which flour mills were demolished today. The most powerful of the three is the Bermuza River that starts near the La Fájara Fountain and in its route through the northern part of the municipality, it collects the waters from other sources such as the Nicar Fountain or the Pinar Fountain until it empties into the Alcaucín River. The Almanchares River is supplied by the La Gazuela Fountain and La Yedra Fountain, and, cutting the mountain between the La Rábita and Jalana hills, it crosses the municipality diagonally, forming deep valleys of great beauty such as the Las Raijes Valley next to the road that connects Canillas de Aceituno with Sedella where we can make a stop on the road and in the facilities equipped to enjoy the shade of the trees and fresh water from the spring.

Part of the municipality of Canillas de Aceituno is protected area of the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park, where we can observe expectantly the forests of pine and holm oaks and, at higher altitude, the yew, maple and hawthorn.

In its rugged relief the vine, the olive and fruit trees such as the orange tree, the fig tree or the medlar tree among others are cultivated.

The streets of the village are narrow and winding low houses whitewashed and decorated walls of flower pots of different colors.

Other towns in the municipality are: Río Bermuza, Los Capitos, Pasada de Granadillo, Portugalejo, Rubite and Los Gómez, although there are many working houses accompanied by paseros.

It is one of the five municipalities that make up the Mudéjar Route.

History of Canillas de Aceituno

We know that Canillas de Aceituno was populated since the Roman colonization, when gold was extracted from La Rábita mines.

Its primitive name was "Caniles" which comes from the Arabic and means mines or galleries, referring to the mines of La Rábita, later receiving the nickname of "acceitun" which means oil, referring to its lands very populated with olive groves.

During the Arab occupation and the first decades after the conquest by the Christians, the town enjoyed a great economic splendor, flour mills, oil mills, apiaries and lime-kilns.

The participation of the Moors of Canillas de Aceituno in the insurrection of 1569 was highlighted, helped by a Moorish of Alpujarran origin called Al Muecín who came to Canillas de Aceituno in search of his wife, slave of a Christian.

At that time, it had a castle located at the entrance to the town that dominated the access roads. After these revolts, Canillas de Aceituno was practically destroyed, the castle, several flour mills and several ovens and buildings were burned, many of its inhabitants were deported and their lands confiscated by order of Felipe II. The town regained its vitality after the repopulation of old Christians from Lucena, Martos, Cabra and Antequera.

The only remaining Arab remains are a cistern next to Huertezuelo Fountain and a tower, which is known by the name of Reina Mora, in the center of town.

In its most recent history, we must highlight the earthquake of December 25, 1884 where several neighbors died and many of the buildings were destroyed or damaged.

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What to see in Canillas de Aceituno

The location of the town offers a landscape view of great beauty. The natural balcony to which their houses overlook allows us to see an important part of La Axarquía from its highest part: from the Boquete de Zafarraya to the north, Periana, Los Romanes, the Viñuela Swamp, Comares, Cútar, Benamocarra, etc. until you reach the sea.

Within the town we can visit different elements of the cultural heritage of Canillas de Aceituno.

Church of Our Lady of the Rosario and Saint León Magno: Located in the highest part of the town, it was built in the sixteenth century on the site of an old mosque, Gothic-Mudejar style. He suffered different reforms later. It stands on the floor of three naves bounded by cruciform pillars and pointed arches, with an outside tower located at the head, three bodies, the first two squares and the third octagonal. Between his reforms they emphasize the two baroque chapels carried out in 18th century. Inside, in the nave of the Gospel there are also three Baroque sculptures, Saint Antón and Saint Antonio from the end of the 17th century and Saint Francisco Javier, from the beginning of the 18th century. Surrounding the church is the Castle Square or Castle Street that keeps the remains of what was once a great fortress.

Reina Mora House: With a Mudejar style tower in which its semicircular arches stand out and which was Diezmo House. It is located in the Constitution Square where the Town Hall is also housed.

Signed House: It was built in the sixteenth century, decorated with Moorish motifs and horseshoe arches. It has a tower-viewpoint erected in the seventeenth century.

Medieval Cistern: Located on Huertezuelo Street, dates from the sixteenth century. We can find other cisterns in Canillas de Aceituno because it is a population with great abundance of water, these are the El Pilar Grande Cistern and El Chico Cistern.

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What to do in Canillas de Aceituno

If we want to be in contact with nature and go hiking, caving or take a ride with mountain bike, we can visit some of the caves that are in Canillas de Aceituno.

La Fájara Cave: With galleries close to the kilometer and a half and several rooms, the La Fájara Fountain is born in it.

Other caves in the area are Charcones Cave, El Agujero Cave and El Peñón Grande Cave.

We can also enjoy an ascent to La Rábita or La Maroma from which, if the day is clear, impressive views are obtained, since you can see much of the provinces of Málaga and Granada.

A few kilometers from Canillas de Aceituno and next to the road that joins with Sedella, is the "La Rahige" Natural Place, which is a place enabled for camping.

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Traditional festivals in Canillas de Aceituno

In Canillas de Aceituno we find an extensive list of celebrations and parties throughout the year with which to liven up our visit.

Saint Antón Day: Celebrated on January 13.

Carnivals: They are celebrated in February.

Day of the blood sausage: It takes place the last Sunday of April and is also known as the Feast of the Virgin of the Head. It is a day in which tastings take place with an environment full of folklore.

Pilgrimage of Saint Isidro: It is the closest weekend to May 15.

Night of Saint Juan: The night of June 23 to 24 is celebrated.

Fair of Our Lady of the Head: The second week of August.

The Candelarias: They take place on September 7 and 8.

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosario: Celebrated on October 7.

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Gastronomy and crafts of Canillas de Aceituno

Among the typical dishes of Canillas de Aceituno are fennel stew, migas, goat with wine, tomato soup, cod omelettes, porridge with must, pot, gazpacho with muscatel grape, ajoblanco and Roman bread. Inside the pastry we find the orange candy, the "silly" donuts, the wine roscos and the oil cakes. The wine, of own production, can be bought in some bars of the town.

Regarding crafts, we find works carved in marble and works in esparto, such as mats, capes or serons.

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