What to do and what to see in Alfarnate

The municipality of Alfarnate, with an area of 34 km2, is located northeast of the province of Málaga and north of the region of La Axarquía, is one of the seven towns that are part of the Oil and Mounts Route.

Its municipal area is surrounded by mountains, among which we find the Sierra de Camarolos to the southeast, the Sierra del Jobo to the west and northwest where the Chamizo peak (1,640 m), the Sierra de Enmedio to the south with the Vilo peak (1,415 m) and the Gallo peak (1,361 m) and the Sierra de Alhama that runs through the municipality from north to southeast where the Tajo de las Palomas (1,300 m) is located, all of them belonging to the Cordillera Subbética. There are two ports that allow access to Alfarnate, one is the Puerto de los Alazores (1,040 m) to the north and the other the Puerto del Sol (1,100 m) to the southeast. The plain formed by its farmland contrasts with the mountainous landscape that surrounds it, where the rocky areas dotted with holm oaks and chaparros, accompanied by Mediterranean scrubland, predominate.

The Morales stream and the Palancar stream cross Alfarnate, to join by the south zone and form the Sábar river.

The town of Alfarnate has an altitude above sea level of 925 m, the highest in La Axarquía, located in the center of the small depression that bears his name, at the foot of the Chamizo peak and with the absence of unevenness, as well the layout of its streets is smooth and its whitewashed houses do not exceed more than two heights. The Palancar stream divides the urban area into two parts that are joined by three bridges.

History of Alfarnate

Its name comes from the Arabic "Al Farnat" which means flour mill, and, although prehistoric archaeological remains have been found in various places of the municipality, it is from the 10th century that we have the first written references as farmhouses of great flour production, there his name. In 1487 it was the crossing point for the Christian troops from Villanueva del Trabuco who participated in the conquest of Vélez-Málaga. And, although the town was configured according to the movement of caravans between the coast and the interior, it was with the repopulation made by the Christians after the reconquest, when the town consolidates  and receives the name of Puebla de los Alfarnates, a name that It also included the municipality of Alfarnatejo located 4 km. In the eighteenth century the two municipalities are separated.

Their lands have been a refuge for bandits during the 19th century, such as Luís Candelas or José María "El Tempranillo" and spectators of assaults, since they were a natural pass and the royal road from Málaga to Granada.

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What to see in Alfarnate

Among the cultural heritage of Alfarnate, we find different attractions to enjoy.

Town Hall: Architectural work of the late sixteenth century. It stands on a noble floor that rests on supports with arches on the ground floor. The room on the left has completely hollow subsoil.

Church of Saint Ana: It was built in the sixteenth century. It stands on a plant with three naves separated by quadrangular pillars on which half-point arches sleep. On the outside, the Mudejar tower with three bodies stands out.

Hermitage of the Virgin of Monsalud: Work of the 16th century. It was built with arcades that rest on pilasters joined by arches.

Alfarnate inn: Located 2 km from the town, its construction dates back to 1690. It was a refuge and passage for bandits, as well as forced transit between the interior and the coast where the change of horses was made. Among its tenants stand out: King Alfonso XIII, José María "El Tempranillo" and Luis Candelas. Actually it works as "House of Culture".

Archaeological remains: Mousterian sites on the terraces of the Palancar stream and Morales stream and a Neolithic workshop in the Puerto de los Alazores. On the other hand, in a place known as "El Tesorillo" late Roman coins and plaques attributed to early Christian cultures have been found. Also in the Cerro de Castillejo 3 km from the town there are remains of walls and Arabic pottery.

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What to do in Alfarnate

The environment of Alfarnate invites you to contact nature. We propose three short-haul routes and spectacular panoramas:

Lagar Las Morillas Route: It is a circular route with beginning and end in the town of Alfarnate and a route of 6 km. Among its most interesting attractions, we can highlight the excellent panoramic views to the Sierra de San Jorge, the Chamizo peak, the Sierra de Enmedio and all the surroundings. The Alfarnate inn, faithful witness of the legend of Banditry in Andalusia. A small Mediterranean forest known as Las Morillas, in excellent condition and with a variety of trees and shrubs. It is advisable to be provided with binoculars and a camera.

The Pilas Route: It is also a circular route with beginning and end in the town of Alfarnate and a route of 13 km. The passage through the piles, drinking troughs for cattle, gives his name. The excellent panoramic views to the Tajo de las Palomera, Chamizo peak and Sierra de Enmedio stand out. It is advisable to be provided with binoculars and a camera.

Vilo Route: It is a route with beginning and end in the town of Alfarnate and a round trip of 12 km. The excellent panoramic views to Alfarnate, the Sierra de San Jorge, the Chamizo peak, the Sierra de Enmedio, the Tajo del Fraile and the Tajo de Doña Ana and all the surroundings stand out. And, above all, the 360-degree panoramic view from the top of Vilo Peak, from where we can see Sierra Nevada, La Maroma, swamp of Viñuela and, in the background, the Mediterranean, as well as several villages of La Axarquía. It is worth mentioning the abundance of scrub and a beautiful pine forest with some specimens of Spanish firs. It is advisable to be provided with binoculars and a camera.

Apart from contact with nature, Alfarnate has other instruments with which to liven up our visit, as it is through the Museum of Ancient Toys.

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Traditional festivals in Alfarnate

In Alfarnate we find a calendar marked by different parties throughout the year.

The Candelaria festivities: It is celebrated on February 2. In this celebration the inhabitants of Alfarnate make straw dolls that are burned in bonfires with gorse.

Pilgrimage of Saint Marcos: It takes place on April 25. On this day the neighbors of Alfarnate make a meal in the countryside, in the area of Venta Seca.

Day of the Cross: Celebrated on May 3.

Pilgrimage of Saint Isidro: May 15. After the mass in the Hermitage of the Saint Christ, the town of Alfarnate returns to leave a pilgrimage in honor of Saint Isidro.

Patron festivity of Saint Antón: Celebrated on June 13. A day of celebration in honor of Saint Antón in which fireworks are thrown.

Saint Juan festivity: It takes place on June 24. This day there is a tradition that transcends an ancient rite between the Christian religion and paganism.

Celebrations of the Virgin of Monsalud: Of the 12 to the 15 of September. On these dates is celebrated "The Embassies" known as the festival of Moors and Christians. On this day there is a performance in which the Christians fought to recover the image of the Virgin stolen by the Moors.

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Gastronomy of Alfarnate

In Alfarnate we find different dishes with which to delight our palate and among which we highlight the cachorreñas soups, the ajoblanco, the cold porra, the porridge, the mushroom morrete, the migas, the alfarnate-style chicken and the fried choto. In confectionery stand out the roscos carreros, the hornazos, the roscos de Saint Marcos and the oil cakes. As a typical drink they have the "risolí", composed of brandy and coffee.

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