Surface Area: 34 square kilometres
What the natives are called: Alfarnateños. Nickname: Palancos
Outstanding Sights: Santa Ana church, Town Hall, Virgen de Monsalud hermitage, Mousterian archaeological sites, Antigua Venta de Alfarnate, typical streets
Geographical Location: in the northwest part of the La Axarquía region, 50 kilometres from the city of Málaga, at 925 metres above sea level. Average annual rainfall is 1,000 litres per square metre and the average temperature is 12.6º C.
Alfarnate is yet another example of the enormous diversity of the province of Málaga, since despite its considerable height above sea level (925 metres) the village is located in an area that, judging from the surrounding topography, might be considered a plain. The land near the village is occupied by olive and cherry trees and fields of chickpeas, behind which jut up rocky peaks that still have small groves of the evergreen oaks that in earlier times covered the entire region. Puerto de los Alhazores, at an altitude of 1,040 metres, and Puerto del Sol (1,100 metres) are the natural passes that allow travel between this area and the country around it.
The urban layout of this locality is simple, and its most noticeable feature is that it is divided by the Palancar stream, over which three bridges have been built. Since there is no very uneven terrain, contrary to the case of nearly all villages in La Axarquía, the visitor will not have to avoid slopes and steps when touring the village, whose most remarkable street is named Comandante Frías and has several interesting buildings from the sixteenth century.
Every indication is that the village came into being with the caravan traffic between the coast and the interior through Puerto de los Alhazores, which occurred mainly during the Nasrid period. Its name, al-Farnat, meaning flour mill, shows its Arabic origin. It was nevertheless, with the resettlement carried out by the Christians that it was recognised as a "villa" (royal burgh) and received the name of Puebla de los Alfarnates, a name that also included the municipality of Alfarnatejo from the early sixteenth century until the eighteenth, when the municipalities were separated.
It does not seem that including two municipal areas with a certain amount of autonomy under a single name pleased either village, and their residents showed signs of enmity until just a few years ago. Nevertheless, the geographic proximity of the two villages has caused them to have some events in common, like, for instance, becoming a refuge of bandits fleeing from the "migueletes" (Civil Guard) during the nineteenth century.
The traveller has two main routes from the Costa del Sol to Alfarnate. One is the Mediterranean expressway (A-7; former N-340) to the Vélez-Málaga exit, at which point he should take the A-335 to El Cruce, and there the A-6118 towards Periana, and from here he will arrive at Alfarnate via the MA-156.
The other route, from the city of Málaga, is the N-331. Eight kilometres past Casabermeja is the sign for the turn towards Colmenar by the A-356. Less than 10 kilometres farther along it connects with the A-6118, which in turn connects with the A-6100 and the MA-155, which finally leads to Alfarnate.
Full graphical path: http://bit.ly/o7k3HV
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Costa del Sol Tourist Board - Plaza de la Marina, nº4 - 29015 Málaga - Tel: +34952126272 - Fax: +34952225207 - email@example.com