Surface Area: 72.6 square kilometres
What the natives are called: Alhaurinos
Outstanding Sights: Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación church, chapels of Santa Vera Cruz and San Sebastián, Casa Consistorial, El Cobertizo arch, Fuente Lucena (Lucena Fountain), Roman ruins of Fuente del Sol, Arabic ruins of the Fahala, ruins of the Ubrique watch tower, La Paca mill
Geographical Location: in the region of the River Guadalhorce valley, adjoining the Western Costa del Sol and Málaga regions. The centre of the village sits 239 metres above sea level and is 27 kilometres from the provincial capital. The average annual rainfall is 636 litres per square metre and the annual average temperature is 17 º C.
The first view the approaching traveller has of this village is of a succession of market gardens, as fertile as they are well tended, that descend in terraced steps into the valley where they mingle with extensive citrus plantations (oranges and lemons), olive groves, orchards and wheat fields that form a leafy and unbroken green carpet through which meanders the River Fahala.
The urban part of the municipality, which sits on the north slope of the Mijas mountain range, has the uneven surface to be expected in an area of such steep terrain. Thus, some of its streets have picturesque crooks and turns to make climbing them a bit easier.
It is known that this part of the province of Málaga has been inhabited by man at least since the Neolithic age -proven by some stone axes found at Huertas Altas- and that in succession the Iberians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans passed through here. It was the Romans who left the most significant traces.
The arches that remain from an aqueduct near Fuente Lucena, or Fuente de los Doce Caños, as it is also known, on the road to Coín are from the Roman era, as are several water tanks. An alabaster statue and several coins of Dioclecianus have been found in this same place, while Tuscan column capitals have been discovered at the El Tesoro farming area.
It was under Arabic domination, though, that the village took shape on its modern location and achieved greater economic power based on well-planned use of the water for irrigation. As is the case with so many other villages in Andalusia the name of this one, Alhaurín, also comes from the Arabic. Some scholars translate its root, Al-haur, as "valley". During the Muslim period a fortress was built at this place on the spot where the Encarnación church now stands, and there were several others scattered about its municipal territory. The El Cobertizo Arch was also built during this period.
After the conquest by Christian troops in 1487 –which was quite bloody, according to some reports-the customary division of the lands was carried out among the new Christian settlers. Their descendants, not wanting to be dependent on anyone else, purchased its jurisdiction in 1634. The coat of arms of the villa (royal burgh) includes the Toisón de Oro (Order of the Golden Fleece), granted by Charles V.
From the old highway N-340 get onto the A-366 in the direction of Coín. It will take you straight to Alhaurín el Grande. From the city of Málaga, take the Cártama road (A-357), and when you get there take the MA-425, which leads to Alhaurín el Grande. Another option from the Western Costa del Sol is to get off the Mediterranean Expressway and, between Benalmádena and Fuengirola, get onto the A-368 in the direction of Mijas. It connects afterwards with the A-366. This is a winding mountain road but is well paved and offers extraordinary scenic views both of the coast and, after crossing the Mijas mountain range, of the Guadalhorce valley.
Full graphical path: http://bit.ly/nc8xhT
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Costa del Sol Tourist Board - Plaza de la Marina, nº4 - 29015 Málaga - Tel: +34952126272 - Fax: +34952225207 - email@example.com