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Alfarnate
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Town history
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  • Alfarnate is a town in the mountains of the Axarquía region founded in the Al-Ándalus era. The rocky surrounding mountains contrast with the olive and cherry tree farms in the valley below, creating a uniquely beautiful countryside.

    The Arabic architecture of the town and the popular Fiesta de Moros y Cristianos (Festival of Moors and Christians) that is celebrated every September remember the town's past, which conserves traditions such as its forges and metal workshops.

    MUST SEE SIGHTS IN ALFARNATE

    MONUMENTS

    Did you know that Alfarnate has an Old Toy Museum? Its collection comprises of more than a hundred objects, robots, dolls and games from the year 1880 and beyond. It"s a unique place that you can"t miss out on visiting.

    The Santa Ana parish church is the most famous monument in Alfarnate. It is composed of three naves divided by pillars that hold up various pointed arches. From the exterior there is a Mudejar style tower made up of three bodies, it was erected in the 16th century.

    Towards the end of the same century, was Alfarnate"s Casa Consistorial. This is a two-storey building with pointed arches. An interesting fact is that the building is situated in the square in which bullfighting used to be celebrated.

    In the highest part of the town is the Ermita de la Virgen de Monsalud (a chapel), which also dates back to the 16th century. The sanctuary possesses porticos which sit upon pilasters linked by pointed arches.

    This town in the Axarquía region boasts an inn that has been up and running since the 17th century. It is the Venta de Alfarnate, located two kilometres from the town. Its restaurant has fed everyone from the King Alfonso XIII to bandits like José María "El Tempranillo" and Luis Candelas, as well as romance writers and artists from all over Europe. These days the restaurant is an essential stop for foodies.

  • Alfarnate is in the northeastern part of Axarquía 50 kilometres from Málaga. You can either go on the Mediterranean motorway (A-7) or the A-45. If you take the A-7, you have to take the diversion to Vélez-Málaga and continue onto El Cruce via the A-335 road. From there, take the A-7204 towards Periana and stay on the MA-4103 to Alfarnate.

    You can also take the A-45. If you choose this route, once you pass Casabermeja, you must take the diversion towards Colmenar via the A-356 that connect with the A-7204 nine kilometres later. From this intersection, it links with the A-4152 and then with the MA-4101 that ends in Alfarnate.

  • NATURAL RESOURCES

    The San Cristo hill is the spot from which you can get the best views of Alfarnate and the surrounding valley and mountains. From the highest point of this natural viewpoint, you can see an alter dedicated to Cristo de Medinaceli. The area is equipped with tables and benches which you can sit at and admire the local flora.

    In addition, the town has three short hiking trails to discover the charms of the surrounding countryside. These trails can be undertaken on foot, by horse, and in some cases, with a mountain bike.

    Alfarnate is one of the towns that form part of the Ruta del Aceite y los Montes (The Oil and Mountains Trail), a group which includes six other municipalities in the Axarquía region. This route allows you to see the customs and traditions of the lands that produce this high quality product first hand.

    POPULAR EVENTS

    An ideal date to visit Alfarnate is September, the month in which the Fiestas en Honor a la Virgen de Monsalud is celebrated. The festival"s four day duration fills every corner of the town with a wide variety of activities from slingshot competitions to the performances of verdiales and fandangos groups. Included in this period is the Fiesta de Moros y Cristianos, known as La Embajada. This festival commemorates the conquest of the town by Christian troops.

    To celebrate the festividad de San Marcos on the 25th April there is a Romería (pilgrimage) to Venta Seca. An abundance of food can be found in this area, one such food which you can"t miss out on is the horanzos con choto (a bread based dish). After lunch, the procession of San Marcos and the Virgen de Monsalud arrives.

    Another special longstanding tradition in Alfarnate is the celebration of the Candelaria. In various places in the town bonfires are set whilst youngsters roam the streets with torches made of dried gorse.

    Also on the calendar of events for this Axarquía region town, is the Romería de San Isidro (15th May), the Noche de San Juan (24th June), and the Fiesta de la Cerveza (a beer festival) which takes place the third week of June.

    GASTRONOMY

    Olive oil produced in the area is the special ingredient in the local cuisine. Some typical dishes include: parpuchas (A recipe using asparagus), cachorreñas (a soup with orange, cod, crusty bread, pepper and other ingredients), cazuela viuda and zoque (bread, and slices of lemon covered with spices, garlic, oil and vinegar). The Venta de Alfarnate is highly recommended to visit. It"s menu includes a wide range of dishes such as migas (fried bread, meats and vegetables as well as other ingredients), gachas, choto frito and the famous huevos a lo bestia (fried eggs with cold cuts and fried bread crumbs).

    Alfarnate also boasts some delicious pastries such as roscos carreros, hornazos (a type of tasty bread) and tortas de aceite (oil cake), as well as resoli, a drink with a base of aguardiente (a spirit) and fermented coffee.

  • History

    Alfarnate was founded in the age of Muslim rule. Each year, the locals commemorate Alfarnate"s origins with the Moors and Christians festival, which in this inland village in La Axarquía is known as "The Embassies". Evidence indicates that the village grew up around the growing activity of caravans travelling between the coast and inland, which increased exponentially during the Nazari period. Hence its name, al-Farnat, which in Arabic means flour mill. However, it was during the period of Christian repopulation that the village became consolidated and was named Puebla de los Alfarnates. This name was also used to refer to the locality of Alfarnatejo from the early 16th Century until the 18th Century, when the two municipalities separated.

    During the 19th Century, Alfarnate was a haven for bandits who were fleeting from "Los migueletes" or agents of the Civil Guard, and many stories and legends surrounding these romantic bandits have been passed down over the years. The most famous of all those who passed through this village was José María "El Tempranillo".

    According to popular tradition, the famous outlaw arrived on one occasion at the Venta de Alfarnate inn and asked a group of locals if they could ease his hunger by eating from the same pot of stew they were sharing. The diners refused as they had no spoon to lend the bandit. "El Tempranillo", however, took out a chunk of stale bread from his knapsack and scooped out the inside to make a spoon. Having overcome this obstacle, he set about eating, and after lunch was over he exclaimed: "Now we have finished the stew from the pot, let us eat our spoon", and he forced the men to take a bite out of their wooden spoons.

    The Venta de Alfarnate was also the place where another famous bandit known as "El Rojo" was arrested. He was one of the seven children of Écija and a cohort of "Tragabuches", the bull-fighter bandit from Ronda. Such events took place at a time when banditry was at its height, and characters such as Luis "Candelas" helped to consolidate the romantic image of these outlaws. According to legend, "Candelas" also spent the night at the Venta de Alfarnate, before being arrested in Malaga for robbing a Royal mail carrier on its way to Madrid prison.

  • No traditional dish from Alfarnate households lacks the olive oil made in these parts. Some recipes in its culinary canon are the parpuchas (salt cod fritters), cachorreñas, the cazuela viuda, zoque (a salmorejo variant with red vegetables as its main ingredients) and the hornazo de choto.

    Other famous dishes include the migas, gachas and the choto frito or the huevos a la bestia. For dessert there are roscos carreros (doughnuts) and olive oil tortas, along with resolí, a drink made with schnapps and fermented coffee.


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Characteristics

  • Inhabitants (1,001-2,500)
  • Inland area

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