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Canillas de Albaida
What to see
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Town history
  • Situated at the foot of the Sierras de Tejada y Almijara, in a valley formed by the Cajula and Turvilla rivers, is Canillas de Albaida, a village dating back to the 13th century. Hence its Moorish features.

    The white village houses are its hallmark, so much so that it is even reflected in its name: "Albaida", which means "the white one" in Arabic. Very close to the village is the Fábrica de la Luz (the light factory), one of the most beautiful natural spots in the Axarquía region.



    The Nuestra Señora de la Expectación church is the most prominent monument in Canillas de Albaida. It was built during the 16th century and reformed in the 18th century. It has three naves, a ceiling with a wooden framework structure and a tower. Within the church is a Rococo choir stall.

    The chapels of Santa Ana and San Antón are also well worth visiting in Canillas de Albaida. The first is a Mudejar-style sanctuary made up of a single nave and a barrel vault. Inside are 18th century images of Santa Ana and Santa Rita. The latter is located at the lower end of the village and it was built between the 16th and 17th centuries.

    The natural area of las Cuestas is the ideal place to immerse oneself in the culture and the history of these lands. Two Roman roads intersect at this point. One of their descends from the lower end of the village and the other ascends towards El Cerrillo. The two merge with the Roman Bridge that crosses the Turvilla river.

  • About 55 kilometres separate Canillas de Albaida from Malaga. It will take you about one hour to get here by car. We recommend you take the A-7 until exit 277. From here you can follow the A-7206 until turning off at the MA-5104 towards Canillas de Albaida.


    Located three kilometres from the village is the Fábrica de la Luz de Canillas de Albaida (the light factory), which was given its name because of the power generation facilities that used to be situated there. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the Axarquía region and offers the most spectacular views of Parque Natural de las Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama.

    The recreation area of the Fábrica de la Luz, is covered with walnut trees and you can relax and watch the Turvilla river flow by and the whimsical waterfalls that are formed. Nearby are the caves of las Piletas and Quejigo.


    Two important events are held during the month of June: the Sierra de Axarquía Flamenco Festival and the San Juan festivity, with the traditional burning of the júa at night (rag dolls made with old clothes that locals hang along the village streets).

    Also during the summer, specifically during the first week of August, is the Canillas de Albaida Fair. This includes the Virgen del Rosario procession, along with various other activities that bring together tradition, religion and partying for the delight of all its visitors.

    There are a number of local festivities held at the end of the summer and you can enjoy the Cultural Week during October, with activities for all ages. September is also the fruit picking time.

    The Fiesta de San Antón is held in January, with its pilgrimage where you can savour the best typical dishes of Canillas de Albaida, with products made using traditional methods, such as chorizo and blood sausage.

    During February tourists can enjoy the Fray Leopoldo and Salves procession.


    The gastronomy of Canillas de Albaida includes typical dishes of the Axarquía region and the province of Malaga. These include migas made with cornflour (which is soaked and served with pork, peppers, etc.) and ajoblanco (a chilled soup made with almonds and garlic) which may be served with grapes, apple or any other fruit. The gachas which is another signature dish of this village and a typical sweet dessert of the region is sure to impress anyone that tries it.

    Apart from all these dishes, Canillas de Albaida is also famous for its muscatel wine, which may be sweet, semi-dry or dry.

  • Historia

    The village of Canillas de Albaida dates back to the thirteenth century. In the times of Muslim Spain it was a hamlet annexed to Vélez-Málaga. The name is Arabic, too: "albaida" is the Arabic word for "white". Chroniclers associated the colour with the flowers then blossoming in town; more contemporary accounts relate it to the whitewashed walls flanking the steep, winding, narrow streets. In fact, the whole village looks like a white stain perched on a mildly rolling hill.

    When Vélez-Málaga was seized by Christian troops in 1487, Canillas de Albaida surrendered to the army led by King Ferdinand the Catholic. The Muslim population joined the Moors in other villages in Axarquía during the 1569 riot against Philip II"s oppressive policies. When the rebellion was crushed in the Peñón de Frigiliana battle, Christian citizens came to settle in the region from other areas in Málaga Province and the rest of Andalusia.

    Construction of the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Expectación in Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Town Square) began in the sixteenth century. This was the central point in the village"s layout, under the influence of Arab towns. The Chapel of Santa Ana, in the upper part of town, also dates back to the sixteenth century.

    Most of Canillas de Albaida earns its livelihood from agriculture. The village"s fertile lands produce grapes, almonds, cereal and olives. Vegetable garden plots can also be seen punctuating the area.

  • The gastronomy at Canillas de Albaida is characterised by local dishes typical to Axarquía and the province of Malaga. They include fennel soup, cornflour migas, ajoblanco, gachas, choto frito, Easter cake and sopa de maimones. In addition to the dishes, the municipality is known for its raisins and muscatel wine made by local artisans. There are sweet, medium-dry or dry versions.

More information


  • Inhabitants (501-1,000)
  • Inland area

Map & directions

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