Known for its beautiful landscapes, Alcaucín is a village in the Axarquia region that overlooks the Natural Park of Sierras de Tejada, Almijara and Alhama. Its environment makes it a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.
Founded during Arab rule, Alcaucín has preserved its name and its urban layout from that time. Winding streets, whitewashed houses and flowered patios welcome you to this charming town in inner Malaga. A small town of 2,800 inhabitants in which 30% of the population is of British origin.
IN ALCAUCÍN DO NOT MISS
In Alcaucín the ruins of the Castillo de Zalía, built by the Arabs on a Phoenician fortress, and archaeological sites of considerable historical significance are preserved.
The Fuente de los Cinco Caños is a real local icon, its waters come from a source that has never ceased to spout. But think twice before quenching your thirst: the tradition says that whoever drinks from the centre pipe finds their husband or wife in the village.
La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, next to the town hall, is one of the most outstanding buildings of Alcaucín. It was built in the seventeenth century, consisting of two buildings and has a rococo style dressing room. The temple houses interesting works of art, such as the tallas del Niño Jesús, the Inmaculada Concepción, the Nazareno and the Virgen de los Dolores.
Near the cemetery of Alcaucín is the eighteenth century Ermita de Jesús del Calvario. You can get a good panoramic of the surrounding villages from this baroque cut sanctuary.
Alcaucín is 54 kilometres from Málaga. The two fastest routes by car are either taking the E-15 or the A-7 motorway. It will take you about 55 minutes going on the E-15 while it will be about an hour and six minutes should you opt for the A-7.
Alcaucín is the starting point of several routes that lead into the most beautiful places of the municipality of la Axarquía. Its territory extends from the Sierra de Tejeda, corredor de Periana and the Boquete de Zafarraya, a natural pass between the coastal strip and the hinterland.
With almost 40,670 hectares, the Natural Park of Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama is an ideal place to wander through beautiful landscapes dominated by impressive landforms. Among them is the pico de la Maroma, which is 2,066 metres high.
On the banks of river Alcaucín you will find the paraje del Alcázar, a recreational area surrounded by lush vegetation. From here you can visit the semi cavernous homes of La Cerca, the Senos de la Tejeda, la Loma de las Víboras and the river gorge, which flows into el pantano de la Viñuela swamp.
There is no month of the year that does not include a festival in Alcaucín or in its rural neighbourhoods. Although the most typical celebrations are the Romería de San Isidro (June), Candelarias (September), the festividad de la Virgen del Rosario (October) and the Fiesta de la Castaña (chestnut festival in autumn). Special mention must go to the Feria de Agosto, with its prestigious flamenco festival.
Other notable events are the festival of San Sebastian, Corpus Christi and Semana Santa, at which time Alcaucín hosts shows performed by local villagers, wearing masks and vintage clothes.
Tortillas de bacalao (cod omelettes), habichuelas con hinojos (beans with fennel) and ensalada cateta ("cateta" salad) are some of the dishes that are most representative of Alcaucín's cuisine. In traditional recipes, porridge, gazpachuelo, ajoblanco and cachorreñas also feature prominently.
As for the confectionary, the buñuelos in Semana Santa, oil cakes, homemade shortbread (excellent ground almond cake) and especially the ""pan romano"", the typical cake of the town.
In the last few decades, the introduction of subtropical crops in the region of Axarquia has expanded the culinary variety of Alcaucín and added new flavours to its cuisine.
The village of Alcaucín was founded during the time of Arab rule, from when its name, meaning "the arches", also dates. However, human presence in these lands dates back to prehistoric times, as shown by the important archaeological sites in the area, where pieces of pottery, utensils and human remains have been found from the Mousterian period. The most important finding is a Neanderthal jawbone found in El Boquete de Zafarraya, belonging to a man who lived 30,000 years ago. This indicates that Alcaucín was one of the first areas of Malaga to be inhabited by humans.
Researchers have also verified the existence of stable settlements during the Neolithic period in La Cueva de los Guaicos and El Abrigo del Espino, where they uncovered burial sites in cistas (caskets) with grave goods. Later, the territory of Alcaucín would be ruled by the Phoenicians, who built the foundations for the Zalia fortress. This construction would later become a castle with a double ringed protective wall, built by the Arabs. The founding of the village dates back to this time. And although there are no documents attesting to this, the layout of its roads and the sulphurous water baths located in Las Majadas leave us in no doubt.
During Muslim domination, hermits and men of faith dwelled in the caves at El Carrión de Alcaucín, which was a Morisco town in the 16th Century and was occupied by French troops in the 19th Century. Furthermore, on the 25th December 1884, it suffered the effects of an earthquake that devastated much of La Axarquía. The earthquake left several people dead and caused a great deal of material damage. The epicentre was in the Sierra Tejeda mountains, close to El Boquete de Zafarraya, and it altered the path followed by the underground waters that flow through this natural environment, destroying numerous paths and roads. To make matters worse, the rescue work was impeded by the impressive snowstorm that followed the quake.
During the Civil War, unlike most other towns and villages in the area, the population prevented the church archives from being burned. This historic treasure has remained intact since its founding in 1732, although since 1978 it has been kept in the Diocesan Archive.
The introduction of subtropical crops into the Axarquía region contributed to the area’s cuisine, and its traditional cuisine has mixed with innovative techniques.
These new flavours have played an influence on Alcaucín’s traditional foods in dishes like cod omelettes, beans with fennel, ensalada cateta, las gachas, ajoblanco, cachorreñas, and gazpachuelo. For the more gluttonous of us, this small town has something sweet for you in the form of Easter Week fritters, olive oil tortas, homemade mantecados and pan romano.
- Inhabitants (2,501-5,000)
- Inland area
- Inhabitants (1,001-2,500)