Dating back to prehistoric times, Alozaina is a town in the Sierra de las Nievesregion in the Málaga province. The municipality extends from the River Grande valley until the Mount Prieta and links with the Serranía de Ronda and the Guadalhorce Valley. In your visit to this town you will discover the imprints of all the cultures that have populated the Costa del Sol over thousands of years.
MIGHT SEE SIGHTS IN ALOZAINA
As you enter Alozaina, you will be welcomed by the first of the town"s historical monuments, the Arco de Alozaina. Dating back to 1951 it was constructed as a tribute to Alozaina"s Arabic past which is still visible today in many corners of the town, especially in the winding streets and white frontage of the town centre.
María Sagredo was the heroine who defended Alozaina during the Moorish invasion. Her courage made her a legend in the town, and it is for this reason that the Alozaina"s old castle bears her name. Of the castle"s original structure, all that remains are parts of a tower and the wall. The rest was reconstructed in an important 20th century project. From the Parque Mirador, you will see exceptional views of Mount Prieta as well as the Hoya de Málaga.
The Santa Ana parish church is one of the most distinguished buildings in Alozaina. Its construction dates back to 1774, although the site was previously occupied by an old temple from the 15th century. It has a Latin cross floor plan, with a wooden roof and the exterior of its tower has a square pattern.
On the outskirts of town you can visit a Mozarabic complex from the 9th and 10th century, the Hoyo de los Peñones. Here you will find a hermit"s dwellings, a necropolis with twenty or so tombs and an aqueduct which takes water from the source, El Albar, to a fountain of the same name. We also recommend you visit the Ermita de la Veracruz y the high plateau called La Mesa, enclosed in the Aldea de Jorox.
Lastly, you cannot leave Alozaina without visiting the Museo de Aperos y Costumbres Populares de Alozaina, which displays all the tools traditionally used in agricultural labour handcrafting in Alozaina and in the general Sierra de las Nieves region.
Alozaina is in the Sierra de las Nieves region about 50 kilometres from Málaga. Drive along the A-357 and then continue on the A-354 until you reach the town.
Alozaina is situated in an especially spectacular landscape which extends from the River Grande valley until the Mount Prieta and links with Serranía de Ronda and the Guadalhorce Valley. For lovers of nature and active tourism, this town is like a film set. Hiking, potholing and climbing are just some of the sports you can do in the surrounding areas.
From the ladera de Sierra Prieta you can reach the La Ventanilla area, and at the border with the Valle del Guadalhorce region you will find one of Alozaina"s most beautiful parts, the River Jorox valley. Here the countryside combines sheer caves and potholes with farmland.
Nearby the town there is also the Parque Natural de la Sierra de las Nieves.
This area has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and awarded the EDEN prize in (European Destinations of Excellence) in the Intangible Heritage and Tourism category. The park is made up of more than 20,163 hectares and constitutes one of Andalusia"s richest ecological strongholds due to its 3000 hectares of Spanish fir, a species in danger of extinction.
If you want to really enjoy Alozaina, we recommend that you visit the town during the 25th and 26th of July, when the fiestas patronales, which are dedicated to Santiago and Santa Ana are celebrated. One of the odder traditions that the town celebrates, takes place during Carnival, the Harineo. It is a fun festival that has been declared of "Provincial Tourist Singularity" status, and has been maintained since the 15th century. The townspeople take to the streets with bags of flour to throw over their neighbours, tourists and visitors, covering them from head to toe.
Alozaina is one of the first towns in Spain to start their green olive, or "verdeo", harvest, and every year the 12th September marks the Olive Festival. Other festivals that take place in Alozaina are Semana Santa (Holy Week), Corpus Christi and the Romería de le Santa Cruz de Jorox, which is celebrated on the first Sunday of May.
The olive is undoubtedly one of Alozaina"s best delicacies. As well as the table olives, seasoned appropriately, the sopa hervía (a type of tomato soup with clams, asparagus and beans), stew, berza (a pulses, vegetable and meat stew) and empedraíllo de chícharos (a bean stew) are also very typical. Regarding desserts, we recommend you try the pan de higo (fig bread), the rosquillas de arrope y miel and the carne de membrillo (a delicious sweet made from the membrillo fruit).
Alozaina has been inhabited by man since the Upper Palaeolithic. The Cave of Algarrobo housed Solutrean hunting tools, while the Cave of La Mesa contained a burial site and two gold trumpets from the Bronze Age. Tombs containing vases and other items from Iberian and Phoenician settlements have also been found. The Romans left their trace in Ardite and El Monte, a district in the village of Albar.
The Arabs built the watchtowers of Ardite and Alozaina – the core of the present-day village. They also developed the aqueduct in Albar and planned the general layout of the village. Meanwhile, the Mozarabs settled in Hoyo de los Peñones, where they left a cave shrine and a necropolis with 21 tombs.
After the Reconquista, Alozaina became a municipality in 1492. However, 76 years later, 600 Moors rose up in arms and attacked the village, seizing it when most locals where ploughing in the fields. Taking refuge in the castle, the Christians tried to keep the invaders at bay. They were led by a heroine: María Sagredo. When her father died, she held her crossbow and quiver, and climbed the wall, wounding or killing several men and throwing a hive of bees at the invaders. The village"s coat of arms bears witness to her heroic feat.
The name "Alozaina" is believed to mean "a healthy, mild place", whereas to other historians it means "small fortress". In any case, this inviting place in Sierra de las Nieves is well worth a visit. Its magnificent landscapes, fabulous environs, hearty food and peculiar folk traditions make it one of the most attractive hinterland destinations in Málaga Province.
Olives are the most crucial ingredient in Alozaina's cuisine. Along with table olives with the appropriate garnishing, other standout dishes are the sopa hervía, stew, cabbage or the empedraíllo de chícharos stew. For dessert, you can find fig bread, syrup and honey doughnuts and quince among the most well-known offerings.
- Inhabitants (1,001-2,500)
- Inland area