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Cañete la Real
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Town history
  • Cañete la Real is a municipality in the Guadalteba region of Malaga province, in a majestic location, high in the mountains between Serrania de Ronda and Vega de Antequera. Because of this, it came to be an important crossroads for different civilizations throughout history.

    Cañete la Real is a wonderful destination for active tourism. Its surroundings are full of interesting hiking routes or areas like "Las Espeñas", ideal to spend a day in the countryside. It is also possible to spot birds of prey in the Sierra del Padrastro, or even, for the more adventurous, to go caving, climbing or hang gliding.



    The first thing that catches the attention when entering Cañete la Real is the Hins Qannit Castle, an 11th century Arab fortress, testament to the struggles between the faithful Omar ibn Hafsun of al-Andalus and the Emirate of Córdoba. The "Los Vigías del Territorio" ("Guardians of the Territory") historical interpretation centre it located in the Torre del Homenaje ("Tribute Tower").

    Other medieval remains are the Tower of Ortegícar, which defended a rural farmstead, and the Nazarí bridge, which gave access to it.

    The historic-artistic heritage of Cañete la Real is worth learning about. Between the 15th and 18th centuries, homes and important buildings such as the Church of San Sebastian, built in 1526 and restored in 1797, were built.

    Also, important examples of religious architecture include the convent of San Francisco and the Convent of the Holy Sacrament.

  • Cañete la Real is 82 kilometres by car from Málaga. The most common route is along the A-357 road, then going on the A-367 and finally the MA-6401 and MA-475, until you reach the town.


    Active tourism finds a thriving destination in Cañete la Real. The Sierra del Padrastro gives us the opportunity to get in touch with nature; bird watching, we can see species like the griffon vulture, the buzzard or eagle owl, and other species such as the Spanish ibex can also be found. Other, more daring options include speleology routes, climbing or hang gliding.

    In addition, the Vega is a rich landscape between the valley of Antequera and Ronda mountains, with typical farmhouses, farmland and streams that flow into the river Guadalteba.

    As a rural location suitable for recreation, 'Las Espeñas' is the perfect alternative.


    In June, the medieval era is recreated in Cañete la Real. The Festival of the Cultures of Al-Andalus, as it is called, includes the installation of a Moorish souk and the decoration of the streets and the Castle of Hins Qannit.

    In the third week of September, Cañete la Real celebrates various recreational and cultural activities the festivities in honor of its patron, Nuestra Señora de Caños Santos.

    There are festivals throughout the year, with Carnival in February, the festival of San Isidro Labrador in May and the Royal Fair in August.


    Specialties in the gastronomic culture of Cañete la Real include dishes such as porra and gazpacho (both based on tomatoes and very refreshing for summer), stews or "olla con su pringá". This is a hearty stew of vegetables, meat and sausages. Pringá is meat and sausages are taken out and eaten separately, usually with bread. Other typical dishes of the town are stuffed vegetables, meat stewed with onions, toasted gazpacho and a thistle soup.

    Local patisserie includes magdalenas and piononos (a delicious sponge soaked in syrup).

  • Town history

    Evidence reveals the existence of prehistoric settlements in Cañete la Real. However, the earliest reliable records date from the Iberian period. They mention a village on a hill near the town centre we can see today, called "Sabora" by the Phoenicians due to the extensive corn fields in the area ("Sabora" comes from "ebura", the Phoenician word for "cereal".

    More records exist from the Roman period, with several archaeological sites attesting to the existence of Roman domains in the area. It is known, for instance, that the village was relocated in 78 AD, since Cerro de la Horca was quite far away from the farming fields. The relocation was approved by Emperor Vespasian; coins were minted in his honour and statues were offered to him as a token of gratitude.

    The Visigoths promoted farming practices in the area. King Witiza granted the village the status of "royal village". The same status was granted again by King Alfonso XI after the first Christian conquest of the Hins Qannit Castle. In those days, this fortress played a key role in the battles between Moors and Christians. Built by the party of Umar ibn Hafsun, it was one of the nerve centres of the uprisings against the Emirate of Córdoba that spread across the region of Guadalteba.

    The current name is related to "Hins Qannit" in Arabic. While some historians translate the phrase as "Qannit castle", others believe it made reference to the spouts that could (and still can) be seen in the town centre.

    From the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, the town saw the rise of several stately homes, two convents and the Church of San Sebastián – the main cultural sights in Cañete la Real"s historic and artistic heritage.

  • The cuisine in Cañete la Real is similar to that of other towns in the area. Clear examples are the stews, the porra, the gazpacho and the olla stew with its "pringá". The most typical dish of this town is the relleno de verdura, stewed meat with onion, toasted gazpacho and Spanish oyster thistle stew. Then for dessert, traditional options include muffins and piononos.

More information


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

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