Grazalema, legendary village in the Serranía gaditana, is located to the Northeast of its province, set in the hills with the same name and within the protected space of the first Nature Reserve that was made in Andalucía; the Nature Reserve of Sierra de Grazalema. Grazalema is included within the Route of the White Villages in Cádiz.
Located in the slope of Sierra del Endrinal, Grazalema spreads along to flow into Tajo River, which leads us to Guadalete Valley.
Behind Grazalema we can observe the imposing and protecting Peñón Grande that borders on the North with Sierra Morena, on the South with Sierra del Endrinal, and on the East with Sierra Rondeña de las Nieves.
To the West we find San Cristobal at a height of 1.555 metres and, to the North, Sierra del Pinar being this the highest orographical point of Cádiz, at a height of 1.653 metres. In this area Pinsapo has his reign, a specimen of pine that we can consider Prehistoric because it is the only kind of tree that survived to the last alpine glaciations.
Grazalema has in its environment two earthly paradises of the Sierra which stands out for its natural wealth; one of them is the Ribera de Gaidovar, a valley watered by the river that gives it the name and transforms it in a genuine garden with mild temperatures that creates a microclimate, and the other one is, the Benamahoma Village, which has its own identity, whose main wealth is its elegant aspect and the most valuable good is water, that from its origin springs up in abundance.
It has a privileged geographical enclave which place it in the centre of a triangle formed by the villages of Cádiz, Sevilla and Málaga and because of this Grazalema has a good accessibility from any place you come from.
The first settlers were the Romans and then the Berbers, they named the village (Gran Zulema) and established a thriving economy based on farm produce and textile handicraft.
In1485 it returned to the Christians framed in Ponce de Leon manor. After many centuries with an important textile industry (the blankets of Grazalema were very important) is semi destroyed by the devastating act of Napoleón troops.
Of these centuries of splendour we have some interesting remains such as Encarnación Church and San José and Aurora Church that were baroques.
Nuestra Señora de la Aurora Parish Church
San Jose Church
San Juan Church
Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles Hermitage
Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación Church
Routes of Interest
Route of Agua
Route to the Puerto del Boyar
Route of El Calvario
Route to the Fresnillo Dam
Route to the Calzada Medieval
Route to the Ribera de Gaidovar
Route to “El Santo”
Arroyo del Descansadero Trail
Grazalema`s gastronomy is connected to the history of our town. The first signs date back from Roman period, a time when cattle raising (ovine, caprine and bovine) and agriculture had an important role, with olive cultivation to produce oil. Honey from Hispania was very famous and appreciated.
The Romans mixed wheat flour and honey to produce the first cakes.
The Arab period was the most important from the gastronomic point of view, as they have passed on to us the use of spices (saffron, pepper, clove), the stews, legumes, aubergines, spinaches, rice pudding and a great part of baking (as a great innovation they introduced the sugar cane as well as the alfajor, pasties, quince jelly, fritter and particularly, the like for the use of almond).
Currently typical dishes with the same ingredients as old generations used are made, so the tradition and simplicity of homemade cooking is preserved Among the most important products we find cheese, hunting, cold meats and baking.
The typical dish is Grazalema´s Soup, made with the stew stock, bread, eggs, mint and chorizo. As a main course we find baked lamb or lamb stew, and for fish lovers the trout (from Benamahoma´s fish farm). They also offer other products such as Spanish Oyster plants, mushrooms and wild asparagus.
The cheeses in the area are made with pure sheep or goat milk and they are considered the best cheeses in Spain.
Small game offers delicious dishes made with rabbit and partridge and big game dishes with deer and wild board.
Among cold meats we find products such as spiced sausage, chorizo and blood sausage.
Delicious bakery offers artisan desserts and homemade pastries such as the amarguillo and the cubilete, or the almond cake, the butter pie or the pasty.
How to get there
The airport of Jerez (the only in the province), is located to105 km from Grazalema and there are flights that operate from this airport to different national destinations. You can arrive to Cádiz through N-IV from the airport.
By car from Málaga:
- N-340 towards Algeciras-Benalmádena
- In the Xx kilometre (between Benalmádena and Mijas) take the left detour (toll road) towards Marbella-Algeciras
- Marbella (you pass near it)
- A49 / N340 / E15 for 1.1 km
- N340 / E15 for 6.6 km
- N340 for 5.6 km
- San Pedro de Alcátara (you pass near it)
- Detour towards Ronda – A376 for 65.4 km
By car from Jerez:
- Exit Jerez de la Frontera and turn left A-382
- Arcos de la Frontera
- Turn right A-372
- Venta Mariquita
- El Bosque
- You have arrived to Grazalema
Cádiz 114 km
Ronda 32 km
Olvera 41 km
Ubrique 26 km
Sevilla 115 km
El Bosque 19 km
Algodonales 26 km
Villamartín 39 km
Zahara de la Sierra
La Plaza de España, (Spain Square) has historically brought together the most representative public activities in town (Administration, services, tourism, traditional festivals).
The relationship with the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Aurora makes us suppose that it is original from the 18th century. This theory is supported by the economic splendor at that time, which allowed the development of the closest city boundaries.
Civil building from the 20th century
Building inaugurated in 1961, its façade is made of a low section preceded by a loggia with three semicircular arches on quadrangular pillars and a viewpoint tower in one of its ends. The second section consists of a wide terrace with rectilinear walls. In the inside we find the different administrative buildings and public services.
Jopiches and Jopones
The word “hopo” or “jopo”, meaning lock or figuratively, bull penis, was used to distinguish the inhabitants from one neighbourhood and another.
The Jopones (big bull penis) lived in the Barrio Alto (high neighbourhood) of the town and they mostly belonged to the Religious Brotherhood Nuestra Señora del Carmen, and they lived on pasturage and cattle raising.
The Jopiches (small bull penis) lived in the Barrio Bajo (low neighbourhood) of the town, they mostly belonged to the religious brotherhood of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles, and they were workers of the textile and fulling machine factories.
The neighbourhood of Jopices, was much more depeloped than the one of Jopones, and it held the best houses in town which were inhabited by high classes. Furthermore, the buildings for the different State institutions were there.
In the past this distinction was very common and nowadays we still can assure that traditions are kept up as children in this town, when they play football at school, they form two teams, Jopones versus Jopiches.
(“EL TORO DE GRAZALEMA. La fiesta de toros más antigua de España”, Ginés Serrán Pagán, Editorial Pueblos Blancos, 2002).
DEMARCATION OF BOTH NEIGHBOURHOODS
According to traditional demarcation, the Barrio Bajo stretches from the “defensive area” to the Fountain of the Puentezuela, whereas the Barrio Alto is developed from this fountain to the West end of the town.
The Barrio Alto, is made up of rectangular blocks and very long streets. The typology of houses in this are is based on buildings of houses with stockyard, of domestic architecture. As singular elements, we can highlight the Iglesia de San José (Church of Saint Joseph) and the widening of the Calle Nueva (New Street).
The Barrio Bajo has a more differentiated urban trace, as it holds the first settlements of the town. Nevertheless, it has an irregular distribution, typical of a Muslim city. In this neighbourhood cultured and domestic architecture are combined, holding the most singular buildings in town (equipments, monuments and public spaces).
Possibly of Visigoth origin it owes its name to the street where it is placed.
The basin is made up of two sinks carved in one single piece of stone, which leans on a plinth made up of rough stone.
The two streams are placed in the mouth of two different pouring faces.
The depth, on the wall where it leans, is made up of a single stone piece, to which lately it has been added a picturesque artificial stone with industrial relief.
Plaza España Fountain
Possibly of Visigoth origin it is made up of one basin, four streams and a depth on the wall where it leans, in the end of the North side of the Plaza de España.
The basin, made up of two sinks carved in two pieces of stone, leans on a plinth made up of four cubic blocks of the same material. The four streams are placed on the mouth of the four different pouring faces.
The back of the wall is built with bolster stone ashlars, surrounded by two pilasters and a double cornice of the same material.
Grazalema is one of the rainiest areas in Andalusia and even in Spain, reaching some years a máximum of 4.000 litres/m2, although the anual average isa round 2.200 litres/m2.
This phenomenon is caused by the mountains giving name to this area, which are one of the first natural barriers which must be avoided by groups of clouds coming from the Atlantic Ocean, and these groups get into the Iberian Peninsula.
In around eighty kilometers the clouds rise from elevation 0 to 1600 metres of height, taking place a condensation of water vapour, due to the cooling, which causes plenty of rain.
On the other hand, we have the so called “Corredor del Boyar” (open valley to the sea, probably and old glacier) which due to its outward appearance produces a “funnel” effect, trapping the rainy masses and, as a consequence, these masses pour down in rain.
This singular climatic fact makes it possible the growth of a very special kind of fir trees, the Pinsapos.
Properties for sale in Grazalema