Villages in Huelva
Alájar, Natural Park Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche
Alájar Village, located in the heart of Natural Park Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche, is one of the most important protected areas of the Community, which occupies the entire north of the province with its meadows and small hills covered predominantly by forest oaks, cork oaks, chestnut trees and undergrowth, where numerous streams meander through the countryside , forming a landscape of extraordinary beauty and charm. The land is ideal for livestock, especially for the Iberian pigs that can be seen wandering through the forests in search of their favourite food – acorns.
One of the prettiest villages in the Sierra, Alájar is overlooked by the towering Peña de Arias Montano, a dramatic rocky outcrop with a church and belfry. From the Peña is a stunning view of Alájar, its fields of olive trees and the gently undulating plain south of the Sierra. The village has been declared an Historic-Artistic Site and is distinguished by its folk-type houses and quiet, narrow streets that perfectly integrate into the landscape. In the 16th century Philip II’s confessor and theologian, Benito Arias Montano, came here on retreat. In 1576 Philip II himself paid a visit to the Peña and meditated here in a cave subsequently called the ‘Sillita del Rey’ (the King’s Seat)..
Despite the difficult terrain of the municipality Alájar has been reached by many people and cultures, the first evidence of human occupation being the megaliths. The habitat is unique and will still be in years to come an important example of earlier periods as Paleolithic and Neolithic. The Romans gave this beautiful town the name Alájar, meaning “The Rock”. This name clearly alludes to the Peña de Arias Montano. Evidence of Roman occupation is the Roman tombstone on the plains of Orullos. The Romans would have hastened to the area when they heard the land was rich in minerals.
A thread that is seen throughout the entire mountainous region is the population increase and as a result there are new towns in the vicinity such as Montes Orullos and El Calabacino. An old story says that the people from Alájar settled into Orullos but the lack of water forced them to move back to their previous location.
From the fifteenth century documents tell of the constant friction between Alájar and the people of Aracena, mainly because of economic problems, such as the use of forests. In 1559, the area fell under the dominion of the Duke of Alcala Fadrique Enriquez de Rivera. Despite this village of Aracena remained until Alájar became independent in 1700, becoming a town by the will of Charles II.
San Marcos Church
Ntra. Sra. de los Ángeles Chapel
San Bartolomé y de la Trinidad Chapel
Cueva de la Peña
Conjunto de casas de los siglos XVIII y XIX
Peña de Arias Montano
Meats (sausages, salami, sausages, hams). Gazpacho. Gazpacho.
Sweets: Butter Cake. Piñonates, Fried roses, Pestiños sweetened with honey
From Huelva take the N435 direction Trigueros and Badajoz. At km 139, in front of the Hostel El Cruze take the A470 turn right towards Aracena. Continue on towards Alájar
Distances from Alájar
Huelva 103 km
Sevilla 99 km
Aracena 12 km
Aroche 36 km
Jabugo 17 km
Trigueros 85 km
Valverde del Camino 59 km
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Una de las visitas a los pueblos de la zona a que más me gustó. El lavadero espectacular, la comida inmejorable y la compañía, única. Un pueblo sabiamente conservado y cuidado. Ojalá muchos otros siguieran su ejemplo, no se perderían nunca nuestros orígenes y seríamos más respetuosos con el medio ambiente. Enhorabuena a sus gentes y alcalde.