Algarinejo, Montes Occidentales Region
Algarinejo is a town in the province of Granada (Spain). It has a population of approximately 5,265 inhabitants and is situated in the region of the Western Mountains in the province (Algarinejo, Montefrio, Íllora and Moclín ), the municipality is bordered by Iznajar and Priego in Cordoba, and Zagra , Loja and Montefrio in Granada.
The municipality covers an area of 92.74 km2 and the town is at 37 19’ Latitude North and Longitude West 4 09′, standing at 603 metres above sea level..
The name comes from the Arabic Al Gar or Las Cuevas, the area was noted in the twelfth century as ‘dangerous by banditry’ because of the abrupt and steep cliffs.
The expulsion of the Muslim communities in 1571, after more than 100 years of an uneasy coexistence with the Castilian settlers, brought a time of economic stagnation until the acquisition of the territory and the creation of a protected area by the Marquess of Algarinejo, a very important political figure in the social life of the seventeenth century in Granada.
Today the town has a modern form and design although there are still many traces of the old Muslim narrow streets, terraces and steps to balconies, along with old Muslim farmsteads.
The checkerboard style of planning of closed blocks surrounding by a central plaza remains from the seventeenth century to the present day, Algarinejo is a town whose traditional aesthetic heritage is well preserved to this day.
Material produced in this era giving economic strength was from factories to grind the locally produced grain, available from the fertile land around, helped by the abundant supply of water.
Along the banks of the rivers which ran close to the town there were ‘cube mills’ (of medieval origin in several cases) whose driving force was the strong flow of water to power the complex mechanisms for grinding the grain.
In recent times (19th and 20th centuries) several fishmeal factories have been built near the town, these being electrically operated.
The manufacture of soap, soft drinks and quality bottled water together with numerous oil presses and oil mills has helped the regrowth of the area around the modern town, with its surrounding landscape of olive groves and valleys, mountains and rivers.
Oil production began to overtake other crop production from the 18th century although there is evidence of Roman and Muslim exploitation of oil products. In more modern times mills driven by animals have been used to produce oil of a very high quality, in an exclusively natural process.
Demand for the unique variety of the Algarinejo oil has led to the gradual transformation of agricultural land, deforestation of the cattle pastures and specialization in the oil crop.
After the abandonment of the important rural agrarian industry during the crisis of the seventies, emmigration brought a decline to the region. The European rural development process has helped the restoration and revival of the exceptional food products including oil, confectionery, pork products and open new economic opportunities such as rural tourism and the new agrarian society services.
Despite these many structural changes, there still remains a landscape typically Algarinejo, with local products and the way of life in the rural environmental and heritage giving interest as a cultural reserve, with controlled and scientific tourism offering great potential for rural development and the improvement of the quality of life of residents and visitors alike.
Parish Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, preserved with interesting neoclassical altarpieces.
Plaza de las Palomas.
Puchero (a kind of stew). “Papas a lo pobre” (fry of peppers, onions and potatoes). Stewed partridge. Rabbit stew. Tortilla Collejas.
Leave Granada. At the roundabout, take exit 2 Continue along: E-902 / A-44 direction: Armilla – Motril. Take the direction: Exit 125 – A-92G – Malaga – Sevilla – N-432
Cordoba – Airport. Continue along: A-92G. pass Jardines del Caballo Blanco and Santa Fe Take A-92 heading to Malaga – Sevilla – Airport. Pass near Trasmulas and Fuensanta. Take the exit towards: Exit 211 – Moraleda Zafayona
Montefrío – Alhama de Granada . In Loreto, turn right: A-335. Pass Montefrío . Continue to Algarinejo.
Distances from Algarinejo
Illora 39 km
Iznájar 22 km
Granada 80 km
Montefrío 20 km
Carcabuey 30 km
Pinos Puente 55 km
Priego de Córdoba 22 km