Alcaucin: Gateway To The Sierra De Tejeda

Alcaucin is stunning set in the mountains above the Axarquía coastline. It has much to offer all visitors: picturesque narrow streets leading to traditional bars, hikes through the spectacular national park and a warm welcome.

Whilst Alcaucin is located a mere 25km from the coast at Torre Del Mar, it’s lofty location in the foothills of the magnificent Sierra de Tejeda mountains give it a totally unique character and climate! The coast might swelter in the intense summer heat but Alcaucin offers a fresher alternative, though don’t be deceived, it can get pretty hot in August. However, winter temperatures can be downright chilly when compared to its coastal cousins. This variety in climate ensures that the landscape is diverse, and verdant for much of the year.

The grandeur of the setting with lush green forests and exhilarating walking trails make Alcaucin an attractive destination for visitors who enjoy the outdoors. Many cyclists take on the challenge of the steep ascent into the pretty white village. Hikers meet at one of the local bars before following one of the numerous pathways such as the enticing named Hidden Valley.

The village itself is a photo perfect example of the Andalusian white village. It’s narrow main street allows just one direction and the safety is guaranteed by a local man who takes it upon himself to navigate the traffic safely through. Quirky? Definitely!  His endeavours sum up this friendly place which has become the home for a range of Europeans who love its charm and character. It has every service necessary, albeit small, a post office, medical centre, chemist, several food stores and a helpful town hall.

Welcome to Alcaucin

Traditional Spanish Feel

It maintains a traditional Spanish feel but the international community means that at least one of the bars has an extensive range of Belgian Beers alongside a traditional and delicious Spanish menu. In Alcaucin, the proximity to the mountains means that the menus are often more diverse with game such a wild boar and goat being served. The bar and restaurant, Los Naranjos, has an enviable location with an open terrace (with an orange or naranja tree on the terrace) that overlooks the incredible scenery stretching past the lake at Vinuela to the coast. Live entertainment from flamenco to DJs liven up the evenings here all year round.

One of the most notable features of Alcaucin is the free flowing spring water from the water fountain handily placed between two further bars. This water is fresh and perfectly drinkable and visitors will often see locals filling large bottles with the mountain water. One of the water taps promises the drinker that their imbibing from it will result in them finding true love. Quite a claim for humble water!

The market held here on a Saturday is small but the produce is local and of high quality. Like all Spanish villages, Alcaucin’s year is punctuated with a series of festivals and celebrations. The New Year is heralded in with fireworks, cava and grapes. The unusual feature here is that the town hall actually provides residents with a small bottle of cava and grapes, as well as a goodie bag! Mid May sees the Romeria de San Isidro whilst the first week in August, the buntings decorate the village for the Feria de Alcaucin. Halloween and All Saints are important dates in the Spanish calendar but in Alcaucin this date is combined with a festival in homage to the chestnut! This draws a crowd from all over the province to taste the dried speciality as well to drink and dance.

With archeological finds stretching as far back as prehistoric times and remnants of a Moorish and Phoenician past including the romantic ruin of Zalia castle or fortress, Alcaucin has many attractive features. It’s an easy day trip from the coast but it’s well worth an overnight stay with a range of villas to rent, a small central hotel and the beautifully located Casa Arts which offers both accommodation and workshops alongside an interesting menu. It’s easy to see why many visitors make Alcaucin their forever home.