Even today, this small town in the administrative district of La Axarquía, with a population of 1.500 inhabitants, still has a strong Muslim stamp. Its´ urban fabric, outlined against a hard elevation, is one of winding streets with abundant masonry houses and traditional gratings.
Alcaucín, whose etymology is derived from the Arabic word alqausin, meaning “arches”, seems to have risen from a farmhouse situated between the castle of Alcázar and the fortification of Zalía, dating from the Phoenician era and about which there are numerous hypothesis: while some investigators relate it to the Phoenician city of Tágara, others believe that it is the place in which the mythical Odysca had Ulises, King of ítaca, locked up for various years. The castle later passed thorough various changes during the Muslim era until it was turned into a bishopric prison for the rebellious Muslims in 1485. Other monuments worthy of note are the Church “del Rosario” and the Shrine of “Jesús del Calvario”, both hailing from the Eighteenth Century and the house of Los Condes de Alcaucín.
During the earthquake of 1884 which destroyed La Axarquía, Alcaucín, like other neighbouring towns, was devasted.
The festivity in honour of the town´s Patron Saint falls on the 20th of February. The Corpus, “La Feria Chica” in honour of “La Virgen del Rosario” and the flamenco festival on the second week of August, complete the festive calendar.
Its´ gastronomy has in the cod pancakes with honey, its´ star dish. Sardines on calabash, “el acemite”, “la sopa carroñera con bacalao”, and “las morcillas de cebolla”, complete its´ varied offer. And, to drink, nothing better than the town´s water, acclaimed in the whole area for its mildness and lightness.