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Alfarnate

Alfarnate is a charming village in the northeastern part of Malaga, in La Axarquia region. It’s nestled among the Enmedio, Palomera, and Jobo mountain ranges, with its centre sitting at an altitude of 888 meters. The economy is primarily based on agriculture and livestock. The village is known for its festivals, particularly the San Antonio Fair in June and the September Festival. As of 2022, it had a population of 1,039 inhabitants.

History

The Palancar and Morales streams hold evidence of Alfarnate’s earliest inhabitants, dating back to the Mousterian or Middle Paleolithic period. The village got its name, Alfarnate, during the Muslim period in the 9th century. This name comes from the Arabic word ‘Al-farnat’, which means flour mill, reflecting the village’s history as a high flour production zone.

The village’s strategic location near the Puerto de Los Alazores, a natural passageway between the provinces of Málaga and Granada, made it a transit point for travellers. Over the centuries, Alfarnate has maintained strong connections with Málaga, Granada, and the nearby city of Loja. Today, Alfarnate is a charming blend of its historical past and present, offering visitors a glimpse into its rich cultural heritage while providing all the amenities of modern life. Despite its small size, with a population of just over 1,000, Alfarnate’s history and charm make it a must-visit destination in Andalusia.

Places to visit in Alfarnate

Alfarnate landscapes

 

The village itself, with its traditional architecture and narrow streets, is a sight to behold. The surrounding landscape, including the Enmedio, Palomera, and Jobo mountain ranges, offers stunning views and opportunities for hiking and exploration. The local cafes serve delightful tapas, offering a taste of authentic Spanish cuisine.

  • Shrine of “La Virgen de Monsalud”: Dating back to the Sixteenth Century. (Map)
  • Church of “Santa Ana”: A notable religious site in Alfarnate. (Map)
  • Archaeological Sites:
    • “El Puerto de los Alazores” (Map)
  • Country Inn of Alfarnate: Established in 1690, hosting renowned figures like King Alfonso XIII, Jose María “El Tempranillo,” and Luis Candelas. (Map)

Alfarnate country inn

Fairs and festivities

The main event is the Patron Saint Festival in honor of “La Virgen de Monsalud”, which takes place from September 7th to 12th. This festival is filled with tradition and emotion, captivating locals and visitors alike. It includes sports, music, gastronomy, and religious devotion.

Another significant event is the San Antonio Fair, held in June. This fair was originally a livestock market and is now a celebration in honor of Saint Anthony. The image of the Virgen de Monsalud is moved from the Church of Santa Ana to the hermitage on June 13th, the day of San Antonio.

Other notable events include “La Candelaria” on February 2nd, the “San Marcos” pilgrimage on April 25th, the “San Isidro” pilgrimage on May 15th, and “San Juan” on June 24th. Each of these events offers a unique insight into the rich cultural heritage of Alfarnate. Whether it’s the lively atmosphere, the traditional music, or the delicious local cuisine, there’s something for everyone at Alfarnate’s festivals and fairs.

Gastronomy

The village is renowned for its convincing stews, “ollas” and “potajes”, which are hearty and full of flavour. Another local favourite is “las migas”, a traditional dish that is both comforting and delicious. Adding to the culinary delights are “los morretes de setas”, a mushroom dish that is a must-try for any food lover.

One of the unique traditions of Alfarnate is the challenge of “huevos a lo bestia”. This dish, served at the old country inn, is a test of one’s appetite. The challenge is simple yet daunting: anyone who can consume three consecutive portions of this filling dish gets their lunch free of charge!

To round off the gastronomical journey, “los roscos carreros”, “los hornazos” and the local brandy liqueur are the perfect endnotes. These treats not only satisfy the sweet tooth but also provide a glimpse into the rich culinary heritage of Alfarnate. The varied gastronomical offerings of Alfarnate are a testament to its vibrant culture and love for good food. So, when in Alfarnate, be sure to indulge in these culinary delights and experience the warmth and hospitality of this charming village.

How to get

Embarking on a journey to Alfarnate from Malaga Airport by car is a scenic adventure through the picturesque landscapes of Andalusia. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate your way:

  1. Exit the airport and head east on the A-7 motorway.
  2. Follow the A-7 for approximately 10 km.
  3. Take exit 241 to merge onto the A-45 towards Antequera.
  4. Continue on the A-45 for around 15 km.
  5. Take exit 124 towards Casabermeja/Colmenar.
  6. At the roundabout, take the third exit onto the A-356.
  7. Continue along the A-356 for about 20 km.
  8. Make a right turn onto the MA-3102.
  9. Follow the MA-3102 for approximately 10 km until you reach the enchanting destination of Alfarnate.

By Bus

There is a bus from Malaga bus station to Alfarnate with stops at Colmenar, Riogordo and Alfarnatejo.