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Canillas de Aceituno

road route from Canillas de AceitunoPerched on the Sierra de Tejada at an altitude exceeding six hundred metres, Canillas de Aceituno serves as one of the most stunning natural vantage points in La Axarquía. Located 18 kilometres from Vélez-Málaga, its labyrinthine streets bear testament to a significant Moorish legacy.

Canillas is encircled by a verdant expanse of trees, forming a magnificent forest. For enthusiasts of mountaineering, hill walking, and mountain biking, a variety of routes beckon, leading them to spots of unparalleled beauty nestled in the heart of the sierra. Moreover, the surrounding area boasts a wealth of natural caves, with the Fajara cave, situated four kilometres from the town, standing out among them.

History of Canillas de Aceituno

The Marquisate of Comares, to which Canillas belonged, played a crucial role in shaping the town’s identity. The influence of the Marquisate is still evident today in the town’s architectural style and urban layout, which bear the unmistakable imprint of its Moorish past.

The town’s strategic location on the Sierra de Tejada also played a significant role in its history. Its elevated position made it a natural fortress, offering protection and a vantage point that was highly valued in times of conflict.

Over the centuries, Canillas de Aceituno has managed to preserve its unique character and heritage, making it a fascinating testament to the region’s historical evolution. Today, the town stands as a living museum, offering a glimpse into a bygone era while continuing to thrive in the modern world.

Things to do

Canillas de Aceituno offers a wealth of attractions and activities that cater to a variety of interests. From historical landmarks to outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone in this charming town.

  • Visit the Church of Ntra. Señora del Rosario. This 16th-century church is a must-see for its historical significance. Map
  • Take a stroll through the white village of Axarquia. The village’s narrow streets and whitewashed houses offer a unique glimpse into the past. Map
  • Visit the Hermitage of the Virgen del Carmen. This surprisingly small hermitage is a hidden gem in the village. Map
  • Explore the Casa de la Reina Mora. This historic building served as the tax center during the Al-Andalus period. Map

Hiking and Nature

Canillas de Aceituno is a haven for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts. The village is nestled in the heart of the Axarquia region, surrounded by lush landscapes and stunning vistas. Here are some of the popular hiking trails and natural attractions:

road route from Canillas de Aceituno
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  • Sendero del Puente Colgante: This trail takes you to a breathtaking suspension bridge. It’s a moderate hike with beautiful views along the way. [Map]
  • El Saltillo: Suspension bridge with amazin views of the environment. [Map]
  • Ruta Cueva de la Fájara: This route leads to the Fájara Cave, a natural wonder that’s worth exploring. [Map]
  • Fuente del Nicar: A serene spot where you can enjoy the tranquility of nature. It’s a great place for a picnic. [Map]
  • La Rahige: This area is known for its abundant flora and fauna. It’s a great place for bird watching. [Map]
  • Saltillos del Almanchares: This trail takes you through a series of beautiful waterfalls. It’s a bit challenging but the views are worth it. [Map]
  • Sendero Canillas de Aceituno – La Maroma: This is a challenging but rewarding trail that takes you to the peak of La Maroma, the highest point in the province of Malaga. The trail is approximately 22 km round trip with an elevation gain of 1,500 m. The ascent is steep and strenuous, with some sections having a gradient of over 30%. The trail starts from the village and takes you through a lunar-like landscape with grey marbles. Along the way, you’ll find a natural cave refuge and a single water source. The descent can be tricky due to loose stones and accumulated fatigue, so caution is advised. [Map]


The vibrant festivities of Canillas de Aceituno kick off with the lively “Carnaval” in February. The celebrations continue with “El Día de la Morcilla”, a unique local event celebrated on the last Sunday in April. As spring blossoms, “La Romería de San Isidro” takes place around the 15th of May, drawing crowds with its traditional charm.

The town’s festive calendar is further highlighted by the feast in honour of its Patron, “La Virgen de la Cabeza”. This significant event is a testament to the town’s rich cultural heritage. The year’s festivities culminate with “Las Candelarias” on the 7th and 8th of September, bringing together locals and visitors alike in a grand celebration.

These events, steeped in tradition and filled with joy, truly encapsulate the spirit of Canillas de Aceituno, making it a fascinating destination for those seeking to experience authentic Spanish culture.


For those who appreciate fine cuisine, Canillas de Aceituno offers a delightful array of dishes that are sure to tantalise your taste buds. Don’t miss out on the refreshing cold vegetable soup with moscatel grape, a perfect blend of fresh produce and sweet wine.

Equally enticing is the cold garlic and almond soup, a traditional dish that showcases the region’s rich flavours. “Las gachas de mosto” and “las migas” are other local favourites that you must try.

For those with a hearty appetite, the fennel stew, the succulent “olla”, and goat cooked in a wood-fired oven are sure to satisfy. These more substantial dishes reflect the region’s culinary traditions and the local love for robust flavours.

Each dish in Canillas de Aceituno tells a story of the town’s rich cultural heritage and the abundant local produce. So, take a gastronomic journey through this charming town and savour every bite.

How to Get to Canillas de Aceituno

Canillas de Aceituno, a charming village located in the Axarquia region of Andalusia, is accessible in several ways.

  • By car: Canillas de Aceituno is about 55 kilometers from Malaga. You can get there via the C-335 road and the local M-125 from Vélez-Málaga. If you’re coming from Malaga city, the quickest option is to drive.
  • By bus: There are bus services available from Velez-Málaga to Canillas de Aceituno. On weekdays, buses depart at 07:30h and 16:00h from Canillas de Aceituno, and at 13:20h and 19:30h from Velez-Malaga. On Saturdays, there is a bus from Canillas de Aceituno at 09:00h and from Vélez-Málaga at 13:20h. Please note that the bus schedule may vary, particularly on weekends and holidays.
  • By taxi: Another option is to take a taxi from Malaga to Canillas de Aceituno.