Atajate

Next to the road that links Ronda to Algeciras, stands Atajate over a smooth watercourse open to “El Valle del Genal” and surrounded by the peak of peñasblancas and “El Cerro del Cuervo”. The first remains of human settlements are fragments of axes found in the interior of some of the caves in the vicinity. From Roman times, there equally remain coins and pots, but it was the Arabs who really promoted the present urban centre which, originally located in the nearby “Cerro del Cuervo”, it had to rely on a castle or fortress (no longer standing up) due to its strategic position between the Kingdoms of Sevilla and Granada. During the Nineteenth Century, the town was destroyed by the Napoleonic troops, later becoming a shelter for bandits who used to hold up the stagecoaches that used to go into the mountainous countryside. Amongst the most interesting places in town stands out “El Alto de Santa Cruz” (The Santa Cruz Heights), the area of the cliffs and caverns on the town´s outskirts and, towering above all its low- lying houses, the Parish Church of San José. Its local holidays and festivities are celebrated in mid- August, on San Roque´s Saint day. Without doubt, a good occasion to sample its cold vegetable soups and its excellent confectionery: “pestiños”, “piñonates”, “roscos”, and almond cheese.