Situated on the side of Sierra Tejera, overlooking the Axarquia region, the corridor, and Zafarraya of Periana, the village provides spectacular views down to the coast. Remains of Neanderthal man were found here, but the first true settlement did not appear until the Muslim era, as evidenced by the remains of Zalia Castle.
Alcaucín displays the typical characteristics of Axarquia villages, with its steep, narrow streets lined with white houses. Worthy places to visit include El Tajo de la Cueva, El Moron de la Cuna, La Loma de la Monjas, and Las Majadas.
The municipal boundaries of Alcaucín, located in the hills of Sierra Tejeda, stretch to the border with the province of Granada. This border is marked out by a series of mountains that provide access to the Axarquia region, leading to El Boquete de Zafarraya. This pass has, since time immemorial, played a dominant role in the history of settlers in the adjacent territories. Archaeological excavations in 1983 indicate human presence in the area over 30,000 years ago. Remains were discovered of a male Homo Sapiens, better known as Neanderthal, from the Le Moustier era of the mid-Palaeolithic. Other prehistoric remains found near El Boquete de Zafarraya include Cueva de los Guaicos and Abrigo de El Espino, belonging to the Neolithic period, and evidence of a Bronze Age settlement in the 2nd century BCE at Cerro de La Negreta. The strategic importance of the area, and its dominant role in connecting the coast with the interior, is evidenced by "Castle of Zalia," located on the plateau of the same name, dating back to the Phoenician era.
The Arabs equipped this defensive site with elements that, even in its current ruined state, remain visible today.
The final stage in the history of the castle began in 1569 when, as a consequence of rebellions and uprisings of the Moriscos (Muslims converted to Christianity), it became a prison. The current name of the village comes from the Arabic "alqausin," meaning arch, and according to some authors, it could refer to the fact that the village was known for producing these weapons. The village and the nearby castle of Zalia were conquered by the Catholic monarchs in 1485. Another exceptional event in the annals of the village's history, and one that is part of the elders' folklore, is the major earthquake that occurred on Christmas Day in 1884, with its epicenter in the Sierra Tejeda. It affected most of the northern Axarquia, causing serious damage and deaths. Records show that rescue and aid operations were extremely difficult due to the heavy snowfall in the area around the same time.
Alcaucín, with its Moorish charm and winding streets, offers a unique experience to those exploring its picturesque corners. Here are some of the standout places to visit in this beautiful Andalusian village:
Plaza de La Constitución is the heart of the city, surrounded by the typical Moorish white village. Its low houses, whitewashed facades, and narrow streets provide a cool retreat in summer. Among the most touristy buildings are the Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario and the Town Hall, both dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Constructed in the 18th century, this church features a simple structure with two naves demarcated by three semicircular arches. The Gospel nave stands out for its rococo-style shrine. The entrance, though simple and restored, ends in a rough bell gable.
One of the oldest fortification remains in Andalusia, the Castle of Zalia, possibly built by the Phoenicians and later reconstructed by the Arabs, stands facing the urban center of Alcaucín. Its ruins tell the story of livestock farming and cereal cultivation, also serving as the prison-bishopric of the rebellious Moriscos after the conquest by the Catholic Monarchs in 1485.
Located on Calle Calvario and built in the 17th century, this square-shaped hermitage features an entrance with a semicircular arch supported by pilasters.
Located on Calle La Fuente, this fountain, whose original construction is undocumented, presents its current appearance after a restoration in the 90s.
This fortress city, located near the Zafarraya pass, has been the subject of various historical interpretations. Some identify it with the Phoenician city of Tágara, while others connect it with the mythical Odiscya. Abandoned in the 4th century, it became the paleochristian version of a cursed city attacked by vipers.
Alcaucín, a charming village with a rich festive tradition, celebrates various festivals throughout the year, providing residents and visitors with moments of joy and celebration. Below, we highlight some of the main festivities of this beautiful Andalusian town:
On January 20th, Alcaucín honors its patron, San Sebastián, with a popular festival and a procession of the Saint that brings the community together in a celebration full of devotion and tradition.
On the penultimate Friday of February, Alcaucín dresses in colors and joy to celebrate the Carnivals, offering a festive and fun atmosphere for all attendees.
Celebrated in March in the Barriada Pilarejo, this festival brings a vibrant celebration highlighting the culture and community of Alcaucín.
On the first weekend of November, Alcaucín celebrates the Chestnut Festival, distributing roasted chestnuts, sweet potatoes, "polvorones," and anise, providing a traditional feast for residents and visitors.
Held the second week of May, Alcaucín's Cultural Week showcases local art, music, and gastronomy, offering events and activities for the entire community.
On May 15th, the Romería de San Isidro takes the people of Alcaucín to the Natural Park of the Tejeda and Almijara mountain ranges for a festivity with a large public attendance.
Held the last weekend of June, this fair provides fun and entertainment for residents and visitors of Alcaucín.
On the first weekend of August, for 5 days, various activities take place during the Alcaucín Festivities, bringing fun and celebration to the community.
Celebrated the first weekend of August during the city's festivities, this festival is a prominent event in the area, attracting over 5,000 people with performances by renowned flamenco artists.
Held the last weekend of August, this fair offers another opportunity to enjoy local joy and culture in Alcaucín.
Celebrated on September 7-8, this unique festivity involves bonfires throughout the municipality of Alcaucín, symbolizing the burning of discarded items throughout the year.
The best way to reach Alcaucín from Málaga is to take the road towards Velez Malaga and continue from there on the road called "La Viñuela" until the Don Manuel bridge, from where we will take the road signposted towards Alcaucín.
The car journey is 68.5 km. The road is in good condition, and you can reach Alcaucín in just 1 hour.
If you need car hire in Malaga, feel free to check our prices without obligation.
Town Hall: Plaza de la Constitución, 1 - 29711.
Phone: 952 51 00 02
Official Website: Alcaucín Town Hall