Alfarnate is the most northerly village of Axarquia, situated 49 kilometres from Malaga and 45 kilometres from the coast at Torre del Mar on the scenic Route of Olive Oil and Mountains. It lies on a fertile plain sheltered and hidden by the surrounding Sierra Alhama and Sierra El Jobo mountains at an altitude of 925 metres, and has a population of 1,600. Against the mountain backdrop, the flat cultivated land forms a contrasting scene.
The economy is based on agriculture, the main products of which are olives, almonds, chickpeas, cherries and cereals. The cherries grown in the area are large and tasty and celebrated each year at an annual festival. For the occasion, a large marque is erected in the park where the different producers offer their wares, accompanied by music and folklore to entertain the thousands of visitors. Details of this and Alfarnate´s other annual festivals can be found at the fiestas link at the bottom of this page.
Size of Municipality: 34 km2
Altitude: 925 m
Distance to Malaga: 49 km
Distance to coast: 45 km
Average sunshine per day: 7.47 hrs
Bridge in Alfarnate Typical of the area, the village has prehistoric origins with later Moorish occupation and architecture. Unlike most other villages in Axarquia, Alfarnate is flat with wide streets. The river Palancar winds through the village dividing it in two joined by three picturesque bridges. The name, Alfarnate, is derived from the 10th century Arab Al-farnat which means flour-mill. The 16th century church of Santa Ana has a Mudejar minaret.
The town is overlooked by the small Cerro del Santo Cristo mountain, which has a sanctuary on top of the same name, where outdoor mass is sometimes held. The buildings in the town are mostly two storey and typically whitewashed. The most historic street, Calle Secretaría, houses numerous 16th century buildings and the Plaza del Ayuntamiento where bullfighting used to take place during the September festival.
In the 19th century the town was an important bandit centre, due to its geographical location on the road between Malaga and Granada. Just outside of the village is an inn built in 1690, the Venta de Alfarnate, where bandits took refuge from their pursuers. It was a haunt for famous bandits El Tempranillo and Luis Candelas and is now a museum and restaurant where delicious regional dishes are prepared and served.
Alfarnate Popular Fiestas:
Early February – Fiesta of the Virgen de la Candelaria
Late April – Festival of San Marcos
Early May – May Day
Mid June – Festival of San Antonio
End June – Day of the Cherry
Mid September – Feria of Alfarnate
Alfarnate Useful Numbers:
Emergency Doctor: 061
Emergency Police: 091
Town Council: 952 759 028