Alhama de Granada, 3 Reasons to Visit this Impressive Town
Towns of Granada – Alhama de Granada
This is not the first time we have visited Alhama de Granada and every visit brings some new knowledge or surprise. For those of you who don’t know this historical town it is situated in the Natural Park of Sierras de Tejada, Almijara y Alhama. The route is scenic and tranquil, passing through the “vega” – the flatter lands to the west of Granada, continuing to a more mountainous area on arriving at Los Bermejales Lake. Fed by the Río Chillar this reservoir is a good place to stop. The views across the water are breathtaking, as is the surrounding countryside. In warm weather this is one of Granada’s inland beaches.
The Gorges or Tajos de Alhama de Granada
“Hanging from an enormous rock or peak like an eagle’s nest” (Théophile Gautier S.XIX).
The main reason to visit the town of Alhama is its location. Built on the very edge of The Tajos de Alhama, or gorges, formed by the Río Alhama, the town appears to be hanging there, as the quotation suggests. It reminds one of the great “tajo” at Ronda but in a smaller and more bucolic way.
Declared a Natural Monument the gorge or Tajos are worth exploring. It’s possible to walk down and along the path that follows the river. There are several other walking routes that leave from the town. Set deep in the gorge itself, you’ll see the ruins of several of the old flour mills, stolid witnesses of a busy and productive past, some now in the process of restoration.
Start your visit on the main square, near the Town Hall you’ll see the Iglesia del Carmen (Church of Carmel). Wander along the cobbled street beside this to the amazing viewpoint overlooking the gorge.
The Old Town
Our second reason is the old town, feel the history that seeps out of the very stones of this charming place. Marked as of historical interest by the local authorities, it boasts several beautiful churches and mansions that once belonged to the well to do of the area. Strolling through the winding streets, you’ll discover the old House of the Inquisition.
Continue into the Plaza de los Presos (Prisoners Square) dominated by the Church of the Incarnation. On your left, the old prison and, opposite the church, in front of you, stands the medieval Posito or grain store. Both fully renovated but now put to other uses.
Ancient Inhabitants and Thermal Baths of Alhama de Granada
Third, Alhama’s Thermal Baths and Spa. Once inhabited by Iberians, Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Pliny called it Stici and the Romans Artigi. It was the Arabs who named it Alhama – al-hamman (hot water or baths). The baths built by them still exist and nowdays are part of the thermal spa complex just a couple of kilometres from the town. An open air “hot tub” at the river’s edge invites one to take a dip. The Spa offers a Relaxing Day package, or you could just take a pleasant stroll through the nearby poplar woods.
In the restaurants on the main square of the town, in front of the Town Hall, one can try some of the local dishes and wines. We’ve enjoyed a hot cup of mid morning coffee here on a sunny December day with the the temperature at 5ºC! The Olla Jameña is the main speciality, ideal for cold days. In the area several “queserias” or cheesemakers produce good cheese in traditional fashion. A good souvenir of one’s visit.
At only just over an hour’s drive from Restábal, a day in Alhama makes for a very pleasant outing during a stay at Casa Tagomago.
Published by Susan at Casa Tagomago