Out and About in Canillas de Aceituno
Even in the pouring rain, Canillas de Aceituno is a trip worth making and owners of electric cars need not worry as it’s one of just two inland towns in the Axarquía to have a charge point for electric vehicles! At around 645 metres above sea level, the village sits prettily in the foothills of La Maroma. It boasts an attractive main square, Plaza de la Constitución (where the electric point can be found), with the town hall, a number of cafés, a pharmacy, internet point with computers and even a small library with a decent selection of foreign-language books. ge. The old part of the village is similar to others in the Axarquía and has some excellent examples of Mudéjar architecture. Along with the church, of particular note are the ‘Casa de los Diezmos’, which is situated in front of the town hall and was home to the village’s tax office when Canillas de Aceituno belonged to the Marques of Comares. Another example is the ‘Casa de la Reina Mora.’ In fact the village forms part of the Ruta Mudéjar de la Axarquía, which takes in examples of Mudéjar architecture in the area.
Ferias and festivals form an important part of life in our villages and of course, Canillas de Aceituno is no exception. The big festival takes place in April and is known as the Día de la Morcilla (black pudding). The tradition of serving up black pudding on the last Sunday in April has, since 2004, been recognised by the Junta de Andalucía as an important tourist event. The day also includes a procession with the village’s patron saint, Our Lady of the Head (La Virgen de la Cabeza). The village’s main feria takes place over the second weekend in August and is held in honour of La Virgen de la Cabeza. The first night is given over to flamenco and the other days involve children’s activities, live music and dancing. Canillas de Aceituno also celebrates San Isidro in May, like many other Axarquía towns and villages, as he is the patron saint of labourers and agriculture. Residents of the village take part in a Romería (pilgrimage) to the La Lomilla religious site. As Brits we cannot talk about Canillas de Aceituno without mentioning its relationship with the royal family. In fact we’ve dedicated a whole page to it! See Did You Know on page 61. Briefly, a children’s clothing company based in the village caught the attention of international press when both Prince George and Princess Charlotte were photographed by Hello! magazine wearing clothes made by the company, Mi Lucero.
Canillas de Aceituno is also known for its ‘chivo’ or suckling goat (kid). Traditionally it’s cooked in an oven with olive tree wood. It is easily found in local restaurants and there is even a local company dedicated to preparing and selling it (www.chivodecanillas.com).
Nature and outdoor activities
There are plenty of opportunities for hiking and outdoor activities around Canillas de Aceituno, including hiking up La Moroma, Malaga province’s highest mountain, at 2,065 metres above sea-level. Also the Fájara caves, los Tajos Lisos and the start of the River Bermuza. A walkway known as El Saltillo, is a little-known mini Caminito del Rey in the Axarquía, this vertigo-inducing path has been recently modernised and although not for the feint-hearted, is described as a “brief but intense” experience. The steep climb to get there follows the Almanchares River which runs between the village and nearby Sedella. For further information about accessing El Saltillo and other hiking and climbing opportunities, visit www.canillasdeaceituno.com or ask at the town hall on Plaza de la Constitución. There is a large foreign population, especially Brits, Danes and Belgians, who live in the ‘campo’ around Canillas de Aceituno, although the population of the village itself is still predominantly Spanish.
How to get there
From Vélez-Málaga take the A-356 north and turn onto the MA-125 which is clearly signposted a little further north from Trapiche. The road is in good condition, although there were signs of minor landslides when we went in early March after the heavy rainfall.