The must-sees in Grazalema
In this article you’ll find all the information you need to see and visit Grazalema:
- A few words about Grazalema
- Where is Grazalema on the map?
- What to see in Grazalema
- What to do in Grazalema
- Booking accommodation
- Useful links (bookings and visits in Andalucia)
- What to see near Grazalema
- Continuing your trip to Andalucia
A few words about Grazalema
The picturesque white village of Grazalema is in the province of Cadiz.
Grazalema has a curious feature: its microclimate gives it the highest rainfall in Andalucia, and in the whole of the southern half of the Iberian Peninsula.
It is also recognised as one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It has to be said that its surroundings and landscapes are quite exceptional. Grazalema is listed as one of the “Los pueblos más bonitos de España” (the best villages in Spain), and its historic centre has remained very authentic.
The province of Cádiz, known for its famous white villages, has many villages that feature in this ranking.
- Setenil de las Bodegas
- Castellar de la Frontera
- Vejer de la Frontera
Note: the first 2 are in the vicinity of Grazalema.
Grazalema also lies within the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. This park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1977. It is one of the few places where the Abies pinsapo (Andalucia fir) remains. This variety of tree is just as it was in prehistoric times…
The origin of the name that tells…its story
Grazalema traces its origins back to the Roman town of Lacílbula. During the period of al-Andalus, the village went by several names.
There are several ceramics in the village that recall this heritage.
During this period, the village took on the names of : Madihat Ibn As Salin, then Zullema, Al-Zulema, Az-Zulema (spellings may vary slightly depending on the source).
After the Reconquest, its name was Spanishised to become Grazalema.
Where is Grazalema on the map?
Grazalema is a white village in inland Andalucia.
What to see in Grazalema ?
- Baroque Church of Nuestra Señora de la Aurora
- The Spanish Square
- The medieval road
- Visit the wool craft museum
- Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation
- Stroll through the streets of Grazalema
- The Asomaderos viewpoint
- Church of San Jose
- The street Calle Las Piedras
- The street Calle Dr. Mateo Gago
- Saint John Church
- The Fountain of the Spanish Square
- The Rope Bull Statue
- Discover the Jopones and Jopiches
- Grandma Augustine’s cheese shop
Baroque church of Nuestra Señora de la Aurora
This church is located in the Plaza de España, the village’s main thoroughfare.
This large square, the Plaza de España, is the ideal place to start your visit, starting with a coffee on one of the terraces.
Medieval Route a little wonder to see in Grazalema
The medieval road is an authentic Roman and Muslim vestige. It was the traditional route up to Grazalema. If you have a little time, don’t hesitate to walk the few hundred metres of this road. It can be taken from the village:
This road was one of the few means of communication between villages until the arrival of modern roads.
Visit the wool craft museum
This small museum is located right next to the only Mantas de Grazalema handicraft factory that exists today.
The visit is short and free, taking around 10 minutes, but it does give you an insight into this craft that made the village famous from the 17th to the 19th century. It was even nicknamed Cadiz el chico in those days!
Museum opening times (free, self-guided tour)
- Monday to Friday
- 9.30am to 1.30pm
- Location of the Textile Museum
You can find the shop where you can buy a blanket, scarf or other item in Calle Corrales Terceros, Tienda Artesanía en Lanas.
The reputation of Grazalema wools has spread far and wide. Some of the wool produced is now sold in England, the Netherlands and even as far afield as Australia.
Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation
This church was built in 1614 on the site of a former Mudejar temple.
Studies of the site suggest that this church stands on the site of the former Great Mosque.
Wander the narrow streets of Grazalema
Strolling through Grazalema’s narrow streets is a real pleasure.
The village has retained all its authenticity.
The route through its narrow streets is a leisurely one, with not too many inclines.
Asomaderos viewpoint a great place to see in Grazalema
This viewpoint from the village offers a superb panoramic view of the mountains and surrounding area. Below is a photo taken just outside the village, showing its surroundings.
Church of San Jose
This 17th-century church belonged to a former convent of Discalced Carmelites – Carmelitas Descalzos – . Next to the church is a park from which ruins can still be seen.
This church stands out from the others, with its red colour and ornamentation.
Las Piedras street a must-see in Grazalema
Grazalema also boasts a large number of noble houses in the historic centre. This is particularly true of Calle Las Piedras.
These noble houses date back to the 18th century. In Calle Dr. Mateo Gago, there are also several worth seeing.
San Juan Church
This is the smallest church in Grazalema.
It seems that this church was built over a former mosque whose minaret was converted into a tower.
The fountain in the Plaza de España
Plaza de España boasts a very special fountain.
It appears to be of Visigothic origin.
The statue of the rope bull – Toro de Cuerda –
This monument was erected in honour of the bull and an ancient custom that is still alive and well in Grazalema.
Jopones and Jopiches of Grazalema
With this title, I wanted to talk about a curious feature of Grazalema. Grazalema is divided into two very distinct neighbourhoods. For a long time, the names Jopones and Jopiches were used to distinguish the inhabitants of one and the other district of Grazalema.
The Jopones lived in the Alto district of Grazalema. They belonged to the brotherhood of Nuestra Señora de Carmen and were dedicated to grazing and raising livestock.
The Jopiches lived in the lower part of the village. They belonged to the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Los Angeles and were mainly textile and wool workers.
Last but not least is the meaning of los Jopiches and los Jopones… In colloquial terms, the former means small bull penises and the latter large bull penises…
What to see near Grazalema
Ten kilometres away in the municipality of Grazalema is the village of Benamahoma, set in a magnificent landscape. Benamahoma lies at the foot of the Sierra del Pinar, one of the most beautiful areas of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.
Note: during the Al-Andalus period this locality was known as Ben-Mahoma – son of Mohammed –. The Islamic influence can be seen in the layout of the streets and in the traditional Moors and Christians festival.
Where to eat in Grazalema?
Gastronomy is one of the jewels in the crown of the province of Cadiz. The village of Grazalema is a great place to discover good produce and good food.
Augustine’s grandmother’s cheese dairy
In this cheese dairy you’ll find plenty of good products, including of course the famous Payoyo cheese.
It’s just a stone’s throw from Plaza de España, here.
And here are two restaurants where you can eat good, local food
Restaurant La Maroma: dishes made with local produce, retinta beef, payoyo cheese, etc etc The restaurant is on Calle Santa Clara.
Restaurant Casa Martín 1920: also very good, you’ll find it on Plaza de España.
Book an excursion along the Route of the White Villages
Below you’ll find the excursions and visits to the white villages on offer from Seville, Cádiz or Málaga.
You can also book them online today (with free cancellation):
Book accommodation in Grazalema
Despite its small size, Grazalema has a wide range of accommodation options.
Some useful links (car hire, ideas for visits)
Easy and economical bookings
What can you see in the area around Grazalema?
The province of Cádiz in Andalucia offers an incredible number of beautiful sites and white villages. Here are three must-see villages no more than 45 minutes away.
Setenil de las Bodegas
Setenil de las Bodegas is a must-see if you want to discover its distinctive architecture, with its troglodyte houses.
There’s plenty to see in Setenil de las Bodegas. Plan to spend a few hours in this village, including a lunch break in a cave.
The Pinsapar is the pinsapos forest of Andalucia that lies next to Grazalema.
You can go hiking here. However, the area is in a protected natural park that has been declared a biosphere reserve. Permission is therefore required to walk there.
To obtain permission, call +34 956 709 733, or go to the visitor centre in the village of El Bosque.
Please note that visits are not permitted in summer unless accompanied by an accredited guide.
The El Pinsapar – PR-A 347 hike begins in the area known as Las Canteras or Los Areneros.
To understand the importance of the site: it is populated by pinsapo. This forest dates back to the Tertiary era….To get an idea of the richness of this place, it’s like walking around surrounded by living dinosaurs from the plant world.
Zahara de la Sierra is a delightful white village set on a promontory that is impossible to ignore.
There are many beautiful things to see in Zahara de la Sierra, and wandering through its narrow streets is a pure delight for lovers of white villages.
Olvera is a white village a little way off the route of the white villages. But it’s well worth a visit for the surrounding countryside, its historic centre and its curious castle.
This visit to discover what there is to see in Olvera will leave you with wonderful memories.
Continue your trip to Andalucia
Seville, the capital of Andalucia, is a city full of treasures to discover and monuments to visit.
Here you will find everything you can see in Seville in 3 days. And for those who will stay longer you will also find information on secret Seville and the Santa Cruz and Triana districts.
Visit Cadiz, a city with an incredible past and great beauty, on the Costa del la Luz.
When you reach the Costa del Sol you will find in this link what to see in Malaga :
Visit Granada, discover the Albaicin and Sacromonte districts:
And of course, visit Cordoba, the caliphate city, and the Juderia district.
Discover more of Andalusia’s beautiful sites in the Andalusia blog pages.
Here is the link to receive our blog newsletter.