Alcaucin best things to see and do

A legendary village

Visit Alcaucin, a white village at the foot of the Maroma

Castillo de Zalia y Alcaucin
View of Alcaucin from the castle of Zalia

In this article you will find the essential information for visiting Alcaucin :

  • A few words about Alcaucin
  • The origins
  • What to see in Alcaucin
  • What to do in Alcaucin
    • Activities
    • Guided tours
    • Ferias and fiestas
  • Where is Alcaucin?
  • Book an accommodation
  • Some useful links
  • Experiences to discover in the province of Málag

Alcaucin centro pueblo
Alcaucin centro pueblo

A few words about Alcaucin

Alcaucin  is located in Axarquia in the province of Málaga. This white village has preserved all its authenticity.

It is located at the foot of the Sierra de Almijara, Tejeda y Alhama, and is the starting point for numerous hikes. It is the starting point for numerous hikes and is surrounded by a magnificent environment and the Alcazar Natural Park.

Alcaucin vista desde la cueva del boquete de Zafarraya
Vista hasta el mar

This village also marks the border (below) between the province of Granada and the province of Malaga.

Alcaucin entrada en Axarquia desde la provincia de Granada
Alcaucin entry in Axarquia from Granada Province

The origins

The village was founded during the Arab domination. Its name comes from the Arabic: al-qawsayn.

Alcaucin originally means “the bows”.

If we go back to even earlier times

The human presence in Alcaucin goes back to prehistoric times, and even to the origins of humanity.

The most important discovery is a 35,000-year-old Neanderthal jawbone in the Boquete de Zafarraya cave.

Alcaucin cueva del boquete de Zafarraya
Alcaucin – boquete de Zafarraya Cave

This cave is accessible by hiking from the Boquete de Zafarraya!

If you want to find older traces of mankind, you have to go a few kilometres away to visit the caves of Nerja.

What to see in Alcaucin?

La fuente de los 5 caños

Alcaucin fuente de los 5 caños
fuente de los 5 caños en Alcaucin

This is a fountain in the centre of the village, and the local story goes that whoever drinks from the middle fountain (there are 5) will find love and get married within the year!

Alcaucin fuente de los 5 caños y leyenda
Third caño of the fountain

This is one of the very few fountains in the province that offers water 365 days a year!

The Alcazar Natural Park

This natural park is located above the village. It is so named because an Arab castle was once built here.

It is a place of extraordinary nature, where it is common to come across Iberian goats, ibex.

The Boquete de Zafarraya

Bosquete de Zafarraya
Bosquete de Zafarraya

This is another extraordinary place to see.

Here is a short video of the old royal road between Malaga and Granada, from the Nasrid kingdom.

In the background of the video, you can see the boquete of Zafarraya which marks the border with the province of Granada.

The ruins of the castle of Zalia

The castle was originally an Arab fortress with Phoenician foundations. This makes it one of the oldest castles in the world. It has a peculiarity and an enigma: it is the only building in the world of Phoenician origin (along with another one in Turkey) that was not built on the sea.

Alcaucin castillo de Zalia
Alcaucin castillo de Zalia

From 1485, it was occupied by the Christians following the reconquest and served as an episcopal prison before being abandoned.

The legends of Zalia Castle

As with other villages and castles in the region, this one is surrounded by many legends. Here are the two main ones:

One of the legends of Zalia Castle relates that the Greek poet Homer (8th century BC) stayed in this castle during his trip to Andalucia. He is said to have written some of Odysseus’ exploits that took place here!

Castillo de Zalia 2
Rastros Castillo de Zalia – Alcaucin –

The other legend says that an Arab queen, Zalia, lived in this castle and went out to the river every day to bathe. It is said that several inhabitants were imprisoned in the castle after committing the crime of watching her bathing in the river. The castle has been named after her ever since.

The olive fields around Alcaucin

There are many olive fields in the municipality of Alcaucin.

Alcaucin un olivar
An olive grove in Alcaucin

It is not uncommon in January to see the farmers harvesting the olives.

With the famous net

Alcaucin cosecha aceituna
Alcaucin cosecha aceituna

But also with a handy little tool to recover the olives that have fallen out of the nets.

herramienta cosecha aceituna
herramienta cosecha aceituna

What to do in Alcaucin


For nature lovers, Alcaucin offers many beautiful walks at the foot of the Maroma.

In the surrounding area, you can find some very nice activities:

el saltillo pont suspendu à canillas de aceituno
hiking trail El Saltillo – Canillas de Aceituno –

  • horse riding, on the beach or in the mountains
  • diving in Nerja and Torrox
  • hiking in Nerja with a guide
  • via ferrata (Caminito del Rey,…)
  • hiking (El Saltillo with the hanging bridge,…)
  • canyoning (in the rio Verde,…)
  • astrotourism
  • snorkeling
  • visit of caves

Use the following link to access all the activities to do. during your holidays. This link provides you with all the details of each activity.

Guided tours

A very good local guide, Cipriano, offers thematic and seasonal guided tours of Alcaucin and its surroundings.

local guide andalucia

The route of the white Almohad villages (often called Mudejar)

This Tour takes in 5 white villages of La Axarquía.

The guide starts the tour from Torre del Mar, Torrox, Nerja.

This tour is offered all year round through the most authentic villages of the area. Here is the link for details and booking: The Almohad White Villages Tour from Nerja.

maison tourelle à Sedella en Axarquia
The Route of the White Mudejar Villages – Sedella –

The guided tours are always done in small groups (2 to 8 people max.) to discover the authentic Axarquia.

In the following link you will find all the details and prices of the tours he offers.

The themes of the tours are: Frigiliana Tour, the Wine Route, the Raisin Route, the Olive Oil tour, ….

Here you can find all the guided tours in Axarquia from Torrox, Nerja and Torre del Mar.

Ferias and fiestas

There are many ferias and fiestas in the village. The main ones are listed below.

alcaucin chestnut fair 2023

  • Fiesta del agua, early August

Where is Alcaucin?

Book accommodation

Please enter the desired dates to check availability.

I would like to mention a guesthouse that is absolutely beautiful. It is the house of Guy and Elke.

Everything is decorated with great taste and authenticity, and the pool is beautiful. Here is the link if you want to see pictures and find out more about booking: Guest house – Casa Utopia.

Some useful links (car hire, ideas for visits)

Easy and economical bookings

If you are in Andalucia as part of a tour with several major cities to visit, here are some links that may be of interest:


Seville, the capital of Andalucia, is a city full of treasures to discover and monuments to visit.

Door of Forgiveness – Seville Cathedral

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.


cadix cadiz cathedrale catedral cathedral cattedrale

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 all must-sees in Malaga :

Street art next to the Picasso Museum Malaga


Discover what to see in Granada, and visit the Albaicin and Sacromonte districts:



And of course, visit Cordoba, the caliphate city, and the Juderia district


Experiences to discover in the province of Malaga

Find more ideas for visits to authentic Andalusia: see the blog pages on Andalucia.

Here is the link to receive our newsletter from the blog

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