The historic town of Guadix is located in mid-eastern Andalucia, just north-east of the province’s capital of Granada
It is set in a strategic natural pass linking the Spanish Levante with the Guadalquivir Valley, which has been inhabited since prehistoric times; this is known due to many archaeological remains found in the area corresponding to the Neanderthal and Upper Palaeolithic periods through to the Metal Age. Other inhabitants of note where the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, as well as the prosperous Roman Empire and, of course, the Moorish.
Guadix is thought to be one of the oldest human settlements in Spain, and is a famous for its cave dwellings which are still occupied today. The caves are located in the Cuevas el Campo area and are strange unique houses built into the rock face. It is quite a site to see the whole hillside is dotted with them! Many have been restored and maintained, with some being quite palatial and sophisticated inside. It is the largest community of its kind in Europe, housing many thousands of people in over 2000 dwellings. Some are available to rent – now how does that sound for a truly unique, out-of-this-world experience?
Guadix is an important heritage site. It features a variety of monuments and historic sites, such as the medieval Arab citadel, the Cathedral, and photogenic Mudejar-style buildings.
Other places of interest include the Ermita Nueva, the Cueva del Padre Poveda, the Cave-Museum of Arts and Popular Customs. The scenery of this part of Andalucia is beautiful with the progression of the seasons: the intense summer heat gives way to chilly temperatures generated from the snowy caps of Sierra Nevada. The town’s geographic position attracts nature lovers from far and afield. To fully enjoy the surrounding landscape, try the viewpoints of San Fandila, Magdalena and Cuatro Veredas.
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Andalusian tradition is deeply rooted in Guadix, offering its own fiestas. One of the most energetic is held on the 9th of September, when a popular historic character is dressed up in brightly coloured clothes, and chased through the streets by the local residents. The festival in honour of the town’s patron saint, San Torcuato, is celebrated on the 15th of May.
Visitors to Guadix have the chance to discover the excellent local cuisine. Recipes have been passed down through the generations, and include “gachas” (a liquid dough based on flour), “migas” (made with breadcrumbs, pork, garlic and oil). Well worth a try is locally-bred rabbit in garlic. A rather special dessert is the “tocinillos de cielo”, made from egg yolk and syrup; delicious rice puddings and egg custards are also a treat to be savoured. There are some good local wines to accompany your food, such as the fine Condado de Huelva wine; sherries such as Montilla-Moriles and Manzanilla; and the very sweet Malaga wines too.