Periana, Andalucía, Costa del Sol, Spain
Away from the hustle and bustle of the Costa del Sol is the pretty village of Periana, surrounded by mountains on three sides and lake views to the south. It is 540 metres above sea level and just 50 minutes from Málaga Airport or 75 minutes from Granada. It has a sub-tropical climate and has a myriad of wild flowers, almond and orange blossoms in spring to rival any alpine meadow. In summer there is often a welcome breeze and the thermal currents over Lake Viñuela attract eagles and other birds of prey.
Nature lovers will find much around this area to please, as there are many walks and cycle rides to be enjoyed, with unspoilt villages and ancient ruins to be explored. The beaches of Torre del Mar are just 25 minutes away and of course the Alhambra Palace in Granada is on the agenda of most tourists, but it is essential to book well in advance. Málaga, is of course, a thriving area capital and has something for all. No matter whether it is museums, art galleries, restaurants and tapas bars, shopping or theatre that you seek, it is all to be found within this cosmopolitan city.
Periana lies within an area known as Axarquía, which in turn, is part of the autonomous region of Andalucía. The village has a population of around 3,700 and is an olive and peach growing community with its own olive oil co-operative, and is on the “Route of Oil and Mountains”. See more about the "liquid gold" olive oil here.
In summer there is a “Festival of Peaches” held in the village during August, and of course the olive harvest is marked by a “Fiesta of the Green Olives” in April. Throughout the summer months there are several other fiestas that can last for days and which attract thousands of visitors from around the region.
The village itself has many narrow and steep streets with shops, supermarkets, bars, restaurants and all the usual services of a bustling community. The village has a Moorish architectural style, and a Mudejar influenced village church of San Isidro. The church named after the patron saint of Periana had to be completely rebuilt in 1884 after an earthquake ruined much of the village. Isodor was an 11th century ploughman made famous through his water divining skills, and the fair of St Isidro is held on and around the 15th May when the village goes into party mode.
Archaeologists have made many finds of a prehistoric nature in this area and sites include: Rio Seco, Cerro Alcolea, El Fuerte, Llano de la Matanza and Cerro de Capellanía. To the north there are the Moorish sulphur baths of Baños de Vilo, recently restored and used for their medicinal properties.
Much in and around Periana is influenced by its past Moorish connections, as is the food and local specialities. You will find the locals very friendly and likely to give you oranges, avocado, almonds, figs, asparagus, and pomegranates, all of which grow seemingly wild in fields and alongside the lanes around the village.
See our blog for more about pomegranates the "Fruit Handgrenade"
For more information about Axarquía cuisine, the Route of Oil and much more, visit the official website www.visitcostadelsol.com it has everything you need to know when planning a trip to this region.
• Sea – 25 minutes
• Málaga – 45 minutes
• Granada – 1½ hours
• Córdoba – 2 hours
• Sevilla – 2½ hours