Alhaurín el Grande is a town and municipality in the province of Málaga, in southern Spain. It is situated on the northern slopes of the Sierra de Mijas, 22 kilometres from Malaga and 30 kilometres from the coast.
Located halfway between Coín and Mijas, it has become a place of residence for many foreigners, as well as citizens of the province who are looking for a bit of peace and relaxation without being too far from the hustle and bustle of the coast.
History of Alhaurín El Grande
The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. There are several Bronze Age burial mounds in the municipality, as well as the remains of a Roman villa. It was later inhabited by the Greeks, who focused on agriculture as the main element of their economic activity.
During the 8th century it was inhabited by the Muslims, being recaptured in 1485 during the reconquest of Spain.
The name “Alhaurín” derives from the combination of the Roman name of the settlement “Laurin” and the Arabic prefix “al-“, meaning “the great”. In the 17th century “El Grande” was added to distinguish it from other villages in the area, such as Alhaurín de la Torre.
Places of interest
The most abundant in this locality are the Arab arch of the Cobertizo, probably part of an ancient wall. The watchtower of Urique, one of the only two of its kind still standing, is one of the most important defensive structures in the town.
We must not forget the remains of the fortress of Fahala, of which there are remains of the wall, which, due to the thickness of its walls, must have been of great importance at the time. Finally, the mill of Los Corchos, next to the river Fahala, is one of the few flour mills that can be found in Spain.
Other monuments in the area
Dating from Roman times are the Roman columns in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Town Hall Square). Another place of interest is the gate of San Rafael, dating from the 18th century, which marked the entrance to the Hacienda San Rafael with a wrought iron arch.
Festivals and Gastronomy
The most popular fiesta is the Semana Santa (Holy Week), in which the brotherhoods parade religious sculptures through the streets, just as they do in the Semana Santa in Malaga. The two most representative brotherhoods are “los verdes” and “los moraos”, which organise other celebrations throughout the year.
It is very attractive to see the departure of the former during the month of May, coinciding with the festivity of the Crosses of May, and the departure of “los moraos” during Corpus Christi, which celebrates the Eucharist.
In the middle of the summer, during the month of July, the Noche Flamenca de Alhaurín is celebrated, in which concerts and events associated with this beautiful musical art are organised throughout the town.
The typical dishes of Alhaurín El Grande follow the same patterns as the typical food of Malaga, however, the oil buns and sweets known as “ayuyas”, called sopaipas in other areas of the province and which are made from a dough of flour and water, fried in hot oil, are native to the area. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar and this sweet of Arab origin is ready.
There is nothing more delicious than eating “ayuyas” with hot chocolate in autumn and winter!
What to do in Alhaurín El Grande
With an increasing foreign presence in the area, both tourists and expatriates, the area is known by the locals as ideal for road cycling, hiking and other sporting activities.
Alhaurín El Grande offers ideal conditions for this, having beautiful roads with little traffic winding through valleys and hills, under the shadow of the Sierra de Mijas mountain range. It is in this mountainous formation where hikers will find a unique area of forest and mountains which, if you manage to crown the peaks of Mijas or the Puerto de los Lobos, will give you exceptional views of the entire Costa del Sol, including such beautiful towns as Benalmádena and Fuengirola.
Enjoying a hiking route in Malaga while smelling the sea breeze is a magnificent experience that you cannot miss. You can follow the route of the Fuente del Acebuche, where, if you continue ascending, foxes, mountain goats and even birds of prey can be spotted.
How to get to Alhaurín El Grande
How to get there by bus
You can get to Alhaurín El Grande by bus on the M-132 route, which leaves from Malaga bus station. It is the same route that passes through Alhaurín de la Torre, with a frequency of just over 1 hour.
How to get there by car
The most recommendable option if you are visiting Alhaurín is to enjoy driving along the beautiful roads in the area. If you don’t have a car, you can rent an automatic car in Malaga, to enjoy the driving and the views, thanks to the peace of mind that the automatic gear change allows you.
For more information about Alhaurín El Grande you can consult the Town Hall website: https://alhaurinelgrande.es/