Cadiz Province - Algodonales

Algodonales is perched in the foothills of the Sierra de Lí­jar mountain range. © Michelle Chaplow
Algodonales is perched in the foothills of the Sierra de Lí­jar mountain range.

This lovely, picturesque village is located in the mountains of Cádiz Province. It’s located 113 kilometres from Cádiz City and is known for its hang gliding school – the largest in Andalucia – and also for Spanish guitar production. In fact you can visit the Valeriano Bernal factory to see how this most quintessentially Spanish product is “Made in Spain”.

History

The history of Algodonales dates back to neolithic times with remains in the caves of Castillego, Santa and Chamusquina. The Romans left clear signs of civilisation as well. Not only is the old city wall still intact, but archeologists have even discovered the cisterns that the Romans used to gather rain water. Being that the Arabs were the last ones on the scene, their influence is most noticeable and, in fact, the village is considered to be of Arabic origins.

Surroundings

Algodonales is a village that attracts nature lovers as it is perched in the foothills of the Sierra de Líjar mountain range, and right on edge of the Grazalema Natural Park. The river Guadalete crosses the town and the surrounding scenery makes it a uniquely beautiful place to visit – or live! To meet the needs of those wishing to enjoy the surrounding area, Algodonales offers accommodation in the form of hotels, bed and breakfasts and rural getaways. Local companies also offer support to those wishing to practice a wide array of sports, and of course there are endless opportunities for trekkers.

Perfect conditions for hang gliders bring enthusiasts from across the region and beyond, whether to learn to practice the sport at the region’s largest hang gliding school, or simply to put skill to the test and enjoy the fabulous natural surroundings – from the top down! In 2001 the World Hang Gliding Championships were held in the Sierra de Líjar.

Birdwatchers also find a feast for their eyes on a visit to the Algodonales in Sierra de Líjar. Around the town there are interesting varieties of vultures which provide quite a spectacle for those who keep their eyes open and binoculars ready.

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Sights to See

In the town of Algodonales itself, you can visit the Santa Ana Church, one of its most outstanding monuments. It combines a variety of architectural styles to form a sort of mountain village style of its own.

The Jesús Nazarene Hermitage is also an important historical building and this is where processions and pilgrimages begin.

As mentioned earlier there is a Spanish guitar factory in Algodonales as well. You can visit the Valeriano Bernal facility as part of your tour.

Finally, on a good day, you can also enjoy watching the hang gliders sailing about the area.

Festivals

The patron saints of Algodonales are Santa Ana and Santiago both of which have their local celebrations. Also there is an annual pilgrimage (romería) which takes place the last Saturday in May.

Directions

To reach Algodonales, take the AP4 toward Jerez. Once you reach Jerez, take the A-382 towards Arcos de la Frontera until you reach the regional road CA.4542 that will take you to the town itself.

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