Things to See and Do in Jimena
The iconic hilltop castle occupying the highest point overlooking Jimena is the village’s main attraction.
Start your visit at Plaza de la Constitución, where you can stop to eat and admire the bell tower of Santa María la Coronada church, all that remains of the building (originally built in the 17th century as San Sebastian).
Casa de la Memoria de la Sauceda is a small museum about the Spanish Civil War, specifically focussed on the Campo de Gibraltar (the area of Cadiz province closest to Gibraltar). Walking south through the village, you will find remains of the Royal Artillery Factory of Carlos III next to the river (see below for more information on both).
The castle of Jimena de la Frontera is the village’s most impressive and culturally significant monument, both for the amazing views from its grounds and the top of its keep, and for the rich history of the site. Declared a National Monument in 1931, the castle stands strategically on the Cerro de San Cristobal (Hill of Saint Christopher), on the west side of the present village. More >
ROYAL ARTILLERY FACTORY OF CARLOS III
The factory was built in 1777 in order to manufacture military supplies (mainly ammunition such as cannon balls) using iron mined in nearby San Pablo de Buceite. The ammunition was used by Spanish forces during the Siege of Gibraltar, as well as overseas in the Spanish Empire. It was located on a specially built canal, next to the Hozgarganta River, which provided power and also the means of transport for sending the artillery down to the Bay of Algeciras and beyond. The factory was only used until 1788, due to lack of consistent water supply for the furnace. Today, the walls of the old canal which channelled water can still be seen next to the Hozgarganta River. More >
Casa de la Memoria de la Sauceda
An archive, library and museum, this is used for researching, sharing and debating of information about the Spanish Civil War, with a focus on what occurred in Andalusia, particularly in the Campo de Gibraltar. It is located at Calle Sevilla 53 – look out for the Second Spanish Republican flag outside a balcony on its upper floor. More >
PLAZA DE LA CONSTITUCIÓN AND BELL TOWER
The best place to start a walk around Jimena is in the Plaza de la Constitución. Entering the village on Avenida los Deportes, you will find parking spaces and a small car park. If you’ve arrived early, Restaurante La Tasca on Plaza de la Constitución is a great place to have a coffee and snack to prepare you for the walk ahead.
The most notable feature of Plaza de la Constitución is the bell tower which is the only remaining feature of the 17th century church known as Santa María la Coronada. More >
RIVER HOZGARGANTA WALK
The River Hozgarganta Walk begins at the bottom of the village and follows a route looping round to the west, passing farms and through forested areas, and back to the top of Jimena de la Frontera, ending up in Plaza del Puerto Morán. The walk also takes you past the remains of the Carlos III Royal Artillery Factory and the rural hotel that now occupies its old buildings. You can see the keep tower of the castle on your left for the first stretch of the walk, as well as the ruins of El Baño de la Reina Mora (The Bath of Queen Mora) and the abundant plants and wildlife living around the river. More >
Things to see and do near the village
A number of activities can be enjoyed outside Jimena de la Frontera such visiting the abandoned village of La Sauceda in the Alcornocales Natural Park. Also, you can see well-preserved prehistoric cave paintings at Laja Alta Cave.
This abandoned village, located approximately 45 minutes’ drive north from Jimena de la Frontera on the C-3321 road, dates back to Moorish times; you will find it 4km from the top of the Puerto de Galiz pass. Its location, deep in the Alcornocales Natural Park within the municipal district of Cortes de la Frontera in Malaga province, means it is remote and isolated. More >
Laja Alta Cave
Located outside of the village of Jimena de la Frontera, within the Alcornocales Natural Park, you can find a collection of prehistoric cave paintings which are very early examples of art in southern Spain, and which are referred to by the locals as La Cueva de la Laja Alta (Laja Alta Cave). More >
Los Alcornocales Natural Park
This vast park covers 167,767ha from Tarifa in the south to the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park in the north. It is named after its handsome and beautifully kept cork tree forest, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the most important ones in the world. More >
In 1890, the first part of the construction of a railway line between Algeciras, Ronda and Bobadilla, headed by British engineer John Morrison and his financier Sir Alexander Henderson, was completed up to Jimena de a Frontera. This was the first part in an important railway line which met the main line to Madrid, the gateway for the rest of Europe at the time. The railway station of Jimena de la Frontera still serves as a stop on a route full of stunning scenery and historic sites, and you can even see some original Henderson-era signalling equipment on the station platform - one cast-iron piece bears the mark "Stand No 17". The original station house from 1890 contains a waiting room and ticket office and is still in use today. More >
This lovely Andalusian village is located in Cádiz province in the area known as the “Campo de Gibraltar”. It is in the northwestern part of the Jimena de Libar municipality and claims to have more hours of sunshine than any other town in the province of Cádiz: 2,600 hours per year. More >
San Pablo Railway Station
There is only one train a day in each direction for Algeciras and Ronda/Granada. The actual station (now a restaurant) is unmanned but tickets can be purchased from the train guard. The station building houses an excellent bar and restaurant called La Estacion. Dining is either inside in an eclectic, contemporary space surrounded by railway memorabilia, or outside under the canopy (on the old platform) or in the adjacent garden. Adif reconstructed and raised the platform in 2010, which now serves to separate the restaurant from the train tracks. An automatic digital-sounding voice warns diners of an approaching train - many rush to grab their cameras rather than rushing inside to avoid the speeding machine. More >
Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Angels (Los Ángeles)
The most significant monument in Los Ángeles is El Santuario de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Angels) in the village centre. Its construction has been dated back to the end of the 15th century; the artists Andrés López del Castillo (engraver) and Juan Enríquez (painter) are responsible for the construction of the altarpiece of the hermitage. After the 18th century, the temple was renovated to be used as a monastery by the monks of St. Francis of Assisi. Today, as well as an important cultural site it is also one of the venues for the Jimena International Music Festival.
Little Africa Zoo
Little Africa Animal Reserve (Reserva Animal La Pequeña Africa) is a zoo located in the neighbourhood of Los Ángeles, next to the village of Jimena de la Frontera. It was created to help conserve part of the region’s (and even the country’s) natural heritage, whilst at the same time allowing those who enjoy wildlife and nature to do so by being in direct contact with it. More >