by Chris Chaplow
Puerto Serrano is a farming town in undulating countryside on the north-western edge of the Sierra de Cadiz. The town is situated just off the Seville to Ronda road, close to the border with Seville province, but is easily overlooked by those en route to either town. It is the starting point of the well-known Via Verde de la Sierra, a popular hiking and cycling route (for more, see below). Puerto Serrano, which is modern in appearance and has a population of around 7,000, is close to the River Guadalete and, to the south, a hill called Picacho.
There are two main archaeological sites in Puerto Serrano: Paleolithic remains dating from the Bronze Age, and Roman settlements in El Castellar, where you can find evidence of burials and ceramic materials. The municipality's cultural legacy is also present at the Fuente de Ramos, located in a Bronze Age burial site. See below for further information.
Entering the village from the A375, you drive along an impressive modern tree-lined avenue. You'll notice a signposted footpath called Paseo del Canal - this is an irrigation channel which runs along the south side of the village.
|Stroll along the canal, in Puerto Serrano.|
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|The church of Santa Maria Magdalena.|
The two main landmarks, the church of Santa María Magdalena and the Molino de Siré, are situated next to each other, in the northern part of the village, though they're tricky to find since they aren't well signposted. Next to the church is Plaza Diamantino García,
Ermita El Almendral To the south of the town a road leads up through olive and almond groves to the Ermita Santa Maria Magdalena. Yacimiento Arqueologico de Fuente de Ramos can be visited on the road up to the Ermita El Almendral.
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VIA VERDEJust north of the villages is the starting point of the Via Verde de la Sierra, a popular route for hiking and cycling enthusiasts which straddles Cadiz and Seville provinces. Formerly part of the old railway line between Jerez and Almargen (Malaga), it has now been converted into an eco-friendly alternative - a path for sports and outdoor activity enthusiasts, one of the extensive network of Via Verdes around Spain. You can walk, cycle or horse-ride the 36km to Olvera. At the old station building, which is now a café-bar, restaurant and hotel, bicycles can be hired, including covered trailers for young children; you can book in advance. A tourist complex with modern cottages, opened in 2008, is located here as well. There is ample car parking. (Location Map: 36.92455, -5.55531)
La Toleta recreation area is 9km from the town, near the river Guadalete on the road to Moron de la Frontera; you can camp here in the winter. Ermita de la Gloria, as well as the hamlet of Pozo Armargo, with its balneario (spa), are located further along the same road.
|Poetic words in the village of Puerto Serrano.|
The large prehistoric, Roman and Moorish necropolises on the hill above the present village indicate a succession of settlements. A Roman settlement called Marciago was also located here. Items from the area now on display in the Museo Arqueologico de Sevilla include a statue of the god Atis, red marble columns and mosaics, and 28 denari (Roman coins). Later, the reconquest of this area took place in around 1240, from which time a number of Knights Templar remained in the area. A nucleus of farms was identified in 1616 and the village itself was founded in 1805, obtaining its independence from Moron in 1835.
Olive oil, onion soup, pipirrana (peppers roasted with tuna), a local variety of gazpacho, gachas serranas (a dish of pork, potato and garlic) and torta de hornazo (cakes with almonds, cinnamon and sugar) are some of the gastronomic delights that the town has to offer.
Romeria de Santa María Magdalena (Sunday nearest to 22 July) - see above.
Toro de Aguardiente Fiesta (1 January) - a bull run in Calle de la Feria.
Feria de Agosto (celebrated between the 2nd and 3rd weeks of August).
Puerto Serrano is 100km from Cadiz, 104 km from Malaga Airport and 63 km from Seville. From Cadiz or Jerez take the A-382 until you pass Villamartín, then turn left onto the A-376. From Seville or San Pedro (Malaga) take the A-376. Join the CA-4401 link which takes you directly to the town.
|Decorative ceramics on the wall of The church of Santa Maria Magdalena.|