CORTES Y GRAENA
Written by Shenai Martinez Fernández and translated by Tanya Shew
Cortes y Graena is a quaint municipality formed by the villages of Cortes, Graena, Lopera and Los Baños. This area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, but the cave houses are the legacy of the Arab Andalusian period.
THINGS TO SEE
Without a doubt, what stands out most in this village is the quality of its thermal waters, awarded in the Universal Exhibition of Paris back in 1900. Inevitably, you cannot come to Cortes y Graena and not visit the Thermal Spa “Balneario de Graena”, the perfect place to relax and recover vitality or the cave-house, many of which have become original places to stay.
The parish church in Graena is called Nuestra Señora de la Anunciación and the one in Cortes, Nuestra Señora de la Presentación. Both buildings date back to the 16th Century and have a marked Moorish style.
As with other municipalities in the area, there are quite a few cave houses to be visited. The most renowned ones are those of “Auntie Micaela” and “Sin Salida”, of a prehistoric origin.
Handicraft in Cortes y Graena is mainly focused on esparto grass pouches for earthenware pitchers.
Meat takes pride of place in the cuisine you will find at Cortes y Graena, where rabbit and game are the protagonists. Try “Choto en salsa” [kid in sauce] always accompanied by one of the great local wines.
In Cortes and Graena festivals are held in honour of San Marcos on the 25th of April and San Lorenzo on or around the 10th of August.
During the San Marcos festival in April, typical doughnuts and chickpea stew is made for everyone, villagers and visitors alike! A great way of getting to know a bit more about the people and their gastronomy!
Cortes y Graena is located about 61 kilometres from the city of Granada. From Granada, take the A-44 road towards Armilla and then, the 118 turnoff towards Murcia. Once on the A-92, take the 285 turnoff and go straight through Lopera. Cortes y Graena is located 3 kilometres further down.