In the north west of the Granada Province, about 35 kilometres from Granada City, along the N432 towards Cordoba, is the lovely hillside village of Moclín. The situation is hard to beat in terms of historical interest and stunning views from its altitude of 1,065 metres above sea level. It is on the route of the Caliphs and has an impressive 14 th century Moorish Castle looking into the valley. There are breathtaking vistas towards the snow capped Sierra Nevada Mountains as well as down into Granada, home of the famous Alhambra. For a taste of Andalusian village life, this is a good choice as a place to stay when visiting the provinces of Granada and Cordoba. Of great interest in close proximity to the village are many traces of prehistoric man, in the form of cave paintings and Neolithic stone formations.
There are approximately 4,750 people living in the overall municipality of Moclín, with just over 500 residing in the actual village. The other villages belonging to the Moclín municipality are Puerto Lope, Tiena, Tózar, Limones and Los Olivares. The town hall overseeing all of these is in Moclín village, where you will find the majority of the historic monuments, important to the area. These include; The Moclín Castle, fortification walls, the Sanctuary of the Saint Cristo del Paño (from the 16 th century), the Hermitage of San Anton and the Mirador de Moclin.
You will find no grand hotels in this village, but the friendly, family run ‘hostals’ (small hotels or bed and breakfast establishments) are generally very comfortable, clean and affordable. Another option is to be a rural tourist and self cater by renting a village house. You will not meet many English speakers, but the locals are used to welcoming foreign tourists, so there should be no problems. It is a delight to wake up and look out on to the almond blossom and the olive groves of the hillside into which the village nestles. There are lovely walks down into the valleys below or up through the mountain pine forests. For night life, you can either drive into the nearby bustling city of Granada or simply chill out in one of the two local bar/restaurants for a taste of traditional Andalusia.
The village is everything you would expect of traditional southern Spanish living, with narrow streets, one village shop, Town Hall, pharmacy, bank and doctor’s surgery. Early morning and again at lunchtime, the baker’s van makes several stops around the village, selling and delivering bread and pastries. Other village sounds, such as neighbours calling out and having lively conversation in the streets or the church bell each evening, add a splash of Southern Spanish culture and make the visit all the more endearing and authentic.
The dolmens and prehistoric cave paintings in the area, show clear signs of early settlers in Moclín. The fortress high above the village dates from the 12 th century when the Nasrid Kings built their stronghold. The Moors managed to stave off the Christians when the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella ordered an assault on the village in 1485. It is recorded that some 1,000 infantry and horsemen stood their ground and the day was saved. However in July of the following year (1486), there was a ferocious attack by the Castilian Christians, which led to the surrender of the Muslims. After the Catholic Kings took over, Moclín became one of the seven of villages at that time under the jurisdiction of Granada.
Moclín Castle and Village
Moclín is historically very important. The 13th Century Castle is normally only open for guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays, with a Spanish-speaking guide. Our tours of the village of Moclín includes a private visit to the castle, a walk to Las Canteras (the quarry where millstones were carved from the rock), the trenches from the Spanish Civil War and a look at some of the Neolithic Cave Drawings that have been discovered in the area. The walking tour ends in the bar for a drink.
Things to See
Castillode Moclín (Moclín Castle): This 14 th century Moorish castle stands proud, watching over the village and the surrounding area. It is worth taking the old road up to Moclín Castle to enjoy the very best this immensely beautiful countryside.
Santuario del Cristo del Paño (Sanctuary of Christ of the Cloth): The story goes that the Ferdinand and Isabella gave a large cloth painting of Christ bearing the cross to Moclín at the time of its conquest from the Moors. The cloth became famous for having miraculous healing powers and thereafter the Catholic Kings went on to found the church, which they had built on the site of the old Muslim Mosque. Because of damage done during the time of the Spanish Civil War, much of the original building has been reconstructed. The main chapel dates to the 16 th century.
Ermita (hermitage) de San Antón: San Antón is the patron saint of the village and the hermitage is the focus of attention on the 17 th January, when the village pays homage.
Atalayas (Watchtowers ): Around the Moclín village and the whole municipal area are well preserved, strategically placed Moorish watchtowers, which allowed the Muslims to track the movements of the Christian troops. Nowadays these serve as superb view points over the awe-inspiring scenery. The best examples of atalayas are the one in Solana (near Moclín village) and another in nearby Tózar. Casa del Pósito – (14th Century Granary building) dates to the 14 th century and the construction is attributed to the father of the famous Spanish sculptor, Pablo de Rojas. Mainly wheat but also general provisions were stored there.
It is also well worth visiting the Town Hall building, in the main square of the village and taking a look inside to see the wonderful decorative architecture and tiling finishes.
- On the 17 th January there is the day of celebration in honour of San Antón, the patron Saint of the village.
- October the 5 th is the day of the annual religious pilgrimage in honour of the very important and highly revered, Cristo del Paño (Christ of the cloth).
- During the summer months there are many cultural events, some specially geared towards the younger members of the community.
Nature and outdoor activities
The municipality of Moclín is set in a magnificent natural mountainous scenery. The local agricultural industry of cultivating cereals and olives enhances the beauty of the surroundings considerably. There are spectacular walks all around the area for those who like to breathe in fresh air and enjoy the tranquillity of this privileged spot in Andalusia. With the numerous superb vantage points over dramatic landscapes, it is ideal for photographers and nature lovers alike. The pine clad mountain sides are home to an incredible array of flora and fauna, including snakes, genets, owls and eagles as well as many more. Rural tourism is growing in this area, allowing the more ecologically sensitive traveller to appreciate and enjoy these exceptional surroundings.
Gastronomy in Moclín
The dishes you will be able to sample in the local bars and restaurants will be simple home cooking using fresh local produce. For example the cured ham and other cooked meats, gazpacho (refreshing cold summer soup), puchero (a substantial and delicious chic pea stew), patatas a lo pobre (potatoes and garlic fried in olive oil) and tender local lamb (look for cordero on the menu). Most of the dishes will be cooked or prepared in the wonderful locally produced virgin olive oil.
Where to Stay in Moclín
Pension Rincón de Marcello
Calle San Jose, 25
Tel/Fax: 958 417 695
This small two star establishment has eight rooms, is in a historic building with access for the disabled, TV and a cafeteria. Dogs are allowed.
For further information on Moclín visit the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall):
Ayuntamiento de Moclín
Plaza de España