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Aracena

Aracena, the very heart of the Parque Natural Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche. ©Michelle Chaplow
Aracena, the very heart of the Parque Natural Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche.

ARACENA

Aracena, the largest town in the Parque Natural Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche, is dominated by a hilltop ruined castle and church. Its population has grown rapidly in recent years, but it has managed to retain a dignified elegance about its streets.

The Portuguese drove the Moors out of Aracena in 1251 before handing over the town to the Castilians in 1267. The Knights Templar controlled the town until 1312 when the Order was dissolved. In the early 20th century Aracena was favoured as a holiday resort by employees of the Río Tinto mining company, who built the houses in Aracenilla, an area of town past the piscina (swimming pool) on the Alájar road.

See the hotels in Aracena: Hotel Convento Aracena & Spa, Hotel Galeria Essentia, Hotel Andalucía Mia Aracena, Monte San Ginés, Hotel Sierra de Aracena and more.

The Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche natural park encompasses 184,000 hectares, an impressive 90% of it covered by woodland of mainly Mediterranean oak. The landscape is full of contrasts,… More →

An exhibition relating to the environment, with photographs, sketches and informative panels, is on display at the Centro de Visitantes Cabildo Viejo. An interesting exhibition at the Museo de… More →

Whilst Aracena is not on the list of shopping destinations that would at first come to mind. Around the main square Plaza Marquez there is the excellent confectioners Rufino founded in 1875 which… More →

West of Aracena is the GR 41.3 that runs all the way to La Nava taking in Los Marines, Fuenteheridos and Galaroza. This footpath goes past many groves of sweet chestnut trees, so it is a… More →

Aracena has 7,814 inhabitants. The town gives it's name to the Sierra de Aracena, part of the Sierra Morena system. It is the largest town in the Parque Nautral Sierra de Aracena. In 2006 it was… More →

If you are considering visiting Aracena you may find our maps a useful tool, we provide three maps, one of the region of Andalucia with Aracena highlighted. The second handcrafted map gives the… More →

What to see

A taste of things to see in Aracena ©Michelle Chaplow
A taste of things to see in Aracena

There are plenty of things to see in Aracena. Read about them on the things to see in Aracena page.  Aracena is famous for its spectacular limestone caves, the Gruta de las Maravillas (the Cave of Marvels), one of the best caves in Spain. These are underneath the castle hill more>

HOTELS

There are a number of small hotels in Aracena town ranging from four star converted convent to simple two star traditional town hotels. More on our Aracena hotels page.

WHat To TAke home

If you love gastronomy the Sierra de Aracena is the place for you, with it´s prized hams, wild mushrooms, organic products such as nuts, honey, citrus fruits and home made cakes from the famous confectioner Rufino.

Honey, Chestnut Marmalade and confectionary from Rufino, all hand crafed in the Sierra de Aracena. © Michelle Chaplow   Organic products on sale in the Sierra de Aracena © Michelle Chaplow
Honey, Chestnut Marmalade and confectionary from
Rufino, all hand crafed in the Sierra de Aracena.
  Organic products on sale in the Sierra de Aracena

Walks From Aracena

There are some stunning walks form Aracena into the nearby sierra. See our walks from Aracena page.

Driving Itineraries from Aracena


Three superb, half day or full day itineraries from Aracena.  The Southern Villages Itinerary, the Northern Castles Itinerary, Northern and Eastern Sierra

 

Ceramic Mural - Aracena ©Michelle Chaplow
Ceramic Mural - Aracena

Festivals

February in Aracena there is the fiesta of Candelaria y Saint Blas.

Carnival week is the burning of the onion; yes you read it right (Entierro de la Cebolla) in the nature reserve of los Marimateos.

Holly week  (Semana Santa)  and then two weeks after Easter they celebrate little Holy week  (Semana Santa Chica), when the children create their very own processions.

The Arcena summer fair, flashy lights and the parade of the giants ©Michelle Chaplow
The Arcena summer fair, flashy lights and the parade of the giants

The summer fair is the third week in August, with horse processions and the evening parade of the big headed giants. (Gigantes y Cabezudos)

And the third weekend in May is the date for the agricultural fair.

Ancient Music Festival. Held at the end of August in the town's picturesque 14th century castle.

Hover the cursor over aracena to see bigger map and click to go to the maps page.

Destinations