Iznatoraf is a destination of interest for lovers of nature and historical architecture; the original Arab layout of the town has been preserved, with narrow and labyrinthine streets enclosed in a walled area. The town has been declared an Historic and Artistic Site. It has about 900 inhabitants.
Together with Villacarrillo, Villanueva del Arzobispo and Sorihuela del Guadalimar, Iznatoraf is one of the “four towns” that give their name to the mountains in the area. The settlement is estimated to date back to the third millennium BC, once serving as a control post of the road to the mining areas of the Sierra Morena. Human presence continued until the Iberian period in the form of a small watchtower, but no Roman remains appear, leading archeologists to assume that the area was deserted during that era. More>
Hotels in Begíjar
Book hotels in Begíjar
Things to see
Murallas y Arcos
The Moorish Iznatoraf was a medina well adapted to the topographical characteristics of the land and strongly walled. However, Fernando III, who did not encounter resistance to his conquest in 1229, granted it the Fuero de Cuenca and repopulated it, respecting the civil architecture and improving the defensive and military structures. The remains of the primitive Puerta de Armas and Puerta de la Virgen del Postigo are among the few samples of this Arab architecture that are conserved. (Location)
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
Visible for miles, the Renaissance-style Parish Church, built in a former Muslim enclave, was known as Iglesia de Santa María in the fourteenth century. In the sixteenth century, the current church was built on its site; this demolition and reconstruction process is expensed in local archives. (Location)
Ermita del Santísimo Cristo de la Vera-Cruz
The chapel was built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with a Latin cross floor plan, which is covered with a lowered half-barrel vault in the body of the cross, ribbed vaults in the arms of the cross, and in the transept where the altar table is located, it is covered with a groin vault. The image is covered with the traditional baroque skirt; the carving was acquired in Madrid, coming to the town in 1940, to replace the former sixteenth-century image that had been desecrated in the Spanish Civil War. (Location)
Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Natural Park
With a total surface area of 209,920 hectares and covering almost a fifth of Jaén province, this is Spain’s largest protected area and one of its most extensive forested zones. Located in eastern Jaen province, it connects the Sierra Morena and the Subbética mountain ranges. The highest peak in this immense park is Pico Empanada at 2,107m and the entire park is higher than 600m. Recognizing its exceptional ecological importance, it was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1983 and created a natural park in 1989. Barren rocky crests and vast pine forests will strike visitors’ first impressions, but the area’s botanical importance within Andalusia is matched only by the Sierra Nevada, with a fifth of the vascular plants in the Iberian Peninsula found in the Sierra de Cazorla Natural Park.
There are no bus services to or from Iznatoraf.
When visiting Iznatoraf, try local dishes such as ajo morcilla (black pudding), arroz arriero (risotto of game meat), pipirrana (potato and pepper stew), garbanzos con panecillos (chickpea and dumpling stew) and tarrafeña (stewed rabbit). The local sweet treat are the buñuelos de viento (sugared choux buns).
Popular festivals in Iznatoraf are San Antón, Semana Santa, Día de la Cruz and Fiestas y Feria del Cristo de la Vera-Cruz. (Location)
The weather forecast for the next few days for Iznatoraf. (Location)
The tourist office of Iznatoraf is located in the Town Hall. (Location)