Like the other pueblos of the Alto Genal (the ‘high’ reaches of the Genal river valley), Farajan is another Moorish town, built 641 metres above sea level. The origin of the place name is said to be a corruption from Lugar Ameno/Alegre, a loose translation of the Arabic for “pleasant place”. A more plausible interpretation is based on the name Faraxan or Haraga, meaning the “Place of Havaral”. With a population today of less than 300, this pueblo once stood at the heart of three other Moorish communities. Only names on maps now indicate the sites of lost communities such as Balastar (Albalaxtear), Chucar and Castillejo.
Modern day Farajan, although depleted over the centuries, still thrives with a mixture of wheat and other cereal crops, vineyards and livestock farming. A quiet place – famed for more than 2,000 years as a refuge for ‘peace and rest’ (reposo y descanso), it is beginning to make a mark on the rural tourism business, and should be visited before things change. Its annual feria, in honour of Patron Saint San Sebastian, runs 6-7 August every year.