Pueblos Blancos

 

The municipality of Benaocaz, located in the westernmost part of the Baetic System and bordering Grazalema, Ubrique, Villaluenga and El Bosque, is one of the 19 villages on the Route of the Pueblos Blancos. The town is included in the Sierra of Grazalema Natural Park, except for the western part, which belongs to the Alcornocales Park.

Archaeological discoveries reflect settlements in the area dating back to prehistoric times, and indicate the presence of civilizations such as the Libyan-Phoenician, Celtic and Roman. In 715 it was founded by the Arabs, who controlled it until the Christian conquest in 1485. Historically, it is worth mentioning its resistance to the Napoleonic invasion, the ravages it suffered during the Civil War and the good preservation of documents hidden in the town, which date back as far as 1515.

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GASTRONOMY

LOCAL FESTIVITIES

ROUTES

HISTORIC HERITAGES

Historic Heritages

Calvary Hermitage

Located on the outskirts of the center of the town, we find the Calvary Hermitage, a temple that belongs to the Historic Site. Its construction is estimated to date back to the beginning of the 18th century and is characterized by the simplicity of its architectural elements.

Roman Road

An old path that linked Ocuri and Lacíbula, the Roman Road that used the Villaluenga pass is stille preserved. A narrow and elongated pass that connects the depression of Benaocaz with the municipality that gives it its name.

Parish Church of Saint Pedro

Built on the remains of an old mosque, the Renaissance-style Parish of Saint Pedro houses the mid-18th century images of Nuestro Señor Padre Jesús Atado a la Columna and the crucified Christ.

Aznalmara or Tavizna Castle

Another remnant of the Islamic period that has survived is the military construction of the Aznalmara or Tavizna Castle. Built between the 13th and 14th centuries, it stands on the highest part of the hill overlooking the banks of the Tavizna river, a strategic access point to the Cadiz mountains via Benaocaz.

Allá Fountain

Dating from an unknown period, the Allá Fountain is a Baroque-style construction consisting of a public fountain and a watering trough for animals.

Town Hall

The Town Hall of Benaocaz is a baroque style building, built in the 18th century, which has two floors, with exterior galleries that make up streets. Inside, historical documents dating back to the 16th century are kept in an archive.

Nasrid Neighborhood

The oldest part of the town of Benaocaz is home to one of the last areas of muslim possession, the Nasrid Neighborhood. Considered to be one of the best-preserved historical vestiges of the period in the region, the ruins include old houses arranged according to the Nasrid urban layout.

Hermitage of Saint Blas

In 1716, thanks to donations from wealthy neighbors of the time, such as Lady Juana Ahumada, the Hermitage of Saint Blas was built. Rectangular in shape and with only one nave, it contains the image of Saint Blas, co-patron saint of the municipality. The walls of the temple also contain various altarpieces and niches.

Routes

Navazo Alto or Caíllo Path

The Navazo Alto or Caíllo Path is a route that connects the center of Benaocaz and the Navazo Alto of the Sierra del Caíllo. It is a path with very steep slopes where stone paths and stretches where the path itself disappears alternate. The path reaches the peak of Cao, the highest point of the Sierra of the Caíllo, and then descends to the plain of Navazo. From the highest point you can enjoy views as far as the Rock of Gibraltar.

Gothic Arch-Horzagal Tunnel Route

The starting point of the Gothic Arch-Horzagal Tunnel Route is the side of the El Parral Restaurant, from where we continue towards the Pajaruco Stream, crossing the Señorito Stream. After reaching the Pajaruco Stream, we come to the Ojito Nogal fountain to reach another stream, in this case the Piletas Brook. Once we reach this point, we can take the path towards the Mítano Valley or go around it. Once you return to the main path, the ascent to Jauletas begins. Once you have completed the ascent, you will reach a crossroads where you take the path to the right, which is marked by an arrow on the ground indicating that you should leave the path to reach the Horgazal Tunnel. If we decide not to leave the path and continue straight on, we will reach the Gothic Arch. Once you reach the tunnel, you can descend or climb up to the highest part, where you can enjoy spectacular views. To get back to Benacoaz, go down the path that descends from the tunnel in the direction of Goatherd’s Leap. We will continue along the path of the Puerto del Boyar; on the way we will come across the Puerto de Don Fernando and we can spot another panoramic view of the landscape from the lookout of the Goatherd’s Leap.

Benaocaz- Dornajo House- Fardela House Route

The Benaocaz- Dornajo House- Fardela House Route is a path that crosses the Sierras of the Caíllo and of the Endrinal and starts at the Chiquero spring, located in the municipality. Along a cobbled path, you start to ascend a route full of holm oaks which is occasionally used by livestock. The charm of the Dornajo House area lies in the remains of flint, a material used in the Copper Age to make tools. The route continues to the Dornajo House along path 87, which ends at Puerto del Boyar.

Pajaruco Bridge

The Pajaruco Bridge, over the namesake stream and very close to the town, is a stone construction with waterfalls abseiling areas.

Eye of the Moorish Path

The Eye of the Moorish Path is a limestone path that ends at a limestone quarry, a unique geological formation made by the erosion of the land. This type of quarry was used as a kiln where the stones were transformed into lime, a raw material that is very abundant in the area. We can also enjoy the Pajaruco stream, named after the diversity of species in the area.

Nasrid Neighborhood

The remains of the Nasrid Neighborhood, which is the oldest part of Benaocaz, have been dated between the 17th and 18th centuries, one of the periods of greatest development for the village, when constructions and refurbishing were carried out on the houses. Today, the urban layout of the period is still preserved, with houses that were fortified as if they were towers, as well as fountains, bridges and the cobblestones of their streets.

Roman Road

The Roman Road of Benaocaz is a cobbled path that allows you to visit part of the Natural Park from the municipality to Ubrique. During the Muslim period this path linked Ubrique Alto with Benaocaz and the now disappeared village of Archite.

Goatherd’s Leap.

The Goatherd’s Leap is a geological landmark in the Sierra of Cadiz, close to the municipality. The gorge, which is separated from its two peaks by a fault line, has a route of the same name which, over 7.6 km, offers a unique scenic enclave. This route links Benaocaz and Puerto del Boyar through the gorge, which is guarded by rock formations, fault lines, caves and galleries. We can enjoy panoramic views of the Sierra of the Silla, Albarracín, the Ferrets Reservoir or the Pine Forest Sierra from the highest peaks.

Local Festivities

Candlelight Night

At the end of July one of the most special nights of the year takes place, the Candlelight Night. The villagers, together with the Town Hall, embellish the whole town, windows and façades with candles. A unique way of contemplating the beauty of this town illuminated exclusively by candles.

Livestock Fair

In mid-October, around the 12th, the Benaocaz Livestock Fair is held, which is a benchmark event in the Sierra of Cadiz. The aim of the event is to highlight the value of the mountain breeds and showcase the recipes and dishes made with local products. In addition to the livestock exhibition, workshops, tastings and competitions complete the program of activities for this very popular event in the region.

Pilgrimage in Honor of Saint Esteban

On the first Saturday in June, Benaocaz starts its Pilgrimage in Honor of Saint Esteban, patron saint of the municipality. The day begins with religious ceremonies and the procession of the image of the saint through the village, accompanied by carts and musical bands, until it reaches the Agua Nueva area. There, concerts, competitions and the tasting of the “cuchipanda”, a typical recipe of Benaocaz gastronomy, are held. To bid farewell to the Patron Saint, on his return, in the Town Hall Square, dances are held as the final touch to a day full of excitement and fervor.

Holy Week

Holy Week in Benaocaz is one of the most eagerly awaited events in the local calendar. Thursday and Friday are considered the most important days by the community due to the excitement of the processions of Saint Juan Bautista and the Virgen de los Dolores. At the same time, religious functions and ceremonies are held throughout the week.

Festivities in honor of the Co-Patron Saint

On 3 February, Saint Blas Day, the municipality celebrates the Festivities in Honor of the Co-Patron, one of the most deeply-rooted celebrations in the locality. The Beatus, to whom miraculous properties are attributed, attracts visitors from other towns every year. The image of the saint is paraded through the village accompanied by cheerful charanga bands, making the icon swing as if it was dancing.

Benaocaz Fair and Festivities

The Benaocaz Fair and Festivities are undoubtedly one of the most significant festivities in this village and one of the most popular with its inhabitants. In mid-August, and for four days, the village organizes numerous activities, shows, concerts and other events designed for all audiences. The bulls release are particularly noteworthy, especially on the 15th, with the traditional “enmaromado” bull.

Homage to Our Customs

Before celebrating Christmas, the town celebrates its own Homage to Our Customs, a celebration of local traditions and gastronomy. The day begins with the ancient custom of pig slaughtering for its subsequent preparation and tasting by visitors and locals alike. Cultural activities, street markets and concerts are added to the programme during this day.

Gastronomy

Confectionery

Desserts such as ‘suspiros de merengue’ or ‘huevos nevados’ stand out in confectionery.

Gastronomy

The meat industry in Benaocaz has earned a privileged position in the region thanks to the quality of its variety of cured meats and sausages. Pork, venison, partridge and rabbit meat, from large and small game, have also earned a well-deserved reputation in the area.

Sauce of Benaocaz

Among its best-known dishes are the benaocaceño sauce, also known as ‘sopas cocías’, scrambled wild asparagus and tagarninas stew.

What to do

Benaocaz

Festivities in honor of the Co-Patron Saint

On 3 February, Saint Blas Day, the municipality celebrates the Festivities in Honor of the Co-Patron, one of the most deeply-rooted celebrations in the locality. The Beatus, to whom miraculous properties are attributed, attracts visitors from other towns every year. The image of the saint is paraded through the village accompanied by cheerful charanga bands, making the icon swing as if it was dancing.

Benaocaz

Holy Week

Holy Week in Benaocaz is one of the most eagerly awaited events in the local calendar. Thursday and Friday are considered the most important days by the community due to the excitement of the processions of Saint Juan Bautista and the Virgen de los Dolores. At the same time, religious functions and ceremonies are held throughout the week.

Benaocaz

Pilgrimage in Honor of Saint Esteban

On the first Saturday in June, Benaocaz starts its Pilgrimage in Honor of Saint Esteban, patron saint of the municipality. The day begins with religious ceremonies and the procession of the image of the saint through the village, accompanied by carts and musical bands, until it reaches the Agua Nueva area. There, concerts, competitions and the tasting of the “cuchipanda”, a typical recipe of Benaocaz gastronomy, are held. To bid farewell to the Patron Saint, on his return, in the Town Hall Square, dances are held as the final touch to a day full of excitement and fervor.

Benaocaz

Candlelight Night

At the end of July one of the most special nights of the year takes place, the Candlelight Night. The villagers, together with the Town Hall, embellish the whole town, windows and façades with candles. A unique way of contemplating the beauty of this town illuminated exclusively by candles.

Benaocaz

Benaocaz Fair and Festivities

The Benaocaz Fair and Festivities are undoubtedly one of the most significant festivities in this village and one of the most popular with its inhabitants. In mid-August, and for four days, the village organizes numerous activities, shows, concerts and other events designed for all audiences. The bulls release are particularly noteworthy, especially on the 15th, with the traditional “enmaromado” bull.

Benaocaz

Livestock Fair

In mid-October, around the 12th, the Benaocaz Livestock Fair is held, which is a benchmark event in the Sierra of Cadiz. The aim of the event is to highlight the value of the mountain breeds and showcase the recipes and dishes made with local products. In addition to the livestock exhibition, workshops, tastings and competitions complete the program of activities for this very popular event in the region.

How to get there

Benacoaz is located in the northwest of the province of Cádiz, on the western side of the Baetic Mountain Ranges. It is equidistant from Seville, Malaga and Cadiz.

From Seville, the A-375 will allow us to reach the municipality in the quickest way.

From Cádiz, take the A-372 to reach Benacoaz.

From Jerez de la Frontera, we will follow the route traced by the A-382 and the A-372.

From Malaga, the shortest route is the A-357 and then the A-367.

From Ronda, take the A-372 and the A-374 to reach the town.

The intercity transport company DAMAS has routes to Benacoaz from Málaga and Ronda. Information is available on their website.

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RESTAURANTS

Accomodations

ALBERGUE LAS MORERAS

Camino de la Grande

ALOJAMIENTOS-LOFTS AIRES DE LA SIERRA

Avda de Andalucía

APARTAMENTO NATURE 1

C/ de la Fuente

APARTAMENTOS ALMA RURAL

C/Arcos

APARTAMENTOS JARONIL

Resvaladero

APARTAMENTOS TURÍSTICOS SIERRA ALTA

Puente del Moro

AZNALMARA LOFT RURAL

Encinalejo

HOTEL APARTAMENTO LOS CHOZOS

Sendero Ojo del Moro

HOTEL POSADA EL PARRAL

C/Laderas del Parral

NAVAZOS LOFT

C/Fray Domingo de Benaocaz

Restaurants

CERVECERÍA-BAR EL RINCÓN DEL GACHÉ

C/ Fray Domingo de Benaocaz

RESTAURANTE EL PARRAL

C/ Laderas del Parral

RESTAURANTE EL REFUGIO DE ANGÉLICA

Pza. San Antón

RESTAURANTE LAS VEGAS

Pza. Las Libertades

RESTAURANTE LOS CHOZOS

Sendero Ojo del Moro

RESTAURANTE NAZARÍ

C/ Lavadero

Leaflets

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Topografía Sierra de Cádiz

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Senderos Diputación

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Sendero Salto del Cabrero

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Sendero Ojo del Moro

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Trail Llanos del Berral

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Sendero La Calzada Romana

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Senderos y Miradores de la provincia de Cádiz

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Rutas Gastronomía

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Mapa Parque Grazalema

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Mapa Parque de los Arcornocales

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Ecoturismo Andalucía

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Guía de recursos y servicios para la Educación Ambiental en el Parque Sierra de Grazalema

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Guía Pueblos Blancos

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Guía práctica zonas – Mapa Pueblos Blancos

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Guía de pueblos Parque Natural Sierra de Grazalema y su entorno

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Guía de Patrimonio y Turismo activo del Parque Natural Sierra de Grazalema y su entorno

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Guía de Gastronomía del Parque Natural Sierra de Grazalema y su entorno

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Guía del Parque Natural Los Alcornocales y su entorno

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Turismo Ornitológico

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Calendario Ornitológico de la provincia de Cádiz

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