Cave House Country - exploring the Altiplano de Granada


Go to content

Exploring Benamaurel

Exploring the Area

Exploring Benamaurel
Granada, Andalucía, Spain

If you're looking for an exciting circular walk through history (1 hour) with spectacular views, this one's for you.
(Easy)

From the A-92 motorway, take the Benamaurel turn-off at Baza and head for Benamaurel. Drive past the first turn-off into the village, down the hill and turn right at the "La Alhanda" sign. Head uphill to the top (turn left at the first fork) and into the main square (Plaza Mayor). Park here.

In the square is the town hall (
Ayuntamiento) and also the church, the Iglesia de la Anunciación. The church was originally built in 14thC on the site of an Arab mosque and was rebuilt after the major earthquake which destroyed the village in 1531.

Walk up along the left side of the church and head left along the street where you will find the "
Bodegas de Tío Tinájas". The house is unmarked but if you knock on the door and indicate that you'd like to look around, you'll be given an interesting tour at the very reasonable charge of 1 euro a head. You will be shown the old wine cellar with its rows of huge earthernware jars (tinájas) and taken around a series of immaculately kept cave rooms.


Bodegas de Tio Tinajas
Wine Cellar

Bodegas de Tío Tinájas

Wine Cellar

It is believed that the house may once have been used as an Arab baths and one high-domed cave room, the mazmorra, was used as a dungeon during the skirmishes between the Moors and Christians. After the 1531 earthquake this was the only property left intact apart from a lodging-house in the main square.

Continue walking up the street to the nearby "
Mirador de Las Hafas". From this viewpoint there are spectacular views over the cultivated fields (vega) below and out to the peak of La Sagra.

Look down from here to your left and locate the cliff-side walkway with its wooden safety rail. The first part, at the viewpoint, is currently in disrepair so join it further along. You can now enjoy a fascinating walk past the remains of 12thC Moorish cave houses, "
Las Hafas", some of which you can walk into.

Las Hafas Walkway
Las Hafas
Las Hafas

Las Hafas Walkway and Cave Houses

At the first opportunity turn right, back into the village. You can, if you wish, continue a little further along the walkway to reach an old mill (Los Comacho) and the meeting of Moorish-built irrigation channels (acequias). Going up into the village you arrive at Calle Fuerte where you walk along the top of the cliff, passing the back of the Bodegas, until you arrive back at the Mirador.

"Las Hafas de Arriba"

If you're still in the mood to see some more spectacular cliff-side Arab cave houses, this time from the comfort of your car, take a drive along the main road in the direction of Huéscar. After passing the Puente Arriba village boundary sign, drive on for 1km to the first tarmac road on the right, along which a white house with an orange/red roof can be seen (opposite this turnoff is a culvert with "Se Vende..." written on it). Go down this road. As you go along you will pass a series of interesting old caves and later you will see, high up in the cliff face to your left, galleries of ancient Moorish cave dwellings.

Old Cave House
Las Hafas de Arriba

Old Cave House

Las Hafas de Arriba

The road eventually comes to a ford which is impassable in the winter and spring months. It eventually leads back to Benamaurel.

The Roman "Columbario"

The Roman "Columbario" is a well preserved collection of 317 repositories for the storage of human funeral ashes which are carved into the rock walls of an underground chamber. So much is made of this historic place in tourist literature that one would be forgiven for thinking that it would be easy to find.

Entrance to Grain Silo
Roman Columbario

Entrance to Grain Silo

Roman Columbario

It is, however, extremely difficult to find! We were lucky enough to be led there by a friendly local who happened to be gathering esparto grass in the area and who set off across the hilltops at a gallop. He warned us not to fall down any of the Moorish underground grain silo holes, of which we saw several. He apologised for not having a ladder with him as the only way to access the "Columbario" is to climb down to it through a small hole near a cliff face. We were only able to take a photo by leaning in head first.

Home Page | Cave Houses for Sale | Map of Altiplano de Granada | Useful Information | Towns and Villages | Natural Environment | Cave Dwellings | Exploring the Area | Holidays | Links | Contact | Site Map


(C) Copyright 2009 Cave House Country | info@cavehousecountry.com

Back to content | Back to main menu