The Poniente Granadino is in the centre of Andalusia (Spain). It is located between the city of Malaga and the Costa del Sol on the one side and the city of Granada and the Sierra Nevada on the other one. Its strategic situation means that the traveler can visit several major historical centres of Andalusia in single day trips. The Poniente Granadino is weIl located to visit the highlights in Andalusia: Sevilla, Cordoba, Ronda, Sierra Nevada, the Alpujarras, Malaga, the Costa del Sol and of course, the city of Granada with the beautiful Arabian palaces and gardens of the Alhambra.
The cultural richness of Poniente Granadino is shown in the declaration of some historical towns by the Andalusian Autonomous Government: Loja, Alhama, Montefrio and Moclin. Alhama is a major spa, a paradise of vegetation and water with thermal springs that gush out at 47C. The therapeutic value of the waters was already well known by the Romans and the Arabs. A network of rivers and streams criss-crosses the region. Over the centuries they have eaten away at the rocks to form spectacular valleys and gorges like those in Alhama, Cacin, Montefrio, Loja and Moclin.
A touch of history
Poniente Granadino is known as 'The last Arabian frontier of Spain'. This slogan represents the important role that these towns and their people played during the final years of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, the last Muslim presence in Spain. Remains of the Moorish civilization as well as archaeological vestiges that go back to paleolithic times, together with buildings made after the Christian conquer are split out through the landscape.
The region offers a wealth of outdoor activities. Donkey riding in Tajo de Alhama, trout fishing in Riofrio, off-road driving, pony-trekking and mountan-biking in the Sierra de Loja and the Natural Park of Sierra de Tejeda, Alhama and Almijara, hiking in Montefrio, gliding from the Cuesta de la Palma aerodrome in Loja or climbing in the 'Paso de la Burra' in Loja are just a few. The differences of altitude means vast array of different, breathtaking scenarios for the nature lover.
The history and tradition of the Poniente Granadino are reflected in its local dishes. Meat is an essential part of such well-known delights as 'choto al ajillo' or veal with garlic, a dish of fairly certain Moorish orgin, and pork stuffing and sausages. During the hunting season, partridge and rabbit form the basis of the dishes in the north of the region. In the centre of the region the two most outstanding specialities are the green-violet asparagus from Huetor-Tajar and trout from Riofrio. In the south of the region the traveler cannot afford to miss the delicious 'Olla jamena', eaten with wine produced in Alhama. Also highly appreciated are the sweetmeats produced by monasteries, featuring such mouth-watering delights as 'Roscos de San Anton' o, 'Bienmesabe', and the 'Rosco de Alhahud'.The Last Arabian Frontier of Spain
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