Algarinejo is situated in the Montes Occidentales and sits at the foot of the Cerro del Calvario hill. The name comes from Arab word al-Garín (the caves). It is an agricultural village and most residents earn their livelihood from olive farming. A large part of the population lives in rural areas. The municipality, its geographical location and its way of life are ideal for both cultural and rural tourism. In some areas you can still see ancient crafts being practised such as cheese-making and salting and preserving foods. Here saddles and leather goods, wicker products, linen and blankets are made.
Fuentes de Cesna is just next to Algarinejo. It is located to the southwest of the town in the surrounding hills and ravines. Its origin is remote and it is thought that in the 15th century it may have been a town of some importance, inhabited by Arabs active in the jewellery trade. In 1940 the old town, known as Las Fuentes Viejas, was battered by a heavy storm. Falling rocks killed many people and the town was practically destroyed.
In ancient times Algarinejo was a Roman settlement. Recent excavation of the archaeological site on Avenida de la Constitución has unearthed a lot of interesting evidence, such as the ruins of walls and floors of a building dating back to the Ibero-Roman era, as well as several graves that were part of an, as yet undated, cemetery.
The town had many caves that served as occasional refuges for local shepherds. The caves were known as al-Garín in Arabic, which gave the town its name. The caves were mentioned by Alfonso XI in his Libro de la Montería. After the Reconquista, Algarinejo fell under the jurisdiction of the Council of Loja. Later, in 1614, it was sold by Felipe III to Don Luis de Lison and Biedma, on whom the name of the town was bestowed in 1687.
Algarinejo’s cuisine has many Arab influences. The area is dry and chickpeas grow in abundance, as do cereals and olives used for oil. In the tough winters the inhabitants enjoy chickpea stew, and in the summer fresh garlic soup or trout. Courgette soup with noodles and catfish in green sauce is also hugely popular. Doughnuts and Palotes (strips of flour mixed with cinnamon, sugar, egg, and milk, and then fried) are also delicious. Fig bread is also a local speciality.
During the last weekend of July several religious act in honour of Santa Ana are celebrated, and they get complemented with other sport activities like tennis, football or bowls tournaments and trial and bicycle exhibitions. During these days you can [...]