This district is made up of Cortes, Graena, Lopera and Los Baños, all on the northern face of the Sierra Nevada, set in a spectacular mountainous landscape. It has two great tourist attractions, the cave dwellings and the thermal spa of Baños de Graena, whose waters were internationally recognised at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900.
Strolling through Cortes y Graena is like strolling through history, beginning in the Bronze Age, then the Roman period, and through into the Arab era. Cortes y Graena offers many walks, excursions and activities such as hiking and mountaineering. In the surrounding area you can indulge in sports like hunting and fishing.
The area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, judging by the archaeological remains found here. Its urban layout is typical of the Arab period when it reached great prominence due to the quality of the thermal waters. However, Roman columns near the thermal springs have also been found, pointing to the existence of a Roman settlement.
The name Cortes comes from the Latin word meaning farmhouses. This type of infrastructure was very common in Roman times.
In 1492 the town was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs and became a dependency of the Crown. In the 17th century the town was acquired by the Perez de Barradas family and became part of the Marquesado de Cortes.
Cortes y Graena is famous for its wines and stews. The wine tradition in this area is still strong and is often produced in small quantities by local families. Typical recipes include goat in a delicious sauce. Many local dishes include rabbit meat, game and pork.