The main attraction of this small town is its 240 Neolithic dolmens scattered over 10 cemeteries, the largest concentration of Prehistoric remains of Spain. The reason for this is that the Río Gor flows through a natural valley located in a geographic corridor that was much frequented during the Prehistoric times. Also, it lay on the border between the settlements of eastern tribes and the ones of southern Andalucía in the 5th millennium BC.
The Neolithic people that settled here formed a complex, hierarchical society with an economy based on agriculture. They lived in houses dug into the hillsides or stone buildings with roofs made of branches. They buried their dead inside dolmens.
Gorafe is currently working to create a thematic megalithic park, which will include a number of walks amongst the dolmens. It has already some walks and trails set out and the education centre is already open for visitors.
The municipality has many cave dwellings from the 12th-century settlement of Los Algarves. Some of the local population still lives in caves. This place is ideal for lovers of archaeology, cultural tourism and rural places. You can go hiking and cycling in an area with a canyon, many gullies and ravines. In the town centre you can buy some lovely handmade artefacts made of esparto or olive wood, as this is a town with a long tradition of craftsmanship.
The area where Gorafe is located was already inhabited in the mid Palaeolithic era, between 30,000 and 50,000 years ago, according to various archaeological finds. 6,000 years ago the valley was the home of the people who buried their dead in dolmens, which were collective graves. Evidence of Argaric settlers has also been found, and in Culantrillo ceramic vessels and bronze objects have been discovered. In the Iron Age the Iberian culture was established in the town of Montealegre.
In the 8th century the Muslims occupied the area and many caves dwellings were built. In 1451 the Catholic Kings conquered Gorafe and passed on the jurisdiction and income of the town to Don Álvaro de Bazán y Quiñones, who became be the first ruler of Gorafe. From this time onwards the town worked hard to develop its agriculture, especially its irrigated crops.
Gorafe became an independent municipality in the 19th century. Before that it had been linked with Gor. In the early 2000s Gorafe received a number of immigrants from Almería who helped increase the local population.
Local dishes include stews, the most peculiar of which is the Tarbinas, made from wheat flour. There are also other similar dishes like Migas and Gachas. We highly recommend locally made sausages. Popular meats are lamb and partridge.