The municipality lies within the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Baza and is surrounded by magnificent countryside. It is a great place to start walks, hikes and treks, and it is possible to camp out in the park. It is rich in copper, iron, lead and other minerals, and in the so-called Fabriquilla del Oro one can see several rain tanks and channels for transporting water. There are many cave dwellings in the town and the layout of its streets, which are wide and straight, is unique in the area.
On 20th January the locals celebrate the feast of San Sebastian, when the ‘Robo del Santo’ takes place. At Easter, there is the popular celebration of the Noche de los Armaos’ and the Día de la Vieja, when locals enjoy a day out in the country. In August the local council organises the Caniles National Meeting Day, when the town puts on musical events and dance performances by groups from all over Spain.
The neighbouring towns include Balax, Rejano, Francés, Gallardos, Jauca, Pinos, Yeseras, Vega, Bodurria, Maclite, Olmos, Molineras and Uclías.
The origins of Caniles date back to Prehistoric times, as shown by the remains found in the Cueva de la Pastora and in the area of Montones de Piedra. Numerous Palaeolithic artefacts as well as fragments of Caniles glass from the Neolithic period have also been found in addition to Iberian remains. During Roman rule gold was heavily mined and it was probably then that the construction of the infrastructure for irrigation began. During the Arab period it reached its peak and was given the name Canilla. The gold resources continued to be mined here and the ancient irrigation systems were replaced by newer, better ones. A watchtower, La Torre, was also built around this time to communicate with other fortifications and to and monitor the area. In the Nasrid period the town received the name of Caniles.
The town was continually besieged by Castilian troops and was one of the most difficult fortresses to capture. In 1489 the Conde de Tendilla, in the name of the Catholic Kings, occupied the town and renamed it Caniles de Baza. The population, which was predominantly Moorish, was decimated in 1568 after the revolt of the Moors and their later expulsion. In 1679 it achieved its independence from the city of Baza, to which it had belonged since 1501. It was only a few decades ago that the ‘de Baza’ was dropped from the name. It is today simply known as Caniles.
Caniles produces excellent legumes, vegetables, fruits, olives and almonds, as well as game and livestock. Typical dishes include Gachas con Boquerones (an anchovy dish), Setas de la Sierra de Baza (a mushroom dish), Olla Matancera de Nabos, Gazpacho blanco, Gurullos con Liebre y el Conejo Frito con tomates (liver and rabbit). Traditional desserts include Tortasde Chicharrones, Roscón de las Viejas and Torta de Matalahúva (aniseed cake).
San Sebastián is one of the most revered saints in the province. He was a young Roman soldier who was killed with a horrid amount of arrows. His popularity is in part due to Juan de Austria, the brave and [...]