According to Professor Asín Palacios, the word ‘Huelma’ comes from the Arabic ‘al-Walima’, which means ‘treat’. Seco de Lucena translated it as ‘the hostess’s farmhouse’. The town of Ventas de Huelma is located in the centre of the Poniente Granadino, at the strategic point where the main roads that lead through the area meet. There are many cave dwellings in the town centre, some of which have been beautifully renovated for tourist accommodation.
The origin of the town is clearly Islamic. In the 14th century the Arab historian Al-Khatib described the area’s eleven farmhouses, naming al-Walima as one of them. Its name suggests that during this period there was an important recreational retreat in the area around which the town grew. The town was situated on the road that linked Granada to Alhama. After the Reconquista in 1492, Huelma fell into Christian hands. In the 17th century the historian Henríquez de Jorquera mentioned the existence of large farms, such as Guemal, that were then already part of the town.
Local dishes include Pucheros, Papas a lo pobre, stewed partridge, Remojón and Tortilla de collejas. The Roscos de San Antón, the Roscos de huevo and the Pan de bizcocho are pastries worth trying.