Size: 7,5 Km?
Population: 800
Residents known as: Iznate?os
Monuments: Town Hall, Church of San Gregorio VII.
Geographical situation: In the Axarqu?a, 14 kilometres from V?lez and 35 from Malaga, at 310 metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, C/V?lez, s/n. 29719.
Phone: 952 509 776 Fax: 952 505 598

Iznate is a small municipality of barely eight square kilometes in surface area in the interior of the eastern Malaga coast. The easiest way to get there is by the main coastal road, turning off at Benajarafe by the route that begins in Valle-Niza, close to the Marqu?s Castle towards Cajiz. One could also take the road from V?lez-M?laga, passing through Benamocarra. The urban centre, at 310 metres above sea level, sits on the sides of the Cerro Iznate. The municipality is watered by the river Iznate, and the highest point in the area is the hill known as La Loma del Barco or del Melonar.
All the streets of the town seem to lead to the central plaza, the Plaza de los Dolores, which is indeed the social and business centre of Iznate. We can see that it is an open square on the eastern slope of the hill, and here we find the church and a marble fountain built on to it, complete with the coat-of-arms of the Marqu?s de Iznate. Over this is a picture of the Virgin done in coloured ceramics. The layout of the town is similar to others in the Axarqu?a region, with narrow, winding streets and low, whitewashed houses with window pots.
The origin of the name derives from the Arabic "hisnat," meaning "castle." The Castle of Aute would thus be Hins Aute, which gives us Iznate. There is no evidence of earlier settlements here before the Moorish occupation. Iznate surrendered to the Christian forces at the end of the 15th century, at the same time as its neighbours in V?lez-M?laga. The town?s participation in the Morisco rebellion was severely punished, with the result that the population of the town dropped to 100 by 1574. The present population of the town is eight times more, and the local economy is mainly agriculture. Close to Iznate is the hamlet of Cajiz, which grew up around the Church of San Jos?, and whose inhabitants are almost all farmers or farm workers.

Bar-Restaurante Hermanos Tejada. Specialising in home cooking. Men? del d?a. C/V?lez, Tel: 952 509 814.
Bar Andaluc?a. Specialising in gambas al pil-pil (prawns in garlic and oil). C/V?lez, Tel: 952 509 926.
Bar "El Peque". Specialising in prawns on the griddle. C/Alhondiga. Tel: 952 509 847.
Venta La Loma. Home cooking. Puerto Caj?z-Iznate. Tel: 952 115 779.

Hostal Puerta La Martina. C/V?lez. Tel: 952 509 839 and 659 666 500.
Rural houses. Fco. Tejada Campos.C/V?lez Tel: 952 509 839, Jos? Andr?s G?lvez P?rez. C/Portillo. Tel: 952 509 780, Enrique Barranquero Claros. C/Pilar. Tel: 952 535 642, Jos? Barranquero Claros.C/Pilar. Tel: 606 705 215.


One of the most traditional festivals in Iznate is the Festival of the Moscatel Grape, which takes place at the end of August. It has both a religious and secular flavour, with open-air masses and flamenco singing and dancing, and the purpose behind it is to celebrate the return of those who had to work outside the area in the previous year. The festival in honour of the patron saint takes place on Good Friday, although the really special day is Easter Saturday. On this day, the festival stewards carry a small image of Jesus, the size of a baby (Jesus el Ni?o) and decorated with olive branches, out of the hermitage and symbolically hide it in the bushes. The search for the image begins the next day, while the Virgen de los Dolores is brought in procession to the hermitage. Local people representing the twelve apostles walk in front, and when they arrive at the hermitage, St John points out with the index finger of his right hand the location of the hidden Jesus, the Risen Christ. At the same time St Peter shakes his head in an enactment of the three times he denied knowledge of Jesus. On his third enacted denial, he finds the Risen Christ and joyfully makes his way to the Virgen de los Dolores to point out that her son has risen from the dead. At this moment fire crackers and fireworks go off, and four young girls carry the Risen Christ to be re-united with the Virgen de los Dolores. Later mother and son are brought back to the church.

The maimon soup is one of the most traditional dishes in Iznate. There are excellent pastries made locally too, and on the Day of the Crosses, May 3rd, special baked cakes are prepared, whose ingredients include flour, olive oil and eggs cooked inside it. A large quantity of these are made on that day and brought, along with the Virgen de los Dolores and a number of decorated crosses, to the Romer?a at the Puerto de los Claros, close to the border with V?lez-M?laga. Once there, the crosses are erected alongside the patron saint at a large stand, upon which are placed the baked cakes for all to eat.

 
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Villages of
The Axarquia