Periana

data sheet

Altitude550 m
Inhabitants3.400
coast0 min / 0 km
Airport Málaga0 min / 0 km
Photo

Location

Periana is located on the slopes of the Sierra Alhama at 500 meters above sea level. The distance to Málaga is 58 km and it is 25 km to the coast. The municipality extends from the peak of La Torca (1500m) down to the Viñuela reservoir. Steep and stark mountainsides, from where the river Guaro originates as a waterfall (later to become the river Sabar) form a picturesque background to the village. There are fantastic views from Periana across the reservoir towards the Mediterranean.

Surroundings

The very stark and rocky mountains to the north of Periana give way to gentle slopes closer to the village. Over hundreds of years the area has developed extensive open olive groves and cornfields. Hundred year old olive trees produce unique golden oil. The abundance of water in this area is due to the presence of the rivers Guaro and Sabar, and Periana´s local peach production is famous throughout Spain. Other subtropical fruits, such as oranges and lemons, are also grown here. Small hamlets such as Vilo, Guaro, La Muela, Los Marines and Mondrón belong to the municipality. Located in an upper valley of the river Guaro, the hamlet of Baños de Vilo is home to the ancient medicinal baths once used by the Arabs, which are now being restored. Mondrón takes its name from the excellent virgin olive oil it produces – fans come from all over Spain to buy in their annual supply. The Viñuela reservoir is a big feature of the area as it supplies a large part of the Axarquía with water.

The village

The municipality has about 3600 inhabitants, most of whom live in the village which is the social and economic centre of the community. The narrow, flower bedecked streets and patios have a special flair. Most of the whitewashed houses are one or two storeys high, and there are still some of the palacial and elegent houses of the 19th Century to be found around the central square. There are several schools in the village, a health centre and many shops, supermarkets, banks, restaurants, tapas bars and a wide range of facilities for day to day living. Periana is a developing municipality whose principle economic basis is agriculture – in particular olive and peach production. In recent years tourism has become an increasingly important economic resource. There are many small countryside properties rented as holiday homes and as a result the area is benefiting from improvements in infrastructure and an increase in cultural activities on offer.

History

The origins of Periana are not well documented. Archeological finds in the municipality show that there were settlements in prehistoric times. Periana acquired the status of municipality in 1761 when the chapel of San Isidro was converted into the parish. In 1884 Periana suffered a large earthquake which practically destroyed the whole village. The parish church of San Isidro was rebuilt in the Mudejar style and is worth a visit. There are no remarkable old buildings worth mentioning from the time before the earthquake.

Features

Periana is well known for its fairs. It all starts in March with the Day of the Olive. On the 15th May the patron saint of the village, San Isidro, is paraded through the streets and both inhabitants and visitors throw corn and flowers. Another very popular event is the Fair of the Peach at the beginning of September, when every visitor is given a peach as a gift. The fairs are celebrated with great joy and liveliness evidencing the importance of the agricultural roots of the inhabitants.