Today we want to make a special wink to all our Andalusian pilgrims, especially to the “granaínos”. Granada has many beautiful and charming villages. However today we bring you one of the most beautiful that exist in the province: Montefrio. A historic place that was the last frontier of the ancient Kingdom of Granada.
Montefrio: the last frontier of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada
Perhaps what is most striking about the village when you see its panoramic view is the relief on which it stands. That hillside crag topped by the castle. Actually, in the surroundings of Montefrío there are more crags like that, that is why it is easy to understand the reason of its ancient settlement. Montefrío is located in an area with a very strategic relief for defence.
The occupation of Montefrío is very old. The first archaeological remains that prove the occupation of these lands are located in the Peña de los Gitanos and date from 5300 B.C. Probably its foundation was Phoenician and then it has been inhabited by all the different cultures that have been passing through the Peninsula throughout history, such as the Romans or the Visigoths.
It is known that it was the last frontier of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada and that during this period it was an enclave of great value and prestige. The village fell into the hands of the Catholic Monarchs during the Reconquest in 1486. As in many other places conquered by Christianity, a church was built on top of the old mosque.
As the National Geographic photographers have already noticed, one of the most impressive things to see in Montefrío is, redundantly enough, its views. In fact, there are different viewpoints in the surroundings. Of course, there wouldn’t be incredible views if what there is to see wasn’t worth seeing.
Lose yourself in its streets
It is highly recommended to wander through the streets and neighbourhoods of the village to enjoy the typical whitewashed Andalusian architecture. This way you can also see for yourself the sloping relief of the village.
Immerse yourself in its breathtaking views
There is nothing more thought-provoking than being absorbed in contemplating a landscape. It is like diving into the immensity of what surrounds us. That’s why you shouldn’t miss the following viewpoints:
Viewpoint of Las Peñas
This is the classic viewpoint of the photos. The views are simply spectacular. In addition, if you follow the path that leads to the viewpoint, you will enter a path that ends at a fountain. A short walk to a hidden corner of Montefrio.
National Geographic Viewpoint
It is located on the Tocón road, on the outskirts of the village. But don’t worry, it only takes 15 minutes to walk from the centre.
Viewpoint of the Convent of San Antonio Square
It offers views of the church of the Villa and the village.
Panoramic view from the belfry of the church of the Villa
Located on the opposite side of the convent of San Antonio. It’s fantastic because you can climb the stairs of the bell tower to enjoy the views of the village from the top.
Visit the main monuments
It was the architect of the Alhambra in Granada himself who designed the castle of Montefrío. Located at the top of the crag of the village, this fortification served as a defence during the Nasrid Kingdom.
The church of La Villa
Built by Diego de Siloé over the old mosque in the 16th century, halfway between the Gothic and Renaissance styles. It is located next to the castle and inside is the Interpretation Centre of the Last Frontier of Al-Andalus “El Centinela”.
Church of the Incarnation
Better known as Redonda church. Its construction is inspired by the Pantheon of Agrippa. That’s all we needed! Do you realize how many monuments with historical reminiscences it has? Impressive for such a small town. They call the church “la redonda” (the round one), because of the big dome that closes it. It was built by Lois de Monteagudo in the 18th century, in neoclassical style.
Convent of San Antonio and church
Built in the 18th century by the Franciscan order. Probably the most beautiful thing that it conserves is its cloister, which gives us a beautiful picture of the bell tower.
Old Cemetery of Montefrio
Ancient niches excavated at the base of the Rock “alla maniera” of the ancient Egyptian hypogeum. Today the tombs have been moved and only the excavated niches remain.
As you will have seen throughout the article, Montefrio is perfect for a weekend getaway.
Where to sleep?
Most of the lodgings you will find in Montefrío and its surroundings are rural lodgings with a lot of charm. In this type of offer, there are also holiday apartments in the centre of the village. We think it’s wonderful to be able to enjoy the calm and tranquility that the accommodation in the village has to offer. However, if you are looking for a hostel type option a little cheaper, or another type of tourist accommodation, think that you always have the option of staying overnight in Granada capital. If you don’t know it, this is the perfect occasion.
Where to eat?
The meson La Fonda is as they say: good, nice and cheap. Perfect for a few beers accompanied by a good black pudding from Granada, some scrambled eggs, or house specialties such as oxtail croquettes. On the other hand, the restaurant El Pregonero specializes in meats, so you will find a wide variety of types and ways to prepare it (on weekends it is advisable to book a table). If you prefer, they also have a menu of the day.
How to get there?
Only 38 kilometres separate Montefrío from the capital of Granada. The way to get to Montefrío is by road. You can get around quickly by private car or you can also use the bus. There is a bus stop in Montefrio connected with the main cities of Andalusia. You will find the best connection to Granada.
After reading our post, are you coming with us to visit Montefrío?