Canillas de Aceituno lies 51 kilometres from Malaga and 21 kilometres from the coast at Torre del Mar and has a population of 2,800. The town is situated on the scenic Mudejar Route, at 645 metres altitude in the foothills of the Sierra Tejada mountain range, on the highest mountain in Axarquia, La Maroma which reaches 2,080 metres. The natural spring from the mountain attracts people from far away due to a belief that if the pure water is drunk, illness is prevented. Nearby is the spectacular canyon of the River Almachares where picnic and barbeque areas are provided. The nearby Cave of La Fajara and the Rahíges Nature Reserve are also worth visiting.

The village is of Moorish origin from which time a water tank and tower are preserved. The tower, which stands opposite to the town hall, is known as The Moorish Queen and has paired arches in Mudejar style. The church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario is of Gothic-Mudejar style built in the 16th century and stands at the top of the village. It contains paintings, sculptures and objects made from precious metals. The village was a refuge for Mozarab people – Christians that kept their religion and customs during Muslim dominance.

The town derived its name from the 8th century Moorish name of Azeytuni. Despite the similarity to the Spanish word for olive, ‘aceituno’ is the Arab word for a coloured fabric made with silk. During the 16th and 17th centuries, under Christian rule, the village continued to trade in silk. The offices for the control of the trade were housed in a building called the House of Tithes. It is understood that originally, when this house was built, it had a royal proprietor. In the 20th century it became a tavern and almond ware-house but today is uninhabited.

A new public outdoor swimming pool, with bar, children’s pool and playground has been opened on the outskirts of the village. As with the whole village, this is surrounded by superb mountain, lake and sea views.

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