Echoes of the mediaeval past and long-ago battles.
Towns and castles around Jaén
The area to the east of the city of Jaén merits a visit because of the special mediaeval atmosphere of the towns and castles around here. You can start with the farthest out, Bélmez de la Moraleja, which each May and August celebrates festivals called Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians), re-enacting the battles waged in the Middle Ages during the reconquest. Next up is Jódar, the regional capital, with a fine castle to visit, and on the way back to Jaén you'll want to stop at Albáchez de Mágina, with its own evocative castle dating back to the 15th century and reachable by hiking 20 minutes along a trail. The route among these towns is through countryside filled with olive trees, whose fruit yields an oil so distinguished it boasts its own appellation d'origine, Sierra Mágina.
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