Surrounded by mountains, Periana is situated approximately 55 kilometres from Malaga, 20 kilometres from Velez-Malaga, and around 10 kilometres from Alcaucín. Located north of Lake Viñuela, the town is within driving distance of the lake’s amenities and it is within 30 kilometres of the Mediterranean Sea. The Rio Guaro begins in Periana. Many locals find quiet spots along the river banks and enjoy romantic picnics or family get-togethers. Lake Viñuela’s northern banks are located in Periana. The lake and the Rio Guaro provide the town with one of Spain’s best irrigation systems. Today, Periana thrives as an agricultural town with a population of almost 3,600 people. The area is responsible for the Periana peach, considered the finest peach variety in all of Spain. Olive oil is secondary.
Little is known about Periana’s history. Artefacts dating back to the Romans, Visigoths, and Moors have been unearthed demonstrating the town’s very ancient history. Historians believe that Periana was part of Velez and then Riogordo. It is not until the latter part of the 1700s that the town actually gained independence and is listed in the record books as being a separate entity between Santana and Pereira. The combination of these two hills is believed to be where Periana gained its name.
In the late 19th century, a massive earthquake destroyed many of the historic buildings. It would take plenty of money, natural resources, and time to rebuild the destroyed areas. A visit by Alfonso the 12th helped make this possible, as he urged Spain to unite and help provide whatever other regions could donate. After buildings were restored or rebuilt, the town began to grow slowly and steadily over the years. Agriculture is the main industry and the population has improved greatly in the past century.
The sulphur waters in the Baths of Vilo still draw a crowd. Built during the 1820s in the outskirts of town, many people flocked to the baths seeking the restorative properties of the rich mineral water. Cerro Alcolea, Cerro de Cappellania, Llano de la Mantanza and Cerro del Fuerte are scattered throughout the town. These key areas hold the remains of buildings from the Roman times. Some artefacts have been unearthed at these sites. They are certainly worth viewing. Iglesia de San Isidro was rebuilt in the late 1800s following the earthquake. The Mudejar style church is located in the city centre and draws a decent crowd every year. Stroll through the Plaza de la Lomillaja and take in the sights and sounds before visiting the church.
Crops are important to the town of Periana. In March, the harvest of olives in celebrated with a small festival. The highlight of this festival is a lavish breakfast that townspeople and visitors can enjoy. Periana’s famed peach is celebrated every summer. Foods utilizing the peach are served in many locations and dances, musical performances, and parades create visual wonders that townspeople and tourists enjoy viewing. Rio Seco also sits on the outskirts of Periana. The river offers many picturesque locations for family picnics, romantic interludes, and boisterous get-togethers.
The warm climate, excellent soil quality, and incredible irrigation system enable Periana to earn revenue through agriculture. Peaches are the town’s claim to fame. Many in Spain consider the peaches from Periana to be the finest in the country. Citrus crops also flourish in the area. Periana produces a unique olive oil that is golden in colour and sweet to the taste. This is another important contribution to the area’s economy. The high quality of the olive oil makes it an important stop on Spain’s popular “Olive Oil Route.” Other agricultural crops include potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, chick peas, and other seasonal vegetables. The weather seems perfectly suited for a number of crops.
The cuisine without Periana is some of the area’s finest. A delightful soup made from fresh oranges is common. Cod is also used to create filling soups. The fertile soil helps ensure that asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes, peaches, pears, oranges, and almonds are plentiful. Besides vegetables, honey is produced locally and goat’s milk is turned into pungent cheese. All of these ingredients ensure that the cuisine is fresh and filling. Other traditional dishes include rabbit stewed in garlic, asparagus soup, and cod cooked with egg and honey. Sponge cake is commonly served with fresh fruit for dessert.
Though there are no large dance clubs, there are a number of smaller bars and restaurants that might offer enough for those looking to enjoy some nightly activities. Alambique is a tavern that brews their own brandy in a local distillery. Periana does have a small disco in town that appeals to the townspeople. If dancing is your goal, you will find the area offers enough to keep you satisfied.
Come to Periana for the culinary treasures. Fresh peaches and amazing olive oil are only some of the highlights. Locally made brandy, fresh produce, and even wild game make this area one of the greatest for those who enjoy to cook and to eat. The scenery in Periana is equally impressive. Vast mountain vistas and sparkling waters make the town truly picturesque. Though there is not an abundance of shops, you will find a couple of local craftsmen from time to time. You will find that Periana offers a new adventure every day.