9 Stunning Things To Do in Iznájar
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
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One thing about southern Spain is that it certainly isn't short on white villages. Iznájar is one of the prettiest pueblos blancos that I've visited so far in Andalusia, with its winding narrow streets leading up to some fascinating historical points of interest. All of the village's main attractions are within walking distance from one another, but that doesn't meant that there aren't plenty of things to do in Iznájar! There's over 1000 years of history within this village, and due to its location right along the borders of the provinces of Córdoba, Granada, and Málaga, it's seen its fair share of battles too.
Many of the white villages in southern Spain are poorly signposted for tourists, so I was really surprised to see just how well Iznájar has adapted to its increasing popularity by placing signs in front of all of the main attractions in various languages to give a brief explanation of what exactly you're looking at. On top of that, the village offers free WiFi and has a tourist office in the centre of it. It's by far one of the best tourist friendly villages I've been to, and I'm so glad that we had time to visit Iznájar during our stay in nearby Archdiona. Here are my tips for the best things to do in Iznájar to make your trip all the more memorable:
1. Take in the views from Mirador del Postigo
One of the great things about Iznájar is that it's situated on a hill, so you have access to some incredible views from every side of the village. The first mirador (viewpoint) we came across was Mirador del Postigo. Visiting this spot comes high on the list of things to do in Iznájar because it's facing the reservoir, which is known as the Embalse de Iznájar, and in the distance you can see the rolling hills dotted with olive groves. The reservoir is actually the largest in all of Andalusia, and if you visit Iznájar in the summer, you can enjoy an inland beach called Playa de Valdearenas and try out some water sports too. There are also quite a few free parking spaces at Mirador del Postigo if you happen to be driving around southern Spain in your own vehicle.
2. Stop at Casa de las Columnas
One of the more unusual things to see in Iznájar is Casa de las Columnas (House of Columns). It's a historic house that dates back to the 18th century, and was where the local taxes would have been collected. Although you can't go inside of it, if you park at Mirador del Postigo you'll walk past it on your way to the other main points of interest in Iznájar so it's worth stopping at and taking a photo of.
3. Walk around Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol
Iznájar is one of the best Andalusian villages to visit if you don't want to walk around a lot, as most of the main attractions are in the same area, or within a 5 minute walk from one another. Visiting Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol is another fantastic thing to do in Iznájar, and is situated in the heart of the village. It sits at the highest part of the Iznájar, and was built between the 16th and 17th century. It was unfortunately closed when we visited, but it was lovely to walk around the outside of it and look up at the bell tower before passing under the arch and making our way to the rest of the medieval part of the village.
4. Take a break in Plaza Rafael Alberti
Tucked away at the back of the church is Plaza Rafael Alberti - a quiet and beautiful little square filled with various trees and plants. If you're planning a trip to southern Spain, you'll already know that the temperatures in the summer can get excruciatingly hot, so this is the perfect spot to sit in the shade and relax for a little bit. The plaza itself is named after the famous Spanish poet, who wrote a poem about the village in 1920, and it was he who actually opened the plaza in 1989. You can read the poem on the tiled mosaic in the middle of the plaza.
5. Pop in to the Biblioteca Pública Municipal de Iznájar
One site that wasn't originally on my list of things to do in Iznájar was the public library. We stumbled upon it while heading to the castle and found out that it actually dates back to the 18th century, during the reign of Carlos III, and the building was once where they would store grains and other food supplies for the village. If the Biblioteca Pública Municipal de Iznájar happens to be open when you visit the village, make sure you pop your head inside to take a look at the original arches. A lot of white villages in Spain have repurposed historic buildings like this one, while trying to maintain their overall charm.
6. Marvel at Patio de las Comedias
The highlight of our day trip to Iznájar was coming across Patio de las Comedias. Visiting this patio is one of the best things to do in Iznájar, and is definitely one of the more secret places to visit in Spain. In the medieval period, this would have been home to the village's marketplace or "souk", and from 1531 onward it was given its current name due to the plays that were performed here. Many villages in the province of Córdoba compete on a yearly basis to have the best patios, so if you happen to be doing a road trip in southern Spain, keep your eyes peeled for some of them! Patio de las Comedias has won numerous awards for its blue painted flowerpots, and if you look closely you'll find a lot of other objects painted blue as well.
7. Step back in time at Torre de San Rafael
On the far side of Patio de las Comedias, at the bottom of the steps, sits Torre de San Rafael. This medieval tower once formed part of the walls of the city, and has a statue of Saint Raphael on the top. Inside the tower is a cave house which is used as the headquarters of Hermandad de los Apóstoles (Apostles Brotherhood) during Holy Week. There is also a beautiful viewpoint from this spot of the city and the surrounding landscape.
8. Visit Castillo de Iznájar
If there's a castle I will find it. And yes, Iznájar has a dramatic medieval castle perched at the top of it! Castillo de Iznájar is of Arabic origin and was built during the 8th century. The castle was once known as Castillo Hisn-Ashar, which is where the name of the village originates from. It costs only €2 to enter, but if you're unlucky like we were and you find the castle closed, you can get a fantastic view of it with the church in the background from Mirador Cruz de San Pedro. Visiting the castle is one of the main things to do in Iznájar, so make sure you add it to your itinerary and explore its history!
9. Gaze out from Mirador Embalse
We started the day with a viewpoint, so it was only natural that our last stop was also a viewpoint. Mirador Embalse is one of the many spots around Iznájar where you can get breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The great thing about all of the viewpoints is that they're more or less connected by one path, so you can walk the whole perimeter of the village and take in the views from every side. We were able to walk directly to the car from Mirador Embalse in less than 10 minutes which was ideal.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the busier cities and coastal towns of southern Spain, Iznájar is one of the best places to visit from Málaga, or as a day trip from nearby Antequera. It's one of the more unique places in Andalusia to visit, and with its proximity to Granada, Córdoba, and the province of Málaga, it's easily accessible and a great option for a day out. The next time you find yourself planning an itinerary for southern Spain, don't forget to add the charming inland white village of Iznájar to your list!
Drop me a comment below if you've ever been to Iznájar, or have any other recommendations for white villages in southern Spain to visit - I would love to hear from you. And don't forget to follow me on my travels through Instagram too!