Guadix: Going underground

Guadix in the province of Granada is home to the largest cave settlement in Europe

by Ros Woodham
words Ros Woodham

For those who like to experience something different and rather special, the cave town of Guadix is one of Spain’s hidden gems and one of the oldest settlements in Spain. It is located in the northern part of the province of Granada on a natural high plain 50 km north-east of Granada City.

Almost half of the inhabitants of this charming town live in the Barrio de Cuevas, the cave-dwelling district, which consists of an intricate maze of over 2,000 cave homes, the largest concentration of inhabited caves in Europe. Some of these dwellings date back to the Arab invasion of Iberia in the 8th century. However, most of them were created following the Granada War, which brought an end to Islamic rule on the Iberian Peninsula. Many of the Moors were displaced and fled to the hills where they dug out caves. Cave dwellers are known locally as the troglodytes, and some of these homes have been occupied by the same family for generations. 

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