Guillena, a natural treasure at the beginning of the Vía de la Plata
The charming town of Guillena lies between the Huelva and Cala rivers. A place that seeks to surround you with beautiful nature. The famous Water Route will impress you from the start. This route will take you on a unique adventure through the foothills of Sierra Morena surrounded by stunning landscapes.
There is also an endless number of outdoor activities to enjoy in this area. If you like hiking, horse riding, cycling or scuba diving, Guillena is just the place for you. You can also fly over the area in a paramotor to contemplate the spectacular views. The town is full of life yet peaceful and quiet. Its lively, welcoming people will make you feel at home. Its cuisine, rich in game meat, tempts you to sample dishes like salmorejo de conejo.
Guillena’s festivals and events are another tourist attraction. The traditional Animal Market is held on Sundays, with people coming from all over the province. However, the most eagerly awaited festivities are Easter Sunday and the Three Wise Men Live Parade.
Guillena is also known as a vantage point on the Way of St. James. Here ends the first stage for those starting from Seville’s Cathedral. It is not uncommon to come across a group of pilgrims while visiting the town.
This is Guillena. As the locals say, ‘a river of opportunities’. Come and discover this natural treasure at the beginning of the Ruta de la Plata.
Getting to Guillena
By car from Seville, take the old Via de la Plata, i.e. the A-66 motorway. Turn off at exit 798 onto the A-460 road until your destination.
There is no train station in Guillena, but you can take the M-177 intercity bus line from Seville. This bus also passes through the towns of Camas, Santiponce and Valencina de la Concepción.
The best way to take in its charms is on foot. Come and discover the large variety of paths and routes offered by Guillena’s Tourism Office. Go hiking, cycling, or scuba diving, or fly over the region by paramotor. There are so many activities for exploring Guillena, choose whatever you most fancy.
Reasons to visit
- If you love outdoor sports, Guillena is your ideal destination. There is an endless number of activities available, including hiking, cycling, horse riding, scuba diving and golf.
- Sample its delicious mountain cuisine, especially the signature dish salmorejo con conejo.
- Discover stunning landscapes along Guillena’s Water Route.
- Experience Guillena from a bird’s eye view thanks to flights offered by Aeroguillena.
- Enjoy a day with the animals at the local zoo, Mundo Park.
- Do not miss the Three Wise Men Live Parade, one of the region’s favourite events.
- Would you like a pet? Wander through the Sunday Animal Market, and you will surely find one.
- Do you like flamenco? Come to the traditional Bulería Festival in June.
- Ask for the traditional local sweets, ‘engañasuegras’.
What to see
Guillena offers tourists many ways to discover its natural wonders. Walk the trails through the landscapes along the Huelva and Cala rivers. Make your way through the famous Water Route and be amazed by its genuinely spectacular views. Enjoy a day in the countryside, practising your favourite sport.
You will love this town’s rich history. As you walk through its streets, you will see its well-kept, whitewashed houses decorated with flowerpots, an iconic image of this Andalusian town. There are even traces of the Muslim Guillena, like the remains of the defensive castle, now part of the Plaza de Toros. A stone’s throw from here is the Nuestra Señora de la Granada Church, the main temple. It is presided by the sculpture of the namesake Virgin Mary, patron saint of this town.
Just a two-minute walk away from the parish church is the Plaza de España where the 18th century Town Hall stands. The most valuable object housed in this building is the historical archive known as the Catastro de Ensenada. This rare document is considered the first land census in Spain.
Las Pajanosas and Torre de la Reina are two hamlets that you cannot miss to appreciate the town’s heritage assets. In the former, you can not only see the Nuestra Señora del Rosario Church but also enjoy its superb mountain cuisine. The hamlet’s demonym is quite interesting. It is not ‘guillenero’ as the people of Guillena are called. Its inhabitants are known as venteros, because the town was given over to ventas (inns) catering for pilgrims mainly travelling on the Way of St. James.
In the latter, you must see the impressive Torre de la Reina cortijo or farmhouse, which was a fortress in the Middle Ages, and now a hotel. It is very well preserved and has been declared a National Monument. It is the only rural building from that era in the whole province of Seville.
Places to visit
- Nuestra Señora de la Granada Church
- Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Las Pajanosas Church
- Plaza de Toros and remains of the castle
- The Town Hall, a former Muslim building
- Guillena Interpretation Centre
- The Water Route
- Periurban El Gergal park and reservoir
- Cortijo Torre de la Reina
- The Mountain Lakes, known as the Cala reservoir
- Torre de la Reina Forest Park
- La Zahurdilla Natural Park
Guillena is only 22 kilometres from Seville, on the first foothills of Sierra Morena. The N-630 motorway, better known as la Vía de la Plata, passes through it. Two small rivers, the Huelva and Cala, run through the area. La Minilla (in El Ronquillo municipality) and El Gergal reservoirs should not be missed. This municipality consists primarily of Las Pajanosas and La Reina Tower districts.
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