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Ayna Travel Guide

Ayna (Spain)
Coat of Arms of Ayna (Spain)

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Coordinates: 38.553056°, -2.070833°

Elevation: 674 m

Population: 582 inhabitants (2022)

Demonym: Ayniego (a)

Distance to Madrid: 325 km

Ayna dates from the Palaeolithic and is a beautiful municipality that belongs to the province of Albacete. The different artistic representations found in the Child's Cave allowed researchers to discover the origin of Ayna and determine its cultural richness.

It was the scene of great battles during the reconquest. Later, the territory passed into the hands of King Alfonso VIII in 1213. It did not enjoy the title of town until 1565, when King Philip II signed the corresponding parchment to make it independent from Alcaraz.

The document or scroll through which such recognition was granted to the municipality is of great historical importance, as it is a manuscript that recognizes Ayna's independence. It is also considered a piece of art in itself, as it is comprised of 10 pages adorned with the royal shields.

The name of the municipality means "beautiful eyes" in Arabic. The Arab influence is significant, and these characteristics can be seen in the culture, traditions and architecture of Ayna, although influence from the Christian era can also be seen.

In the beginning, the economic activity that exclusively served as a source of income was agriculture. However, with the passing of time, tourism has become paramount. Not only does it have architectural monuments to admire, but it also offers natural landscapes and a very interesting history.

The different celebrations and festivities that take place are equally important. Among them, the patroness saint festivities stand out. These are very popular and take place during September. At this time, dances and musical concerts are held and recreational activities are carried out that bring together all the inhabitants of the place. They also give floral offerings and prepare and share traditional Ayna dishes with visitors.

Top 5 places to visit in Ayna

Ayna is a destination that is increasingly attracting the attention of tourists. It offers various places of interest to discover, as well as traditions and natural landscapes that have nothing to envy in other Spanish municipalities. Among our top five places to visit in Ayna, we highlight:

Devil's Viewpoint

Ayna desde el mirador del Diablo 3
This is an emblematic tourist point of Ayna from where one has the most beautiful views of the town. One can also connect with nature, as from the top one can see the valley of the Mundo River.

One can also appreciate panoramic views of the historic and urban centre of the municipality. This viewpoint is approximately 1.5 kilometres from Ayna and can be reached on foot. It is close to the Albacete - Ayna Road and is a mandatory stop if one wants to contemplate the beauty of the town from above.
Ayna is recognized for its landscapes, which almost perfectly combine important architectural monuments and incredible natural ensembles, such as high-altitude mountain complexes. For this reason, the Devil's Viewpoint is one of the most visited places by tourists.

Child's Cave

Pinturas de la Cueva del Niño
This is an archaeological site in the form of a cave, which is close to the Mundo River. Its name stems from the set of drawings or cave paintings found inside.

It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and also an Asset of Cultural Interest. Thanks to the paintings found inside the cave, it was possible to determine to a certain extent the origin of the municipality and part of its historical past, as it houses important pieces dating from the Palaeolithic.
The Child's Cave has an oval shape and is approximately 30 meters long. Its structure is divided by a speleothem into two parts or compartments that present different physical characteristics. The first, which is close to the entrance, has a regular shape with clayey sediment. The second is more complex in terms of structure, as it is made up of various blocks. The entrance to the Child's Cave is through an easily accessible cavity.

Waterfall of the Arroyo de la Toba

This waterfall flows into the Mundo River and is at least 20 meters high.

It also has bathing areas for tourists, and its waters are part of the spring that belongs to the Ayna ditch.

Surrounding the Arroyo de la Toba Waterfall is a set of caves of various sizes that complement the landscape of said natural tourist destination. These caves were previously used by the locals to shelter their cattle.
The waterfall can be reached by walking. One can enjoy hiking or other outdoor activities. It can also be reached by car. This part of the municipality has appeared in some film productions.

Ayna Town Hall

Ayna (Spain)
Visiting the Town Hall is the perfect opportunity to tour the streets in the municipality and enjoy the urban and architectural complex adjacent to it. It is a very picturesque and calm town.

Normally, in the Town Hall, one has access to most of the offices from which tourist and municipal activities are administered. Visiting it can make it easier to travel to places of interest, as the tourist office provides the visitor with guides and maps.
It is close to the Main Square, another site that must be visited if one wants to appreciate the idiosyncrasies of the town.

Church of Our Lady St. Mary of the High

Ayna (Spain)
This is the main church of the town, a temple built during the year 1953 that was built on the remains of the old Hermitage of the Virgin of the Raja, which dated from the beginning of the 15th century, and of which only the tower remains.

Inside, the paintings of the main altar stand out, which were made in 1963 by the painter Cruz José Calderón.

From the outside, in addition to the aforementioned tower (17th century), it is worth noting three bells that date from between the 18th and 19th centuries.

Gastronomy in Ayna

Ayna's gastronomy is undoubtedly delicious and combines all the locally produced ingredients, which give added value to each dish or preparation. Most of the dishes are based on combinations of strong flavours, with meat and bread being the main stars.

Grilled lamb is a preparation that is normally made with the best lamb in town. It is seasoned before cooking and can be accompanied by bread and locally grown potatoes, among other vegetables, as salads are widely consumed and appreciated here.

Other strong dishes are prepared by combining vegetables and tubers. Sausages are an important part of the preparations; for example, there are “atascaburras” and “migas”, very popular in the municipality.

The bread is baked in a wood-fired oven in an artisanal process that is done step by step to preserve the flavour and quality of all the products of the municipality. You can also taste exquisite sweets or desserts, such as anise rolls and “suspiros”.

Other information of interest

Among the most important festivities in Ayna are those held in honour of Our Lady St. Mary of the High. These celebrations take place at the beginning of September, with innumerable recreational activities such as troupes, tours with the image and dances in her honour.

Due to tourism, which has gained great importance for the economy, throughout the town are shops and entertainment venues that allow visitors to enjoy a top-quality stay.

The most interesting thing about this picturesque town is that art and culture play a more than leading role. For example, the film “Amanece, que no es poco” by director José Luis Cuerda was recorded in the municipality (as well as in Liétor and Molinicos). For this reason, many tourists visit Ayna to tour each of the places that served as scenes in this famous movie.

Fairs and open markets are also held so that locals can promote and publicize their products and services. Traditions and art are promoted as well, with the historical past of the municipality made known through crafts, paintings and the production of artisan bread.