A perfect addition to exploring the 'White-Washed Villages' of Spain's Andalusia region is to include a stop at the ancient Roman ruins of Acinipo. For anyone staying along the Costa del Sol or even in Seville, a stop at Acinipo can easily be included in your plans for exploring the area. Setenil de las Bodegas, Zahara de la Sierra and Ronda are all options of lovely 'White-Washed Villages' that could be combined with a stop visiting the ancient Roman ruins of Acinipo.
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HISTORY OF ACINIPO
Archaeological evidence suggests that settlements have existed on this site dating back to the Bronze Age between 1100 BC to 750 BC, but the most recent history that can be seen today dates from the Roman Era. It is believed that Acinipo was created after the Battle of Munda in 45 BC when the armies of Julius Caesar battled the army of Gnaeus and Sextus who were Pompey's two sons. Acinipo was then created as a place for Caesar's retired veterans. By the 1st century, over 5,000 people are believed to have lived here in a thriving community that even minted it's own coinage - which was sign of wealth and prestige in Roman times. Over time though - nearby Ronda grew in importance, probably because it was easier to defend and eventually Acinipo fell into despair and was abandoned by the 6th century.
Upon arrival, a quick walk uphill will take you past numerous piles of stones marking where houses, buildings, columns or fountains used to stand. Imagine this area as a thriving Roman community as you view these ruins! Continuing up the hill, you will arrive at the well preserved Roman Amphitheater which is large enough to seat 2,000 people. It is believed that construction began on the theater in 65 AD and the tiered seating in the theater was actually carved directly into the limestone. This is definitely a highlight when visiting Acinipo - it is amazing to walk around and explore this ancient structure - built to stand the test of time, this is actually one of the best preserved Roman ruins left in Spain.
ENJOY THE VIEW
Continue to the top of the hill after viewing the Roman Theater and you will be rewarded with a commanding view of the Andalusian countryside. Acinipo is built at the top of a hill, as most Andalusian villages were for defensive purposes. In fact, Acicipo is actually 3,280 feet above sea level and the view from here is completely breath-taking - on a clear day you can see for miles!
As you head back down the hill, you will come across the remains of the Roman Baths. Important in any Roman community, Acinipo had a bath complex that included changing rooms, latrines, and rooms for cold, warm or hot water that would have been temperature controlled by burning wood underneath the floors of the bath house.
Visiting Acinipo is free! But be sure to check the opening hours before visiting as they can fluctuate. To double check the hours - check here.
Tuesday to Saturday: 10.00 to 17.00
Sunday: 09.00 to 14.00
Interested in planning your own trip to Acinipo, Spain? Below is our summarized itinerary for you to follow or adjust to your own preferences. ENJOY!
Spend the day exploring the 'White-Washed Villages' of Spain - start the morning at Setenil de las Bodegas, then stop at the ancient Roman Ruins of Acinipo, continue onto to Zahara de la Sierra. Or combine a quick stop to Acinipo with a day spent exploring Ronda.