Guadix, Spain – Caves And Troglodytes’ Houses In Andalucia

Welcome to Guadix, one of the most unique places you’ll see in your entire life. Desert Hobbiton with hundreds of troglodytes living underground in cave houses, and an old town with an amazing vibe. Add to that stunning, out-of-this-world landscapes with snow-capped mountain peaks of Sierra Nevada in the background and you’ll wonder if you’re still on planet Earth. In this post, we’ll take you on an amazing trip to Guadix, Spain during which you’ll discover caves and troglodytes’ houses, as well as the charming old town. Ready to discover one of the most unique and beautiful towns in Spain? Vamos amigos! 

As for now, Guadix is considered an Andalusian hidden gem or off-beaten track destination. The town is mostly known to Spanish people and is relatively unknown to tourists, thanks to what you won’t come across huge crowds there. Guadix is a great destination for a one-day trip from cities like Almeria or Granada, but also a place where you can stay longer and immerse yourself in the unique cave-living experience.

Guadix, Spain - Caves And Troglodytes’ Houses In Andalucia
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Created by Sonia & Wojtek

One day, we packed our lives and slowly rushed into the unknown with smiles on our faces. We’re full-time digital nomads traveling in Europe who inspire to live, travel, and discover differently. Sunny coastal destinations are what we love most. We share travel guides, tips, and know-how to make planning your next trip a piece of cake. Real human experience and verified facts only!


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Guadix, Spain FAQ

Where is Guadix located?

Guadix is a small town located in Andalusia in the Province of Granada in southern Spain. The town sits at an altitude of 913m a.s.l in the center of the Hoya of Guadix – a high plain at the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Guadix was built near gullies and badlands.

What is Guadix famous for?

Guadix is most famous for its cave houses neighborhood, Barrio de las Cuevas, which is home to the largest number of troglodyte houses in the whole of Europe where a few thousand people live. It’s also one of the oldest towns in Spain that has been inhabited for centuries.

Why do people in Guadix live in caves?

Guadix cave houses can boast one amazing feature: the temperature inside them is around 18-20°C day and night, all year round. In the beginning, people decided to build their homes underground to escape the summer heat. Nowadays, it has become trendy thanks to low energy consumption and eco-friendliness.

How do you pronounce Guadix?

Spanish pronunciation of Guadix is [ɡwaˈðiks]. Here you can listen to this pronunciation

Guadix, Spain - Caves And Troglodytes’ Houses In Andalucia
Things to do in Guadix Old Town - Explore Streets and Squares

About Guadix Cave Houses Neighbourhood

Exploring Cave Houses Neighborhood (es. Barrio de las Cuevas) is definitely the best thing to do in Guadix. It’s a truly unique and fascinating area where thousands of people, known as troglodytes, live in about 2000 underground cave houses. Currently, Guadix is home to the largest number of troglodyte houses in the whole of Europe! 

If you’re wondering, cave houses aren’t some strange whim of the present times! In Guadix people have been living underground for hundreds of years! Most caves date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, but some of the oldest ones are believed to have been built around 1000 years ago, in early Moorish times.

According to history, when in 1492 catholic monarchs regained control of Andalusia lots of Moors fled to the town of Guadix and its surroundings. More of them arrived in the area between 1568-1571 during the Rebellion of the Alpujarras. But the problem was that they had nowhere to live. So many of them decided to build their homes underground.

Don’t worry that you’ll miss the troglodyte houses while strolling in the area. Their whitewashed doors stand out from the surroundings and can’t be missed. But sometimes the only thing that marks a troglodyte cave house is a white tall chimney coming out of the ground – so keep your eyes on them too!

View over Guadix Cave Houses Neighbourhood and Troglodytes’ Houses
Guadix, Spain - Caves And Troglodytes’ Houses In Andalucia

Living in caves in the past & nowadays

Why did people decide to build their homes in caves in the first place? The answer is simple: to escape the heat. You see, in cave houses, the temperature is constant (18-20°C) all year round, regardless of the outside conditions. Definitely understandable for ancient times without air conditioning.

But why do people want to live in the caves now? We’ve heard that sustainability is the main argument but it doesn’t really convince us. Even though 21st-century cave houses look inside like normal houses, and are connected to modern amenities like electricity, water, or Internet, they still lack sunlight and external sounds like the sound of the wind or the birds. For us, they seemed to be quite depressing and claustrophobic. But apparently, some find it quite the opposite.

In the Cave Interpretation Centre, the guide told us that not long ago, around the 1990s, caves cost only about €3-5k so we imagine that for most people it was just a cheap option to get a home. Now they cost about €60k and are a great investment for hotels or apartments for rent.

Learn more iconDiscover: Accommodation options in Guadix Caves

View over Guadix Caves And Troglodytes’ Houses In Andalusia
Troglodyte and Cave Houses In Guadix, Andalusia

Things to do in Guadix Cave Houses Neighbourhood

Cave Interpretation Center

Guadix Cave Interpretation Centre (es. Cueva Museo Centro de Interpretación Cuevas de Guadix) is a small but very informative museum located in a cave. There you’ll learn about the history of cave houses and troglodytes, as well as you’ll have a chance to get a glimpse of how it would be to live in a cave. You’ll see rooms like a bedroom, kitchen, pantry, workshop, or even a pigsty (as the animals lived inside with the families).

Entrance to Cave Interpretation Center costs €2.6 for adults and you can pay only by cash (June 2024). For current prices and opening hours please visit the museum’s official website.

Cave Interpretation Center in Guadix Cave Houses Neighbourhood
Cave Interpretation Center in Guadix Cave Houses Neighbourhood

Parish Church of Our Lady of Grace

Opposite the Cave Interpretation Center, you’ll find an inconspicuous-looking church, Parish Church of Our Lady of Grace (es. Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Gracia). When you enter inside it’ll still look like a regular church at first glance. To see what it hides you need to approach the altar and then turn right. There you’ll find a corridor from which you’ll be able to explore the back of the church, which is… a cave shrine and a cave house. Walk around them, get lost, and discover all nooks and crannies. Entrance to the Church of Our Lady of Grace is free. 

Cave Church of Our Lady of Grace in Guadix Cave Houses Neighbourhood
Cave Church of Our Lady of Grace in Guadix, Spain

Viewpoint: Mirador Padre Poveda

Just a few steps from the Cave Interpretation Center and Church of Our Lady of Grace you’ll find the Mirador Padre Poveda viewpoint. From it, you’ll have quite a nice view over the cave houses, as well as Guadix’s old town and its surroundings.

Views from Mirador Padre Poveda over Guadix, Spain
View over Guadix Cave Houses Neighbourhood from Mirador Padre Poveda

Viewpoint: Mirador del Cerro de la Bala

Mirador del Cerro de la Bala viewpoint offers much better views than Mirador Padre Poveda, at least in our opinion. From it, you can see panoramic views over the caves neighborhood, Guadix, and the Sierra Nevada mountains. By seeing all of that you’ll be definitely wondering what planet you’re on right now. Truly breathtaking.

Viewpoint is located about 15 minutes by foot from the Cave Interpretation Center. There is only one sign near the center pointing the way, and the rest of it wasn’t well signed. We just advise you to follow Google Maps instructions, and you’ll safely get there.

Spectacular Mirador del Cerro de la Bala in Guadix Cave Houses Neighbourhood
Views from Mirador del Cerro de la Bala in Guadix Cave Houses Neighbourhood

Things to do in Guadix Old Town 

Gaudix has a lot more to offer than just caves and troglodytes’ houses. Its old town boasts an amazing vibe, and strolling around its streets is a pure pleasure. It isn’t too big, but it’s very easy to spend a few hours there.

In Guadix Old Town you’ll find points of interest like Cathedral, Plaza de la Constitucion, Alcazaba, ruins of the Roman Theater, and some lovely viewpoints like Mirador de la Magdalena.

Guadix Tourist Office is located on Plaza de la Constitucion square.

Learn more iconDiscover: Accommodation options in Guadix

Things to do in Guadix Old Town
Things to do in Guadix Old Town in Andalusia, Spain
Exploring charming streets of Guadix, Spain
Exploring charming streets of Guadix, Spain
Exploring charming streets of Guadix, Spain

Guadix Cathedral

Guadix Cathedral (es. Catedral de la Encarnación de Guadix) is a Catholic church which tall bell tower dominates the city skyline. The building we can see today was built between the 16th and 18th centuries on the remains of a Moorish mosque, which itself was built on top of an older temple. Due to the fact that it was built over almost three centuries, the Cathedral combines different styles – Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. 

We’ve read that the Cathedral interior is quite spectacular too with huge paintings behind the altar and great views over the city from the bell tower. Unfortunately, when we arrived the cathedral was closed so we didn’t have a chance to see it with our own eyes. 

There are several entrance options, basic one with climbing the tower costs €5 for adults (June 2024). To discover more options and check current prices and opening hours please visit catedraldeguadix.es website. You can also buy tickets online in advance.

Views over Guadix Cathedral from Mirador de la Magdalena
Impressive Guadix Cathedral in city old town

Plaza de la Constitucion square

Just a few steps from the Cathedral you’ll find Guadix’s main square – Plaza de la Constitucion. It’s a lovely square surrounded by buildings with arcaded arches, perfect for a quick break with a cup of coffee. There you’ll also find Town Hall and Tourist Office where you can pick up a city map and lots of advice for sightseeing. 

Plaza de la Constitucion in Guadix, Spain
Plaza de la Constitucion with Cathedral views in Guadix, Spain

Mirador de la Magdalena

Mirador de la Magdalena is a stunning viewpoint located in Guadix Old Town on a small hill. From there you’ll get fantastic 360-degree views of the town and its surroundings, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and even a cave houses neighborhood. Watch closely and you’ll spot some troglodyte’s houses and their chimneys in close proximity to you too. 

Learn more iconDiscover: Accommodation options in Guadix

Spectacular views from Mirador de la Magdalena over Guadix Old Town and surroundings
Stunning views from Mirador de la Magdalena over Cave Houses Neighbourhood and Sierra Nevada mountains

Alcazaba de Guadix

Alcazaba de Guadix was built in the 11th century by the Moors on the top of the hill, and together with the Cathedral dominates the city skyline. When we visited in May 2023 it was closed for renovations, so we didn’t get a chance to see what it hides inside.. We can only imagine that great panoramic views are stretching from it. Alcazaba de Guadix has been declared a National Monument.

Currently (June 2024) you can visit Alcazaba for free, but only on Fridays from 10-11 AM, and the visit has to be booked in advance at the Guadix Tourist Office.

Views over Alcazaba de Guadix from Mirador de la Magdalena
Alcazaba de Guadix

Ruins of Roman Theater

Guadix is one of the Spanish oldest settlements with the first people living in the area around the Stone Age. The town itself was founded by the Romans and was an important Roman colony, named Julia Gemella Acci. It’s believed that the Roman Theater was built around 45 BC under the rule of Tiberius. It was used during the 1st and 2nd centuries and then was abandoned. Later on, its architectural elements were reused for other purposes like building Alcazaba by the Moors.

It’s very interesting that the ruins of the Roman Theater were discovered accidentally only in 2007! They are located just behind the Guadix Cathedral and can be seen for free. 

Ruins of Roman Theater in Guadix, Spain

Things to do near Guadix, Spain

Calahorra Castle 

Calahorra Castle (es. Castillo de La Calahorra) is located in La Calahorra village, on the foot of Sierra Nevada mountains at 1250m a.s.l, just 20km from Guadix. This impressive castle was built between 1509 and 1512 and is the first Italian Renaissance castle that was built outside Italy. It was declared a National Monument. 

Believe us, it’s an extremely picture-worthy spot. Calahorra Castle looks very impressive both from afar (with Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop) and from up close. Also, the views from the castle hill alone are breathtaking. For us, Calahorra Castle looked like it was pulled out straight from the Age of Empires II game. No wonder it was used in some movies and tv series, like Assassins Creed, Stardust or House of the Dragon. 

Currently, Calahorra Castle is in private hands and is open only once a week, on Wednesdays between 10AM-4PM. For €3.50 you can go on a guided tour, available only in Spanish (June 2024). To get there you can leave your car in the village and go on a short walk uphill (recommended option) or try to get there via an unpaved road uphill.

Things to do near Guadix, Spain - visit spectacular Calahorra Castle
Breathtaking views from La Calahorra Castle in Spain

La Calahorra village 

While in the area don’t miss a short stroll among La Calahorra streets. It’s nothing spectacular, but you’ll get a chance to admire Calahorra Castle from many spots. The most interesting spot is the village main square, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, where you’ll find the Town Hall building, the village church – Parroquia de la Anunciación, and a fountain. You’ll also find a human-sized sculpture of the hero from Assassin’s Creed near the church.

Learn more iconDiscover: Accommodation options in La Calahorra

Things to do in La Calahorra village near Guadix
Views over La Calahorra village from Calahorra Castle in Andalusia Spain

Cascamorras Festival in Guadix & Baza

If you’ll be in the Guadix area between 6-9th September you’ll have an amazing opportunity to see or maybe even take part in the Cascamorras Festival. This very unique event celebrates the tradition of the “Cascamorras” or “Dirty Face”, where a man covered in oil tries to capture a statue of the Virgin Mary from the town of Baza, which is then paraded through the streets of Guadix. The festival has been declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest.

To learn more about this fascinating festival, legend behind it, and see some photos and videos please visit andalucia.com website. 

Cascamorras Festival in Guadix, Spain
Cascamorras Festival in Guadix and Baza in Spain

How to get to Guadix, Spain?

Guadix is located about 55km from Granada, 110km from Almeria, and 170km from Malaga. The most convenient way to get to Guadix is by car or by bus. 

Where to park in Guadix?

If you’re traveling by car you can choose from many parking lots in the city. We left our car in this parking lot for free, located only about 5min from Guadix Cathedral and 20min from the cave houses neighborhood. 

Learn more iconFor great car rental deals visit Rentalcars website.

Airports near Guadix

The closest airports to Guadix are located in Granada (70km away) and in Malaga (180km away). Both airports offer bus or bus+train connections with Guadix. To learn more about connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.

To Guadix by train

Guadix has a train station so you can get there easily by train from cities like Almeria, Granada or Malaga. You can check out a map of available train connections on acprail.com

Learn more iconFor great train ticket deals visit Trainline website.

To Guadix by bus

From many places, you can also reach Guadix by bus. For example, a trip from Almeria will take about 1h20min (€7-11), 45min from Granada (€5-8), and 3h from Malaga (€14-21). To learn more about bus connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com or ALSA website.

Discover unique Guadix Caves And Troglodytes’ Houses In Spain
Old Man in Guadix Old Town, Spain

Caves And Troglodytes’ Houses in Guadix, Spain – Summing Up

It’s a truly spectacular and unique place on the Spanish map, right? Guadix caves and troglodytes’ houses for sure will take you on a trip to another planet. Or to the desert version of Tolkien’s Hobbiton, as we like to call it. Guadix’s old town also lacks nothing, and you can simply spend hours there wandering among its streets and getting to know its every corner. So if you’ll be traveling near Almeria or Granada – be sure to add Guadix to your bucket list – you won’t regret it.

Learn more iconDiscover: Accommodation options in Guadix Caves

Our video from Guadix

Our opinion about Guadix, Spain

For us, a visit to Guadix was a day trip from Almeria where we lived for a few weeks. We visited it in late March and back then we were two of just a handful of other people out there. Exploring the Guadix caves neighborhood, viewpoints, and its old town took us about 7 hours.

We really loved Guadix and we’re glad that we discovered it… totally by chance! When we were driving from Northern Spain to Almeria, we were passing through the area and all we could see were white chimneys sticking out the rocks and whitewashed doors with some decorations. So we started wondering where the windows and the rest of the houses were and who lived there.

Finally, after doing some research, it turned out that we saw some of the many Guadix caves and troglodytes’ houses and one of the most unique destinations in Andalucia. We knew right away that we would soon come back and explore this truly fascinating place! And we are glad we did!

Until today it’s one of our favorite destinations that we visited during our digital nomad life. We definitely won’t forget about it easily!

Learn more iconBook now: End of the World Viewpoints 4x4 Tour in the Geopark

Happy Little Travelers in spectacular Guadix, Spain

Restaurants, accommodations, and map

Check out various recommended places below.

Where to sleep in Guadix?

Casa Cueva Los Mosaicos in Guadix

Casa Cueva Los Mosaicos

Casa Cueva Los Mosaicos is a unique cave house located in Guadix. This traditional Andalusian home has been carved into the rock, providing guests with a cool and comfortable retreat from the heat. The house features a fully equipped kitchen, a cozy living room, and two bedrooms, making it an ideal place for a family or group of friends to stay while exploring the region's rich history and stunning scenery.


Cueva de Manuela in Guadix

Cueva de Manuela

Cueva de Manuela is a charming cave house located in Guadix. The cave house features rustic decor and modern amenities, including a fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes from the terrace or explore the nearby cave dwellings and historic landmarks.


Cuevas de María in Guadix, Spain

Cuevas de Maria

Cuevas de Maria is a unique accommodation option in Guadix as it offers cave houses that have been converted into comfortable and modern guest rooms. The property is situated in a beautiful natural setting with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Guests can enjoy the peace and tranquility of this secluded location while still being within easy reach of Guadix town center and its attractions.


YIT Abentofail in Guadix, Spain

YIT Abentofail

YIT Abentofail is a charming 3-star hotel located in the historic center of Guadix. The hotel is housed in a beautifully restored 16th-century building that features a traditional Andalusian patio. Each room is uniquely decorated with rustic elements and equipped with modern amenities, including air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.


Accommodations photos source: booking.com

Guadix, Spain - Map of places


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