Castañas are most delicious when eaten warm, but hurry because the season is short, typically starting in October and happens until later November. But thankfully you can normally purchase them on the side of the road until Christmas (link).
Where to Find Them?
The Malaga Flow Team has found that the majority of castaña trees are found within and between the mountain range of Sierra de las Nieves and Sierra de Grazalema. This is also where some of the biggest castaña farms are located in the south.
🚷 Disclaimer 🚯
So this is why we recommend the following route below.
But before we start, we ask for you to stay on the trail and do not pick up castañas off of private property. Many landowners of this area make a majority of their income of this very special time of year. Trust us there is a lot to go around on this route and no trespassing is not required.
How to Harvest Chestnuts
We also like to bring a trash bag to collect the nuts.
Note that the shells will naturally open on their own while still attached to the tree, but will fall to the ground shortly after where it is best to pick them up.
What you need to harvest chestnuts.
- Trash bag for collection
- Thick leather gloves
The Route: The Castaña Trail
One of our favorite hikes and favorite areas in all of Málaga is here in Valle de Genal (Valley of Genal). This area is absolutely beautiful year round but really shines in the fall when the trees leaves start to change color.
Valley de Genal is famous for its castañas, small and unique villages, but most of all its breath taking views.
Elevation Gain (Meters)
Route Length (KM)
**Note that there is a small stream crossing which can range in depth on the time of year and before or after a storm. So possibly bring waterproof boots or not go on a rainy day.
So pull out that handy-dandy pocket computer of yours and download Wikiloc App or a free Topo map app. So in case you get lost you will be able to find where you are.
How to Cook Chestnuts at Home
- Preheat Oven 200º C (no fan)
- Preparing chestnut for oven roastin goodness.
- Lay chestnut on its flat side
- Take the biggest knife you can find, a machete will do
- Cut a slit crosswise over the top of shell. Make sure you cut the nut inside.
- Place in a dish large enough to have one layer of chestnut even spread out.
- Roast in Oven for 30 minutes or until the skin splits open
- Enjoy an adult beverage during this time.
- Peel skin and husk
- Serve immediately!
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