A bit of history
The cave has been used since the dawn of humanity by groups of people who took advantage of the conditions of the natural environment in which they directly excavated their homes. In Andalusia, leaving aside the vestiges of ancestral cultures that used caves as a dwelling in the Neolithic period, it is since the end of the 15th century when references to inhabited cave houses began.
Throughout the Modern Age, references to inhabited caves are increasing. It seems that the Moors had a special impact on the extension of this type of habitat when they were expelled from the kingdom of Granada in the last third of the 16th century, after the rebellion of Abén Humeya in 1569.
Further on, the growth of cave houses is related to the increase experienced by the population, the increase in housing demands and the extension of poverty affecting its inhabitants. Complementarily, the comparative advantages that cave dwellings present with respect to other types of substandard housing are valued.
In the last twenty years there has been an impressive jump in the development of these houses as a result of the convergence of the positive perception that the population has of them and on the other hand, of the policy developed by the public authorities, complemented with the investment in cave houses by the private initiative. This type of reconditioning of the cave, carried out by the owners themselves, is very present in the different troglodyte municipalities, being a clear example of the value that the population gives to the cave, considered as part of the architectural and residential heritage.
As a result, the residential use of the cave has been revalued, so that there has been a transition from consideration of substandard housing to bioclimatic housing, perfectly conditioned and with a future. One of the main advantages for the demanding population is the energy saving and the isothermal conditions that can be enjoyed, since the interior of the house maintains average temperatures of between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius, despite the fact that outside temperatures can be as high as 40 degrees Celsius, or as low as 0 degrees Celsius in winter
Along with traditional residential use, the tourist use of cave houses is being promoted in the last few years, within the rural development programs, economic diversification and tourist promotion. At present there are hotel centers located in caves in almost all the troglodytic municipalities of the province of Granada, among which it is necessary to emphasize to Cortes and Graena, Baza, Guadix, Freila, Galera, Castilléjar, Benalúa de Guadix, Cortes de Baza, Alcudia de Guadix, Cuevas del Campo and also Granada capital. At first, the rehabilitation for tourist use was largely led by foreign developers, who have been increasingly adding more and more investors from different backgrounds, also autonomous.
They are organized in small hotel complexes that have all the services corresponding to a high category hotel and some of them have complementary facilities for meetings or conferences, that is, they try to capture a wide range of potential tourism demand.