Surface Area: 14.34 square kilometres
What the natives are called: Almachareños
Outstanding Sights: parish church of San Mateo, Museo de la Pasa (Raisin Museum), Mártires Street, historic district, Jardines de El Forfe (El Forfe Gardens), entrance to the Cueva del Moro (Cave of the Moor) (See “Legends” below)
Geographical Location: in the western part of the La Axarquía region, 35 kilometres from the provincial capital and 14 kilometres from Velez-Málaga, at a little more than 200 meters above sea level. Average annual rainfall is 560 litres per square metre and the average temperature is 16.5 º C
The complex landscape of La Axarquía bestows a diversity on the territory of Almáchar that will surprise the visitor, even one who has familiarised himself with the peculiarities of the region where this municipality is located.
In Almáchar’s case there are no great contrasts in elevation since the highest point within its boundaries is scarcely more than 600 meters, but there are geographic features -the two rivers on the edge of the town- that confer a distinctive identity to the setting.
The vineyards, the extensive olive and almond groves and the many fruit orchards form a landscape that has been domesticated for many centuries. Raisin driers are one of its most prominent features, spaces where grapes are spread out under the sun to slowly turn into raisins, which are this town’s most famous and characteristic product. As in nearly every other part of La Axarquía, this town has also embraced the cultivation of subtropical crops.
No traces have been found so far to support the idea that Almáchar’s origin pre-dates the Arabic era. Not only does its name indicate its Muslim roots -"Maysar" or "Machar" usually is translated as "meadow or meadowland"- but also the town’s street layout itself clearly goes back to Arabic customs and usages.
After the expulsion of the Moorish Christians in the sixteenth century, people came from different places to settle in these lands. Since both the parish and municipal archives were unfortunately destroyed in the deplorable events of 1936 hardly any documentation exists today of the history of Almáchar, but it is known that the first baptism was performed 7 February 1537, and on 2 February the first religious wedding took place. Almáchar used to belong to the Cuatro Villas, a group of villages comprising El Borge, Cútar and Moclinejo as well. All of them were under the protection of the Castle of Comares
From Málaga, you can get to this village on two different routes, either through Rincón de la Victoria (35 kilometres) or Vélez-Málaga.
Exit from the A-7 Mediterranean Expressway at Rincón de la Victoria and take the MA-3200 towards Benagalbón and continue on MA-3119 towards Moclinejo and then on to Almáchar on MA-3114. Total distance: 35km, 15 by expressway and 20 on local mountain roads.
You can also exit from the A-7 Mediterranean Expressway to the A-356 at Vélez-Málaga. About 3km farther along take the MA-3116 towards Benagalbón and after about 2km turn again, this time onto the MA-3112, which leads to Almáchar. This is the best route from the east. Total distance: 55km, 41 by expressway and 14 by local mountain roads.
Full graphical path: http://bit.ly/pnr1OH
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Costa del Sol Tourist Board - Plaza de la Marina, nº4 - 29015 Málaga - Tel: +34952126272 - Fax: +34952225207 - firstname.lastname@example.org