A town with a Moorish layout, nestled among hills, but with a beach and views of the Mediterranean? Yes, it does exist. You'll find it 32 kilometres from Malaga in the Axarquia region. A visit to Algarrobo will not disappoint: its views, its beaches, its carnival, its flamenco night... Choose any day in the calendar, any time is good to visit this town.
We recommend you try their local dishes and delicious Algarrobo cake. And if you are looking for culture, this village offers spectacular places to connect with history.
IN ALGARROBO DO NOT MISS
Algarrobo has one of the most interesting archaeological sites in the western Mediterranean: The Necropolis of Trayamar. A complex of paleo-punic tombs possibly belonging to a Phoenician city emerged around a factory in the seventh century BC. In the Museo Arqueológico Provincial de Málaga various objects found in this enclave are preserved.
Remains of historical significance from the Bronze Age as well as Roman and Punic times, also appeared in the Morro de Mezquitilla. On the other hand, on the coast of Algarrobo two watchtowers whose function was to warn people of possible enemy invasions are preserved. One of these towers is of Arab origin, while the other dates from the sixteenth century.
The Iglesia de Santa Ana is the most remarkable monument of Algarrobo's religious architecture. It was built in the seventeenth century, though its wood panelling and the chapel of the side of the temple date from the eighteenth century. The bell tower is one of its most characteristic elements.
The Ermita de la Virgen de las Angustias and the Ermita de San Sebastián are also a must if you go to this town. The latter is located at the Loma del Elegido, which has a beautiful view of the surroundings.
Algarrobo is a little more than 30 kilometres from Málaga. If you’re going by car, it’s best to take the A-7 Mediterranean motorway. However, you can take the diversion towards the A-7206 by going on the N-340 national road.
The town of Algarrobo sits on the slopes of two hills that offer, as a kind of balcony, fabulous views of the Mediterranean. Several hiking trails run through the most attractive places in the area, such as the river parks of Río Algarrobo and Los Villares, los Lagos or el Arroyo de los Perales.
The municipality stretches out to the sea, which bathes its two black sand beaches equipped with all kinds of services. The promenade of the beaches,playa de Algarrobo Costa and playa de Mezquitilla, brings restaurants and renowned seafood restaurants.
Algarrobo also has several green areas and recreational areas such as parks, parque de la Vega, and parque del Pozo de los Deseos, as well as the chapel gardens.
An ideal time to go to Algarrobo is in August. La Feria is celebrated this month, which lasts three days. Flamenco and verdiales play a key part in these festivals, although its programme includes cultural and leisure activities of all kinds.
Also taking place in August is the Feria de la Mezquitilla, the procession of the Virgen de Fátima and the Festival Folclórico. This event presents you with the opportunity to enjoy the dances, traditions and artistic expressions of the most diverse cultures.
Other notable events are the procesión de San Sebastián in January, which is accompanied by an audible 'cohetá' (lighting of firecrackers), Carnaval and Semana Santa de Algarrobo. This Axarquía town also hosts the Noche Flamenca in September, with performances by the best cante jondo artists.
Torta de Algarrobo is the most typical product of the town. It is a cake of Arab origin, with a great reputation in the province, where the combination of oil, flour and spices result in an exquisite flavour.
Traditional recipes include the potaje algarrobeño (cabbage stew) and choto en salsa (a lamb dish), along with cold dishes like ajoblanco (a soup made from almonds, garlic, bread and oil, all blended together and served very cold with grapes) or gazpacho (cold soup made from tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, oil, bread and garlic).
Furthermore, the fruit from subtropical crops that occupy much of the territory of Algarrobo have become an indispensable local cuisine.
Algarrobo was founded during the period of Arab domination. However, these lands have been inhabited by humans since time immemorial. The archaeological remains found during the digs carried out in area of Trayamar, La Colina del Morro de Mezquitilla and the mouth of the River Vélez confirm that this territory has been populated by man since prehistoric times. Iberians, Phoenicians and Romans all passed through this place, although the Arabs built the settlement that gave rise to the town.
The Muslim town had a small urban nucleus made up of a mosque, a few houses and protective walls. The legacy of this age is the layout of the narrow, steep winding roads, which were laid out in this way so that the town could defend itself from possible invading attacks. The town also owes its name to the Arabs, who initially named it Garrobo.
In April of 1487, following the surrender of the city of Vélez as the troops sent by the Catholic Monarchs moved in, Algarrobo fell to the Christians. With the reconquest, the Moriscos (Muslims who converted to Christianity) were freed, but they were later expelled from the town as punishment for having taken part in the uprising. Old Christians and families from other regions came in to repopulate the locality, which was not granted the privilege to form a Constitutional Council until the year 1821.
In the 19th Century, during the French occupation, a group of Algarrobeños laid an ambush on the Cómpeta hill for an invading patrol and annihilated its members. This event led the French commander of Vélez to order the town to be burned down. However, when the soldiers were preparing to carry out this order, the residents, led by the mayor, managed to dissuade them. A young lad requested an audience with the Governor of Malaga and was granted a pardon, thereby preventing Algarrobo from being burned down.
Years later, in 1837, this town saw the birth of the bandit Manuel Melgares Ruiz. His gang also included other famous bandits, such as Antonio Duplas "El Francés" and Luis Muñoz García, nicknamed "El Bizco de El Borge", who was the leader of such a feared band of attackers that they held the Civil Guard in checkmate. Throughout this century, Algarrobo also suffered the devastating effects of cholera and phylloxera, as well as an earthquake in 1884 that devastated much of La Axarquía.
During the 2nd Republic, one Algarrobeño, Enrique Ramos, became Minister of Work and the telephone was finally brought to the town. In 1937, the national army took the locality without the Civil War causing any major devastation to the population. Following the end of Franco"s dictatorship, on 19th April 1979 the first municipal elections were held, and shortly afterwards Algarrobo started to take off as a major tourist destination in the area of La Axarquía.
The most traditional good from this town is the torta de Algarrobo, an Arab sweet you can find in any pastry shop. Other typical dishes include the potaje algarrobeño, the choto en salsa, ajoblanco or the fennel stew. On the beach, you’ll find skewers, fish and shellfish. The town boasts gastronomic offers that suit any set of tastebuds!
- Inhabitants (5,001-10,000)
- Coastal area
- Inland area