Almargen is a town in the county of Guadalteba, in the north-east of the province of Malaga, near the provinces of Seville and Cadiz.
This area's greatest attractions are its historical sites, its gastronomy and a series of activities related to its natural environment. Almargen is located on the northern edge of the Serranía de Ronda mountain range, surrounded by landscape that is ideal for hiking and cycle-tourism.
MUST-SEE SIGHTS IN ALMARGEN
The Roman necropolis (graveyard) in Sierra de Rebollo is testimony to the historical importance of the municipality. In addition to this site are the Roman thermal baths in the Sierra de Cañete la Real and other archaeological sites dating back to the Moors, the Romanized Iberians and the Copper Age.
Many of the items found in these sites can be seen in the Municipal Museum (which has an interpretive centre called 'Tartessos in the Guadalteba') whose most significant exhibits are the phallic fertility idol, the engraved Tartessos stile and the oldest bronze sword in the province of Malaga.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception (16th-17th centuries) is an interesting fusion of styles: from its Mudejar craftsmanship to its Gothic tableaux, with its mannerist facade and the baroque bell gable on the outside.
Almargen is 83 kilometres from Málaga. It takes an hour and ten minutes to get there in a car travelling on the A-357.
If you prefer public transport, there are two options. If you travel by train, it will cost between €10 and 13 and take an hour and 34 minutes, while there are two buses a week with the trip taking one hour and 30 minutes.
In Almargen, we mustn't forget to visit its many natural beauty spots, which are wonderful places to go on a cycle trip or a hike.
The natural spring Arroyo Blanco (the White Stream) has been known since the Roman Era for its medicinal properties. It is located in the Casa Blanca Natural Park. Here the waters are rich in iodine and provide therapeutic benefits. The water becomes less salty as it flows towards its confluence with the river Venta and from there to the Guadalteba Reservoir.
The celebration of the saints' days of San Cosme and San Damián take place at the last weekend of September, with a host of fun, sport, religious and cultural activities.
At the last weekend of May, the Almargeños - that is, the people of Almargen - congregate in the fields of La Saucedilla to celebrate the "Romería" pilgrimage of Our Lady of Fatima.
The Almargen Summer Fair is another major event that takes place in the town at the first weekend of August.
Almargen Holy Week (Easter) dates back to 1695. There are processions around the town featuring the three images on Thursday and Good Friday.
Almargen benefits from its natural environment and agricultural produce, which enrich its gastronomy. The centrepiece of Almargen's cuisine is the cold soup called "porra almargeña" (a variation of the porra antequerana): a rich cream of tomato with breadcrumbs, red pepper and garnished with hardboiled eggs, tuna, grapes or melon.
Also worthy of note are the products that grow naturally in its fields: wild asparagus, fennel, mushrooms, maiden's tears, and the Spanish oyster thistle.
During Holy Week, many pastries are made, such as magdalenas (cupcakes).
Several archaeological sites in Almargen attest to the presence of man in the area since the Copper Age. The village boomed with the Phoenicians, as it was crossed by a road connecting Tartessos to Mainake. Then, the Romans built the Via XI, linking Antikaria (Antequera) to Acinipo (Old Ronda) passing by Almargen. All this evidence points at the village"s strategic location.
With the Romans, a new phase in the history of Almargen began that was to finish only when the Arabs left the territory. Traces of this period can be found in the pottery found in the valley of the rivers Corbones and Almargen, and in the name of village, which means "the two meadows". After the Reconquista by the Christian troops, the fate of Almargen was similar to that of other villages in the region of Guadalteba. The most significant architectural consequence of the Christian domination was the Parish Church of Inmaculada Concepción in the sixteenth century.
There are about 30 different archaeological sites in Almargen were traces of prehistoric and Roman settlements were unearthed. In them, archaeologists found invaluable evidence of past life in the village. One of the most important pieces is the famous phallic-shaped fertility idol: a white marble statuette dating back to 3000 BC. According to popular wisdom, women touching it get pregnant more easily. Now, however, the belief cannot proven right or wrong, for the idol is shown in a glass case at the Almargen Town Museum.
Almargen’s cuisine enjoys a richness stemming from its natural surroundings and thriving agricultural activity. The porra almargeña is its star dish, but other start dishes from the area are the wild asparagus, Spanish oyster thistle, fennel, mushrooms or bladder campion.
Its cured meats and chacinas are tasty, along with its vegetables, olive oil, flour, and of course, the homemade wine.
Easter Week is a particular time for baked goods like muffins.
- Inhabitants (1,001-2,500)
- Inland area