Hills covered with vines and beautiful mountain landscapes welcome the traveler arriving in Competa, famous for its acclaimed wine. This product is celebrated every August with a magical night that has become a must-attend summer event.
A white village of Axarquía, with beautiful traditional architecture and ancient customs, Cómpeta is nicknamed 'Cornice of the Costa del Sol' for its privileged location. Its territory spans the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park, with its extraordinary landscape heritage.
NOT TO MISS IN CÓMPETA
Walking along Paseo de las Tradiciones, Cómpeta you will see mosaics depicting the ingrained habits of this inland Malaga town. The street reaches Plaza Almijara with its nineteenth century facades and its typically Andalusian fountain.
Also worth visiting are the Museum of Arts and Traditions, installed in a former nineteenth century barracks, the Molino de Hadriano museum, the hanging houses, the wine press at Plaza de la Vandimia and the wineries of this traditional winemaking village.
The most emblematic monument of Cómpeta is the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción church, built in the sixteenth century. Known as the 'Cathedral of Axarquía', it has three naves separated by segmental arches and a tower in the New Mudéjar style. Inside the temple the altar fresco, depicting the assumption of the Virgin Mary is noteworthy.
In the oldest part of town is the chapel of St Sebastian, which houses the image of the patron saint of Cómpeta.
Another sign of religious art of the town is the chapel of San Antón Abad Extramuros. It is an eighteenth-century shrine with a careful altarpiece that holds one of the Cómpeta"s most popular Holy Week carvings: "Borriquita".
HOW TO GET TO CÓMPETA FROM MALAGA
There are two possible routes to travel the 52 kilometers separating Cómpeta and Málaga Capital, both with a similar journey time. The journey begins with the E-15. In the first option, you have to take exit 277 and follow the A-7206 until you reach Calle Andalucía in Cómpeta. In the second option, take exit 285 and follow the A-7207 to reach Cómpeta. This road offers the possibility to go near Trayamar, an archaeological site of paleopunic graves from the seventh century B.C.
Nine routes invite you to know the environment Cómpeta, a municipality that is part of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park. This natural paradise is the habitat of diverse species of flora and fauna, including the Spanish ibex and golden eagle. The village also has a gazebo at the entrance to the town, above Torrox which offers spectacular views of this protected area and the imposing peak of Maroma, with 2,069 meters of altitude.
On August 15th, Cómpeta celebrates, la Noche del Vino ("Night of Wine"), which coincides with the day of Our Lady of the Assumption, patron saint of the village. Declared an Event of National Tourist Interest in Andalusia, this celebration includes wine tastings of muscat grapes (an extraordinary sweet wine) enlivened with music. The event recalls the "farewell", organized to send off farmers before they leave for the farms and wineries at harvest time.
Other notable festivals calendar are the Feria del Barrio in honor of St Sebastian (January), the Festival of San Blas (February) and the Day of the Cross (May). In addition to these are added the 'Sanjuaneo' (a celebration of St John) (June), the Summer Fair (July) and Lumbres (September), with its traditional bonfires in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria.
The most representative part of Holy Week is the Vía Crucis on Good Friday. In the morning, there is a procession only for men, while in the evening is the Soledad (Solitude) parade, for women.
Cómpeta"s star product is wine: the muscatel, semisweet and dry varieties enjoy a deserved prestige. This town is also one of the key stops on the Wine Tour of Axarquía, which passes six other municipalities in the region known for their wines.
Traditional dishes include migas (bread crumbs sautéed with garlic and accompanied by peppers, cured meats and olives, among other ingredients), fennel stew and pork tenderloin with garlic.
The first record of the name "Cómpeta" dates from 1487, when the Muslim villages in Sierra de Bentomiz surrendered to the Catholic Monarchs. In the same year, the chief magistrate of Vélez, in the hands of the Christians, urged locals to surrender to the new authorities. This means Cómpeta must have been a hamlet back then.
The men and women of Muslim descent remained in Cómpeta and after the Reconquista they joined the Moorish rebels in Axarquía, who had a stronghold in the Rock of Frigiliana. In the end, they were defeated by the Christian army. As a result, the village was deserted and old Christians from other towns moved in.
By order of the Catholic Monarchs, the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción began to be built in the sixteenth century. Cómpeta"s most iconic building was badly affected by the earthquake in 1884, so the main façade was renovated afterwards. It now features a convex round arch flanked by pilasters added in 2005, when renovation work was undertaken on the church"s 500th anniversary.
The earthquake also destroyed houses and the church"s minaret, which was replaced by a 35m-high Neomudejar tower completed in 1936. In 1972, Francisco Hernández finished his altar fresco of Our Lady of Assumption. The baptistery"s painting, showing the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, was also painted by this artist from Vélez.
During the Spanish Civil War, sacred images were burnt and the archives in the church and the Town Hall were ransacked. After the war, the maquis (resistance fighters) took to the sierras, waiting for the downfall of the Franco regime (which only happened after many years).
The mid-twentieth century witnessed the revival of the local economy, based on rural development and booming vineyards. This phase was followed by the emergence of the tourism industry in the 1970s, with a positive impact on hospitality and construction and steady growth in the number of incoming visitors. Cómpeta became a travel destination in its own right within Axarquía.
Legend has it…
Once upon a time there was a young moor. His name was Almueden. He came to Cómpeta in 1569 to rescue his wife, who was a slave to an old Christian. Legend has it that all the Muslims living in town joined him, and this led to revolt. Moorish Martín Alguacil divided the rebels in groups and they paraded several times across Plaza Almijara, changing their clothes and weapons every new time. This led the Christians in the church tower to believe the rioters were more numerous than they really were.
- Inhabitants (2,501-5,000)
- Inland area