Mojácar is a traditional whitewashed village set on top of a hill in Almería (one of Andalucía’s eight provinces) and overlooking 17 kilometres of pristine Mediterranean beaches. Located between Sierra Cabrera, the Taberna Desert and the Almería coast, Mojácar is Moorish in origin and much of its Arabic past is still evident in the narrow maze of streets, patios and courtyards.
Mojácar was principally responsible for the re-emergence in popularity of the “Indalo” or “Mojácar Man”, a figure with outstretched arms supporting a rainbow-type arch, which was found depicted in cave paintings believed to be 4,500 years old.
The name Indalo was created in the 1960s by a group of artisans who had moved to the town and commercialised the figure, which subsequently became so popular it has been adopted as the symbol of Almería. Local folklore has it that Indalo protects against evil and disaster.
The name Mojácar is derived from the Arabic word “Muxacra”, although there is evidence of a settlement dating to the Bronze Age. The Moors built a fortress and defended the town for hundreds of years until the Reconquista (Reconquest) by the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabel, in the 15th century.
Moorish architecture can still be be found in the village, and it is now protected and preserved for posterity.
Mojácar has 17 kilometres of coastline, from Marina de la Torre to Rambla de la Granatilla in the stunningly beautiful hamlet of Sopalmo, a short distance from Cabo de Gata Nature Park. Visitors can enjoy both deserted coves and other more tourist-orientated beaches that have been awarded the European “Blue Flag”. The sand is fine and clean, ideal for families, and diverse watersports and leisure activities are available.
The neighbouring Murcia region’s mild climate makes this area an ideal destination for golf-lovers, who can enjoy playing at any one of 22 golf courses virtually throughout the year, with facilities to accommodate golfers of every level.
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The fertile inland plains produce an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood is caught daily by the local fishing fleet, and farmed meat and game are brought down from the mountains, ensuring a rich culinary selection to suit every taste – with rice being prominent.
Traditional dishes include:
- Arroz y Conejo – Rice with Rabbit
- Paella Huertana – Vegetable Paella
- Arroz de Verduras – Rice and Vegetables
- Arroz Marinero – Seafood Rice
- Arroz y Costillejas – Rice and Ribs
- Potaje – Rich Stew Dish
- Menestra – Dish of Sautéed Vegetables
- Habas con Jamón – Broad Beans with Serrano Ham
- Caldo Murciano – Local Soup Dish
- Huevas de Mújol – Type of Caviar
The patron saint of Mojácar is San Agustín and his day is celebrated on 28 August each year. Holy Week is especially spectacular in Mojácar, with floats and processions every day.
One of the most popular annual festivals is the traditional “Moors and Christians” re-enactment, which takes place on the closest weekend to 10 June. The fiesta celebrates heroic acts that led to exchanges of culture and religion between the rival factions, and the highlight is a spectacular procession from the highest point in the village to the lowest (by the fountain).