Mojácar, is a traditional whitewashed village that is set on top of a hill in the province of Almeria in Andalusia, overlooking 17 kilometres of pristine beaches of the Mediterranean sea. The town, that sits between the Sierra Cabrera, the Taberna Desert, and the Almeria coast, is Moorish in origin, 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 that support a rainbow-type arch, that was found depicted in cave paintings believed to be 4,500 years old.
The name Indalo was created in the 1960’s by a group of artisans who had moved to the town and who commercialised the figure, which became so popular that it has been adopted as the symbol of Almeria. 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 back to the Bronze Age. The Moors built a fortress and defended the the town for hundreds of years until the Reconquest by the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabel in the 15th century.
The Moorish architecture is still to be found in the village, and is now protected and preserved for posterity.
Mojácar has 17 kilometres of coastline, from Marina de la Torre, to the Rambla de la Granatilla, in the stunningly beautiful hamlet of Sopalmo, a short distance from the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata. The visitor can enjoy both the deserted coves, as well as the other more tourist orientated beaches, that have been awarded the Blue Flag of the European Community. The sand is fine and clean and are preferred by families, every type of water sport and leisure activities are available.
The mild climate in the region makes the area a perfect destination for golf lovers, who can enjoy playing 18 holes at Playa Macenas or the fantastic Marina Golf course, virtually all year round, with facilities to accommodate golfers of every level,.
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The fertile inland plains produces an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood is landed daily by the local fishing fleet and farmed meat and game are brought down from the mountains, ensuring a rich selection of foods to suit every taste in which rice is 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 – a Rich Stew Dish
- Menestra – a dish of Sautéed Vegetables
- Habas con jamón – Broad Beans and Serrano Ham
- Caldo Murciano – a local Soup Dish
- Huevas de Mújol – a type of Caviar
The patron saint of Mojácar is San Augustine and his day is celebrated on the 28th August each year. Holy week is especially spectacular with floats and processions each day.
One of the most popular festivals of the year is the traditional re-enactment of ‘Moors and Christians’, which takes place on the nearest weekend to 10th June. The fiesta celebrates the heroic acts that led to exchanges of culture and religion between the rival factions, the highlight is a spectacular procession from the highest point in the village, to the lowest by the fountain.